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Palliative care referral identification: the NECPAL CCOMS-ICO tool
  1. Júlio Teixeira1,
  2. Paulo Luz1,
  3. Ricardo Quita2,
  4. David Dias3 and
  5. Elga Freire4
  1. 1Medical Oncology, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve, Faro, Portugal
  2. 2Respiratory Medicine, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto EPE, Porto, Portugal
  3. 3Medical Oncology, Centro Hospitalar Cova da Beira EPE, Covilha, Portugal
  4. 4Palliative Care Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto EPE, Porto, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Júlio Teixeira, Medical Oncology Department, Centro Hospitalar do Algarve EPE, 8000-386 Faro, Portugal; jteixeira{at}

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It is widely known that introducing palliative care at an early stage will greatly benefit patients and their families, through prevention, early identification, comprehensive assessment, and management of physical, psychological, spiritual distress and social needs.1 Palliative care is often underused or initiated late in the course of life-threatening illnesses and according to the WHO, it is estimated that globally, only approximately 12% of patients who need palliative care receive it.2

The NECPAL CCOMS-ICO tool3–5 (NECessidades PALiativas Centro Colaborador da Organização Mundial da Saúde-Institut Català d’Oncologia), developed by the Catalan Institute of Oncology, aims to identify patients in need of palliative care at an early stage, and accurately predicts mortality to facilitate end-of-life care planning and hence improve quality of life. It consists of a …

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  • Contributors All authors made a substantial contribution to the conception or design of the work. All authors participated in either drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content.

  • 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; internally peer reviewed.