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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2013 Jun;45(6):1094-106. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2012.05.011. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Mapping levels of palliative care development: a global update.

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1
International Observatory on End of Life Care, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom. t.lynch@lancaster.ac.uk

Abstract

Our purpose is to categorize palliative care development, country by country, throughout the world, showing changes over time. We adopt a multi-method approach. Development is categorized using a six-part typology: Group 1 (no known hospice-palliative care activity) and Group 2 (capacity-building activity) are the same as developed during a previous study (2006), but Groups 3 and 4 have been subdivided to produce two additional levels of categorization: 3a) Isolated palliative care provision, 3b) Generalized palliative care provision, 4a) Countries where hospice-palliative care services are at a stage of preliminary integration into mainstream service provision, and 4b) Countries where hospice-palliative care services are at a stage of advanced integration into mainstream service provision. In 2011, 136 of the world's 234 countries (58%) had at least one palliative care service--an increase of 21 (+9%) from 2006, with the most significant gains having been made in Africa. Advanced integration of palliative care has been achieved in only 20 countries (8.5%). Total countries in each category are as follows: Group 1, 75 (32%); Group 2, 23 (10%); Group 3a, 74 (31.6%); Group 3b, 17 (7.3%); Group 4a, 25 (10.7%); and Group 4b, 20 (8.5%). Ratio of services to population among Group 4a/4b countries ranges from 1:34,000 (in Austria) to 1:8.5 million (in China); among Group 3a/3b countries, from 1:1000 (in Niue) to 1:90 million (in Pakistan). Although more than half of the world's countries have a palliative care service, many countries still have no provision, and major increases are needed before palliative care is generally accessible worldwide.

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