OBJECTIVES: The aim was to review evidence from all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using palliative care education or staff training as an intervention to improve nursing home residents' quality of life (QOL) or quality of dying (QOD) or to reduce burdensome hospitalizations.
DESIGN: A systematic review with a narrative summary.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, the Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Google Scholar, references of known articles, previous reviews, and recent volumes of key journals. RCTs were included in the review. Methodologic quality was assessed.
RESULTS: The search yielded 932 articles after removing the duplicates. Of them, 16 cluster RCTs fulfilled inclusion criteria for analysis. There was a great variety in the interventions with respect to learning methods, intensity, complexity, and length of staff training. Most interventions featured other elements besides staff training. In the 6 high-quality trials, only 1 showed a reduction in hospitalizations, whereas among 6 moderate-quality trials 2 suggested a reduction in hospitalizations. None of the high-quality trials showed effects on residents' QOL or QOD. Staff reported an improved QOD in 1 moderate-quality trial.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Irrespective of the means of staff training, there were surprisingly few effects of education on residents' QOL, QOD, or burdensome hospitalizations. Further studies are needed to explore the reasons behind these findings.
Background: Rehabilitation and palliative care may play an important role in addressing the problems and needs perceived by socioeconomically disadvantaged patients with advanced cancer. However, no study has synthesized existing research on rehabilitation and palliative care for socioeconomically disadvantaged patients with advanced cancer. The study aimed to map existing research of rehabilitation and palliative care for patients with advanced cancer who are socioeconomically disadvantaged.
Material and Methods: A scoping review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). A systematic literature search was performed in CINAHL, PubMed and EMBASE. Two reviewers independently assessed abstracts and full-text articles for eligibility and performed data extraction. Both qualitative and quantitative studies published between 2010 and 2019 were included if they addressed rehabilitation or palliative care for socioeconomically disadvantaged (adults =18 years) patients with advanced cancer. Socioeconomic disadvantage is defined by socioeconomic position (income, educational level and occupational status).
Results: In total, 11 studies were included in this scoping review (138,152 patients and 45 healthcare providers) of which 10 were quantitative studies and 1 was a qualitative study. All included studies investigated the use of and preferences for palliative care, and none focused on rehabilitation. Two studies explored health professionals’ perspectives on the delivery of palliative care.
Conclusion: Existing research within this research field is sparse. Future research should focus more on how best to reach and support socioeconomically disadvantaged people with advanced cancer in community-based rehabilitation and palliative care.
BACKGROUND: The delivery of palliative care interventions is not widely integrated in chronic heart failure care as the recognition of palliative care needs is perceived as difficult. Tools may facilitate healthcare professionals to identify patients with palliative care needs in advanced chronic heart failure.
AIM: To identify tools to help healthcare professionals recognize palliative care needs in patients with advanced chronic heart failure.
DESIGN: This systematic review was registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42019131896). Evidence of tools' development, evaluation, feasibility, and implementation was sought and described.
DATA SOURCES: Electronic searches to identify references of tools published until June 2019 were conducted in MEDLINE, CINAHL, and EMBASE. Hand-searching of references and citations was undertaken. Based on the identified tools, a second electronic search until September 2019 was performed to check whether all evidence about these tools in the context of chronic heart failure was included.
RESULTS: Nineteen studies described a total of seven tools. The tools varied in purpose, intended user and properties. The tools have been validated to a limited extent in the context of chronic heart failure and palliative care. Different health care professionals applied the tools in various settings at different moments of the care process. Guidance and instruction about how to apply the tool revealed to be relevant but may be not enough for uptake. Spiritual care needs were perceived as difficult to assess.
CONCLUSION: Seven tools were identified which showed different and limited levels of validity in the context of palliative care and chronic heart failure.
BACKGROUND: In recent years there has been increasing attention for the prevalence and prevention of burnout among healthcare professionals. There is unclarity about prevalence of burnout in healthcare professionals providing palliative care and little is known about effective interventions in this area.
AIM: To investigate the prevalence of (symptoms of) burnout in healthcare professionals providing palliative care and what interventions may reduce symptoms of burnout in this population.
DESIGN: A systematic literature review based on criteria of the PRISMA statement was performed on prevalence of burnout in healthcare professionals providing palliative care and interventions aimed at preventing burnout.
