What are the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of different models of community specialist palliative care (CSPC) provision in Ireland?

Changing demographic trends including an ageing population, increased life expectancy for individuals with life limiting conditions, and the impact of illness on an individual's physical, psychological and social wellbeing means that the demand for high quality palliative care services is increasing. Palliative care is defined by WHO as an approach that improves the quality of life for patients and their families facing the problems of the problems associated with life threatening illnesses, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other psychosocial and spiritual problems. It is recognised as an essential component of universal health care. Questions remain however, as to which model of service provision optimizes the clinical and cost effectiveness of care
This research aims to provide better evidence to support the development of good models of (mainly community based) palliative care in Ireland. Policy is increasing moving away from hospital care to community and primary care provision. Palliative care offers a means of supporting the care of service users with life limiting illnesses in their preferred home environment.
This study will compare services, costs and measures of outcomes in three community palliative care services in Ireland. The first objective is to provide a profile of the services in each area, with detail of what is provided, to whom, by whom and in what ways. The second objective is to carry out a prospective study of costs, service use and experience of service users.
The study will increase the understanding of the process and outcomes of different models of community based palliative care. It will inform service improvement activities and provide a best practice model of care for the development of new services by describing and promoting research-tested services that have a clear focus on patient.

Award Date
27 March 2015
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Charles Normand
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Research Collaborative in Quality and Patient Safety