Vol 16, No 1 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-12-30

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Organizational standards for specialist palliative care for adult patients: Recommendations of the Expert Group of National Consultants in Palliative Medicine and Palliative Care Nursing

Wojciech Leppert1, Tomasz Grądalski2, Aleksandra Kotlińska-Lemieszek3, Izabela Kaptacz4, Anna Białoń-Janusz2, Leszek Pawłowski5
Palliat Med Pract 2022;16(1):7-26.


Introduction: The study aimed to develop organizational standards for specialist palliative care for adult
patients (OSSPCAP) in Poland.
Methods: The National Consultants in Palliative Medicine and Palliative Care Nursing appointed an Expert
Group consisting of three physicians — independent researchers, two nurses and a lawyer to develop
the OSSPCAP. The work was done in three stages. 1. Literature analysis (Scopus and PubMed databases)
and legislation on palliative care. 2. Questionnaire development using Google Forms and survey of
120 respondents in two rounds using the Delphi method. 3. Analysis of the results by the Expert Group
during remote meetings and determination of the final version of the OSSPCAP.
Results: The response rate in the first round of the survey was 71 (59.17%) and in the second 56 (46.67%).
The first round yielded 73 positive responses (at least 70% criterion) to 97 questions; the second round
yielded 21 positive responses to 31 questions. For the remaining ten questions, the Expert Group members
discussed the results obtained with at least 50% criterion of positive responses. The results of both rounds
were analyzed, and the final version of the document was accepted by all members of the Expert Group.
Conclusions: Palliative care was divided into two types (levels): palliative care elements (palliative care approach)
and specialist palliative care. In the latter home, inpatient and outpatient care was distinguished
with ensuring public funding for all their organizational units by the State, including the integration into the
guaranteed benefits. Requirements and procedures for all organizational units of specialist palliative care were
depicted. Three specialist inpatient palliative care referral levels were offered taking into account complexity of
services for patients, under- and postgraduate education. Principles of qualifying patients for palliative care,
the development of research and education in palliative medicine and palliative care nursing were presented.

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