Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3--17

Barriers to the provision and utilization of palliative care in Africa: A rapid scoping review

1 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Society, University of Northampton, Northampton, United Kingdom; Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Science and Technology, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria
2 Department of Anaesthesia/Pain and Palliative Care Unit, Multidisciplinary Oncology Centre, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku-Ozalla Campus, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Nursing Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
David A Agom
Faculty of Health and Society, University of Northampton, Waterside Campus, University Drive, Northampton, NN1 5PH England, United Kingdom.

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_355_20

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Palliative care (PC) has continued to be less available, underutilized, and unintegrated in many of the healthcare systems, especially in Africa. This scoping review synthesized existing published papers on adult PC in Africa, to report the barriers to PC and to assess the methodologies used in these studies. Eight electronic databases and Google Scholar were searched to identify relevant studies published between 2005 and 2018. Overall, 42 publications (34 empirical studies and 9 reviews) that reported issues related to barriers to adult PC were selected. Three themes identified were individual-level, system-level, and relational barriers. The studies reviewed predominantly utilized cross-sectional and retrospective study design, underscoring the need for more studies employing qualitative design. Findings highlight the need for health education, training opportunities, more funding, communication, and timely referral. Future works could focus on underlying factors to these barriers and ethno-religious perspectives to PC in Africa.


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