Development of a core set of clinical care provision indicators for non-specialist palliative care in the acute care hospital setting

Palliative care encompasses the support structure around people facing problems associated with life-limiting illness and includes the support of their families, but this is more than end-of-life care, and is viewed as central component of care for people living with limiting illnesses. Palliative care policies in Ireland draw on these terms for separating out the different specialist and non-specialist forms of palliative care. A recently launched palliative care competence framework describes competencies required by disciplines for everyday practice of non-specialist palliative care.
At the organisation level questions remain as to how hospitals can assess and improve their performance in relation to non-specialist palliative care implementation. This proposal seeks to address this by developing a core set of clinical care provision indicators for acute hospitals in Ireland that will enable them to assess their non-specialist palliative care practice and adherence to policy. However, different terms are used to describe non-specialist palliative care such as the generalised; palliative care, a palliative care approach, primary palliative care, but these do not necessarily mean the same thing and may be applied inconsistently in practice because of this.
To address this, a four-phased study is proposed:
a) Undertake a concept analysis of non-specialist palliative care to explore its multiple meanings in healthcare literature and to determine key attributes of this type of care. b) Undertake a systematic review to examine experiences, barriers and facilitators for non-specialist palliative care in the acute care setting, from perspectives of care providers. c) Key informant interviews with stakeholders for non-specialist palliative care in Ireland to explore how care is understood and experienced currently in the Irish acute care hospital setting. d) Identify a core set of clinical care provision indicators that reflect findings from the earlier phases and national policy.
This will be achieved through a structured communication technique or method that systematically forecasts the interactive method using a panel of experts, e-Delphi study, using an international panel of stakeholders. A follow-on study will be planned as a pilot to roll-out the core set of clinical care indicators identified in the acute care hospital setting.


Award Date
14 May 2016
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Ms Mary Nevin
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Research Training Fellowships for Healthcare Professionals