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Identifying palliative care needs in people with dementia

Lloyd-Williams, Mari; Mogan, Caroline; Dening, Karen Harrison

Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care: December 2017 - Volume 11 - Issue 4 - p 328–333
doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000295
END OF LIFE MANAGEMENT: Edited by Gustavo de Simone and Bridget Johnston

Purpose of review Dementia is now recognized as a progressive life-limiting illness where many patients can benefit from access to palliative care.

Recent findings The present review has focused on three areas namely, advanced care planning in supporting palliative care for dementia, hospice provision for people with dementia and provision of care within family home. In advanced care planning, there is little research on systematically developed and implemented advance care planning interventions or whether they achieve desired outcomes for end-of-life care. There is limited research on hospice-based care for patients with dementia and most studies are U.S. based. Equally studies exploring how family carers can be supported and facilitated to care at home for the person with dementia to the end of life are exploratory rather than determining what factors may be important.

Summary There are relatively few studies, especially quantitative studies or intervention studies being carried out to determine most effective means of providing palliative care for people with dementia, particularly with respect to advanced care planning, the provision of hospice-based care and support at home. Despite increased public awareness of dementia as a terminal illness, more research is required to support patients with dementia and their families at the end of life.

Academic Palliative and Supportive Care Studies Group (APSCSG), IPHS, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside, England

Correspondence to Mari Lloyd-Williams, MD, FRCP, FRCGP, M.Med.Sci., JP, FLSW, Professor and Honorary Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Academic Palliative and Supportive Care Studies Group (APSCSG), IPHS, University of Liverpool, Waterhouse Building, Block B 1st Floor, 1-5 Brownlow Street, Liverpool, L69 3GL, England. E-mail:

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