This study aimed to synthesize evidence for the role and response of palliative care and hospice teams to viral epidemics/ pandemics, and inform the COVID 19 pandemic response.
The rapid systematic review identified 3,094 articles and included 10 in this narrative synthesis. The authors found existing evidence to be limited, and quantitative data were rare. There were no studies with an experimental design. Studies were included from West Africa, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States and Italy. All studies reviewed had an observational design. The authors concluded that hospice and palliative services have an essential role by responding rapidly and flexibly; ensuring protocols for symptom management are available and used by non-specialists; being involved in triage; considering shifting resources into the community; considering redeploying volunteers to provide psychosocial and bereavement care; facilitating camaraderie among staff and adopting measures to deal with stress; using technology to communication with patients and carers; and adopting standardized data collection systems to inform operational changes and improve care.
Etkind, S. N., Bone, A. E., Lovell, N., Cripps, R. L., Harding, R., Higginson, I. J., & Sleeman, K. E. (2020). The role and response of palliative care and hospice services in epidemics and pandemics: a rapid review to inform practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.