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Status of palliative care in Latin America: looking through the Latin America Atlas of Palliative Care

Pastrana, Taniaa; Eisenchlas, Jorgeb; Centeno, Carlosc; De Lima, Lilianad

Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care: December 2013 - Volume 7 - Issue 4 - p 411–416
doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000008
END-OF-LIFE MANAGEMENT: Edited by Gustavo de Simone
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Purpose of review Several studies have been published reporting the status of palliative care in different countries of Latin America, but no studies have been published on the status of the discipline across the whole region. This article provides a summary of the current situation as reported in the Atlas of Palliative Care recently completed by the Latin American Association for Palliative Care. The aim of this project was to collect information on the degree of palliative care development, help create a network, and influence the progress of palliative care across Latin America.

Recent findings The Atlas provides an overview of the status of palliative care in Latin America according to the World Health Organization public health strategy for palliative care: policies, drug availability, education, and implementation of services. The results indicate that there is significant variation among countries in the region and that strategies to support and develop palliative care require tailored approaches to meet the needs of each.

Summary The information in this review gives a broad notion of the current status of palliative care in Latin America. The Atlas is expected to help the progress of palliative care and serve as a driver of the field in Latin America and other regions.

aDepartment of Palliative Medicine, RWTH University Aachen, Aachen, Germany

bLatin American Association for Palliative Care, Buenos Aires, Argentina

cPrograma ATLANTES, Institute for Culture and Society, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

dInternational Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, Houston, Texas, USA

Correspondence to Jorge Eisenchlas, Home Care Programme, Medical Director, CONTINUUM Buenos Aires, Latin American Association for Palliative Care (ALCP), Maipu 474, 4th Floor App B, C1006ACD Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tel: +54 11 4393 6200; fax: +54 11 4393 6200; e-mail: eisenjorge@gmail.com

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins