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WHO health evidence network

"What are the palliative care needs of older people and how might they be met?"

Dr Elizabeth Davies prepared a synthesis for the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe's Health Evidence Network to answer the question "What are the palliative care needs of older people and how might they be met?"

The review helped to form evidence included in the recent World Health Organization guidance on palliative care. The review concludes that:

  1. Although population aging means that most people who die are over 65 years of age and the proportion of people living past 80 years of age is increasing, palliative care for older people dying from diseases other than cancer has been relatively neglected in health research and policy.
  2. There is evidence of unmet need for pain relief, good communication, and meeting preferences for place of care for older people.
  3. There are gaps in the evidence for palliative care for older people with serious chronic illnesses.
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