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Integrating Palliative Approaches to Care in the Inner City

Using participatory approaches, the project combines inquiry and action to support the integration of a palliative approach into Inner City settings with those working in housing, outreach, shelters, and community health clinics.

Study description

Current models of palliative care have largely not been designed to serve populations made vulnerable by poverty, homelessness, and discrimination. For those people, death and dying, while sometimes occurring in specialized palliative care settings, is more likely to occur in acute care, or, people die alone, outdoors, on the street or in vehicles, or in shelters or transitional housing cared for by workers who are highly compassionate but have limited training, resources, and support to ensure quality palliative care. These service providers are in the best position to identify, support, provide, and facilitate access to palliative approaches to care for vulnerable cancer patients because of their proximity to, and established and trusting relationships. Building on our previous research and aligning with an initiative led by Dr. Stajduhar on integration of palliative approaches to care across populations and sectors ( we will use participatory research approaches to enable housing, health, and social service providers from two inner city organizations to integrate a palliative approach into their work.

Research objective

The goal of iPAC-IC is to capacitate inner city providers to integrate a palliative approach to care for their clients living with chronic life-limiting conditions, including cancer. This means adapting principles of palliative care (i.e., alleviation of symptoms, advance care planning, psychosocial support, quality of life) to reflect the expertise and resources of social care providers, and embed these principles into care provision where people live in the community.


Stajduhar, K.I., Giesbrecht, M., Mollison, A., & d’Archangelo, M. (2020). “Everybody in this community is at risk of dying”: An ethnographic exploration on the potential of integrating a palliative approach to care among workers in inner city settings. Palliative & Supportive Care, 7, 1-6. 

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