The Comox Valley Hospice Society was selected as the recipient of the 2013 BC Hospice Palliative Care Association’s Dr. Michael Downing Research Award at their annual conference.
The Hospice Society, in collaboration with the Comox Valley End of Life Resource Team, a group of end-of-life care providers who work together to enhance care in the community, came together with a mission to assess the awareness and status of hospice palliative care for people in the Comox Valley.
The group determined that both a qualitative and quantitative research approaches would yield the most complete picture. They completed a Gap Analysis using the accreditation Standards and launched two internet surveys — one for the general public and one for health care professionals.
In addition, a survey specifically targeted to physicians’ was fielded.
The survey results validated the existing concerns of care providers and members of the community highlighting the gaps in access and care for the Comox Valley. The surveys attempted to look at end-of life care from a patient satisfaction perspective — focusing on the quality of death rather than the location of death — as is so often the measure used by the health authorities.
It is anticipated that this approach can be replicated in communities across Vancouver Island as they seek to make the case to the health authority that programs and service outside of the Capital Health Region must be enhanced and more appropriately resourced.
“Where you live should not be the determinant of the quality of the end-of-life care you receive,” noted Terri Odeneal, executive director of the Comox Valley Hospice Society.
Dr. Michael Downing of Victoria Hospice is a long-standing champion of hospice palliative care research. He commended the Comox Valley Hospice Society and the collaboration of care providers in the Comox Valley for their work.
— Comox Valley Hospice Society