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      Cultural Perceptions on the Role of Palliative Medicine Ain Central and Eastern Europe (Review)

      Clinical Social Work and Health Intervention

      Journal of Clinical Social Work and Health Intervention

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          Abstract

          Objective: The aim of this study was to understand how palliative care is integrated into the cultural and healthcare systems of Central and Eastern Europe. Design: This study was conducted through the use of secondary research sources and was augmented by Róbert Dul’a, Trnava University, by conversation and review. Results: The study indicates that although there appears to be a lack of regulation, palliative care is making progress by reducing the uncertain social stigma. Conclusion: There remains opportunities to educate the population on the benefits of palliative care, therefore, helping citizens achieve a better possible quality of life.

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          Most cited references 5

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          Palliative care reduces morbidity and mortality in cancer.

          Despite improvements in cancer therapies, cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Many patients experience severe, unnecessary symptoms during treatment as well as at the end of life. Often, patients receive 'aggressive' care at the end of life that is discordant with their preferences. Palliative care is an approach that focuses on communication and quality of life, including treatment of physical, psychosocial, and spiritual suffering. This approach is appropriate for patients with life-limiting cancer, throughout the course of their disease. A growing body of evidence supports the integration of palliative care into routine cancer care, owing to the benefits in symptom control, quality of life, patient satisfaction, and resource utilization. Palliative care can be delivered in inpatient, outpatient, and home-based settings. The specialty and associated infrastructure is expanding rapidly with support from the international medical community. The ideal model of how to incorporate palliative care providers into the care of patients with cancer is yet to be defined; future research is needed to develop delivery systems and improve access to palliative care services. Through collaboration between oncologists and palliative care teams, there is hope of improving the quality of care for patients with both curable and life-limiting cancers.
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            Barriers to the development of palliative care in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

            During the years of communist rule in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), there were few significant palliative care developments. Since the political changes of the 1990s, however, there has been a steady development of palliative care services in this region. In 2005, the European Association for Palliative Care Task Force for the Development of Palliative Care in Europe undertook a qualitative survey among boards of national associations to identify barriers to the development of palliative care in CEE and CIS. By July 2006, 44 of 52 (85%) European countries had responded to the survey, but we report here on the specific results from 22 of 27 (81%) countries in CEE and CIS. Data were analyzed thematically by geographic region and by the degree of development of palliative care in each country. Four significant barriers to the development of palliative care were identified: 1) financial and material resources; 2) problems relating to opioid availability; 3) lack of public awareness and government recognition of palliative care as a field of specialization; and 4) lack of palliative care education and training programs. Despite huge variations in the levels of provision across the countries of CEE and the CIS, data collected in the qualitative survey reveal that the development of palliative care in many countries continues to remain uneven, uncoordinated, and poorly integrated across wider health care systems, mainly as a result of inadequate investment and limited palliative care service capacity.
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              Palliative Care Information Needs in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

              In a cross-national survey, we examined the information needs and barriers to accessing palliative care information in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In total, 584 healthcare professionals from 22 countries completed the questionnaire. Information on legislation and official papers (67 percent) and information on education courses in palliative care (65 percent) were the most frequently reported information needs. Major barriers to accessing palliative care information were language and a lack of easily accessible and affordable, clinically relevant information. An informative Web site, an electronic newsletter, and regular meetings or conferences were rated as the most important information channels. We concluded that access to reliable and well-structured information should be facilitated for healthcare professionals in CEE and CIS countries to assist them in their clinical decision making. Most importantly, more in-depth qualitative research and dialogue with stakeholders in the different countries are needed to develop context-specific, tailor-made strategies.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Clinical Social Work and Health Intervention
                CSWHI
                Journal of Clinical Social Work and Health Intervention
                2222386X
                20769741
                December 28 2017
                December 28 2017
                : 8
                : 4
                : 69-74
                Article
                10.22359/cswhi_8_4_08
                © 2017

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Psychology, Social & Behavioral Sciences

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