Social aspects of the implementation of multidisciplinary approach in palliative and hospice care

  • V. V. Proskura Lviv polytechnic national university
  • K. V. Khodak Lviv polytechnic national university
Keywords: hospice, multidisciplinary team, the terminally ill, role of the social worker, subjects of palliative care


The results of research of the multidisciplinary approach to the provision of the palliative care in Ukraine have been presented in the article. It has been found that the palliative (hospice) care improves the quality of life of patients (adults and children) and their families who face problems, related to life-threatening diseases. The peculiarities in the definition of a «multidisciplinary team» in Ukrainian law (the focus on means of implementation) and international documents on the palliative care (focused on the provision of care components) have been examined. The subjects of the palliative care in Ukraine are palliative institutions, specialized departments of medical institutions, mobile groups (services) of palliative care at home, centers for prevention and combating of AIDS, psychological services, territorial centers of social service for pensioners and lonely disabled people, NGOs and volunteers. The basic medical and non-medical (social, psychological, spiritual) care components of palliative care have been described in the article. The main service users of palliative care are not only terminally ill patients, but also their family members, relatives and palliative care institution employees, who experience high rates of professional burnout.The results of our empirical research have shown that the palliative care services in the city of Lviv include the functions of social workers, though no social worker positions exists in the service providing working groups. Instead, the functions of the social worker in this area are handled either by other team members (e.g. a chief doctor or other medical personnel, psychologist, priest, etc.), or professionals who do not belong to the service team (mostly psychologist). In some cases most part of the functions of the social worker are not delivered at all. The main social worker’s functions while implementing the social component of the palliative care may include the conduction of self-help groups for the terminally ill and their relatives, management of a client’s case, drawing up an individual work plan with the client and his/her family, basic legal counseling, provision of the supervision for members of the multidisciplinary team, establishment of contacts with other specialists, conduction of measures to prevent burnout, development of educational and leisure programs for children of different ages with different illnesses, training for teachers how to work with terminally ill children, development of leisure programs for the elderly (taking into account their age and physical condition), training for practitioners to provide these services, research and development of new programs in order to improve social services in the palliative care, establishment of networks with other social organizations, search for partners, grants, and training of clergy to work in palliative care.


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How to Cite
Proskura, V. V., & Khodak, K. V. (2017). Social aspects of the implementation of multidisciplinary approach in palliative and hospice care. Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 20(3), 5-10.