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Barriers to the Development of Palliative Care in the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number3
Volume37
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)305-315
StatePublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

During the years of communist rule in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), there were few significant palliative care developments. Since the political changes of the 1990s, however, there has been a steady development of palliative care serives in this region. In 2005, the European Association for Palliative Care Task Force for the Development of Palliative Care in Europe undertook a qualitative survey among boards of national associations to identify barriers to the development of palliative care in CEE and CIS. By July 2006, 44 of 52 (85%) European countries had responded to the survey, but we report here on the specific results from 22 of 27 (81%) countries in CEE and CIS. Data Data were analyzed thematically by geographic region and by the degree of development of palliative care in each country. Four significant barriers to the development of palliative care were identified: 1) financial and material resources; 2) problems relating to opioid availability; 3) lack of public awareness and government recognition of palliative care as a field of specialization; and 4) lack of palliative care education and training programs. Despite huge variations in the levels of provision across the countries of CEE and the CIS, data collected in the qualititative survey reveal that the development of palliative care in many countries continues to remain uneven. uncoordinated, and poorly integrated across wider health care systems, mainly as a result of inadequate investment and limited palliative care service capacity. J Pain Symptom Manage 2009;37:305-315. (C) 2009 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.