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Br J Nurs. 2011 Aug 11-Sep 8;20(15):942-6.

The Liverpool Care Pathway: does it improve quality of dying? [corrected].

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School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

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  • Br J Nurs. 2011 Sep 8-22;20(16):984.


The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) for the dying patient is an integrated care pathway that was developed to assist non-specialist palliative care staff care for dying patients in acute clinical areas. The LCP has generated numerous debates among health professionals regarding its strengths and weaknesses. The complexity of patient needs at the end-of-life cannot be underestimated and the LCP provides the foundations of quality evidence-based care patients require, particularly in the final phase of dying. Nevertheless, not all health professionals are in agreement as to the advantages of using integrated care pathways in clinical practice. Despite the attention that has surrounded the LCP there is limited evidence to suggest that it improves end-of-life care. This article examines the evidence in relation to the LCP as a tool to improve palliative care for dying patients and their families in non-specialized palliative care practice.

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