herald

Friday 30 September 2016

Most adults only have 'basic' knowledge of palliative care

More than half of adults have only a basic or minimal understanding of what palliative care involves, a new survey has revealed today. Stock photo
More than half of adults have only a basic or minimal understanding of what palliative care involves, a new survey has revealed today. Stock photo

More than half of adults have only a basic or minimal understanding of what palliative care involves, a new survey has revealed today.

The care given to people with life-limiting conditions looks after their physical needs such as pain relief as well as their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

education

The results of the survey, commissioned by All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) earlier this month, were announced at the launch of Palliative Care Week, which will take place across Ireland from October 3-8.

More than half of adults surveyed (55pc) report that they have a basic or minimal understanding of what palliative care involves.

Eighty-five percent of respondents did not believe that there is sufficient public understanding of palliative care.

The Institute's chief executive Karen Charnley said the survey showed the need for greater public education on the benefits of palliative care and when it is appropriate.

"By focusing on meeting people with life-limiting conditions' physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs and involving friends and family, palliative care helps maintain quality of life.

"We want to raise awareness that palliative care can benefit the quality of life of any person with a life-limiting or life-shortening illness.

"Palliative care puts the individual at the centre of every decision, helping them to make choices and supporting their families and carers.

Understanding

"It is very important that the public are well informed and feel comfortable to discuss their concerns beyond the diagnosis of illness that cannot be cured."

Young people (18-34) were more likely to know little about palliative care as 29pc reported no level of understanding compared to 12pc for 35-54 year olds and 4pc among over 55s.

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