Cultural Challenges in Implementing Palliative Care Services in Jordan

Khaled Khader*

Cultural Challenges in Implementing Palliative Care Services in Jordan

Palliative care in Jordan is considered to be advanced in comparison to that of other Middle
East countries. According to Jordanian leaders of palliative care, Jordan is not different from
advanced countries in applying principles and approaches of palliative care.

There are many cultural challenges hinder provision of these services.
First, fear of addiction by patients, family and healthcare providers prevent
them from providing adequate pain management.

Second, lack of adequate knowledge regarding pain management among healthcare providers is also
a great challenge. In addition, health policies and inadequacy of palliative services make the
problem worse. Third, fear of family and physician to refer patients to palliative care as it is
considered to be failure of treatment.

Fourth, lack of family participation in most medical and end-of-life decisions
deprive patients from receiving proper palliative care.

Finally, religious misconceptions force patient to suffer pain to an intolerable
level and prevent them from seeking immediate medical help.

To overcome these challenges, it is recommended to improve
palliative health policy at national level, include palliative
care materials in health curriculum, raise public awareness of palliative care,
and provide more opportunities for palliative training and research.

Jordan has 4,600 new adult cancer cases per year.
More than 60% of all the present cases cancer are received in a late stage
which severely need palliative care.

Palliative and hospice care were first provided by a non-governmental organization,
the Al-Malath Foundation. It provided palliative care services to a limited
number of patients in the capital of Jordan.

Palliat Med Hosp Care Open J. 2017; SE(1): S68-S72. doi: 10.17140/PMHCOJ-SE-1-114