Environmental scan summary

To identify Australian resources relating to palliative care and end of life, the project team conducted a desktop environmental scan in September 2022. The focus of this desktop search was to identify practical resources and background reports that could inform care and service practices. Two interrelated approaches were undertaken. 

First, web-based searches using “palliative care” and “end of life” were conducted using the Advanced search feature of Google. This advanced option offers the ability to limit a search to information held on websites with specific characteristics. The following specific limits were applied.

  • Australia was selected from the Region drop down box
  • Retrievals were restricted to English

The first 50 retrievals for each search were screened to see if they dealt with palliative care or end of life within an aged care context. Where the item was simply a description of palliative care being offered in an aged care service, it was excluded.  To be included items needed to be:

  • Product, resource, tool dealing with palliative care or end of life in an aged care context
  • Accessible online
  • Free to use
  • Created since 2010
  • Able to be used in Australia 
  • Based on evidence
  • Of an informative, educational or practical nature
  • From a reputable/authoritative source

Second, websites relevant to palliative care and/or end-of-life care were identified for specific searching. This included websites identified in the Google search as well as sites nominated by the Expert Advisory Group and major project sites funded through the National Palliative Care Program. Site search functions were used along with menu systems to identify resources dealing with palliative care or end of life in the aged care context. The websites individually searched were:

  • Advance Care Planning Australia
  • Advance Project
  • Aged Care Safety and Quality Commission
  • Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
  • CarerHelp
  • CareSearch
  • Dementia Australia
  • Department of Health and Aged Care
  • End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC)
  • Health Direct
  • National Ageing Research Institute (NARI)
  • Palliative Aged Care Outcomes Program (PACOP)
  • Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative
  • palliAGED
  • Palliative Care Australia

Over 150 items were identified in the Google Advanced searches with 17 meeting the inclusion criteria and being added as a resource. The search of the nominated websites identified a further 43 items which have been added to the resources for palliative care and end of life. Item types include toolkits, guidance, videos, and e-learning modules for use by staff in both home and residential aged care.  Regularly scheduled scans for new resources will also ensure the content is kept up to date. 

The environmental scan search process was repeated in May 2023 to find resources produced since July 2022. The project team will continue to repeat this process at scheduled intervals to ensure the resource content for palliative care and end of life remains up to date.

You can download the full environmental scan summary report below.