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7th October 2022 Palliative Care

$2.25m grant enables important research into death literacy in South Australia

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An unprecedented $2.25 million grant from The Hospital Research Foundation Group will help pioneer a five-year study to improve access to end-of-life services for vulnerable community groups.

The study will seek to promote death literacy as part of a broader project to improve access to end-of-life services for many vulnerable South Australians.

Due to limitations in some communities surrounding geography, education, economics, and accessibility, palliative care is not currently equally available to all South Australians.

THRF Group – Palliative Care CEO Paul Flynn, said the Group prioritises helping vulnerable community groups including those in regional and remote areas.

“Everyone deserves access to quality palliative care regardless of where they live.”

“We are passionate about lending our support to this collaboration of palliative care experts from around Australia who, like us, are committed to making a meaningful difference in people’s lives when they need it most.”

The project, officially launched in October 2022, is being led by Associate Professor Jaklin Eliott from the University of Adelaide who says, speaking honestly and openly about death is an important, but often underestimated part, of palliative care.

“Death literacy refers to the knowledge and skills that make it possible to gain access to, understand, and act upon end-of-life and death care options.”

“Having knowledge about death and end-of-life issues helps us prepare and make informed decisions; increases our understanding of the dying process, reducing fears about death and dying, and helps improve palliative care and end-of-life support for patients and their carers.”

In consultation with patients and families, communities, and not-for-profit organisations, and with clinicians and policymakers, A/Professor Eliott explains:

“We will identify and develop resources to address what is needed to support under-served South Australians to access end-of-life care that is preferred by and meaningful to patients and their carers.”

In an SA first, Palliative care researchers from the University of Adelaide will collaborate with the University of South Australia, Flinders University, and various local health networks and peak advocacy organisations to help bridge the gap for palliative care.

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