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SAGE Palliative Medicine & Chronic Care

Aug 23, 2022

This episode features Dr Sofia Morberg Jämterud (Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden) and Anna Sandgren (Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden).

Serious illness conversations promote patients’ possibility of receiving care that is in accordance with their wishes and priorities. Identifying patients for serious illness conversations remains difficult even when palliative care needs are identified.

Identification of patients for serious illness conversations is a process influenced by a multitude of factors, such as the patients’ palliative care needs, continuity in patient–professional relations and continuity of staff. Highlights the hesitation of non-palliative care professionals in identifying the patients for serious illness conversations due to existential and ethical concerns, such as fear of taking away hope.

Identifying patients for serious illness conversations is a complex process involving several factors and is not limited to using generic tools, such as the surprise question. Identifying the right patient at the right time involves existential and ethical concerns which may impact healthcare professionals’ willingness to identify patients and offer serious illness conversations. Further research is needed on how health care professionals’ values and attitudes influence the identification process.

Full paper available from:

If you would like to record a podcast about your published (or accepted) Palliative Medicine paper, please contact Dr Amara Nwosu: