Facilitators & barriers of palliative care in the neonatal unit

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Kilcullen, M. & Ireland, S. Palliative care in the neonatal unit: neonatal nursing staff perceptions of facilitators and barriers in a regional tertiary nursery. BMC Palliative Care | Published online: 11 May 2017

Background: Neonatology has made significant advances in the last 30 years. Despite the advances in treatments, not all neonates survive and a palliative care model is required within the neonatal context. Previous research has focused on the barriers of palliative care provision. A holistic approach to enhancing palliative care provision should include identifying both facilitators and barriers. A strengths-based approach would allow barriers to be addressed while also enhancing facilitators. The current study qualitatively explored perceptions of neonatal nurses about facilitators and barriers to delivery of palliative care and also the impact of the regional location of the unit.

Conclusions: This study identified and explored facilitators and barriers in the delivery of quality palliative care for neonates in a regional tertiary setting. Themes identified suggested that a strengths-approach, which engages and amplifies facilitating factors while identified barriers are addressed or minimized, would be successful in supporting quality palliative care provision in the neonatal care setting. Study findings will be used to inform clinical education and practice.

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Barriers to Access to Palliative Care

Hawley, P. Palliative Care: Research and Treatment. Published online: 20 February 2017

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Despite significant advances in understanding the benefits of early integration of palliative care with disease management, many people living with a chronic life-threatening illness either do not receive any palliative care service or receive services only in the last phase of their illness. In this article, I explore some of the reasons for failure to provide palliative care services and recommend some strategies to overcome these barriers, emphasizing the importance of describing palliative care accurately. I provide language which I hope will help health care professionals of all disciplines explain what palliative care has to offer and ensure wider access to palliative care, early in the course of their illness.

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Internet search query demonstrates increasing public awareness of palliative care

McLean, S. et al. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. Published Online: 27 January 2017

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Background: A lack of public awareness of palliative care (PC) has been identified as one of the main barriers to appropriate PC access. Internet search query analysis is a novel methodology, which has been effectively used in surveillance of infectious diseases, and can be used to monitor public awareness of health-related topics.

Discussion: Although internet search query surveillance is a novel methodology, it is freely accessible and has significant potential to monitor health-seeking behaviour among the public. PC is rapidly growing in the USA, and the rapidly increasing public awareness of PC as demonstrated in this study, in comparison with the UK, where PC is relatively well established is encouraging in increasingly ensuring appropriate PC access for all.

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Measuring geographical accessibility to palliative and end of life facilities

Pearson, C. BMC Palliative Care. Published online: 26 January 2017

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Background: Geographical accessibility is important in accessing healthcare services. Measuring it has evolved alongside technological and data analysis advances. High correlations between different methods have been detected, but no comparisons exist in the context of palliative and end of life care (PEoLC) studies. To assess how geographical accessibility can affect PEoLC, selection of an appropriate method to capture it is crucial.

We therefore aimed to compare methods of measuring geographical accessibility of decedents to PEoLC-related facilities in South London, an area with well-developed SPC provision.

Conclusions: Distance-based and travel-time measures of geographical accessibility to PEoLC-related facilities in South London are similar, suggesting the choice of measure can be based on the ease of calculation.

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