Palliative Care Competence Framework for Physiotherapists

The Palliative Care Competence Framework for Physiotherapists was designed to standardize the education of undergraduate and graduate students in Europe. Provides guidance on acquiring the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for clinical practice in the health and social professions. This document provides flexibility and autonomy to develop specific core and disciplinary skills that can be applied to both general and specialized palliative care. [1]

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Core skills
When caring for people with life-limiting conditions who may have complex care needs, a multidisciplinary approach is preferable. The core competencies described in the guide are common to all healthcare professionals and convey the primary level of understanding essential to deliver palliative care.

There are 6 competing domains:

Principles of palliative care
Communication
Optimization of comfort and quality of life
Care planning and collaborative practice
Loss, pain and grief
Professional and ethical practice in the context of palliative care
Each domain is defined with a statement that remains the same regardless of the environment in which assistance is provided. Each domain has an indicator that describes the skills required by professionals based on the context of their roles and the level at which palliative care is provided. Indicators are based on advanced knowledge, skills and understanding and clinical experience.
Principles of palliative care
The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of people with life-limiting conditions. This treatment includes not only the physical aspect of your condition, but also the social, psychological and spiritual aspects. Palliative care is applicable to people of all ages and can be introduced at any point along the path of the disease.
Communication
Communication is an essential component of the provision of palliative care. When caring for people with complex and life-threatening conditions, good communication is important, especially when bad news needs to be conveyed or difficult treatment decisions need to be made. Communication is key when circumstances are uncertain or when distress and strong emotions arise.

Communication is a method of:

Enable therapeutic relationships with patients and families.
Ensure that the patient and family are key components in making care decisions.
Allow for effective inter-professional or inter-institutional teamwork
Optimization of comfort and quality of life
People receiving palliative care suffer not only from the physical symptoms of their condition, but also from the psychological, spiritual and social aspects. Optimizing people’s quality of life is a dynamic process involving recognition, anticipation, evaluation, and ongoing response to a variety of complex symptoms and needs. The process needs to be done proactively to alleviate suffering.

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