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A Framework for Palliative Care (Health Care Providers)

Welcome health care providers and administrators! Health Canada is looking for your unique perspective and views for the purpose of developing a framework on palliative care. This site is a closed discussion group for health care providers, including palliative care specialists, non-specialists, regulated or non-regulated health care providers, or health care delivery systems experts and administrators. We are interested in hearing about the ways in which you have incorporated palliative care into your practice, challenges you face regarding palliative care, and any systems fixes or problem solving you or your teams have created. This site is an invitation-only site, designed to drill down on some specific provider-related questions, so feel free to share your views and experiences here among your colleagues.

We also have an open consultation (for all Canadians,) which has more questions and important links that we encourage you to explore. Your registration to the closed group also registers you for the open discussion. We hope that you will join that conversation, respond to the discussion topics, quick polls and share ideas there.

Prior to participating in this consultation, please review the Privacy Notice for more information on your privacy rights.

Welcome health care providers and administrators! Health Canada is looking for your unique perspective and views for the purpose of developing a framework on palliative care. This site is a closed discussion group for health care providers, including palliative care specialists, non-specialists, regulated or non-regulated health care providers, or health care delivery systems experts and administrators. We are interested in hearing about the ways in which you have incorporated palliative care into your practice, challenges you face regarding palliative care, and any systems fixes or problem solving you or your teams have created. This site is an invitation-only site, designed to drill down on some specific provider-related questions, so feel free to share your views and experiences here among your colleagues.

We also have an open consultation (for all Canadians,) which has more questions and important links that we encourage you to explore. Your registration to the closed group also registers you for the open discussion. We hope that you will join that conversation, respond to the discussion topics, quick polls and share ideas there.

Prior to participating in this consultation, please review the Privacy Notice for more information on your privacy rights.

Discussions: All (10) Open (10)
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    Early palliative care has been shown to improve quality of life, symptom management and patient satisfaction with care. However, stigma associated with the term "palliative care" may be a barrier to timely referral and could deprive patients and caregivers of the full benefits of palliative care.

    We appreciate that there are many operational definitions of palliative care in use in Canada. In the environment in which you work, what is the definition of palliative care?


    Early palliative care has been shown to improve quality of life, symptom management and patient satisfaction with care. However, stigma associated with the term "palliative care" may be a barrier to timely referral and could deprive patients and caregivers of the full benefits of palliative care.

    We appreciate that there are many operational definitions of palliative care in use in Canada. In the environment in which you work, what is the definition of palliative care?


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    Has your organization considered or adopted an integrated approach to palliative care?

    If your organization has adopted an integrated approach to palliative care, how was this accomplished, and how is it working within your practice?

    If your organization has not adopted an integrated approach to palliative care, what was the rationale for not doing so, and how does that impact your practice?


    Has your organization considered or adopted an integrated approach to palliative care?

    If your organization has adopted an integrated approach to palliative care, how was this accomplished, and how is it working within your practice?

    If your organization has not adopted an integrated approach to palliative care, what was the rationale for not doing so, and how does that impact your practice?


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    April 16th was Advance Care Planning Day 2018!

    60% of Canadians think it is important to talk about end of life care, but only 5% have talked to their doctor about it. (Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, What Canadians Say: The Way Forward Survey Report, for The Way Forward initiative, Harris/Decima: 2013)

    What supports do you need to engage in advance care planning with people with life-threatening illnesses and their families?

    April 16th was Advance Care Planning Day 2018!

    60% of Canadians think it is important to talk about end of life care, but only 5% have talked to their doctor about it. (Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, What Canadians Say: The Way Forward Survey Report, for The Way Forward initiative, Harris/Decima: 2013)

    What supports do you need to engage in advance care planning with people with life-threatening illnesses and their families?
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    What could facilitate the integration of palliative care into the care you provide?  What are the barriers?

    What could facilitate the integration of palliative care into the care you provide?  What are the barriers?

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    Health care teams try to balance technical knowledge and information related to complex diseases and treatment plans, with the personal desires, cultural values and beliefs of the person receiving care and their family.

    Is person-centred care an appropriate goal? Why or why not? What barriers exist to prevent delivery of person-centred care?


    Health care teams try to balance technical knowledge and information related to complex diseases and treatment plans, with the personal desires, cultural values and beliefs of the person receiving care and their family.

    Is person-centred care an appropriate goal? Why or why not? What barriers exist to prevent delivery of person-centred care?


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    Palliative care should be accessible to all, regardless of health, social or socioeconomic status. However, our Canadian care delivery model was developed with certain assumptions about the people receiving care; assumptions such as the care recipient has stable and secure housing, an informal support network (family and friends), a relatively predictable disease trajectory, the mobility to access their health care teams, the ability to communicate without language barriers to their health care provider team such things as pain, values, hopes and wishes. These are just some of the barriers facing special populations in Canada, and the list only...

