Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 118

Staff support in palliative care

National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Latha Vikraman
National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.19191

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How to cite this article:
Vikraman L, Chandra P. Staff support in palliative care. Indian J Palliat Care 2005;11:118

How to cite this URL:
Vikraman L, Chandra P. Staff support in palliative care. Indian J Palliat Care [serial online] 2005 [cited 2021 May 10];11:118. Available from:

As a professional and regular reader of your journal we appreciate your efforts in maintaining the standard of articles selected for publishing and in keeping up with the recent advances in the field of palliative care. In this regard we would like to suggest a specific topic, which other readers might be interested to know through your journal.

Psychosocial studies in the field of palliative care are mostly focused on patients and their family members, at a time when the discipline itself is facing the threat of losing its professionals due to a variety of experiences in the field. These issues if un-addressed might lead to dearth of expert hands delivering quality care, or in dissatisfied professionals who might not be able to deliver quality care. Suitable interventions to prevent staff turnover in palliative care centers need to be brought out, in the light of many studies which have been conducted in this field, identifying the rate of burnout among professionals.[1],[2] Training needs of professionals is of great importance while planning such interventions.

We recently conducted a study on 'Stress, Coping and Quality of Life among staff working in Palliative Care', which was a comparative study between cancer carers and HIV/AIDS carers The results showed that majority of the respondents from both organizations expected training inputs from the organization where they worked. Though most of them were effective in handling the physical needs of their patients, the majority reported difficulty in handling psychological, social and spiritual aspects of care giving which is equally important in providing total care.[3]

Although public awareness about end-of-life care issues has grown during the last two decades, the stress factors on staff that work with the dying only recently have received widespread attention. Whether we have the capacity to handle the needs of the increasing number of individuals requiring such care is a question to be answered and how we can equip ourselves towards this is to be planned. Developing manpower in the field of palliative care requires a great amount of sacrifice and commitment. In our study again we found that a majority of the staff stated that they had joined the organization for finding meaning in life, and very few responses were directed towards monetary benefits. Keeping in mind these qualities of the staff, one needs to plan programmes to prevent burnout, which might occur because of lack of training in handling difficult situations or in handling one's own personal stress.

  References Top

1.Vachon ML. Staff stress in hospice/palliative care: A review. Palliat Med 1995;9:91-122.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  
2.Vachon ML. The stress of professional caregivers. In : Doyle D, Hanks GW, Mc.Donald N, editors. Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1999. p. 919-29.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Chandra PS, Jairam KR, Jacob A. Factors related to staff stress in HIV/AIDS related palliative care. Indian J Palliat Care 2004;10:2-8.  Back to cited text no. 3    


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Online since 1st October '05
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