Ranking of palliative care development in the countries of the European Union

Woitha, K., Garralda, E., Martin-Moreno, J. M. and Clark, D. (2016) Ranking of palliative care development in the countries of the European Union. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 52(3), pp. 370-377. (doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2016.03.008) (PMID:27287622)

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Context There is growing interest in monitoring palliative care (PC) development internationally. One aspect of this is the ranking of such development for comparative purposes. Objectives To generate a ranking classification and to compare scores for PC development in the countries of the European Union (EU), 2007 and 2013. PC “development” in this study is understood as a combination of the existence of relevant services in a country (“resources”) plus the capacity to develop further resources in the future (“vitality”). Methods “Resources” comprise indicators of three types of PC services per population (inpatient palliative care units and inpatient hospices [IPCU], hospital support teams [HST] and home care teams [HCT]). “Vitality” of PC is estimated by numerical scores for the existence of a national association, a directory of services, physician accreditation, attendances at a key European conference and volume of publications on PC development. The leading country (by raw score) is then considered as the reference point against which all other countries are measured. Different weightings are applied to resources (75%) and vitality (25%). From this, an overall ranking is constructed. Results The U.K. achieved the highest level of development (86% of the maximum possible score), followed by Belgium and The Netherlands (81%), and Sweden (80%). In the domain resources, Luxembourg, the U.K. and Belgium were leading. The top countries in vitality were Germany and the U.K. In comparison to 2007, The Netherlands, Malta and Portugal showed the biggest improvements, whereas the positions of Spain, France and Greece deteriorated. Conclusion The ranking method permitted a comparison of palliative care development between countries and shows changes over time. Recommendations for improving the ranking include improvements to the methodology and greater explanation of the levels and changes it reveals.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clark, Professor David
Authors: Woitha, K., Garralda, E., Martin-Moreno, J. M., and Clark, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
ISSN (Online):1873-6513
Published Online:07 June 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Universidad Navarra
First Published:First published in Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 52(3): 370-377
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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