Access to medications in the community by patients in a palliative setting. A systems analysis

Palliat Med. 2008 Mar;22(2):185-9. doi: 10.1177/0269216307085722.


This study performed a systems analysis of the process by which patients under the care of a specialist palliative home care obtained medications, and highlighted factors that delay this process. Systems analysis is the science dealing with analysis of complex, large-scale systems and the interactions within those systems. This study used a mixed-methods approach of questionnaires of general practitioners, pharmacists and patients, and a prospective observational study of delays experienced by patients referred to the home care team over a three-month period. This study found the main factors causing delay to be: medications not being in stock in pharmacies, medications not being available on state reimbursed schemes and inability of patients and carers to courier medications.

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services / standards
  • Community Pharmacy Services / supply & distribution*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Family Practice / organization & administration
  • Family Practice / standards
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration
  • Home Care Services / standards
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration
  • Palliative Care / standards*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / supply & distribution*
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Systems Analysis
  • Terminal Care / organization & administration
  • Terminal Care / standards*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations