Strengthening a Palliative Approach in Long-term Care (SPA-LTC) is an approach to improving capacity for palliative care in long-term care settings. Our national team of health researchers developed SPA-LTC as an approach that draws together best practices in palliative care within long-term care settings across the globe.
Through pilot-testing in five Canadian provinces, our team has demonstrated that SPA-LTC resources are well-received by residents, families, and healthcare teams. We have also shown that implementing SPA-LTC has given long-term care residents, families, and care teams more confidence to support dying in long-term care.
In the next phase of our team’s research, we will trial the SPA-LTC model in 19 long-term care homes across three Canadian provinces. Out of respect for the changes and losses the long-term care sector faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily suspended active research in long-term care beginning in March 2020.
We continue to actively promote a palliative approach to care by developing and sharing resources to support long-term care residents, families, and staff.
Through rigorous testing, we can develop better resources and strategies to support a palliative approach in long-term care.
The research conducted by our interprovincial team provides a significant amount of insight, but the research doesn’t need to stop here. A palliative approach to care that better addresses the needs of Canadian long-term care residents will be further developed through ongoing projects that build on existing knowledge.
Those who live and work in LTC have valuable knowledge to share. We value evidence from resident, family, and healthcare provider experience.
Sharing the knowledge gained from resident, family, and healthcare provider experience is an important way to foster change in Canada’s health system.
Through mindful collaboration between researchers and health system partners, we aim to promote quality care at the end of life as a national standard.
For maximum impact, the SPA-LTC program is rooted in evidence-based knowledge gained from local consultation, original research, and international collaboration.