Views and experiences of allied health professionals about palliative care: Results of a national survey

Deb Rawlings1, Jennifer Tieman2, Deidre Morgan3Lin Oke4

1Palliative & Supportive Services, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, 5001 South Australia
2Palliative & Supportive Services, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, 5001 South Australia
3Occupational Therapy, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, 5001 South Australia
4Allied Health Professions Australia, PO Box 38, Flinders Lane, Victoria, 8009


Palliative care is provided by different health professionals in different settings, individually and as part of multidisciplinary care teams. Allied Health disciplines contributions are essential in palliative care. CareSearch is an online evidence based palliative care resource that hosts a hub of information and resources targeted specifically for Allied Health Professionals. An electronic survey was administered to find out Allied Health Professionals’ understanding and views about palliative care, of its relevance to their practice, and of their palliative care clinical information and education needs.


An online survey was developed and piloted with members of the CareSearch Allied Health Hub advisory group. It was then distributed in collaboration with Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) and other allied health groups to their member organisations. Ethics approval was received from Flinders University (No 7014).


The survey closed on April 30th with 168 complete and 56 partially completed responses received. Of initial data analysed to date, one hundred and sixty six respondents described the number of patients that they see on average per month: of these 6% (n=10) don’t see any, 13% (n=22) see less than 5, and 81% (n=134) see more than 15. Of these respondents, only 29% (n=48) work in specialist palliative care. There are implications for Allied health professionals in the care of those who are at eh end of life.


The dissemination of the survey results will provide the sector with current understanding of the views and attitudes of Allied Health professionals to palliative care clinical practice. It will also contribute to the future development of the Allied Health Hub and of the education resources in CareSearch


Deb is a Registered Nurse having worked in oncology and palliative care in Adelaide and the UK. She currently works as a Research Fellow on CareSearch and as a lecturer in Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University.

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