Integrated Hospital- and Home-Based Palliative Care for Cancer Patients in Vietnam: People-Centered Outcomes.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of pain and symptom management


washington; swedish


CONTEXT: Hospital-based palliative care (PC) linked to palliative home care is rarely accessible in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

OBJECTIVES: To study people-centered outcomes of a palliative home care team based at a major cancer center in Vietnam.

METHODS: The palliative home care team, consisting of at least one physician and one nurse, provided home PC when needed by patients of the cancer center who lived within 10 kilometers. A linguistically validated version of the African Palliative Outcomes Scale was integrated into standard clinical data collection. We retrospectively reviewed data from the 81 consecutive patients on prevalence and severity of pain and other types of physical, psycho-social, and spiritual suffering at the first home visit (baseline) and at the first follow-up visit and measured any differences.

RESULTS: There was great demand for palliative home care. From baseline to follow-up, there was significant improvement in pain regardless of the baseline severity of pain (p < 0.003). Among patients with severe pain, breathlessness, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, depression, or worry about illness at baseline, there was significant improvement (p < 0.001), and caregiver worry about the patient also improved significantly.

CONCLUSION: Integration of hospital- and home-based PC for cancer patients is feasible and improves people-centered outcomes at low cost in Vietnam. These data suggest that benefits to patients, their families, and the health care system can accrue from integration of PC at all levels in Vietnam and other LMICs.

Clinical Institute





Palliative Care