DATA SOURCES: PubMed, PsycInfo and Cinahl were searched for studies published from 2008 to 2020. Quality of the studies was assessed using the method of Hawkers for systematically reviewing research.
RESULTS: In total 59 studies were included. Burnout among healthcare professionals providing palliative care ranged from 3% to 66%. No major differences in prevalence were found between nurses and physicians. Healthcare professionals providing palliative care in general settings experience more symptoms of burnout than those in specialised palliative care settings. Ten studies reported on the effects of interventions aimed at preventing burnout. Reduction of one or more symptoms of burnout after the intervention was reported in six studies which were aimed at learning meditation, improving communication skills, peer-coaching and art-therapy based supervision.
CONCLUSION: The range of burnout among healthcare professionals providing palliative care varies widely. Interventions based on meditation, communication training, peer-coaching and art-therapy based supervision have positive effects but long-term outcomes are not known yet.
Aim: To assess the educational needs, role and perceptions in palliative care issues of radiation oncologists (ROs) and trainees.
Background: 1/3 of radiotherapy patients are treated with palliative intent. Conversely, education and role that ROs have in the palliative care process are not well established, neither in terms of how they perceive their competence nor whether it is important to improve training, research and attention in palliative care issues at radiotherapy congresses.
Material and Methods: Literature systematic review in National Library of Medicine and Cochrane databases with 11 relevant issues to be identified. One doctor made first selection of articles, a second one confirmed their eligibility.
Results: 722 articles reviewed, 19 selected. 100% recognize the importance of palliative care in radiotherapy, 89.4% the need of training in palliative care for ROs, 68.4% the necessity of improving the resident programs, 63.1% the importance of skilled ROs in palliative care, 63.1% the need of better communication skills and pain management (47.3%), 52.6%, the perception of inadequate training in palliative care, 36.8% the lack of research and palliative care topics in radiotherapy meetings, 21% the absence of adequate guidelines regarding palliative care approaches, 42.1% the importance of the ROs in palliative care teams and 26.3% the lack of their involvement.
Conclusion: Palliative care has an important role in radiotherapy but it seems ROs still need more training. It is necessary to improve training programs, increment palliative care research in radiotherapy, giving more attention to palliative care themes at radiotherapy congresses. This could lead to a better integration of radiotherapists in multidisciplinary palliative care teams in the future.
BACKGROUND: The main goal of pediatric palliative care (PPC) is to improve or maintain the best possible quality of life (QoL) for the child and their family. PPC can be provided in community health centres, within the specialist health care service and/or in the child's home. Home is often the preferred place for families, and recommendations state that, whenever possible, the family home should be the centre of care for the child. The aim of this study is to systematically review the experiences and needs of families with children receiving palliative care at home.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic review and searched the peer-reviewed databases CINAHL, Embase, PsycInfo and MEDLINE for articles published between January 2000 and October 2019. We included 23 studies emphasising the experience of family members when their child (0-18 years) received palliative care at home. We used a thematic analysis to identify relevant themes in the literature, and synthesised the findings from the different studies.
RESULTS: The review represents the experiences of the families of almost 300 children with life-limiting (LL) and life-threatening (LT) conditions receiving palliative care at home. In general, the children's mothers are interviewed, and seldom the sick children themselves or their siblings. Most families preferred staying at home since it made it easier to maintain a normal family life, was less stressful for the sick child, and meant that siblings could still attend school and be with friends. Families experienced a range of challenges due to the coordination of care, including a lack of support and adequately skilled staff with appropriate experience. Respite care was needed in order to cope with everyday life. Some studies were not specific concerning the place of care, and some relevant papers may have been omitted.
CONCLUSIONS: Families receiving PPC need organised, individualised support from a skilled PPC team. Respite care is necessary in order to manage a demanding home-care situation and parents need support for siblings. Privacy to be a family is a need, and many families need financial support. Future studies should focus on PPC at home in the perspectives of sick children and their siblings.
BACKGROUND: Clinically assisted hydration (CAH) can be provided in the last days of life as drinking declines. The impact of this practice on quality of life or survival in the last days of life is unclear. Practice varies worldwide concerning this emotive issue.
