Palliative care for young adults with life-limiting conditions: public health recommendations

Karen A. Cook, Kim Bergeron

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To engage young adults (18-35 years of age) with life-limiting neuromuscular conditions, their parents, and health and community providers in the development of a public health approach to palliative care. A public health approach protects and improves health and wellness, maximises the quality of life when health cannot be restored and improves the quality, scope and accessibility of age-appropriate care and services. Methods Group concept mapping (GCM) was used to determine the most important priorities for these young adults. GCM involves three district phases: (1) brainstorming ideas, (2) sorting and rating ideas based on level of importance and (3) analysing and interpreting concepts maps. Online software was used to collect information for phases 1 and 2 and develop concept maps. In phase 3, a face-to-face workshop, participants analysed and interpreted the concept maps. The combination of online and face-to-face research activities offered the needed flexibility for participants to determine when and how to participate in this research. Results Through this three-phase patient engagement strategy, participants generated 64 recommendations for change and determined that improvements to programming, improvements to funding and creating a continuum of care were their most important priorities. Five subthemes of these three priorities and development of the concept map are also discussed. Conclusion This research demonstrates the unique perspectives and experiences of these young adults and offers recommendations to improve services to enhance their health and well-being. Further, these young adults were integral in the development of recommendations for system changes to match their unique developmental needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E256-E263
JournalBMJ Supportive and Palliative Care
Issue numbere2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul. 2022


  • chronic conditions
  • health care quality access and evaluation
  • palliative care
  • patient participation
  • transition to adult care
  • young adult


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