News

Decolonising Palliative Care

  • by Maria Lopez
  • January 18, 2024

Many of us will be familiar with Professor Catherine Walshe from Lancaster University. She is part of the Palliative and End of Life Care Policy Research Unit and has a special interest in volunteering.

Recently, she introduced a webinar by the Lancaster University Division of Health Research called “Decolonising Palliative Care: Learning from Research Beyond the Global West”.

This webinar looks at how palliative care research is too often conducted from within a Eurocentric lens, that is, created and viewed from within a white, western, middle class framework of knowledge systems and cultural expectations. But palliative care is delivered in a global context and as such, research and discourse needs to be optimised for global settings.

According to research published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, completion of an advance care planning (ACP) process and/or an advance directive should result in patients receiving the care they desire at the end of life. However, three decades of research have shown that is just not the case. This is a problem because ACP has been a front runner in developing the science within palliative care.

Building on that research, the four researchers in this webinar are from Indonesia, Taiwan, Lebanon, and Ghana. They present their findings which help to explain the differences in culture in these non-Western countries, and how these differences relate to the palliative approach.

Here in NSW, we live in a very multicultural society and regularly deal with families from diverse cultures. It is important we keep culture in mind when interacting with patients and families, especially in light of this research and Advance Care Planning. To do so will help patients achieve better outcomes for end of life care, and this knowledge is useful to volunteers as well as health professionals.

Decolonising Palliative Care: Learning from Research Beyond the Global West

Webinar, held on the 10th January 2024. You will find the video at this link: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/health-and-medicine/research/ioelc/resources/#d.en.498432

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