Attitudes to palliative care of people with intellectual disability in the UK, Portugal and Nigeria.

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Aims: The aim of this study was to compare the attitudes of medical and nursing staff towards palliative care across Portugal, Nigeria and the UK with the objective of looking at the attitudes to PC for people with intellectual disability (ID) in particular.
Method: Focus groups were held at the end of a study day for medical, nursing and social care professionals - UK 25, Nigeria 8, and Portugal 15 and semi-structured, open- ended questions were used.
Results: Profound differences in attitudes towards pallia- tive care exist between the three countries.
In the UK there was greater awareness of palliative care, although this was often associated with end of life care. The awareness of palliative care of people with ID was variable. Few people had received any training in ID care and it was felt that people with ID could be excluded from decision making within palliative care and there were concerns about how to involve people with ID in their care plans.
In Portugal there was generally little understanding of palliative care and there was limited discussion of the top- ics of death and dying, with patients and families often having unrealistic expectations of treatment. People with ID were often cared for within institutions, although some were cared for at home.
In Nigeria there was awareness of palliative care, par- ticularly for people with HIV and AIDS. Local develop- ments are occurring, e.g. in Nigeria a Hospital Palliative Care Team has been established within the local Federal Hospital. People with ID were viewed as “different” and there were few resources to help in their care. Discussion: There are profound differences in attitudes to palliative care, reflecting and affecting the development of services. Local developments may occur but there are often deeper cultural attitudes regarding the discussion of diagnosis and the discussion of care in different countries. The care of people with ID varies greatly and may reflect societal taboos.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP346
Pages (from-to)NP240-241
Number of pages2
JournalPalliative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2016
Event9th World Research Congress of the European Associaton of Palliative Care (EAPC) - Dublin , Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 9 Jun 201610 Jun 2016


  • palliative care
  • intellectual disability
  • Nigeria
  • Portugal


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