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Patient-centered palliative care pathways in advanced cancer and chronic disease (INSUP-C)
Start date: Nov 1, 2012, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Integrated delivery systems of care, e.g. networks of health organizations and professionals who work together to coordinate services to meet their patients’ needs, are an important way of linking fragmented services and maximizing system efficiency and seamlessness of patient transition. Research increasingly shows that patients with advanced cancer and advanced chronic disease are treated well by integrated palliative care pathways, with comparable quality of care at lower costs. Palliative care involves the multidisciplinary care for patients in the last phase of life-threatening disease and is expected to largely grow due to the ageing of the European population. However, palliative care in Europe is still mostly organized across institutional lines: hospital, home care, hospice. This project aims at the identification of best practices in integrated palliative care with regard to quality of life and quality of care. Mixed methods will be used to identify models for integrated palliative care in Europe and to assess patient/caregiver experiences and perceptions within these pathways at the one hand and organizational, managerial, financial and regulatory aspects of these integrated pathways at the other hand. The project will evaluate existing initiatives for patients with cancer, COPD and CHF, and will deliver recommendations on (requirements for) best practices in integrated palliative care. This will also include recommendations on (changes in) skill mix of health professionals. Results will be disseminated via conferences, articles, and an interactive website including an e-learning module. This project will contribute vastly to the improvement of the (organization of) care for patients with advanced cancer and chronic disease and can be extrapolated to other patients with complex care needs.

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