Objectives: Patients needing palliative care prefer to be cared for in the comfort of their homes. Although private home health-care services are entering the health-care ecosystem in India, for the majority it is still institution-based. Here, we describe a model of home-based palliative care developed by the Tata Memorial Hospital, a government tertiary care cancer hospital. Materials and Methods: Data on patient demographics, services provided and outcomes were collected prospectively for patients for the year November 2013 - October 2019. In the 1st year, local general physicians were trained in palliative care principles, bereavement services and out of hours telephone support were provided. In the 2nd year, data from 1st year were analysed and discussed among the study investigators to introduce changes. In the 3rd year, the updated patient assessment forms were implemented in practice. In the 4th year, the symptom management protocol was implemented. In the 5th and 6th year, updated process of patient assessment data and symptom management protocol was implemented as a complete model of care. Results: During the 6 years, 250 patients were recruited, all suffering from advanced cancer. Home care led to good symptom control, improvement of quality of life for patients and increased satisfaction of caregivers during the care process and into bereavement. Conclusion: A home-based model of care spared patients from unnecessary hospital visits and was successful in providing client centred care. A multidisciplinary team composition allowed for holistic care and can serve as a model for building palliative care capacity in low- and middle-income countries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health