Table 1

Summarised characteristics of the included studies: part 1

Author (year)Publication typeGeographical location of studyType of care providedResearch aimStudy designStudy population and sample sizeResults regarding status and demand of palliative and hospice day-care
Anonymous (2010)37Newspaper articleUSAAdult day-care and hospiceDescribe the advantages and challenges of collaborating services and extract relevant information for implementation.Qualitative interviews.Stakeholders and programme leaders of adult day services and hospices (n=N/A).Status: where collaborations exist, education programmes for hospice staff about adult day-care (and vice versa) are being held.
Demand for more staff education regarding referral criteria, symptom and pain management and bereavement.
Svidén et al (2009)36Original research article (quantitative)SwedenPalliative day-careExamine palliative day-care outcomes (health-related quality of life, emotional well-being).Prospective comparative study and structured questionnaires (Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer [EORTC] QLQ-30, MACL) analysed with descriptive statistics.Patients from day-care group (n=31); patients from comparison group receiving palliative home care (n=17).Status: existence of hospital-based outpatient service; staff consists mainly of nurses and occupational therapists, as well as a multiprofessional team on demand; no significant differences in outcome of palliative day-care vs comparison group.
Annemans et al (2020)35Original research article (qualitative)BelgiumHospice day-careExplore the impact of the physical environment on palliative day-care.Observation and semistructured interviews; qualitative analysis according to the Guide of Leuven.Individual interviews with day-care guests (n=8); three focus groups with staff, volunteers and family members (n=15).Status: small-scale hospice offering day-care; location in the countryside; physical proximity of residential hospice to day-care hospice creates mainly positive associations among patients and caregivers.
Bradley et al (2011)13Original research article (qualitative)UK (England)Palliative day-careExplore reasons for referrals to day-care.Semistructured interviews analysed with interpretative phenomenological analysis.Referrers (n=8), general practitioner (n=1), community-based specialist palliative care nurses (n=4), hospital-based specialist palliative care nurses (n=2), heart failure nurse (n=1).Status: referrals for physical reasons rather than psychosocial reasons; reasons for referral: physical, social and emotional well-being, continuity of care, caregiver respite, introduction to the hospice environment.
Demand for a more standardised referral process to reduce referrer bias.
Cochrane et al (2008)17Original research article (descriptive)UK (Scotland)Hospice day-careEvaluate a pilot project examining day-care for people with non-malignant conditions.Description of a pilot study and collection of quantitative data on patients to evaluate the project.Day-care patients (n=28).Status: multidisciplinary team; attendance on the same day each week to tighten relationships; review after 12 weeks of attendance (discharge or not); training staff about patients with non-malignant conditions.
Demand for the evaluation of hospice day-care benefits for patients with non-malignant diseases.
Corr and Corr (1992)34Original research article (descriptive)USAHospice day-careDepict the idea and implementation of hospice day-care and its position within the healthcare system.Descriptive report.N/A.Status: hospice day-care is a form of care between home and inpatient care that provides a variety of benefits to participants and encourages their autonomy, while giving carers a break; volunteers benefit from lacking a predefined place in the hospice hierarchy.
Vries et al (2012)18Original research article (qualitative)UK (England)Specialist palliative day hospiceExamine the discharge and (re)admission procedure at a specialist palliative day hospice.Case study including semistructured interviews with patients, carers and staff and examination of documentation, thematically analysed.Cases recruited (n=5).Status: reasons for referral perceived as medical by healthcare professionals but social by patients/carers; patient assessment every 6 weeks by a multidisciplinary team to determine whether continued attendance is necessary; periodic discharges once goals are achieved to allow more patients to attend.
Patient demand for continuous attendance instead of periodic discharge.
Douglas et al (2003)31Original research article (descriptive)UK (England)Palliative day-careAnalyse the cost and effect of palliative day-care attendance on other services.Cost evaluation through the provision of budgets, qualitative interviews with staff, observations and the review of financial documents; qualitative interviews with patients on their use of health and social care.Patients in day-care group (n=120) from n=5 palliative day-care centres; comparison group not receiving day-care (n=53).Status: palliative day-care as a way to access specialist medical care, possibly substituting for community care.
Douglas et al (2000)19Original research article (qualitative)UK (England)Palliative day-careAssess the structure, processes and tools for evaluating outcomes.Indepth observations analysed with system analysis.Palliative day-care centres (n=5); at each centre researchers spoke with patients (n=5–10), staff, finance director, senior nursing manager and medical director.Status: patients receive additional community care and can access medical care through attached inpatient unit; clear referral criteria; counselling for family members; mostly funded by the voluntary sector; range of activities reflects variable patient needs; provision of a specific day for younger attendees.
Demand for further research on adequate instruments to measure palliative day-care outcomes.
Douglas et al (2005)38Original research article (quantitative)UK (England)Palliative day-careIdentify patient preferences at a palliative day-care centre.Choice experiment (data collected during interviews) and statistical analysis with probit analysis.Day-care patients (n=81) from n=4 centres.Status: full-day vs appointment-based models.
Demand for full-day access and access to special therapies.
Fisher et al (2008)14Original research article (qualitative)AustraliaPalliative day-careExplore palliative day-care experiences in Western Australia.Semistructured interviews analysed with constant comparative analysis.Day-care patients (n=8).Status: palliative day-care reduces patients’ feelings of being bound socially, physically, temporally and medically.
Demand for a flexible service to meet patients’ changing needs.
  • MACL, Mood Adjective List; N/A, not available; QLQ-30, Quality of Life Questionnaire 30.