METHOD: Systematic literature review and narrative synthesis of studies evaluating the impact of, or attitudes toward, CAH in the last days of life. Databases were searched up to December 2019. Studies were included if the majority of participants were in the last 7 days of life, and were evaluated using Gough's 'Weight of Evidence' framework. Review protocol registered with PROSPERO, registration number CRD42019125837.
RESULTS: Fifteen studies were included in the synthesis. None were judged to be both of high quality and relevance. No evidence was found that the provision of CAH has an impact on symptoms or survival. Patient and family carer attitudes toward assisted hydration were diverse.
CONCLUSION: There is currently insufficient evidence to draw firm conclusions on the impact of CAH in the last days of life. Future research needs to focus on patients specifically in the last days of life, include those with non-malignant diagnoses, and evaluate best ways to communicate effectively about this complex topic with patients and their families.
BACKGROUND: Early palliative care together with standard haematological care for advanced patients is needed worldwide. Little is known about its effect. The aim of the review is to synthesise the evidence on the impact of early palliative care on haematologic cancer patients' quality of life and resource use.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A systematic review was conducted. The search terms were early palliative care or simultaneous or integrated or concurrent care and haematological or oncohaematological patients. The following databases were searched: PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, CINHAL and Scopus. Additional studies were identified through cross-checking the reference articles. Studies were in the English language, with no restriction for years. Two researchers independently reviewed the titles and abstracts, and one author assessed full articles for eligibility.
RESULTS: A total of 296 studies titles were reviewed. Eight articles were included in the synthesis of the results, two controlled studies provided data on the comparative efficacy of PC interventions, and six one-arm studies were included. Since data pooling and meta-analysis were not possible, only a narrative synthesis of the study results was performed. The quality of the two included comparative studies was low overall. The quality of the six non-comparative studies was high overall, without the possibility of linking the observed results to the implemented interventions.
CONCLUSIONS: Studies on early palliative care and patients with haematological cancer are scarce and have not been prospectively designed. More research on the specific population target, type and timing of palliative care intervention and standardisation of collected outcomes is required.
PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020141322.
OBJECTIVE: Patients with advanced diseases and frail older adults often face decisions regarding life-prolonging treatment. Our aim was to provide an overview of the feasibility and effectiveness of tools that support communication between healthcare professionals and patients regarding decisions on life-prolonging treatments in hospital settings.
DESIGN: Systematic review: We searched PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar (2009-2019) to identify studies that reported feasibility or effectiveness of tools that support communication about life-prolonging treatments in adult patients with advanced diseases or frail older adults in hospital settings. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used for quality appraisal of the included studies.
RESULTS: Seven studies were included, all involving patients with advanced cancer. The overall methodological quality of the included studies was moderate to high. Five studies described question prompt lists (QPLs), either as a stand-alone tool or as part of a multifaceted programme; two studies described decision aids (DAs). All QPLs and one DA were considered feasible by both patients with advanced cancer and healthcare professionals. Two studies reported on the effectiveness of QPL use, revealing a decrease in patient anxiety and an increase in cues for discussing end-of-life care with physicians. The effectiveness of one DA was reported; it led to more understanding of the treatment in patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Use of QPLs or DAs, as a single intervention or part of a programme, may help in communicating about treatment options with patients, which is an important precondition for making informed decisions.
Palliative care nurses are exposed to hard situations, death, and duel feelings in their daily practice. These, and other work stressors, can favor burnout development. Thus, it is important to analyze the prevalence and risk factors of burnout in palliative care nurses and estimate its prevalence. A systematic review and meta-analysis was done with quantitative primary studies. n = 15 studies were included with n = 6 studies including information for the meta-analysis. The meta-analytic prevalence estimation of emotional exhaustion was 24% (95% CI 16-34%), for depersonalization was 30% (95% CI 18-44%) and for low personal accomplishment was 28% with a sample of n = 693 palliative care nurses. The main variables related with burnout are occupational variables followed by psychological variables. Some interventions to improve working conditions of palliative care nurses should be implemented to reduce burnout.
Background: Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are an important health care issue. Patients in Western societies often present an increased morbidity of chronic conditions accompanied by poor immune status and the use of devices. In particular, patients in palliative care (PC) are at greater risk of MDRO colonization, due to accompanying special devices and being hospitalized.
