Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 » Results
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Table of Contents 
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 528-530

Need of palliative care services in rural area of Northern India


1 National Institute of Nursing Education, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Date of Submission18-Dec-2019
Date of Decision26-Mar-2020
Date of Acceptance01-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication19-Nov-2020

Correspondence Address:
Kavita Kavita
National Institute of Nursing Education, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_226_19

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 » Abstract 


Background: Palliative care is comprehensive care that provides symptomatic relief and enhances the quality of life for people experiencing serious health-related suffering. There is an increasing need for palliative care services in India. Estimates for population requiring these services are essential in order to meet the increasing need for palliative care services. Objectives: The objective was to assess the proportion of population requiring and receiving palliative care services. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional research design was adopted for the study. The study was carried out in the village, Dhanas, Chandigarh. All the residents residing in the selected rural area were included in the study. Tools used for data collection were a screening questionnaire consisting of three questions, a sociodemographic sheet, a clinical profile, the Barthel Index of activities of daily living (ADL), and a pain rating scale. Analysis of the data was done using SPSS version 19 (IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 19.0.: IBM Corp). Results: A total of 10,021 people from 884 households were screened in the study. The results revealed that the prevalence of need for palliative care services was 2/1000 population. None of the 19 participants with unmet palliative care needs were receiving any home- or institutional-based palliative care services at the time of assessment. Nearly, one-fourth of the participants had total dependency on caregivers for ADL. Conclusion: The study concluded that there is a need of palliative care services in the studied rural community of Chandigarh. These data can be used for planning and implementing community-based palliative care services in the studied area.


Keywords: Activities of daily living, palliative care needs assessment, palliative care services


How to cite this article:
Kaur S, Kaur H, Komal K, Kaur P, Kaur D, Jariyal VL, Kavita K, Bajaj L, Thakur JS. Need of palliative care services in rural area of Northern India. Indian J Palliat Care 2020;26:528-30

How to cite this URL:
Kaur S, Kaur H, Komal K, Kaur P, Kaur D, Jariyal VL, Kavita K, Bajaj L, Thakur JS. Need of palliative care services in rural area of Northern India. Indian J Palliat Care [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Dec 2];26:528-30. Available from: https://www.jpalliativecare.com/text.asp?2020/26/4/528/300801





 » Introduction Top


Palliative care is provided to people who suffer from the serious health-related suffering (SHS).[1] The World Health Organization (WHO) defines “palliative care as the prevention and relief of suffering of adult and pediatric patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness.”[2] These problems include the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual suffering of patients and their families. The main focus of the palliative care is symptomatic management and improving quality of life by promoting physical, psychosocial, and spiritual well-being.[3] The need of palliative care services is increasing globally.[4] The increase in the number of elderly in the population and the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the major contributing factors. NCDs are a major cause of mortality worldwide.[5] In 2012, globally, there were 68% deaths due to NCDs, principally cardiovascular diseases (46.2%), cancer (21.7%) and chronic respiratory diseases (10.7%), and diabetes (4%).[6] In 2010, cancers and circulatory diseases together accounted for 19% of global disability-adjusted life years.[2]

In India, NCDs contributed 63% of the total mortality in 2016.[7] In the census report, the proportion of the elderly has also increased from 7% in 2001 to 7.5% in 2011.[8] Cancer has become a common terminal illness. In India, one million new cases are estimated to occur every year, and about 80% are Stage 3 and Stage 4. Therefore, there is an increasing need for palliative care services for providing end-of-life care to the individuals suffering from life-threatening diseases.[9] The provision and integration of these services is essential to achieve the sustainable development goal on universal health coverage.

Although few studies related to the assessment of need for palliative care services have been done in India,[10],[11] we could not find any study from North India. Hence, the need was felt to estimate the number of people in need of palliative care services in the studied community. Thus, the study was conducted to identify the need of palliative care services for the purposes of planning and development for this emerging and urgent need.


 » Materials and Methods Top


A descriptive cross-sectional research design was used for the study. The study was carried out in Dhanas village, Chandigarh (UT). A total of 10,021 people from 884 households residing in that area were assessed for a need of palliative care services. A survey was conducted on the entire population of the village Dhanas. The selection of the village was done by purposive sampling as it is the field practice area of the investigators. House-to-house survey was conducted to collect data. Data collection was done in the month of March 2019. The study respondents were the household members available during the time of data collection. These respondents were interviewed related to the need for palliative care among their family members. The assessment of need of palliative care was done using three criteria: (1) person having terminal illness with no curative treatment available, (2) not able to do activities of daily living (ADL), and (3) probable death within next 12 months. Participants fulfilling any of the above criteria were considered to be in need of palliative care and further assessed for ADL using the Barthel Index of daily living tool[12] and for pain using the Wong–Baker pain rating scale.[13]

Ethical clearance was sought from the Ethics Committee of National Institute of Nursing Education, PGIMER, Chandigarh. Written informed consent was obtained from participants, and they were assured of confidentiality.


 » Results Top


The total population assessed was 10,021, out of which 19 participants were in the need of palliative care services. The prevalence of palliative care need in the present study was 2/1000 population.

