Article Abstract

Barriers to palliative care for advanced dementia: a scoping review

Authors: Meira Erel, Esther-Lee Marcus, Freda Dekeyser-Ganz


People with dementia often fail to receive palliative care, despite increased recognition of their need and eligibility for such care. The aims of this study were to assess the barriers associated with a lack of implementation of palliative care for people with dementia and to explore whether there is a gap in knowledge necessitating further study. We reviewed the English literature published from 2000 to 2016, related to barriers to palliative care for people with dementia. Twenty-two articles met inclusion criteria for the review. Most originated in Europe or North America and were qualitative in nature. Four key themes were identified: administrative/policy issues, education, communication, and staff personal characteristics. Barriers to the delivery of palliative care for people with dementia have been studied for more than a decade, yet at present, there is a lack of consensus in practice. More research is needed related to barriers associated with personal characteristics. Such investigations have the potential to improve and better understand the complex nature of palliative care in this population.