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Palliative care development in European care homes and nursing homes: application of a typology of implementation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number6
Volume18
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)550.e7-550.e14
<mark>State</mark>Published
Early online date12/04/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Background

The provision of institutional long-term care for older people varies across Europe reflecting different models of health care delivery. Care for dying residents requires integration of palliative care into current care work, but little is known internationally of the different ways in which palliative care is being implemented in the care home setting.

Objectives

To identify and classify, using a new typology, the variety of different strategic, operational, and organizational activities related to palliative care implementation in care homes across Europe.

Design and methods

We undertook a mapping exercise in 29 European countries, using 2 methods of data collection: (1) a survey of country informants, and (2) a review of data from publically available secondary data sources and published research. Through a descriptive and thematic analysis of the survey data, we identified factors that contribute to the development and implementation of palliative care into care homes at different structural levels. From these data, a typology of palliative care implementation for the care home sector was developed and applied to the countries surveyed.

Results

We identified 3 levels of palliative care implementation in care homes: macro (national/regional policy, legislation, financial and regulatory drivers), meso (implementation activities, such as education, tools/frameworks, service models, and research), and micro (palliative care service delivery). This typology was applied to data collected from 29 European countries and demonstrates the diversity of palliative care implementation activity across Europe with respect to the scope, type of development, and means of provision. We found that macro and meso factors at 2 levels shape palliative care implementation and provision in care homes at the micro organizational level.

Conclusions

Implementation at the meso and micro levels is supported by macro-level engagement, but can happen with limited macro strategic drivers. Ensuring the delivery of consistent and high-quality palliative care in care homes is supported by implementation activity at these 3 levels. Understanding where each country is in terms of activity at these 3 levels (macro, meso, and micro) will allow strategic focus on future implementation work in each country.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of the American Medical Directors Association . Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 18, (6), 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2017.02.016