Defining palliative wound care: A scoping review by European Association for Palliative Care wound care taskforce

Duygu Sezgin, Jemell Geraghty, Tanya Graham, Karin Blomberg, Karen Charnley, Sharon Dobbs, Aideen Mcelvaney, Sebastian Probst, Dimitri Beeckman, Patricia Grocott, Georgina Gethin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Deciding whether to transition to wound palliation is challenging for health care professionals because there is no agreed definition or understanding of palliative wound care, including the goals, core elements and differences from general wound management.

To conduct a scoping review with qualitative synthesis to define palliative wound care in terms of its conceptual framework, goals, principles, components, and differences from general wound management, and provide a new definition of palliative wound care based on this scoping review.

Eligibility criteria
Published literature that refers to the definitions, concept, goals and core elements of palliative wound care using any methodological approach, without any time limits, published in English.

Sources of evidence
The searches were conducted in CINAHL Complete via Ebsco, Medline via Ovid, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Google Scholar.

Charting methods
A data extraction form was developed by the review team and used independently for data charting purposes. Braun and Clarke's six phases of thematic analysis guided the qualitative synthesis.

A total of 133 publications met the inclusion criteria. Three main themes were developed to define palliative wound care and understand its differences from general wound management: 1- Healing potential of wounds and patient vulnerability, 2- Understanding the impact on individuals and family to address needs, 3- Towards new goals and perspectives in approach to care.

Palliative wound care focuses on symptom management, comfort, and dignity, but does not always target the healing of the wound, which is the goal of general wound care. The needs of the individual and their family must be addressed by clinicians through the provision of care and support that takes into account the true meaning of living and dying with a palliative wound.

Protocol registration
A review protocol was developed but not registered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-634
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Tissue Viability
Issue number4
Early online date19 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


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