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Barriers to the development of palliative care in Western Europe

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Palliative Medicine
Issue number8
Volume24
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)812-819
StatePublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The Eurobarometer Survey of the EAPC Task Force on the Development of Palliative Care in Europe is part of a programme of work to produce comprehensive information on the provision of palliative care across Europe.

Aim: To identify barriers to the development of palliative care in Western Europe.

Method: A qualitative survey was undertaken amongst boards of national associations, eliciting opinions on opportunities for, and barriers to, palliative care development. By July 2006, 44/52 (85%) European countries had responded to the survey; we report here on the results from 22/25 (88%) countries in Western Europe.

Analysis: Data from the Eurobarometer Survey were analysed thematically by geographical region and by the degree of development of palliative care in each country.

Results: From the data contained within the Eurobarometer, we identified six significant barriers to the development of palliative care in Western Europe: (i) lack of palliative care education and training programmes; (ii) lack of awareness and recognition of palliative care; (iii) limited availability of/knowledge about opioid analgesics; (iv) limited funding; (v) lack of coordination amongst services; and (vi) uneven palliative care coverage.

Conclusion: Findings from the EAPC Eurobarometer Survey suggest that barriers to the development of palliative care in Western Europe may differ substantially from each other in both their scope and context and that some may be considered to be of greater significance than others. A number of common barriers to the development of the discipline do exist and much work still remains to be done in the identified areas. This paper provides a road map of which barriers need to be addressed.