The Use of Emergency Medication Kits in Community Palliative Care: An Exploratory Survey of Views of Current Practice in Australian Home-Based Palliative Care Services

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2015 Sep;32(6):581-7. doi: 10.1177/1049909114536922. Epub 2014 May 28.


Improving symptom management for palliative care patients has obvious benefits for patients and advantages for the clinicians, as workload demands and work-related stress can be reduced when the emergent symptoms of patients are managed in a timely manner. The use of emergency medication kits (EMKs) can provide such timely symptom relief. The purpose of this study was to conduct a survey of a local service to examine views on medication management before and after the implementation of an EMK and to conduct a nationwide prevalence survey examining the use of EMKs in Australia. Most respondents from community palliative care services indicated that EMKs were not being supplied to palliative care patients but believed such an intervention could improve patient care.

Keywords: community palliative care; emergency medication; symptom management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Antiemetics / administration & dosage*
  • Australia
  • Drug Therapy / methods*
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Antiemetics
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives