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Help is just a phone call away: After-hours support for palliative care patients wishing to die at home


Baird-Bower, D and Roach, J and Andrews, M and Onslow, F and Curnin, E, Help is just a phone call away: After-hours support for palliative care patients wishing to die at home, International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 22, (6) pp. 286-291. ISSN 1357-6321 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 MA Healthcare Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.12968/ijpn.2016.22.6.286


The 24-hour support for palliative patients is the gold standard of health care in Australia. However, in the state of Tasmania after-hours telephone support was spatially fragmented and inequitable. In 2014, hospice@HOME, a pilot programme introduced in Tasmania in that year, implemented a state-wide after-hours palliative care support service—1800HOSPICE—offering 24-hour support, 7 days a week for palliative patients, caregivers and the public. Six months of after-hours call logs in combination with additional patient data, were analysed to evaluate the use and wider implications of a state-wide after-hours palliative care support number. Family and caregivers mainly used the after-hours support to request changes to support services (25.1%), report changes in patients' overall condition (23.6%) and request acute medical assistance (16.2%). Through the use of the after-hours services by all individuals involved in the care, end-of-life patients were able to reduce ambulance contact and emergency department admission, and thereby increase their likelihood of dying at home (for patients whose preference was to die at home). Overall, 24-hour palliative care telephone support was found to be a valuable tool for all individuals involved in the care of end-of-life patients.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Ambulance service, Avoidable hospital admissions, End-of-life, Telephone support
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Palliative care
UTAS Author:Baird-Bower, D (Miss Debbie Baird-Bower)
ID Code:117200
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2017-06-02
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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