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ACCESSCare for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* people approaching the end of life

ACCESSCare: Advanced Cancer Care Equality Strategyfor genderand Sexualminorities

What is ACCESSCare?

This project, led by Dr Richard Harding, and funded by Marie Curie, aims to improve demand for and supply of palliative care for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans* (LGB and/or T) and are in the later stages of a life-limiting illness. 

Research has shown that people who identify as LGB and/or T, and their significant others, may not receive the care they need when facing a life-limiting illness, despite an increased risk of certain cancers (Harding et al. (2012) Journal of Palliative Medicine).  The ACCESSCare project has been designed to address this inequity through:

  • The development and dissemination of evidence-based mass media resources with the LGB and/or T communities to increase the demand for appropriate end-of-life care
  • The improvement of  supply of appropriate end-of-life care through development of training resources for integration within existing end-of-life care curricula for health care professionals

The project involved in depth qualitative interviews with people who identify as LGB and/or T and are in the later stages of a life-limiting illness, their informal caregivers (partners, friends or relatives) as well as with bereaved caregivers of people who died a predictable death from a progressive illness or condition.  The ACCESSCare study commenced in May 2014, and recruitement closed in January 2016. 

Update: June 2016

The findings from the previous literature and the qualitative interviews are being used to shape mass media resources for the LGB and/or T communities, training for health care professionals and policy documents.

Findings from the ACCESSCare study informed the recent Marie Curie publication ''Hiding Who I Am'': the reality of end-of-life care for LGBT people'.   

Update: September 2016

As part of the ACCESSCare study, we recently completed a systematic review of the bereavement experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans* people who have lost a partner.  We are delighted to say that our paper has been selected as Editor’s Choice in the September edition of Palliative Medicine.  The paper is open access, and can be downloaded from the Palliative Medicine website.

We have also written a blog explaining the background to the paper, which can be accessed via the European Association for Palliative Care website.

We are currently in the final stages of drafting the main paper from the ACCESSCare study, and will post a link to it as soon as it is published.

For further information about the study, please see the video below, or get in touch with the ACCESSCare project team through the dedicated e-mail address or by telephone on 020 7848 5521.  

Dr Richard Harding talking about the ACCESSCare project:

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