Exploring the literature surrounding the transition into palliative care: a scoping review

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2009 Apr;15(4):186-9. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2009.15.4.41967.


This article explores the current literature surrounding transitions into palliative care. Transitions in care have become more frequent and complex in the Canadian healthcare system. Plagued with difficulty, fear and misunderstanding, the transition into palliative care is one of the most confusing and traumatic transitions a patient and family can face. Despite this, however, transitions into palliative care have been commonly overlooked in transitional research. A scoping review of the existing literature on transitions and palliative care was conducted and three key areas complicating the transition into palliative care were noted: the intrinsic nature of the transitions, the timing of the transition, and the lack of information surrounding this transition. This article highlights a need for further research into the complicated area of transitions into palliative care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Palliative Care*