Is patient information on palliative care good enough? A literature review and audit
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Is patient information on palliative care good enough? A literature review and audit

Sally Taylor Research fellow, Christie Patient Centred Research, The Christie School of Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
Lucy Wyld Specialty registrar, University of Leeds, England
Lucy Ziegler Yorkshire cancer research academic fellow, University of Leeds, England
Michael I Bennett Professor of palliative medicine, University of Leeds, England

Aim Early access to palliative care can improve patients’ signs and symptoms and reduce hospital admissions. In the UK many palliative care referrals are made in the last weeks and days of life, which indicates there are barriers to timely integration. This study aims to understand the barriers to timely integration of palliative care for people with cancer and establish the level of patient information provision.

Method The study involved three stages: a literature review to identify barriers to referral, an audit of patient information resources available in adult oncology services across Yorkshire and Humber, and a critique of the identified information resources.

Findings The literature review identified patient misconceptions about palliative care as a barrier to engagement with services. The regional audit found that information about palliative care is not widely available to cancer patients and the information provided does not address the misconceptions reported in the literature.

Conclusion There is a need to improve information for cancer patients that addresses known misconceptions about palliative care and to make this widely available in oncology departments. This information could support earlier integration of palliative care alongside oncology management by improving understanding of when and how palliative care may benefit patients.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2018.e1506


Taylor S, Wyld L, Ziegler L et al (2018) Is patient information on palliative care good enough? A literature review and audit. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2018.e1506

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared


This work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research under its Programme Grants for Applied Research programme, Improving the Management of Pain from Advanced Cancer in the Community (IMPACCT): [RP-PG-0610-10114]). The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health

Published online: 14 August 2018

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