Evaluation of Managerial Needs for Palliative Care Centers: Perspectives of Medical Directors


Background: Palliative therapies have an important role in increasing the quality of healthcare and in dealingwith physical and psychosocial problems due to cancer. We here aimed to evaluate the managerial perspectivesand opinions of the hospital managers and clinical directors about specialized palliative care centers. Materialsand
Methods: This study was conducted in two large-scale hospitals in which oncology care is given with medicaldirectors (n:70). A questionnaire developed by the researchers asking about demographic characteristics andprofessional experience, opinions and suggestions of medical directors about providing and integrating palliativecare into healthcare was used and responses were analyzed.
Results: Potential barriers in providing palliativecare (PC) and integrating PC into health systems were perceived as institutional by most of the doctors (97%)and nurses (96%). Social barriers were reported by 54% of doctors and 82% of nurses. Barriers due to interestand knowledge of health professionals about PC were reported by 76% of doctors and 75% of nurses. Amongencouragement ideas to provide PC were dealing with staff educational needs (72%), improved working conditions(77%) and establishing a special PC unit (49)%. An independent PC unit was suggested by 27.7% of participantsand there was no difference between the hospitals. To overcome the barriers for integration of PC into healthsystems, providing education for health professionals and patient relatives, raising awareness in society, financialarrangements and providing infrastructure were suggested. The necessity for planning and programming wereemphasized.
Conclusions: In our study, the opinions and perspectives of hospital managers and clinical directorswere similar to current approaches. Managerial needs for treating cancer in efficient cancer centers, increasingthe capacity of health professionals to provide care in every stage of cancer, effective education planning andpatient care management were emphasized.