Palliative Care in Solomon Islands

40 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2019

See all articles by Joanna Spratt

Joanna Spratt

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Gabriel Spencer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 12, 2018

Abstract

This Discussion Paper presents the findings of initial research into palliative care in Solomon Islands. This research sought to explore the current palliative care policy and service landscape in Solomon Islands, existing strengths to expand upon, and opportunities for future action and research. The result here is the first published exploration of palliative care in Solomon Islands. Following a literature review, data collection involved documentary analysis and interviews with policy-makers, health professionals and other community stakeholders. All interviewees agreed that there is a need to pay more attention to palliative care in Solomon Islands. Key areas for future action include: supporting health professionals to have difficult conversations with people about their prognosis and what to expect during the dying process; training for health professionals in pain assessment and management; improving systems and guidelines, particularly referral systems and access to morphine; and expanding support for families caring for loved ones dying at home. Future research opportunities exist in understanding: families’ and patients’ needs; cultural approaches to care-giving, pain and death; the role of traditional healers; how to increase health literacy; the costs and savings associated with palliative care provision; and the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of health professionals. An examination of the opiate analgesic system is a pressing research priority. We conclude with recommendations for donors regarding how they could support future action and research.

Keywords: Solomon Islands, health, palliative care, policy, services

JEL Classification: I18, I21

Suggested Citation

Spratt, Joanna and Spencer, Gabriel, Palliative Care in Solomon Islands (December 12, 2018). Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 74, December 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3299814 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3299814

Joanna Spratt (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory ACT 0200
Australia

Gabriel Spencer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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