In Canada, about 50% of adults live with a chronic disease. For a majority of these incurable diseases, the end-of-life trajectory gradually evolves over several years, with frequent transitions between home, community care, hospitals and specialized palliative care facilities. The compassionate community approach provides an end-of-life health promotion perspective, capitalizing on a synergy between the life forces of the community and the health system. By providing support from palliative care in the clinic to the community and vice versa, continuity of care is ensured for the patient, and end-of-life learning is created with the community. Several hundred compassionate communities have been implemented and evaluated around the world, but this model remains relatively unknown in Canada, particularly in Francophone communities. Understanding how the location and effects of compassionate communities vary according to the characteristics of the communities in which they are located is important to inform the adaptation and scaling-up of compassionate communities in a diverse country like Canada.
The main objective of the proposed action-research project is to co-construct, implement and evaluate in a participatory manner two compassionate communities in the West Island and in the Centre-South neighbourhood of Montreal.