Sociodemographic profile of 19 participants in need for palliative care services revealed that the mean age of the participants was 50 (±25.95) years, the median age was 56 years, and the interquartile range was 37. Majority (73.6%) of the participants were male. Nearly, two-third (68.4%) were Hindus, 42.1% were illiterate, and majority (89.1%) were unemployed [Table 1].
Table 1: Sociodemographic data of the participants that need palliative care (n=19)

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The functional ability assessment was done using the Barthel Index of ADL. The study revealed that 26.3% of the participants had total dependency on caregivers for ADL, 47.3% had severe dependency, and 26.3% had moderate dependency levels [Table 2].
Table 2: Dependency level as per the Barthel Index

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Pain assessment of the participants revealed that 42% had the minimum pain score of 0–2. However, 15.7%, 31.5%, and 10.5% of the participants were in the pain score range of 3–4, 5–6, and 7–8, respectively. None of the 19 participants had the highest pain score of 9–10 on the numerical pain rating scale. The most common disease conditions among participants needing palliative care were age-related frailty, end-stage renal disease, mental retardation, and senile dementia.


 » Discussion Top


Palliative care is the comprehensive care given to people suffering from the terminal illnesses. In India, there is a growing need of palliative care among people because of the increasing elderly population and high burden of NCDs.

Although the palliative care was started largely for advanced cancer patients, the scope had broadened to include other SHSs. The WHO, in their definition of the palliative care have use the term any life threating illness rather than specifying any disease condition. In the present study, the need for palliative care was assessed, keeping in mind all the SHSs, and included all the age groups.

The prevalence of need of palliative care services in the present population was found to be 2 per 1000 population. A community-based study conducted by Daya et al.[14] found the prevalence of 6.1 per 1000 urban population in Puducherry, for people in need of palliative care. Another study conducted by Elayaperumal et al.[11] reported the prevalence of 4.5 per 1000 population in Tamil Nadu. The prevalence rates of both these studies were higher than those found in our present study. The difference could be because of various factors such as geographical location, availability of health-care services, health care-seeking behavior, and the reliability of the interviewed household member to identify palliative care needs in the home.

According to the Global Atlas of Palliative Care, 69% of people in need of palliative care are over 60-year-old. However, in the present study, only 36.7% of the participants in need of palliative care were elderly (aged > 60 years). The reason could also be attributed to the fact that the various NCDs occur at a lower age in low- and middle-income countries as compared to the rest of the world.[15]

The strength of the present study is that it was a community-based survey intensively done in a selected geographical area. However, the study also had certain limitations, i.e., small sample size and during the screening process, one member of the household was interviewed to obtain information about the need of palliative care services among the family members, as it was difficult to interview each and every member.


 » Conclusion Top


The study concluded that there is a need for palliative care services in the community setting of Dhanas, Chandigarh. There are no home- or institutional-based palliative care services available for population in the studied area. In conjunction with other community-based surveys, the amount of staffing needed to serve the population needing palliative care services will be better planned. The study also has implications for community health workers and Accredited Social health activist who can do the assessment of palliative care needs using the simple tool used in the study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
 » References Top

1.
Knaul FM, Farmer PE, Krakauer EL, De Lima L, Bhadelia A, Jiang Kwete X, et al. Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief-an imperative of universal health coverage: The Lancet Commission report. Lancet 2018;391:1391-454.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life. Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance & World Health Organization; 2014. Available from: http://www.who.int/nmh/Global_Atlas_of_Palliative_Care.pdf. [Last accessed on 2019 Aug 11].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. Integrating Palliative Care and Symptom Relief Into Primary Health Care: A WHO Guide for Planners, Implementers and Managers. World Health Organization; 2018.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Mitchell S, Tan A, Moine S, Dale J, Murray SA. Primary palliative care needs urgent attention: Primary care teams are vital to the initiation and delivery of effective palliative care. BMJ 2019;365:I1827.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Thakur JS. Burden of non communicable diseases: Mortality, morbidity and trends. Public health approaches to noncommunicable diseases. First Edition. Wolters Kluwer Health (India ). 2015;1:319. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282076715_Public_Health_Approaches_to_Noncommunicable_Diseases. [Last accessed on 2017 Oct 16].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
World Health Organization. Global Status Report on Non Communicable Diseases. World Health Organization; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
World Health Organization. NCD Country Profiles. India: World Health Organization; 2018.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Proposal of Strategies for Palliative Care in India. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; 2012. Available from: http://www.palliumindia.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/National-Palliative-Care-Strategy-Nov_2012.pdf. [Last accessed on 2019 Aug 11].  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India. National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health Background Papers: Burden of Disease in India; 2005.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Daya AP, Sarkar S, Kar SS. Needs of people requiring palliative care in an urban area of Pondicherry, South India: An exploratory study. Natl J Community Med 2018;9:372-9.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Elayaperumal S, Venugopal V, Dongre AR. Identifying people in need of palliative care services in rural Tamil Nadu: A survey. Indian J Palliat Care 2018;24:393-6. Available from: http://www.jpalliativecare.com/article.asp?issn=0973-1075;year=2018;volume=24;issue=4;spage=393;epage =396;aulast=Elayaperumal. [Last accessed on 2019 Jun 13].  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Barthel Index for Activities of Daily Living (ADL). MDCalc. Available from: https://www.mdcalc.com/barthel-index-activities-daily-living- adl. [Last accessed on 2019 Feb 15].  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Home. Wong-Baker FACES Foundation. Available from: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=wong-baker+faces+foundation& qpvt=Wong-Baker+FACES+Foundation&FORM=IGRE. [Last acessed on 2019 Mar 25].  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Daya AP, Sarkar S, Kar SS. Estimation of palliative care need in the urban community of Puducherry. Indian J Palliat Care 2017;23:81.  Back to cited text no. 14
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15.
World Health Organization. Global Status Report on Non communicable Diseases. World Health Organization; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 15
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

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