Objective: To gain an overview of the literature regarding MDROs in PC.
Design: Systematic review
Data sources: On the 19th of October 2019 the databases "PubMed" and "CINAHL" were used to identify studies reporting on MDROs in PC; the search was updated on 16th of May 2020.
Results: Seventeen out of 486 articles were included. Six represent qualitative data, 10 quantitative data, and one a mixed methods approach. Prevalence data range from 4.0% to 18%. MDRO colonization has a negative impact on patients and families. It leads to uncertainties and higher workload by staff members. Strategies for the management of MDROs in the field of PC are predominantly available for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Not even half of institutions utilize existing protocols. Recommendations for dealing with MDROs indicate required staff and time resources as well as information, communication, and specific knowledge.
Conclusion: There is a great need for studies examining the prevalence of all MDROs in the PC setting. Additionally, not only patients but also a public enlightenment on MDROs should be provided to decrease knowledge gaps and therefore reduce transmission on MDROs.
Background: The major growth of mobile technologies in the recent years has led to the development of medical-monitoring applications, particularly on smartphones.
Aim: The aim of this study was to review the use of m-health in the monitoring of patients with chronic pathologies in order to consider what could be adapted for palliative care patients at home.
Design: A systematic review of the English and French literature was conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses criteria.
Date Sources: The review screened the following databases: PUBMED, SCOPUS, COCHRANE, SCIENCE DIRECT, SUDOC, and EM-Premium, screening studies published between 2008 and 2018. The selection of articles was done by the main investigator. All studies concerning the use of m-Health apps for patients with chronic diseases were included.
Results: From the 337 selected publications, 8 systematic reviews and 14 original studies were included. The main uses of m-Health apps were biological and clinical monitoring (particularly concerning the symptoms) in 75% of the applications, disease self-management in 64% of the applications, and therapeutic patient education in 50% of the applications, with remote monitoring.
Conclusions: The development of an m-Health application could become a complementary monitoring tool during palliative care. However, it seems important to question the impact of technique in the professional–patient relationship and avoid the pitfalls of standardizing palliative care and reducing the patient to a “sick” health technician. A future step would then be to define which health-care professional would be in charge of this “m-monitoring.”
BACKGROUND: Pain and symptom management is critical in ensuring quality of life for chronically ill older adults. However, while pain management and palliative care have steadily expanded in recent years, many underserved populations, such as rural older adults, experience barriers in accessing such specialty services, in part due to transportation issues. The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the specific types of transportation-related barriers experienced by rural older adults in accessing pain and palliative care.
METHODS: Studies were searched through the following 10 databases: Abstracts in Social Gerontology, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, SocINDEX with Full Text, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Nursing & Allied Health Database, Sociological Abstracts, and PubMED. Studies were chosen for initial review if they were written in English, full text, included older adults in the sample, and examined pain/palliative care/hospice, rural areas, and transportation. A total of 174 abstracts were initially screened, 15 articles received full-text reviews and 8 met the inclusion criteria.
RESULTS: Findings of the 8 studies identified transportation-related issues as major access barrier to pain and palliative care among rural older adults: specifically, lack of public transportation; lack of wheelchair accessible vehicles; lack of reliable drivers; high cost of transportation services; poor road conditions; and remoteness to the closest pain and palliative care service providers.
CONCLUSION: Results suggest that rural older adults have unique transportation needs due to the urban-centric location of pain and palliative care services. Implications for practice, policy and research with older adults are discussed.
CONTEXT: Near the end of life when patients experience refractory symptoms, palliative sedation may be considered as a last treatment. Clinical guidelines have been developed, but they are mainly based on expert opinion or retrospective chart reviews. Therefore, evidence for the clinical aspects of palliative sedation is needed.
OBJECTIVES: To explore clinical aspects of palliative sedation in recent prospective studies.
METHODS: Systematic review conducted following PRISMA guidelines and registered at PROSPERO. PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane, Medline and Embase were searched (January 2014-December 2019), combining "sedation", "palliative care", "prospective". Article quality was assessed.
