Published on: November 29, 2020

How do we achieve early referrals to palliative care so as to improve quality of life?

A systematic review by Drs Naveen Salins, Arunangshu Ghoshal, Sean Hughes and Nancy Preston, titled How views of oncologists and haematologists impacts palliative care referral: a systematic review shows that some oncologists:

  • viewed palliative care referral as a therapeutic failure,
  • felt referral would mean abandonment to patients,
  • were worried about rupture of therapeutic alliance and
  • equated palliative care to loss of hope.

Oncologists felt that the following strategies like could facilitate palliative care referral:

  • Developing an integrated model of care,
  • changing the name of palliative care and
  • augmenting palliative care resources.

Thank you Dr Naveen Salins and team. It is true that the reviewed studies were all from high income countries, but they findings could well be equally or more relevant to low- and low-middle-income countries. Now that the barriers are rather clearly defined, that should guide us to a strategy to overcome that strategy. And perhaps an Indian study would be welcome?

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