Barriers and facilitators to national guideline implementation for palliative cancer care in a Danish cross-sectoral healthcare setting: A qualitative study of healthcare professionals' experiences

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Fulltext

    Final published version, 178 KB, PDF document

Objective: Patients with incurable cancer should receive general palliative care according to their needs, as provided through collaboration between hospital departments, municipalities, and general practices and as outlined in national guidelines. However, the implementation of general palliative care in Denmark has been inadequate. This study aimed to investigate the healthcare professionals' (HCPs') perceptions on barriers to and facilitators of the implementation of the Danish National Guideline (NG) for general palliative care. Methods: This descriptive, qualitative study was guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Qualitative focus group and individual interviews were conducted with 23 HCPs. The interview guide, coding, analysis, and reporting of findings were developed within the CFIR framework. Results: The main barriers to implementing NG were as follows: lack of knowledge about the NG, lack of an implementation plan, and insufficient communication and collaboration across sectors. Important facilitators were as follows: HCP motivation to meet palliative care needs, HCPs with special functions taking responsibility for incorporating NG into local guidelines, and the role of district nurses specialised in palliative care as opinion leaders providing security and continuity for the HCPs working in palliative care. Conclusions: To address the needs of patients with incurable cancer, greater efforts are required on implementing general palliative care. Although HCPs in our setting were motivated to improve NG implementation, financial resources and strategies are necessary to ensure sufficient knowledge uptake and accommodate identified barriers in order to translate the NG into practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere6267
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Psycho-Oncology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

    Research areas

  • barriers, cancer, CFIR, cross-sectoral collaboration, facilitators, implementation, national guidelines, oncology, palliative care, qualitative methods

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 376284213