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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
Advances in medicine mean health care professionals can prolong life, yet some treatments have a low chance of providing tangible benefits to some patients, can result in a ‘bad death’, and represent a multi-million dollar cost to the public. Professor Adrian Barnett from the Queensland University of Technology discusses the study he is involved in which looks to increase awareness among hospital clinicians of the extent of non-beneficial treatment at the end-of-life and stimulate action to reduce it.
The internet has provided a mechanism to make palliative care information freely accessible. However, the complexity of palliative care and situational stresses can influence a person’s ability to easily find, navigate and understand online information. It is for this reason that many developers of websites providing palliative care information conduct a usability evaluation during the development process. Amanda Adams discusses her research into evaluation of usability and accessibility during the development stage of an online resource or toolkit and whether this improves access and value.
The new Aged Care Quality Standards have now come into effect and all organisations providing aged care services in Australia will need to demonstrate how they comply with the new standards. Peter Jenkin from Resthaven discusses the role of Nurse Practitioners in helping aged care organisations integrate the new standards into practice, and thus demonstrate compliance.
Translating research into practice and policy is an international priority. However, despite our best efforts, research findings often fail to be translated into practice. Translating knowledge into clinical care can also take a very long time, which when it comes to palliative care may be too late. So what can help us translate knowledge into practice more quickly? Barbara Daveson from PCOC (Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration) discusses knowledge translation and how it can help to improve outcomes in palliative care.
No matter their diverse characteristics, life experiences, cultural background, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation or financial situation, every Australian has the right to have to their individual needs and expectations met without discrimination. For many, there remains a difficulty in accepting that older adults or those who are at end of life want intimacy and have sexuality needs. Nigel McGothigan, Director of Aged Care and Health Care Education from Australian Capital College discusses the tools put in place to support the aged care workforce to understand and be agile in addressing expectations and the complex and diverse care needs of the older person.