Integrated palliative care is about professional networking rather than standardisation of care:A qualitative study with healthcare professionals in 19 integrated palliative care initiatives in five European countries

den Herder-van der Eerden, Marlieke and van Wijngaarden, Jeroen and Payne, Sheila and Preston, Nancy and Linge-Dahl, Lisa and Radbruch, Lukas and Van Beek, Karen and Menten, Johan and Busa, Csilla and Csikos, Agnes and Vissers, Kris and van Gurp, Jelle and Hasselaar, Jeroen (2018) Integrated palliative care is about professional networking rather than standardisation of care:A qualitative study with healthcare professionals in 19 integrated palliative care initiatives in five European countries. Palliative Medicine. ISSN 0269-2163

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Integrated palliative care aims at improving coordination of palliative care services around patients' anticipated needs. However, international comparisons of how integrated palliative care is implemented across four key domains of integrated care (content of care, patient flow, information logistics and availability of (human) resources and material) are lacking. AIM: To examine how integrated palliative care takes shape in practice across abovementioned key domains within several integrated palliative care initiatives in Europe. DESIGN: Qualitative group interview design. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: A total of 19 group interviews were conducted (2 in Belgium, 4 in the Netherlands, 4 in the United Kingdom, 4 in Germany and 5 in Hungary) with 142 healthcare professionals from several integrated palliative care initiatives in five European countries. The majority were nurses ( n = 66; 46%) and physicians ( n = 50; 35%). RESULTS: The dominant strategy for fostering integrated palliative care is building core teams of palliative care specialists and extended professional networks based on personal relationships, shared norms, values and mutual trust, rather than developing standardised information exchange and referral pathways. Providing integrated palliative care with healthcare professionals in the wider professional community appears difficult, as a shared proactive multidisciplinary palliative care approach is lacking, and healthcare professionals often do not know palliative care professionals or services. CONCLUSION: Achieving better palliative care integration into regular healthcare and convincing the wider professional community is a difficult task that will take time and effort. Enhancing standardisation of palliative care into education, referral pathways and guidelines and standardised information exchange may be necessary. External authority (policy makers, insurance companies and professional bodies) may be needed to support integrated palliative care practices across settings.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Palliative Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700
Subjects:
ID Code:
123920
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
08 Mar 2018 15:22
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
23 Sep 2020 04:07