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Assistive technology in palliative medicine: equipment needs
  1. Renae Kelly1,2,
  2. Bridget Manning1 and
  3. Kieran Broome1,3
  1. 1Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme, Metro South Hospital and Health Service, Cannon Hill, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Saint Lucia, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3School of Health & Behavioural Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kieran Broome, Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme, Metro South Hospital and Health Service, Cannon Hill, Queensland 4170, Australia; Kieran.Broome{at}


Objectives Most people prefer to die at home. Timely and appropriate provision of assistive technology can support people to remain at home in the palliative phase. A state-wide palliative care equipment programme (PCEP) was established in Queensland, Australia, to support coordinated assistive technology provision. The objective of this study was to identify population-wide palliative care equipment needs and their relationship to primary diagnostic categories.

Method A retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of equipment provided over a 19-month period was conducted. This included types of equipment provided and characteristics of the participants such as rurality, age and diagnostic category.

Results There were 13 764 approved equipment requests, with a median time between equipment application and death being around 35 days. There were significant differences in the types of equipment typically required across diagnostic categories.

Conclusion The findings from the study can provide a benchmark for the development of population-wide PCEPs. For practitioners who are new to palliative care, typical trajectories of equipment needs by diagnostic group can help guide equipment planning.

  • Terminal care
  • Supportive care
  • Service evaluation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Home care

Data availability statement

No data are available.

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  • Contributors RK and BM prepared the ethical exemption application for the study. RK was the project officer and principal clinical advisor for the program and was involved in the design of the forms from which the data were drawn. KB led the analysis with feedback from RK and BM. All authors were involved in preparation of the final manuscript. KB was the guarantor responsible for overall content of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.