Vol 15, No 4 (2021)
Brief communication
Published online: 2021-10-14

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So what is so special about specialist palliative care?

Sheikh Moeen ul Haq1
DOI: 10.5603/PMPI.2021.0028
Palliat Med Pract 2021;15(4):271-274.


Introduction. Palliative care is primarily concerned with improving the quality of life of patients with
life-limiting diseases. End of life care represents the care of patients approaching the very end of life and
has traditionally been and will likely remain a focus of specialist palliative care, there is a shift towards
helping patients live to their fullest until they die.

Discussion. As a result, there is an ever-increasing number of early referrals from colleagues working in
other specialities allowing specialist palliative care to offer interventions that can positively impact the
quality of their lives. Multiprofessional specialist palliative care training has been key to developing the
human resource in the speciality. There is a dearth of specialist palliative care human resources across the
globe and as referrals increase, we will need more palliative care specialists to keep up with the increasing
workload. Moving forwards all health care professionals will have an increasing role to play in the provision
of palliative care.

Conclusions. There has been an increasing body of research in palliative medicine that has informed the
practice of palliative care. Given the paucity of the evidence base in the speciality, we need to invest more
time and resources into this area as well.

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Palliative Medicine in Practice