Broadening our horizons

Katherine Froggatt and Elisabeth Reitinger, Co-Chairs of the EAPC Task Force in Palliative Care in Long-term Care Settings for Older People

Webbanner_EAPC2013_V3-1A workshop was held on Wednesday at the EAPC Congress in Prague about palliative care in long-term care settings. More than 30 people contributed to the discussion from a large number of countries, which led to a fascinating and interesting dialogue that challenged our thinking about this work.

Task force co-chairs: (Left to right} Elisabeth Reitinger and Katherine Froggatt

Task force co-chairs: (Left to right} Elisabeth Reitinger and Katherine Froggatt

We began with short presentations about what we know about palliative care provision in long-term care settings, considering the key findings from the recently completed taskforce in this area, current research evidence, the use of different research designs and the appropriateness of outcome measures. We then worked in small groups to look at these issues further considering the research issues that still required to be addressed, research designs to be used, outcome measures and how we translate research into practice.

We were struck how in many resource poor countries long-term care facilities do not exist and even where they do exist, we do not yet know how they engage with palliative care. The different cultural approaches to care and the role of the family mean that long-term care facilities play different roles in society. The research questions that participants still want to address covered a whole range of issues, addressing concerns for individuals (residents, family, staff), organisational practices, wider policy and societal issues. From the research question appropriate, rigorous research designs flow. Appropriate outcome measures for use in practice and research in this setting for this older population are still being sought and we were reminded that different disciplines that engage with this population might draw on a wider range of outcome measure, which need to be appropriate to the questions being asked.  Several barriers and facilitators to bringing about changes in practice were identified that occurred across a number of countries.

Overall, this was a rich and far-ranging set of discussions that we hope will lead to further developments in this area. Thank you to all the participants who made this such an enjoyable morning!

To find out more…
Click here to find more information on the The EAPC Taskforce in Palliative Care in Long-term Care Settings for Older People.

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