Palliative Care: An Integral Component of Human Right to Health.
In a cross-national survey, we examined the information needs and barriers to accessing palliative care information in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In total, 584 healthcare professionals from 22 countries completed the questionnaire. Information on legislation and official papers (67 percent) and information on education courses in palliative care (65 percent) were the most frequently reported information needs. Major barriers to accessing palliative care information were language and a lack of easily accessible and affordable, clinically relevant information. An informative Web site, an electronic newsletter, and regular meetings or conferences were rated as the most important information channels. We concluded that access to reliable and well-structured information should be facilitated for healthcare professionals in CEE and CIS countries to assist them in their clinical decision making. Most importantly, more in-depth qualitative research and dialogue with stakeholders in the different countries are needed to develop context-specific, tailor-made strategies.