The purpose of this paper is to propose a unified definition of integrated palliative care (IPC), and to identify the elements that facilitate or hinder implementation of…
The purpose of this paper is to propose a unified definition of integrated palliative care (IPC), and to identify the elements that facilitate or hinder implementation of an integrated palliative care system (IPCS).
A scoping review of the conceptualization and essential elements of IPC was undertaken, based on a search of the PubMed, Scopus and ISI Web of Science databases. The search identified 79 unduplicated articles; 43 articles were selected for content analysis.
IPC is coordinated and collaborative across different health organizations, levels of care and types of providers. Eight key elements facilitate implementation of an IPCS: coordination, early patient identification, patient-centered services, care continuity, provider education and training, a standard implementation model and screening tool, shared information technology system, and supportive policies and funding. These elements were plotted as a “Circle of Integrated Palliative Care System Elements.”
This paper offers researchers an inclusive definition of IPC and describes the essential elements of its successful implementation.
This study provides evidence from researchers on five continents, offering insights from multiple countries and cultures on the topic of IPC. The findings of this thematic analysis could assist international researchers aiming to develop a standard evaluative model or assess the level of integration in a health care system’s delivery of palliative care.