Kristina Podlesnik




Kristina Podlesnik


Saint Joseph Home, Celje









Educational program for psychological and spiritual aspects of holistic end of life and palliative care


Due to the specific historical circumstances the prevailing mentality of the people in Slovenia differs from the countries where the palliative care has been very well developed. In Slovenia there is also a lack of experts from the area of palliative care (apart of cancer structures which are well developed and organized).

At Saint Joseph Home we have been actively working in palliative care in nursing homes since 2008. Our focus has been primarily on the following areas: providing care for the residents of our nursing home and providing permanent education for all the employees who are because of the nature of their work, very often in contact with dying patients and their relatives.

Since 2014 we have organized different symposiums and educational seminars on regional and national level (the focus was on spiritual and psychological needs in holistic end of life and palliative care).

An educational program that educates and informs about the psychological and spiritual needs for all kind of patients and residents in homes for elderly people (also people with dementia) does currently not exist in Slovenia.

In order to determine how do medical staff and all the other employees, who are also working with dying patients, understand and recognize psychological and spiritual needs of patients and residents in homes for elderly people (also people with dementia) we will:

  • Establish the research team showing needs of end-of-life care
  • Adapt research tools and best practices from WHO and EAPC standard
  • Prepare a specifically targeted educational program which will treat the whole person in an interdisciplinary manner to enhance quality of life during challenging times.

Our research will be conducted on a sample which will provide enough data to allow interpretation of the current situation in nursing houses and other non-oncological settings, firstly  on a regional level.

Findings of our research will serve as a platform for developing educational program, which will enable people working in end-of-life and palliative care to face with psychological and spiritual needs of the dying persons and their families.

We also intend to connect our educational program with ongoing national program Step by Step, which is in the part that deals with spirituality in palliative care.