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Bausewein, Claudia ORCID: 0000-0002-0958-3041; Hodiamont, F.; Berges, N.; Ullrich, A.; Gerlach, C.; Oechsle, K.; Pauli, B.; Weber, J.; Stiel, S.; Schneider, N.; Krumm, N.; Rolke, R.; Gebel, C.; Jansky, M.; Nauck, F.; Wedding, U.; Oorschot, B. van; Roch, C.; Werner, L.; Fischer, M.; Schallenburger, M.; Reuters, M. C.; Schwartz, J.; Neukirchen, M.; Gülay, A.; Maus, K.; Jaspers, B.; Radbruch, L.; Heckel, M.; Klinger, I.; Ostgathe, C.; Kriesen, U.; Junghanß, C.; Lehmann, E.; Gesell, D.; Gauder, S.; Boehlke, C.; Becker, G.; Pralong, A.; Strupp, J.; Leisse, C.; Schloesser, K.; Voltz, R.; Jung, N.; Simon, S. T. (2022): National strategy for palliative care of severely ill and dying people and their relatives in pandemics (PallPan) in Germany - study protocol of a mixed-methods project. BMC Palliative Care, 21: 10. ISSN 1472-684X

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In the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, general and specialist Palliative Care (PC) plays an essential role in health care, contributing to symptom control, psycho-social support, and providing support in complex decision making. Numbers of COVID-19 related deaths have recently increased demanding more palliative care input. Also, the pandemic impacts on palliative care for non-COVID-19 patients. Strategies on the care for seriously ill and dying people in pandemic times are lacking. Therefore, the program ‘Palliative care in Pandemics’ (PallPan) aims to develop and consent a national pandemic plan for the care of seriously ill and dying adults and their informal carers in pandemics including (a) guidance for generalist and specialist palliative care of patients with and without SARS-CoV-2 infections on the micro, meso and macro level, (b) collection and development of information material for an online platform, and (c) identification of variables and research questions on palliative care in pandemics for the national pandemic cohort network (NAPKON).

Mixed-methods project including ten work packages conducting (online) surveys and qualitative interviews to explore and describe i) experiences and burden of patients (with/without SARS-CoV-2 infection) and their relatives, ii) experiences, challenges and potential solutions of health care professionals, stakeholders and decision makers during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The work package results inform the development of a consensus-based guidance. In addition, best practice examples and relevant literature will be collected and variables for data collection identified.

For a future “pandemic preparedness” national and international recommendations and concepts for the care of severely ill and dying people are necessary considering both generalist and specialist palliative care in the home care and inpatient setting.

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