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J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2003;17(3-4):171-82; discussion 183-4.

Palliative care in developing countries: why research is needed.

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forMed, Statistics for Medicine, Evolène, Switzerland.


Contemporary medical knowledge is sufficient to control the suffering of most of the millions of terminally patients in the world if applied appropriately. However, palliative care is still unavailable to most patients in developing countries. Effective models of palliative care delivery that have been tested in developed countries seldom apply to the developing world where poverty, extended families, and insufficient health infrastructure require the adaptation of such care to local cultures and circumstances. Research from developing countries is therefore needed to develop, implement, and monitor the delivery of palliative care in ways that are feasible in resource-poor settings and acceptable to local populations. Palliative care research shares most of the obstacles common to health research in the developing world. Additional obstacles include a lack of consideration of palliative care as part of cancer control strategies and the low political acceptability of such care because it involves the use of opioid analgesics. Coordinated research efforts through active networking and common protocols would increase the visibility of the discipline, provide answers relevant to the local contexts, and assist in expanding palliative care services across the developing world.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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