Background: The Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance has recommended integration of palliative care into primary health care. Diminished capacity to provide palliative care is a barrier for integration. The purpose of this study was to screen for palliative care needs in the community. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in two rural communities of Udupi district. Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool – 4ALL (SPICT-4ALL) was used to identify the palliative care needs. Purposive sampling was used to collect the individual information from the households for identifying the palliative care need. Conditions requiring palliative care and the sociodemographic factors associated with it were explored. Results: Out of 2041 participants, 51.49% were female, and 19.65% were elderly. Less than a quarter of them (23.08%) had at least one chronic illness. Hypertension, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease were commonly found. 4.31% had satisfied the requisite SPICT criteria, which indicated a need for palliative care. Diseases of cardiovascular system followed by dementia and frailty were the most common conditions requiring palliative care. Univariate analysis showed that age, marital status, years of education, occupation, and the presence of morbidities were significantly associated with the need for palliative care. Being unemployed and having one or more morbidities were factors independently associated with requirement of palliative care. Conclusions: The estimated palliative care need in the community survey exceeds the perceived need. Although palliative care is traditionally identified with cancer, the proportion of people with noncancer palliative care needs were significantly higher than cancer palliative care.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Medicine