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Lessons From an Immersion Experience in Southern India

Chow, Kimberly, MSN, ANP-BC, ACHPN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: October 2018 - Volume 20 - Issue 5 - p 500–505
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000495
Global Exemplar Series

Approximately 2.4 million people in India are living with cancer, and more than 1 million new cancer diagnoses are made annually, often in advanced stages of disease. An estimated 80% of patients with advanced cancer will develop significant pain resulting in the need to increase access to appropriate palliative care services across the country, including a priority on pain and symptom management. This article describes the history and status of palliative care across India, with an emphasis on the efforts made in the southern state of Kerala to engage community volunteers in the care of patients with chronic serious illness. Lessons learned from a palliative care nurse fellow's 2-week immersion in southern India are shared.

Kimberly Chow, MSN, ANP-BC, ACHPN, is clinical program manager and nurse practitioner coordinator, Supportive Care Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address correspondence to Kimberly Chow, MSN, ANP-BC, ACHPN, Supportive Care Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave, Box 496, New York, NY 10065 (

© 2018 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.