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Evidence-based models of rural palliative care: A systematic review

  • Marshall, Claire
  • Virdun, Claudia
  • Phillips, Jane L.
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2023
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive


<p>Background: Forty-five percent of the world’s population lives in rural areas, yet their access to palliative care is quite limited. Identifying the care elements rural populations with palliative care needs require is critical to improving care outcomes. Aim: To identify the key care elements that optimise palliative care for people in rural communities. Design and data sources: A systematic review of articles studying the impact of novel rural model of care interventions was undertaken in May 2022. This study is reported using the PRISMA Statement and was registered with Prospero (CRD42020154273). Three databases were searched, and the data analysed according to Popay’s narrative synthesis, and elements classified using the WHO Innovative Care for Chronic Conditions (ICCC) Framework. Results: Of the 9508 identified papers, 15 met the inclusion criteria, reporting on 14 studies involving 1820 rural patients. Care received spanned 12/18 of the WHO ICCC Framework elements, with wide variability in how these elements were operationalised. The five elements that signal improved outcomes were: (1) Promote continuity and coordination; (2) Prepared, informed and motivated health care teams; (3) Prepared, informed and motivated patients and families; (4) Organise and equip health care teams and (5) Promote consistent financing. Conclusions: A well-coordinated multidisciplinary team approach, led by clinicians with specialist palliative care expertise, integrated across local health care settings, using information systems and care planning, is critical to optimising rural palliative care patient outcomes. Rural patients and their families require timely input from specialist palliative care clinicians and information to address their needs. Prospero registration ID: CRD42020154273</p>

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