Primary Care - Palliative Care in Diverse Populations
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Palliative Care in Diverse Populations

Palliative care aims to provide holistic, person-centred care that supports the spiritual, cultural, emotional, social, psychological and physical needs of the patient, their family and carers. These fundamental principles require palliative care to be provided in a culturally safe, collaborative and responsive manner.

Culturally safe and responsive healthcare respects, supports and empowers the cultural identity and wellbeing of a patient. Cultural safety relates to the values, attitudes and beliefs of the individual healthcare provider, and to the organisational culture and values of the health service. It requires the healthcare provider and the health service to recognise and respond to the health beliefs, health practices, culture and linguistic needs of the patients and the communities they serve.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities are diverse with unique customs, cultural beliefs and associated traditions. While acknowledging these cultural differences, palliative care is often seen as sensitive business within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Specific resources to support healthcare providers in the provision of care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients living with a life limiting illness, their families and communities are provided below.

Caring for your mob at the end of their life (1.3MB pdf)
Australian Goverment Department of Health
Information about providing palliative care and end of life care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Dying to Talk, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Discussion Starter: Working out what’s right for you
Palliative Care Australia
The Dying to Talk, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Discussion Starter guidance for patients to reflect on their values and preferences for end of life care. It supports patients to prepare for and initiate these discussions with family, friends and healthcare providers.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Care
CareSearch
This webpage providing information and resources for healthcare providers and carers in providing palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Palliative Care
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
This webpage providing references and information about palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Providing culturally appropriate palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (1.5MB pdf)
The National Palliative Care Program
A resource developed to support training for the provision of palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is designed to be used as an introduction to factors which impact on the provision of palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Sad news sorry business—Guidelines for caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through death and dying (452kb pdf)
The National Palliative Care Program
A resource developed to support training for the provision of palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is designed to be used as an introduction to factors which impact on the provision of palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Learning Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers (10MB pdf)
Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)
The Learning Guide is the workbook for the experiential learning pathway with Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA), and has been developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, Community Workers and Community members. The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) offers funded learning opportunities for health care providers with a pathway to develop and enhance skills, knowledge and confidence in the palliative approach. Workshops and workforce placements are available in all Australian states and territories for health care providers including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers, health practitioners and community workers, medical practitioners (including GP registrars), community care workers, nurses, migrant and CALD workers, aged care workers and allied health professionals working in primary care or non-specialist palliative care settings. Applications are encouraged from healthcare providers working in these roles in regional, rural and remote areas.

More information on providing care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is available on the ELDAC Diverse Population Groups page of this website.

Page updated 06 September 2019