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Palliative Care Resources

Palliative Care Resources

Guide to the Treatment of Cancer Pain in South Africa

Download the Guide to the Treatment of Cancer Pain in South Africa; 2015

SA Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool (SPICTTM-SA)

The South African National Policy Framework and Strategy on Palliative Care (NPFSP) recommends that when integrating palliative care into the health system, a palliative care indicators tool should be used to guide doctors and other clinicians to recognise those patients who should receive palliative care.

Although there are international tools that may assist in identifying patients who require palliative care, these tools do not always capture the disease profile of the South African context.

A stepwise Delphi process was conducted to develop a local tool, SPICTTM-SA. In the stepwise approach an expert advisory group felt that it was essential to state clearly, especially for developing countries, that ‘this tool is for deteriorating patients with an advanced life-limiting illness where all available and appropriate management for underlying illnesses and reversible complications has been offered’. The expert advisory group also felt that disease specific indicators should be described before the general indicators in the South African indicators tool, so that all users of the tool orientate themselves to the disease categories first. This was done to ensure patients are assessed and managed according to best curative care guidelines.

This study included 3 new domains to address the South African context: trauma, infectious diseases, and haematological disease.

General indicators for palliative care aligned with the original SPICT tool and were unchanged. The next step is to validate this tool in the clinical context.

For any questions or comments on this tool, please contact

Supportive & Palliative Care Indicators Tool

The SPICT is used to help us identify people at risk of deteriorating health due to one or more advanced conditions for holistic, palliative care needs assessment and care planning.