Palliative Care Systems: Evidence for Key Models of Care Elements (#121)
Background: The rising burden of chronic conditions and population ageing are increasing the demand on specialist palliative care services. As a growing number of people live longer with both malignant and non-malignant conditions the “palliative phase” of illness is frequently extended which impacts on the burden on informal caregivers. These epidemiological shifts underscore the importance of reviewing and refining existing service delivery models in order to meet this increased demand, address health disparities, manage fiscal constraints and the changes in living and social circumstances.
Aim: To provide an overview of the key elements for a palliative model of care.
Method: Rapid review of the literature
Discussion: Rather than recommending specific models, the current review has identified a number of successful elements, including access to specialist expertise, multidimensional approach to care involving family members, case management, coordination across care settings, and provision of instrumental and carer support.
Conclusion: Given the heterogeneity of the palliative care population, it is likely that models will need to be tailored and targeted to specific populations, including those with specific cultural needs. At the same time, standardised aspects of model delivery should be ensured and access provided on the basis of need not clinical diagnosis. Integrating the key elements identified in the literature into any palliative model of care offers the potential of optimising care outcomes for patients with a life limiting illness and their families.
Acknowledgements: This rapid review of the palliative care model of care literature was funded by NSW Health in 2012 and lead by Luckett, T., Davidson, P. M., Phillips, J. L., Agar, M., Giugni, C., & Green, A.