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Call for papers - Cultural considerations in palliative care

Guest Editors

Qiaohong Guo, PhD, Capital Medical University, China 
Catheryn S. Koss, JD, PhD, Sacramento State University, USA
Rebecca Jane Wright, PhD, BSc (Hons), RN, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, USA

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 20 February 2025

BMC Palliative Care is calling for submissions to its Collection on Cultural considerations in palliative care. This Collection will highlight the importance of cultural competence in providing patient-centered end-of-life care. It will delve into cross-cultural perspectives on death, family dynamics, ethical considerations, barriers to access, and cultural adaptation of interventions. Additionally, it will address the unique cultural aspects in pediatric palliative care, intersectionality, cultural rituals and bereavement practices, and healthcare policy implications. By examining these themes, the Collection aims to enhance understanding and promote culturally sensitive approaches in palliative care delivery, ensuring equitable access and compassionate care for individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.

New Content ItemThis Collection supports and amplifies research related to SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Qiaohong Guo, PhD, Capital Medical University, China 

Dr Qiaohong Guo is a full professor of Nursing at Capital Medical University. She received her PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the United States and completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at CancerCare Manitoba and the University of Manitoba in Canada. Her research focuses on psychosocial support in oncology palliative care, family-based intervention development and evaluation, and pediatric palliative care. Her work was funded by prestigious fundings such as the National Social Science Foundation of China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. She serves on the editorial board and as a reviewer for several international journals.

Catheryn S. Koss, JD, PhD, Sacramento State University, USA

Catheryn Koss, JD, PhD, is a Gerontology Professor at Sacramento State University where she teaches courses on aging policy and research methods. Her research interests include advance care planning, diminished capacity, and elder abuse. Prior to earning her doctorate degree in Gerontology from the University of Kansas, Catheryn founded and served as Executive Director of the Senior Law Resource Center, a non-profit organization that provided elder law education and services to older adults and caregivers. She is a former Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging Fellow and an active member of the Gerontological Society of America.

Rebecca Jane Wright, PhD, BSc (Hons), RN, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, USA

Rebecca Wright is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON), working in health care since 2004. She was a nurse at St. Christopher’s Hospice, UK, earning her doctoral degree from the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London. Her program of research partners nationally and internationally with interprofessional, transdisciplinary and community-based teams, working with different populations to adapt and apply the experience-based co-design (EBCD) methodology to improve experiences of access and delivery to palliative and end-of-life care, and development and application of qualitative, participatory methodologies within a range of settings and conditions.

About the Collection

Optimal care for patients facing life-threatening illnesses should be individualized, reflecting each patient’s preferences and values, shaped not only by one’s physical needs—pain and symptom management—but also emotional, social, spiritual, and cultural ones. Understanding how cultural considerations such as beliefs, values, and traditions shape patients’ experiences of illness and death in clinical settings are essential in providing patient-centered and culturally sensitive palliative care. For instance, culture contributes to varying attitudes, preferences, perceptions, and experiences in treatment and care preferences—some may want more aggressive treatment options while others may opt for pain management. Different attitudes towards life support measures (for example, resuscitation, intubation) and location of death vary greatly across cultures, and groups' greater attitudes toward death, dying, and healthcare are similarly crucial in decision making processes. Finally, the role family and/or care partners play and the want for advance care planning in end-of-life care differ across populations.

With these considerations in mind, BMC Palliative Care is opening this Collection on Cultural considerations in palliative care, exploring the effectiveness and accessibility of palliative care services for all individuals. We are interested in but not limited to the following topics:

  • Cultural competence, humility, sensitivity, and/or safety in palliative care givers
  • Cross-cultural perspectives on death and dying
  • Family and/or care partner dynamics
  • Cultural influences on choosing place of death
  • Ethical considerations in cultural diversity
  • Barriers and facilitators to access and equity
  • Cultural adaptation of palliative care interventions
  • Cultural competence, humility, sensitivity, and/or safety in pediatric palliative care
  • Intersectionality and cultural identities of patients receiving palliative care
  • Cultural rituals and bereavement practices
  • Healthcare policy and cultural competence, humility, sensitivity, and/or safety
  • Efforts to decolonize palliative care

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There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select Cultural considerations in palliative care from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.