Costs of Family Caregiving in Palliative Care
The World Health Organisation has identified as one the most significant public health challenges facing the 21st century is the urgent need to develop new, cost-effective, models of palliative and end of life care to support rapidly ageing populations (WHO, 2007). Our taskforce focus directly aligns with the third Sustainable Development Goal, namely to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing at all ages and life stages. The number of people dying with palliative care need is rising rapidly in most developed countries; in New Zealand need for palliative care is predicted to double within the next 30 years (MoH, 2017). The development of new care models is limited by the lack of research regarding the economic dimensions of palliative care. Notably, current costing models only account for statutory service costs and do not factor in those costs incurred by family members, for which there are currently no reliable estimates. There are significant methodological challenges of researching in this area, requiring multidisciplinary consideration. It is therefore timely to bring together those with relevant and complementary expertise to work collaboratively to develop the future research agenda.
The Task Force is chaired by Clare Gardiner, Professor of Palliative Care, The University of Sheffield, UK and Merryn Gott, Professor of Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand