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S D Med. 2014 May;67(5):185-9.

Palliative and end-of-life care in South Dakota.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Geographical disparities play a significant role in palliative and end-of-life care access. This study assessed availability of palliative and end of life (hospice) care in South Dakota.

METHODS:

Grounded in a conceptual model of advance care planning, this assessment explored whether South Dakota health care facilities had contact persons for palliative care, hospice services, and advance directives; health care providers with specialized training in palliative and hospice care; and a process for advance directives and advance care planning. Trained research assistants conducted a brief telephone survey.

RESULTS:

Of 668 health care eligible facilities, 455 completed the survey for a response rate of 68 percent (455 out of 668). Over one-half of facilities had no specific contact person for palliative care, hospice services and advance directives. Nursing homes reported the highest percentage of contacts for palliative care, hospice services and advance directives. Despite a lack of a specific contact person, nearly 75 percent of facilities reported having a process in place for addressing advance directives with patients; slightly over one-half (53 percent) reported having a process in place for advance care planning. Of participating facilities, 80 percent had no staff members with palliative care training, and 73 percent identified lack of staff members with end-of-life care training. Palliative care training was most commonly reported among hospice/home health facilities (45 percent).

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study demonstrate a clear need for a health care and allied health care workforce with specialized training in palliative and end-of-life care.

PMID:
24851465
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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