EURO SENTIMELC - Monitor End-of-Life Care within Europe via GPs (FWO)
Background & aims
Since 2005, a nationwide mortality follow-back study has been set up in Belgium and the Netherlands aimed at monitoring care patients receive during the last phase of life. To measure on a population-based level across patient groups and care settings, a collaboration was set up with the nationwide Sentinel Network of General Practitioners in both countries. These networks have proved to be a reliable surveillance system for a wide variety of health-related epidemiological data for several decades. As general practice is highly accessible for patients often until the very end of life in both Belgium and the Netherlands, the GP can provide a good public health perspective on end-of-life care and dying.
In both countries, the Sentinel Network of GPs yearly covers between 1% and 2% of the total patient population and is representative of all GPs in the country in terms of age, sex and geographical distribution. The Belgian Scientific Institute of Public Health (IPH) and NIVEL (the Netherlands Institute of Health Services Research) acted as coordinators of the respective national Sentinel Networks.
All participating Sentinel GPs were asked to fill in a short registration form on the care the deceased received in the last phase of life. This was done for all patients of the GP’s practice aged one year or more at the time of death. Over the subsequent registration years different aspects of end-of-life care and the dying process were covered.
In 2009, Italy joined the SentiMelc study group, as did Spain in 2010, and the study group EUROSENTIMELC was born.
In these registration years, participating GPs reported on several aspects of how and in what circumstances patients are dying, such as places of care and death, care transitions and continuity of care, caregivers' involvement in patient care, quality of end-of-life care communication, quality of dying.
Click here to consult the list of EUROSENTIMELC publications
Please contact Lieve Van den Block (coordinator)