Background The referral process in palliative care is influenced by the structure of the health care system and the understanding of the value of Palliative Care (PC) by healthcare practitioners and patients. Balsam-Lebanese Centre for Palliative Care is a non-governmental organisation that has been providing home-based palliative care services to patients in Greater Beirut since 2010. Lebanon has a highly privatised fee-for-service health care system. In this setting, treating physicians may resist seeking palliative care services for their patients for fear of losing the patient. A lack of awareness regarding the added value of palliative care can also be detrimental to referral rates. We aimed to gain physician acceptance by providing high quality care, consistent communication, and education.
Aim To assess the perceptions of referring physicians towards our home-based palliative care service.
Methods A sample of primary physicians whose patients have been under the care of Balsam will be interviewed to assess their perceptions of the quality and value of our service to their patients as well as the impact of the service on their practice. 10–15 semi-structured interviews will be conducted transcribed and analysed thematically.
Results Since the initiation of our in 2010, patient load has steadily increased. The pool of referring physicians has also increased from 3 physicians in the first year to 58 physicians to date in 2014. In this study, we will share the findings from our qualitative study with referring physicians.
Conclusion Understanding the fears and concerns of referring physicians will guide further interventions and may improve referral rates.
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