Improving palliative care for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by sharing learning – the national and international response
CovPall is a new project that is trying to understand more about how palliative care services and hospices are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the problems that services and patients and families/those affected by COVID-19 are facing, and how to best respond.
Why does this research matter?
COVID-19 is a new disease. It has become a pandemic. Although many people do recover, even after very serious illness, unfortunately some people become very ill, some people have very severe symptoms and sadly some people die.
To support people in many settings palliative care services and hospices have changed rapidly how they work. They are supporting existing patients who don’t have COVID-19, and also those with COVID-19 who have severe symptoms or are dying. In addition the symptoms that people experience, and the best treatments for these symptoms, are not well understood.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand how palliative and end of life care services have responded to COVID-19. Learning from each other will speed up the responses, and help future plans.
What do we want to find out?
We want to find out how palliative care and hospices services have changed how their staff, volunteers and others have adapted what they do, and their challenges and innovations.
We also want to know what symptoms and problems patients have, how they change over time, what treatments / therapies are used and what seems to work best.
What will we do?
We are asking the clinical lead or a delegate from hospices & palliative care services (adult & children, all settings, voluntary hospices, inpatient, home care, hospital palliative care teams) to answer to an on-line survey.
The survey asks about their practices and how these have changes, and their challenges and innovations. The survey should take less than 30 minutes to complete.
We are going to do the survey on-line quickly in the next 3 weeks, and then we will analyze it and present the results. We aim to repeat the survey in around 8 weeks time.
As later component of CovPall plans to collect information about a small number of people in the care of palliative care teams (probably around 9-10 people). When services complete the survey they will be given the option to say they are interested to take part in this later component.
How you can get involved
We would very much like clinical leads of services to contact us to take part in the on-line survey.
If you have received the link to a questionnaire from one of our partner organizations, then please do complete it.
If you have not received the link to the questionnaire and would like to get involved or just want more information please contact: Mev Hocaoglu or Rachel Cripps marking CovPall in the subject line by email on:
Read our post about The role of palliative care and hospices in the COVID-19 pandemic
on the EAPC blog here: https://eapcnet.wordpress.com/2020/04/27/whats-the-role-of-palliative-care-and-hospices-in-the-covid-19-pandemic-evidence-from-a-systematic-review/
The research is led by: Professor Irene J Higginson, Professor Fliss Murtagh, Professor Nancy Preston, Dr Katherine Sleeman, Dr Matthew Maddocks, Dr Sabrina Bajwah, Professor Lorna Fraser, Dr Mevhibe Hocaoglu, Dr Adejoke Oluyase, Professor Catherine Walshe. Many others have been involved in planning the study and testing the questionnaire.
The survey of hospices and palliative care teams has approval from King’s College London Research Ethics committee (LRS-19/20-18541)