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Early integration of basic palliative care in cancer: scoping review of cross-sectorial models – components, facilitators, barriers


Background Shared care between oncology specialists and general practice regarding the delivery of palliative care (PC) is necessary to meet the demands for a cohesive PC. The primary objective of this study is to investigate models of cross-sectorial integration between primary care and oncology specialists that have been developed to promote early and basic PC and factors influencing the process.

Method A scoping review was conducted using publications dated up until April 2023. Searches were conducted in MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, Web of Science and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Complementary searches were performed via reference lists and grey literature. Explicit early PC models aimed at patients with cancer aged ≥18 years with healthcare professionals from primary care and oncology constituted the inclusion criteria. The screening of the papers was performed independently by two reviewers. The reporting adheres to the extension for scoping reviews of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses.

Results The search provided 5630 articles of which six met the eligibility criteria, each describing a different model of early and cross-sectorial, integrated PC. 12 active components were identified. Education of staff as well as good communication and cooperation skills are essential factors to succeed with integrated, early PC.

Conclusion Integration of PC between general practice and oncology specialists has potential. The components of basic PC have been established. Factors known to influence the process are trust, communication and a common goal. Further research is required into strategies for approaching different levels of integration.

  • Quality of life
  • Hospital care
  • Education and training
  • Clinical decisions
  • Communication
  • Clinical assessment

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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