Systematic review of barriers and enablers to the delivery of palliative care by primary care practitioners

There is increasing demand for primary care practitioners to play a key role in palliative care delivery. This systematic review aimed to explore barriers and enablers to palliative care provision as reported by primary care practitioners. The results indicated that the most common barriers reported by primary care practitioners related to bureaucratic procedures, communication between healthcare professionals, the primary care practitioners’ personal commitments, and their skills or confidence. The most common enablers that were reported related to education, nurses and trained respite staff to assist with care delivery, better communication between professionals, and templates to facilitate referral to out-of-hours services. The breadth of barriers reported in this review suggests that a multi-faceted approach is needed to support primary care practitioners to provide palliative care.

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