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Early Palliative Care: Current Status Of Integration Within German Comprehensive Cancer Centers

Julia Berendt, S. Stiel, F. Nauck, C. Ostgathe
Published 2017 · Medicine

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PurposeThe aim of this study is to describe how models of early integration (EI) of specialized palliative care (SPC) are applied to German comprehensive cancer center (CCCs).MethodsHeads of SPC departments of the 15 German CCCs were asked by email to describe the situation of early SPC in their CCC. The responses were analyzed using MAXQDA.ResultsThirteen answers were allowed to be analyzed. Most of the department heads report that EI models of SPC are partially applied in the CCC (responses with “yes” or “partly,” n = 10). Though they often describe that the models’ implementation needs optimization and depends on temporary and financial restrictions or it has a pilot character. Models compromise structures like SPC unit, inpatient/outpatient SPC consultation team, and participation of members of SPC team in tumor boards. Moreover, other EI models of SPC quoted by the participants were standard operating procedures (SOP), screening tools, and information material for physicians, patients, and their related persons.ConclusionsCurrently, German CCC models of EI of SPC are not applied in a standardized way. Approaches are still very diverse.
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