Practitioner psychologists in palliative care: past, present, and future directions

Golijani-Moghaddam, Nima (2014) Practitioner psychologists in palliative care: past, present, and future directions. Counselling Psychology Review, 29 (1). pp. 29-40. ISSN 0269-6975


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Content & Focus: This article considers the role (and potential roles) of practitioner psychologists in
contributing to specialist palliative care in the UK, as developed from modern hospice care. Consideration
of psychologist roles is situated within an analysis of the current and historical context of palliative care –
permitting some suggestions for future development of roles and broader predictions. The article is structured
chronologically and examines three key foci across time. The first of these foci concerns cultural and theoretical
conceptualisations of death and dying, which influence caring practices and provide a framework for
psychological understanding. The second key focus is the development of palliative care as a specialism – and
the provision of psychological support within this specialism. The third key focus is the roles and
responsibilities of practitioner psychologists: as potential contributors to theory and practice of palliative care.
Conclusions: Despite the centrality of psychological support to the ethos of palliative care, psychologists have
historically had little involvement in (or influence on) its delivery. Recent policy guidance in palliative care
explicitly recognises the particular competencies of counselling psychologists, and identifies ways in which they
can contribute to multidisciplinary palliative care, across all levels of psychological need for the dying and
their carers in hospice, hospital and community settings.

Keywords:Palliative care, end-of-life care, clinical psychology, counselling psychology, bmjnyp, NotOAChecked
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B940 Counselling
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B701 Palliative Care Nursing
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:13327
Deposited On:11 Feb 2014 08:20

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