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Exploring socioeconomic inequities in access to palliative and end-of-life care in the UK: a narrative synthesis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
Article number179
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/11/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>BMC Palliative Care
Issue number1
Volume20
Number of pages20
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Background: Efforts inequities in access to palliative and end-of-life care require comprehensive understanding about the extent of and reasons for inequities. Most research on this topic examines differences in receipt of care. There is a need, particularly in the UK, for theoretically driven research that considers both receipt of care and the wider factors influencing the relationship between socioeconomic position and access to palliative and end-of-life care. Methods: This is a mixed studies narrative synthesis on socioeconomic position and access to palliative and end-of-life care in the UK. Study searches were conducted in databases AMED, Medline, Embase, CINAHL, SocIndex, and Academic Literature Search, as well as grey literature sources, in July 2020. The candidacy model of access, which describes access as a seven-stage negotiation between patients and providers, guided study searches and provided a theoretical lens through which data were synthesised. Results: Searches retrieved 5303 studies (after de-duplication), 29 of which were included. The synthesis generated four overarching themes, within which concepts of candidacy were evident: identifying needs; taking action; local conditions; and receiving care. Conclusion: There is not a consistent or clear narrative regarding the relationship between socioeconomic position and receipt of palliative and end-of-life care in the UK. Attempts to address any inequities in access will require knowledge and action across many different areas. Key evidence gaps in the UK literature concern the relationship between socioeconomic position, organisational context, and assessing need for care. © 2021, The Author(s).