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Nursing issues
Access to specialist palliative care to manage pain in people dying at home: give them a VOICE
  1. Karen Harrison-Dening
  1. Research & Publications, Dementia UK, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karen Harrison-Dening, Research & Publications, Dementia UK, London EC5 3RN, UK; Karen.Harrison-Dening{at}

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Commentary on: Elmokhallalati Y, Woodhouse N, Farragher T, et al. Specialist palliative care support is associated with improved pain relief at home during the last 3 months of life in patients with advanced disease: analysis of 5-year data from the national survey of bereaved people (VOICES). BMC Med 2019.

Implications for practice and research

  • People who receive specialist palliative care or have a stated preference to die at home have a significantly higher chance of experiencing good pain relief as they die, irrespective of their disease aetiology.

  • People dying with cancer receive better pain relief than those dying of non-cancer disease.

  • Access to specialist palliative care services and advance care planning should be available to all; irrespective of diagnosis.

  • Researchers and policymakers should consider how to ensure improvements in pain management for patients at home through advice and support from community specialist palliative care services.


Pain is …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.