General Practitioners and Palliative Care Study

Project Status

Chief Investigators
Joel Rhee, Nick Zwar, Sanjyot Vagholkar, Sarah Dennis, Andrew Broadbent, Geoff Mitchell


General Practitioners are ideally placed to provide support and medical care to patients with a terminal illness. However anecdotally and based on studies conducted in Australia and overseas, it seems that only a limited number of GPs are involved in providing palliative care and that the extent of their involvement is variable. The reason behind this is not well known.


This study aimed to determine the level of participation of Australian urban GPs in palliative care, and the main barriers facing them in providing this care.

Design and Method

The study was conducted as a cross-sectional postal survey of a random sample of 500 GPs from south-western and northern regions of Sydney between March and May 2007.

Main outcome measures included GPs' involvement in palliative care; personal and professional characteristics of the GPs related to the provision of palliative care; GPs' views on barriers to their involvement in palliative care; GPs' confidence levels across different issues in palliative medicine.

Key Publications

Rhee J, Zwar NA, Vagholkar S, Dennis S, Broadbent A, Mitchell G. Attitudes and barriers to involvement in Palliative Care by Australian urban General Practitioners. Journal of Palliative Medicine. In press 2008.