RESULTS: Ten prospective articles were included, involving predominantly cancer patients. Most frequently reported refractory symptoms were delirium (41-83%), pain (25-65%), and dyspnoea (16-59%). In some articles, psychological and existential distress were mentioned (16-59%). Only a few articles specified the tools used to assess symptoms. Level of sedation assessment tools were: the Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale, Ramsay Sedation Scale, Glasgow Coma Scale and Bispectral Index Monitoring. The palliative sedation practice shows an underlying need for proportionality in relation to symptom intensity. Midazolam was the main sedative used. Other reported medications were phenobarbital, promethazine and anaesthetic medication- propofol. The only study that reported level of patient's discomfort as a palliative sedation outcome showed a decrease in patient discomfort.
CONCLUSIONS: Assessment of refractory symptoms should include physical evaluation with standardised tools applied and interviews for psychological and existential evaluation by expert clinicians working in teams. Future research needs to evaluate the effectiveness of palliative sedation for refractory symptom relief.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer and leading cause of cancer mortality globally. Lung cancer is associated with significant morbidity, with symptoms often being poorly managed, causing significant symptom burden for both patients and their family caregivers. In people with life-limiting illnesses including advanced cancer, palliative care has been effective in improving symptom control, physical and mental wellbeing, quality of life, and survivorship; with benefits extending to caregivers while in the role and subsequently. Earlier integration of palliative care within oncology may be associated with improved patient outcomes, and has been supported by two Lancet commissions and national guidelines. The evidence for its effectiveness, however, has been mixed across the cancer spectrum. The aim of this review was to evaluate the current evidence for the effectiveness of early integrated palliative care in improving outcomes for people with lung cancer and their caregivers. Meta-analyses were performed where studies used the same measure. Otherwise, synthesis used a narrative approach. Similar to other types of advanced cancer, this review reveals mixed evidence for the effectiveness of early referral to palliative care and for the effectiveness of individual palliative interventions for people with lung cancer and their caregivers. Evidence that on-demand palliative care is equally, if not more effective than palliative care that is routinely provided, raises the question whether initiation and provision of palliative care as part of multidisciplinary lung cancer care ought to be guided by an early referral or need-based referral. Better understanding of what constitutes palliative care when delivered to people with lung cancer and their caregivers will help delineate the correlation with reported outcomes for these populations.
Objective: To assess the physiological outcomes and interpersonal influences that should be considered when making the decision to provide artificial nutrition and hydration (AN&H) for patients in hospice/palliative programs.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted using items from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols 2015 checklist. Distinct search strategies were employed to find primary research articles that addressed: General health outcomes of artificial nutrition and hydration interventions and nutrition therapy interventions (n = 16), nutrition-related symptoms in end-of-life care (n = 8), and the attitudes of patients and providers toward artificial nutrition and hydration (n = 21).
Results: The effect of AN&H on health outcomes, quality-of-life measures and nutrition-related symptoms is limited and may vary by patient setting and diagnosis. In the absence of consistent evidence for specific health outcomes, decisions regarding AN&H should be made in context of the desires and beliefs of a patient, their family, and their medical providers. These beliefs may not be consistent with likely outcomes or may be inconsistent between individuals involved in the decision-making process, and individuals of different cultures or geographic regions may approach AN&H decisions from different perspectives. To help navigate the intersection of nutrition-related health outcomes and patient/provider beliefs, palliative care teams may employ a variety of strategies for approaching the decision-making process, and may benefit from specific involvement of a Registered Dietitian to help contribute to or lead these discussions.
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: To describe the use of home-based medical care (HBMC) among Medicaid beneficiaries.
DESIGN: A systematic review of the peer-reviewed and gray literature of home-based primary care and palliative care programs among Medicaid beneficiaries including dual eligibles.
SETTING: HBMC including home-based primary care and palliative care programs.
PARTICIPANTS Studies describing Medicaid beneficiaries receiving HBMC.
MEASUREMENTS: Three groups of studies were included: those focused on HBMC specifically for Medicaid beneficiaries, studies that described the proportion of Medicaid patients receiving HBMC, and those that used Medicaid status as a dependent variable in studying HBMC.
