OBJECTIVE: To provide a narrative overview of the current knowledge on Last Aid Courses (LAC) and experiences from the implementation process in different countries.
BACKGROUND: Major challenges for public health palliative care include supporting all people who wish to die at home and educating the public about death, dying and palliative care. LAC commenced in 2015 in order to educate and empower citizens to participate in end-of-life care and to improve the public debate about death and dying. The International Last Aid project and the International Last Aid working group were established to provide and evaluate public palliative care education (PPCE) using LAC.
METHODS: A literature search in PubMed/Medline was performed and a narrative overview of the existing literature on LAC and PPCE is provided. In addition, experiences from the implementation process are presented.
CONCLUSIONS: An International Last Aid working group was established with representatives from different countries and national organisations. This group revises the curriculum and contents of LAC in regular intervals with the latest revision in October 2020. Scientific evaluation of LAC is coordinated by the international Last Aid Research Group Europe (LARGE). Work on LAC has commenced in 18 countries. The overall results show that LAC are feasible and very well accepted in many different countries and cultures. Adults, children, and other groups, such as hospital employees and police officers, have participated in LAC. LAC for citizens is also possible in an online course format that was established and tested during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientific work on the effects of LAC and cultural issues connected to LAC are ongoing in a number of countries. LAC are feasible and well accepted by citizens in different countries. The courses can contribute to a public debate on death, dying and palliative care and may contribute to empowering citizens in providing end-of-life care.