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Palliat Med. 2010 Apr;24(3):317-29. doi: 10.1177/0269216310362005. Epub 2010 Feb 15.

Review: improving end-of-life care: a critical review of the gold standards framework in primary care.

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School of Health and Population Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK.


The Gold Standards Framework aims to optimize primary palliative care for patients nearing the end of their lives. This paper critically reviews the impact of the Gold Standards Framework since its introduction in 2001 and indicates direction for further research and development. Literature was accessed using specific databases and by contacting subject area specialists. The resultant literature was appraised using an established framework to evaluate healthcare interventions. Fifteen documents were reviewed. The quality of evidence is constrained by methodological limitations, but consistently demonstrates that the Gold Standards Framework improves general practice processes, co-working and the quality of palliative care. However, implementation of the Gold Standards Framework is variable and the direct impact on patients and carers is not known. We conclude that the Gold Standards Framework has considerable potential to improve end-of-life care, but further work is needed to support uptake and consistency of implementation. Additional evidence about patient and carer outcomes will add to existing insights.

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