2021; Volume 22, No 8, August

Global First Consult Database: Initial results

Participants in the Global Palliative Care Database, launched by the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, have access to detailed information about the first palliative care consultation.

Days between diagnosis
and initial consultation

Average: 1024.94 days
Median: 441 days
Maximum: 9676 days
Minimum: 9 days

As of press time, there were 44 users who registered 73 patients, 56 of whom reside in Greece, Iran, and Uganda. The average age of registered patients is 54 (the oldest is 90, the youngest is 18), and the group is lightly weighted toward females (53%).

The initial consultation was done most often by a doctor (35%), a nurse (28%), or a social worker (12%). While several patients were referred by a specialist (37%), many others sought palliative care themselves or found another route. The bulk of consults were done at the patient’s home (45%) or at hospital (as an outpatient, 32%; as an inpatient, 16%).

Most patients were found to be severely or very severely frail (56%), often seeking relief from pain (27%), fatigue (11%), gastrointestinal problems (11%), or psychological distress (10%).

The data goes further. One section describes the type of opioids prescribed before and during the consultation, how the opioids were administered, and average dosage. Another section details the type of therapeutic interventions—medications and equipment—prescribed and indicated.

The more people who register information about first palliative care consults, the more useful and revealing the data will be. IAHPC encourages all those involved in first consults to join the database, to further knowledge that helps us all.

For your interest

Two open access articles in the recent medical literature that relate to the first consult in the context of COVID-19 were brought to our attention by MediaWatch’s Barry Ashpole:

It’s Down to the Wire! Photo Contest Closes on August 31

The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care invites you to take a shot at the following prizes for winners of our 2021 Photo Contest:

Visual storytelling is the heart of the IAHPC Newsletter. Your photos showcase palliative care practices and experiences around the world, inspiring and informing the global IAHPC community.

Show us your story! The contest is open to all members; send your submission via this media release form. (If children are pictured, use this form instead.)

Good luck!

Reader recommended

The ABC of Palliative Care, 2nd ed., edited by Marie Fallon and Geoffrey Hanks, is a simple, very clear account of the basics of palliative care. It’s a good, reader friendly guide for beginners.

—Dr. Udayangani Ramadasa
Specialist in General (Internal) Medicine, and
Head, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine
Sabaragamuwa University, Sri Lanka

Top 10 Pallipedia Searches Last Month

We thought that readers might be as interested as we are in seeing what the top 10 searches are each month in Pallipedia, IAHPC’s free online palliative care dictionary. Here are the top searches for July:

  1. Ethical principles
  2. Health care system
  3. Basic needs
  4. Vulnerable groups
  5. Percentile
  6. Evaluation
  7. Medical condition
  8. Place of residence
  9. Overflow diarrhea/Spurious diarrhea
  10. Urban population/Rural population

Pallipedia amassed a total of 33,100 page views in July. Searches for the term “ethical principles” soared in April 2020 and has remained high (or gone higher) ever since. Other top-ranking terms in July that have had long-term popularity are #2: Health care system, #3: Basic needs, and #9: Overflow or spurious diarrhea.

Each month, we publish items that may be of interest to our global readership. Contributions are welcomed.

Please also consider promoting your education and training events in the IAHPC Global Directory of Education in Palliative Care. It’s quick and easy — just submit your content online.

What’s New in the IAHPC Calendar


Providing comfort and continuity in humanitarian crisis: Palliative care responses during disaster and pandemic. Webinar. August 19, 2021.


Advanced Pain Assessment and Management (APAM02SEP21). Virtual course. September 13-November 15, 2021.
Introduction to Hospice Palliative Care (IHPC02SEP21). Virtual course. September 20- November 1, 2021.

Czech Republic

Activating Communities, Embracing Conversation, Preparing for Crises. An Advance Care Planning International digital exchange. Virtual. August 23-25, 2021.


Advanced European bioethics course: “Suffering, Death and Palliative Care.” In person. Nijmegen. March 22-25, 2022.


Sending the dying patient home to die in a Terminal Discharge: Indications, Process, Outcomes. Webinar. August 18, 2021.


3rd Uganda Conference on Cancer and Palliative Care. Virtual and in-person combined. Kampala, September 23-24, 2021.


Advance Care Planning Reconsidered. Virtual course. September 28, 2021.


Updates in Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Intensive Physician Board Review. Virtual. September 21-23, 2021
24th Supportive & Palliative Care Clinical and Research Symposium. Virtual. September 24-25, 2021.
How to Improve Palliative Care Access and Quality at the State Level. Webinar. August 12, 2021.

Find a workshop, seminar, congress, or conference to interest you in the IAHPC Calendar of Events, updated monthly, that lists activities of special interest to those who work in palliative care. Or submit an event for consideration; it’s free!

What’s New in the IAHPC Global Directory of Education Programs


Máster Internacional Universitario en Atención Paliativa a personas con enfermedades avanzadas, Universidad de Vic | Universitat Central de Catalunya y el Instituto Pallium Latinoamérica


Master in Science in Palliative Care, Trinity College Dublin


Chaplaincy Management Training Program, Spiritual Care Association, New York

New Listings: IAHPC Global Directory of Institutions and Organizations


The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, University of British Columbia, British Columbia


Paediatric Palliative Care Centre, Vestische Children's and Youth Clinic, Datteln


Hrudaya Palliative Care


Regional Reference Center for Pediatric Palliative Care and Pain Therapy


Nepal Hospice and Health Care Center


St. Lazarus Hospice


Perinatal Hospice—Footprint of Life


Angel Heart Hospice, Georgia

Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital Palliative Care, Washington

Do you have any questions regarding the IAHPC Calendar of Events and IAHPC Directories?

Contact Ms. Julia Libreros

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