King's College London

Research portal

Preparedness to Face the COVID-19 Pandemic in Hospice and Palliative Care Services in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Rapid Online Survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Cheng Pei Lin, Sabah Boufkhed, Yoshiyuki Kizawa, Masanori Mori, Ednin Hamzah, Ghauri Aggarwal, Eve Namisango, Irene J. Higginson, Cynthia Goh, Richard Harding

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-868
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Volume38
Issue number7
Early online date1 Apr 2021
DOIs
E-pub ahead of print1 Apr 2021
Published1 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: S.B. and R.H. are funded through the U.K. Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund Research for Health in Conflict-Middle and Near East; developing capability, partnerships, and research in the Middle and Near East (ES/P010962/1). R.H. is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Unit on Health System Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa, King’s College London (GHRU 16/136/54) using U.K. aid from the U.K. government to support global health research. I.J.H. is an NIHR senior investigator emeritus. I.J.H. is supported by the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London at King’s College Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust. I.J.H. leads the Palliative and End of Life Care theme of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London and co-leads the national theme in this. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, NIHR, Department of Health, and Social Care, the U.K. Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund, or the funding charities. The funding sources had no role in the design and content of this article. No competing interests or financial disclosures were reported by any of the authors. Funding Information: We would like to thank Professor Massimo Costantini, Dr Carlo Peruselli for sharing their original questionnaire. Dr Katherine Sleeman, Dr Emmanuel Luyirika, for their contribution to the preparedness survey conducted in Africa and India that informed this study. A huge thank you goes to the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) secretariat (Ms Joyce Chee) and the APHN for supporting this survey. The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: S.B. and R.H. are funded through the U.K. Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund Research for Health in Conflict-Middle and Near East; developing capability, partnerships, and research in the Middle and Near East (ES/P010962/1). R.H. is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Unit on Health System Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa, King?s College London (GHRU 16/136/54) using U.K. aid from the U.K. government to support global health research. I.J.H. is an NIHR senior investigator emeritus. I.J.H. is supported by the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London at King?s College Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust. I.J.H. leads the Palliative and End of Life Care theme of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London and co-leads the national theme in this. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, NIHR, Department of Health, and Social Care, the U.K. Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund, or the funding charities. The funding sources had no role in the design and content of this article. No competing interests or financial disclosures were reported by any of the authors. Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2021. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Documents

King's Authors

Abstract

Background: Hospice and palliative care services provision for COVID-19 patients is crucial to improve their life quality. There is limited evidence on COVID-19 preparedness of such services in the Asia-Pacific region. Aim: To evaluate the preparedness and capacity of hospice and palliative care services in the Asia-Pacific region to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: An online cross-sectional survey was developed based on methodology guidance. Asia-Pacific Hospice and Palliative Care Network subscribers (n = 1551) and organizational members (n = 185) were emailed. Descriptive analysis was undertaken. Results: Ninety-seven respondents completed the survey. Around half of services were hospital-based (n = 47, 48%), and public-funded (n = 46, 47%). Half of services reported to have confirmed cases (n = 47, 49%) and the majority of the confirmed cases were patients (n = 28, 61%). Staff perceived moderate risk of being infected by COVID-19 (median: 7/10). > 85% of respondents reported they had up-to-date contact list for staff and patients, one-third revealed challenges to keep record of relatives who visited the services (n = 30, 31%), and of patients visited in communities (n = 29, 30%). Majority of services (60%) obtained adequate resources for infection control except face mask. More than half had no guidance on Do Not Resuscitate orders (n = 59, 66%) or on bereavement care for family members (n = 44, 51%). Conclusion: Recommendations to strengthen the preparedness of palliative care services include: 1) improving the access to face mask; 2) acquiring stress management protocols for staff when unavailable; 3) reinforcing the contact tracing system for relatives and visits in the community and 4) developing guidance on patient and family care during patient’s dying trajectory.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454