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Study looking at financial difficulties faced by those in end of life in rural areas seeks recruits

By Gregor White

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People can face financial challenges when approaching end of life.
People can face financial challenges when approaching end of life.

A Marie Curie-funded study is on a mission to uncover the hidden struggles of individuals in Scotland’s rural, coastal, and island communities who are facing advanced illness and financial hardship.

The study, titled Unreached: The Impact of Financial Insecurity in Urban and Rural Areas, aims to understand the challenges faced by those who are nearing the end of life while struggling to make ends meet, and their carers.

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Dr Naomi Richards and Dr Sam Quinn from the University of Glasgow are leading this research, which hopes to highlight the resources needed for these individuals to live and die well.

The research team is looking for participants who are living with advanced illnesses such as cancer, advanced heart illness, motor neurone illness, COPD, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, dementia, or end-stage organ failure; or are caring/have cared for somebody with an advanced illness and who are experiencing financial difficulties or are in receipt of means-tested benefits while resideing in a rural or island community (defined by the Scottish Government as areas more than a 30-minute drive from a settlement with a population of 10,000 or more).

Participants must also be aged 18 or over and be able to give informed consent.

Community members and organisations are urged to help identify and refer potential participants.

Those interested can contact Dr Sam Quinn at Sam.Quinn@Glasgow.ac.uk or 07484 006217 for more information.

Recruitment for the first phase of the study will continue until June 2025.

Dr Quinn said: “We hope the findings of this research will help the NHS, hospices and charities to develop services that will be more responsive to the needs of people facing money worries at the end of life.

“We know that people in rural and island areas can face specific challenges that are not always acknowledged, including higher transport costs and energy bills.

“We are grateful to all participants who have supported the research so far, and I urge anybody interested in taking part to reach out for more information”.

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