Development of palliative care in nursing homes: evaluation of a Danish project

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2010 Dec;16(12):613-20. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2010.16.12.613.


Background: There is a general lack of research regarding the palliative care of nursing home residents and professional education in palliation in Denmark. Qualification requirements need to be established, best practices must be spread, and a systematic approach to providing competent palliative care in nursing homes must be found.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate an attempt to develop--through three pedagogical methods--the palliative care competencies of the personnel and make organizational improvements at three Danish nursing homes.

Method: A process-based, user-oriented evaluation method was used. Twenty-two nursing home employees and five teachers participated in five focus group interviews.

Results: Both the nursing home employees and the teachers felt that the project as a whole, and the three methods used, contributed to an improvement in the staff 's palliative care competencies and the organization.

Conclusion: The study exposes the barriers to improving Danish palliative care provision and factors required for development to succeed. It highlights the need for recognition by colleagues, active involvement of nursing home managers, and a certain understanding of the methods, including the importance of prioritizing practice-based competence training.

MeSH terms

  • Denmark
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes / organization & administration*
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation