General practice palliative care: patient and carer expectations, advance care plans and place of death

This systematic review, supported by PC4, is the second in a series of reviews investigating how well general practitioners deliver palliative care. It explores the patient and carer expectations of GPs at end-of-life (EoL), their contribution to advance care planning and if primary care involvement allows people to die in their place of preference. Databases were searched from 2000 to 2017, identifying 51 relevant publications. Results showed that patients and carers expect their GPs to be competent in all aspects of EoL care. Easy access to the GP and a multidisciplinary approach to care was valued. It was found that advanced care planning and the involvement of the GPs were important factors contributing to patients being cared for and dying in their preferred place. This review shows that GPs have an important role in advanced care planning, and proactive identification of people approaching EoL is likely to improve all aspects of care.

Read the full article