Developing rural communities' capacity for palliative care: a conceptual model

J Palliat Care. 2007 Autumn;23(3):143-53.


The population in Canada and other developing countries is aging, increasing the need for palliative care services. In rural communities, care of dying people is normally provided by health care professionals as part of a generalist practice, not by palliative care specialists. Despite a lack of specialists and resources, some rural communities have developed local palliative care programs. The goal of this research was to conceptualize rural communities' process of developing palliative care programs using a theoretical perspective of community capacity development. Data were from nine focus groups of interdisciplinary rural health care providers who provided palliative care in seven provinces/territories of Canada. The outcome is a theoretical model that conceptualizes the process of developing palliative care programs in four sequential phases: antecedent community conditions, a catalyst, creating the team, and growing the program. The activities of each phase are outlined. This research offers practical and theoretical knowledge to guide practitioners and planners seeking to develop palliative care programs in other rural communities.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Community Health Planning
  • Community Participation*
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration*
  • Program Development*
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration*