Implementation of improvement strategies in palliative care: an integrative review
van Riet Paap, Jasper
Hjermstad, Marianne J
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Abstract Background The European population is ageing, and as a consequence, an increasing number of patients are in need of palliative care, including those with dementia. Although a growing number of new insights and best practices in palliative care have been published, they are often not implemented in daily practice. The aim of this integrative review is to provide an overview of implementation strategies that have been used to improve the organisation of palliative care. Methods Using an integrative literature review, we evaluated publications with strategies to improve the organisation of palliative care. Qualitative analysis of the included studies involved categorisation of the implementation strategies into subgroups, according to the type of implementation strategy. Results From the 2379 publications identified, 68 studies with an experimental or quasi-experimental design were included. These studies described improvements using educational strategies (n = 14), process mapping (n = 1), feedback (n = 1), multidisciplinary meetings (n = 1) and multi-faceted implementation strategies (n = 51). Fifty-three studies reported positive outcomes, 11 studies reported mixed effects and four studies showed a limited effect (two educational and two multi-faceted strategies). Conclusions This review is one of the first to provide an overview of the available literature in relation to strategies used to improve the organisation of palliative care. Since most studies reported positive results, further research is needed to identify and improve the effects of strategies aiming to improve the organisation of palliative care.