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Indian J Palliat Care. 2013 Jan;19(1):20-6. doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.110221.

Palliative care training and research: the development in europe and the bologna experience.

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Isabella Seràgnoli Foundation, Bentivoglio, Bologna, Italy.


Development of palliative care (PC) culture spur the need of proper and formal training. Palliative medicine is not fully recognized as an academic medical discipline due to its humanistic influences, and studies show that physicians declare to be not prepared to provide care and pain management to dying patients. Nowadays, despite leading countries in PC being considered more innovative than other countries,such as Italy, facts show that the achievement of acknowledged discipline went through a long process. In Italy,professionals from about 450 PC units and organizations need to receive a proper and homogeneous training. In Italy, palliative medicine official certification is an undergoing process advocated by a few organizations and in Bologna the Academy of the Sciences of Palliative Medicine operates since 2007 with the defined mission of developing PC culture, also within the University. In order to be as much effective in pursuing its mission, the Academy has strengthened several international cooperation programs and today is leader in PC professional training and research in Italy. The recent law and its feasibility is fastening the process of development of Palliative Care Culture in Italy even if training is not properly regulated and official certification for physician is under evaluation. In Europe, the European Association of Palliative Care is stressing the need for training programs in palliative medicine and the outcomes of the dedicated task force on official certification and specialty in Palliative Medicine will remarkably force policy makers and national councils to officially recognize the discipline.


Cultural development; Hospice; Palliative care; Palliative medicine; Training

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