    Palliative care should be accessible to all, regardless of health, social or socioeconomic status. However, our Canadian care delivery model was developed with certain assumptions about the people receiving care; assumptions such as the care recipient has stable and secure housing, an informal support network (family and friends), a relatively predictable disease trajectory, the mobility to access their health care teams, the ability to communicate without language barriers to their health care provider team such things as pain, values, hopes and wishes. These are just some of the barriers facing special populations in Canada, and the list only gets at a small number of the issues they face.

    Many vulnerable or underserviced populations don’t get referred to palliative care, or do not get referred early enough that it can make a difference while they are alive.

    We are interested in new and original solutions to increase access to palliative care in underserved areas, and for special populations that may be particularly vulnerable.  Please share examples of how you have/your organization has bridged gaps for people with life-threatening illnesses and their families.


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    A 2014 Ipsos Reid Survey commissioned by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) of general practitioners, family physicians and nurses in primary care found that 20-25% of practicing physicians are not very comfortable or not comfortable at all, 50% are only somewhat comfortable and only 25-30% of practicing physicians felt very comfortable providing palliative or end of life care.

    "An appropriately trained workforce is required to improve access, quality and consistency of palliative care in Canada. This applies to all health care professions providing a palliative approach in all settings of care, including but not limited...

    A 2014 Ipsos Reid Survey commissioned by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) of general practitioners, family physicians and nurses in primary care found that 20-25% of practicing physicians are not very comfortable or not comfortable at all, 50% are only somewhat comfortable and only 25-30% of practicing physicians felt very comfortable providing palliative or end of life care.

    "An appropriately trained workforce is required to improve access, quality and consistency of palliative care in Canada. This applies to all health care professions providing a palliative approach in all settings of care, including but not limited to: physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social workers, psychosocial spiritual care practitioners, rehabilitation professionals, respiratory therapists, recreation therapists, music therapists, psychologists, and volunteers.” https://www.cspcp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Palliative-Care-Medical-Education-Feb-2018.pdf

    As a health care provider, what do you consider appropriate training to provide a palliative approach to care?  Do you feel you have the support you need to provide a palliative approach to care?

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    Pallium Canada provides training through LEAP, an inter-professional palliative and end-of-life care education developed by a pan-Canadian network of academic health leaders and skilled community practitioners. Focusing on current best practices, LEAP provides a standardized, competency-based approach to enhancing palliative care services across Canada.

    Are there barriers preventing you from accessing training to acquire palliative care skills and knowledge? If so, what are they?


    Pallium Canada provides training through LEAP, an inter-professional palliative and end-of-life care education developed by a pan-Canadian network of academic health leaders and skilled community practitioners. Focusing on current best practices, LEAP provides a standardized, competency-based approach to enhancing palliative care services across Canada.

    Are there barriers preventing you from accessing training to acquire palliative care skills and knowledge? If so, what are they?


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    A caregiver, carer or family caregiver is a person who takes on an unpaid caring role for someone who needs help because of a physical or cognitive condition, an injury or a chronic life-limiting illness.

    • One in four Canadians are caregivers – 54% are women, and 46% are men

    • 50% of caregivers are between the ages of 45 and 65 (their peak earning years)

    • 6.1 million caregivers are juggling caring for loved ones and their careers

    • Caregivers in Canada spent over $12 million in 1 year on expenses related to their...

    A caregiver, carer or family caregiver is a person who takes on an unpaid caring role for someone who needs help because of a physical or cognitive condition, an injury or a chronic life-limiting illness.

    • One in four Canadians are caregivers – 54% are women, and 46% are men

    • 50% of caregivers are between the ages of 45 and 65 (their peak earning years)

    • 6.1 million caregivers are juggling caring for loved ones and their careers

    • Caregivers in Canada spent over $12 million in 1 year on expenses related to their caregiving role

      (Carers Canada http://www.carerscanada.ca/carer-facts)

    What practices are in place in your organization to support caregivers as important members of the health care team?


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    As a society, we are so focused on prolonging life and curing illness that very little thought is given to when we experience the death of someone close to us. The grieving process can often begin while the person is still alive. Individuals who have experienced a death need time to grieve, to remember, and to heal.They also may need help to find information, resources and support.

    How can the risk of intense and long-lasting grief best be assessed and treated? Can this be prevented / reduced through early bereavement support?

    As a society, we are so focused on prolonging life and curing illness that very little thought is given to when we experience the death of someone close to us. The grieving process can often begin while the person is still alive. Individuals who have experienced a death need time to grieve, to remember, and to heal.They also may need help to find information, resources and support.

    How can the risk of intense and long-lasting grief best be assessed and treated? Can this be prevented / reduced through early bereavement support?
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