Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3--8

Experience in strategic networking to promote palliative care in a clinical academic setting in India

1 Department of Palliative Medicine, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Shoba Nair
Department of Palliative Medicine, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.173953

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Background: Palliative care in low and middle-income countries is a new discipline, responding to a greater patient need, than in high-income countries. By its very nature, palliative as a specialty has to network with other specialties to provide quality care to patients. For any medical discipline to grow as a specialty, it should be well established in the teaching medical institutions of that country. Data show that palliative care is more likely to establish and grow in an academic health care institution. It is a necessity that multiple networking strategies are adopted to reach this goal. Objectives: (1) To describe a strategic approach to palliative care service development and integration into clinical academic setting. (2) To present the change in metrics to evaluate progress. Design and Setting: This is a descriptive study wherein, the different strategies that are adopted by the Department of Palliative Medicine for networking in an academic health care institution and outside the institution are scrutinized. Measurement: The impact of this networking was assessed, one, at the level of academics and the other, at the level of service. The number of people who attended various training programs conducted by the department and the number of patients who availed palliative care service over the years were assessed. Results: Ten different strategies were identified that helped with networking of palliative care in the institution. During this time, the referrals to the department increased both for malignant diseases (52–395) and nonmalignant diseases (5–353) from 2000 to 2013. The academic sessions conducted by the department for undergraduates also saw an increase in the number of hours from 6 to 12, apart from the increase in a number of courses conducted by the department for doctors and nurses. Conclusion: Networking is an essential strategy for the establishment of a relatively new medical discipline like palliative care in a developing and populous country like India, where the service is disproportionate to the demands.


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