RESULTS: The peer-reviewed and gray literature searches revealed 574 unique studies of which only 16 met inclusion criteria. Few publications described HBMC as an integral care delivery model for Medicaid programs. Data from the programs described suggest the use of HBMC for Medicaid beneficiaries can reduce healthcare costs. The addition of social supports to HBMC appears to convey additional savings and benefits.
CONCLUSION: This systematic literature review highlights the relative dearth of literature regarding the use and impact of HBMC in the Medicaid population. HBMC has great potential to reduce Medicaid costs, and innovative programs combining HBMC with social support systems need to be tested.
Objectives: Despite a number of studies on effectiveness of palliative care, there is a lack of complex updated review of the impact of in-hospital palliative care consult service. The objective is to update information on the impact of palliative care consult service in inpatient hospital setting.
Methods: This study was a systematic literature review, following the standard protocols (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, Joanna Briggs Institute tools) to ensure the transparent and robust review procedure. The effect of palliative care consult service was classified as being associated with improvement, no difference, deterioration or mixed results in specific outcomes. PubMed, Scopus, Academic Search Ultimate and SocINDEX were systematically searched up to February 2020. Studies were included if they focused on the impact of palliative care consult service caring for adult palliative care patients and their families in inpatient hospital setting.
Results: After removing duplicates, 959 citations were screened of which 49 full-text articles were retained. A total of 28 different outcome variables were extracted. 18 of them showed positive effects within patient, family, staff and healthcare system domains. No difference was observed in patient survival and depression. Inconclusive results represented patient social support and staff satisfaction with care.
Conclusions: Palliative care consult service has a number of positive effects for patients, families, staff and healthcare system. More research is needed on factors such as patient spiritual well-being, social support, performance, family understanding of patient diagnosis or staff stress.
PROBLEM: There is a growing international drive to deliver children's palliative care services closer to home. Families should have choice of where end of life (EOL) care is provided with home as one option. This review aims to establish the current international evidence base relating to children's EOL care at home.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: A systematic scoping review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA-ScR reporting guidelines. Seven databases were searched to identify papers published between 2000 and 2018. Eligibility criteria included papers reporting children's EOL care with specific relation to: home being the preferred place of death; services providing EOL care at home; family experiences of receiving support when their child died at home and professionals' experiences of delivering this care.
SAMPLE: Twenty-three papers met the eligibility criteria and were included in the review.
RESULTS: Engagement of families in EOL care planning discussions was identified as a key factor to facilitate choice of setting. Consistent themes from the data suggest that providing access to care in the home 24/7 by a team of professionals with specialist pediatric palliative care knowledge is an essential aspect of any model of home-based EOL care.
DISCUSSION AND APPLICATION TO PRACTICE: This is the first comprehensive review of home-based EOL care for children which offers a valuable contribution to policy, practice and research. The evidence mapped and synthesised in this review can inform the development of services to facilitate the provision of EOL care at home in line with the unique wishes and needs of children and families.
Purpose: This systematic review aims to summarize factors that influence the quality of life (QOL) of advanced cancer patients in palliative care (PC) in developing countries. Understanding this context in developing countries milieu is necessary; however, this outcome is rarely reported.
Methods: Following the PRISMA guidelines, the electronic databases MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and Web of Science were systematically searched using the search terms: QOL, cancer, PC, and names of all developing countries. Studies with less than ten subjects, qualitative or pilot studies, reviews, conference abstracts, and that reported validation of QOL questionnaires were excluded.
Results: fifty-five studies from 15 developing countries in the African (n = 5), Latin America and the Caribbean (n = 10), and Asian (n = 40) region were included in the narrative synthesis. 65.4% were cross-sectional, 27.3% were cohort studies, 7.3% were RCTs or quasi-experimental studies. Around 30 QOL factors were studied with 20 different types of QOL instruments. Advanced cancer patients who were older, married/ever married, participated in additional care within PC, used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and practiced spirituality/religiosity showed higher QOL score. Low educational level and high depression were associated with a lower QOL.
Conclusion: Various factors affect QOL among cancer patients in PC. Patients valued the use of CAMs; however, the quality and safety aspects should be properly addressed. Important factors that influenced the QOL score were social and spiritual support. While there is a general need to develop PC strategies further, recognizing patients’ needs should be prioritized in national cancer programs.