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Collaborative practice as a model of care for palliative care: What's the problem?


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At first glance, there is no problem in palliative care. ‘Our’ model of care is one of collaboration. Working together for the benefit of the patient and family/whanau, regardless of what word is used to describe it - multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, interprofessional or team. However, there are many assumptions being made. The most obvious assumption is that collaboration is taking place, as those of us working in hospice and palliative care pride ourselves on our ability to work together and work with and for the patient and family/whanau. Other assumptions include the belief that health professionals know what collaboration is, know how to collaborate and want to collaborate. A final assumption is that collaborative practice is the best model of care for the provision of palliative care. Hospice and palliative care are not alone as other areas of health care also share many of these assumptions. There are many challenges facing providers of palliative care, now and in the future, such as an aging population, an aging health care workforce, increasing costs of health care provision and limited resources. If collaboration is to be the way forward as a model of care for palliative care delivery in New Zealand, as recommended in government strategies and by the World Health Organisation, then it is imperative that we all understand this concept so that we are all talking the same language. This will not happen without resources being invested at all levels – organisational, systemic and interpersonal. It has been noted by the World Health Organisation that collaborative practice can be a difficult concept to explain, understand and implement. Greater understanding and commitment is necessary so that we get the best possible outcome for whatever resources are invested. The focus to date has been on collaboration in in-patient and in-house palliative care settings. However, it is equally important to understand what is happening in regards to the delivery of palliative care in the community versus what we think may be happening. It is important to find out what models of care are being used and what concerns community health workers may have. More research is needed and planned.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop, or other event which was not published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Collaborative practice, palliative care
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
Depositing User: Christine McDonald
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2016 20:51
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:29

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