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Palliative care for specific populations

Publication year
Yates, P.

BACKGROUND: Ensuring access for all Australians to high quality palliative care requires an understanding of special considerations for specific populations, including children, older persons, and Indigenous Australians. OBJECTIVE: This article reviews some specific considerations for selected populations requiring palliative care. DISCUSSION: The complex clinical and support needs of children needing palliative care requires a well coordinated multidisciplinary team, inclusion of parents and siblings as part of the unit of care, and the use of developmentally appropriate communication strategies. Older people too may have different palliative needs. These include the need for careful assessment to ensure that reversible conditions, and emotional and existential concerns are not overlooked. Where the preferences and wishes of the person cannot be obtained, various clinical, ethical and legal principles will guide decisions. To ensure culturally appropriate care is provided to Indigenous Australians requiring palliative care, both Indigenous organisations and people should be included in the planning and provision of care.

Research abstracts