Better education needed to improve care of young adults with palliative care needs

Categories: Education.

A blog by by Stephanie Sivell, Research Associate at the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre, Cardiff highlights the lack of experience in caring for young people with life-limiting conditions that is a concern for adult specialist palliative care service providers.

The research maintains that now many young people with a terminal illness are living into their mid-twenties and beyond as a result of medical advances. These young people have to transition into adult services, including adult specialist palliative care. However, their needs are often complex and unfamiliar to adult services, which leads to them often going unmet. 

Education package
The study aimed to collect the views of professionals with expertise in caring for young people with life-limiting conditions which would help develop an educational package to ensure adult specialist palliative care teams have the necessary skills. A survey was used to collate suggestions for the format, delivery and content of an education package.
Resulting from this study, a ‘Transition Study Day’ series has been established in the UK, which started in 2013. This series of six linked study days focuses specifically on the issues around caring for young adults with life-limiting conditions and palliative care needs.  

This study was published in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care

You can read the full blog post on the Marie Curie Cancer Care website here