Patients' psychosocial experiences of attending Specialist Palliative Day Care: a systematic review

Palliat Med. 2011 Apr;25(3):210-28. doi: 10.1177/0269216310389222. Epub 2011 Jan 12.


Recent reviews conclude that the benefits of attending Specialist Palliative Day Care (SPDC) are likely to be in social, psychological and spiritual domains. However, these areas are not easily identified, leaving researchers and practitioners unclear as to what aspects of these domains patients most need and desire. The objective of this review was to systematically evaluate literature on patient-perceived psychosocial experiences of attendance at SPDC. Twelve studies were included. Evidence showed that patients value a person-centred approach that reduces isolation, increases social support, encourages communication and provides activities. Future research could focus on investigating why patients value the psychosocial experiences reported and how these experiences can be defined in a way that would be meaningful to clinical service commissioners. Once this has been done, clinicians can start to measure more effectively clinical effectiveness and devise justifiable interventions to help this patient group.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Day Care, Medical
  • Holistic Health
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Self Concept
  • Social Support*