Four dimensions for the provision of end-of-life care by clinicians were identified from a review and synthesis of the Canadian family physician and palliative care literatures. These dimensions are: clinician-patient continuity, timing and location of care, community-centred services, and multidisciplinary care. Indicators of each dimension are presented along with criteria for indicator selection. The analytic framework was refined during the linkage of population-based administrative databases to identify patterns of family physician service provision in the last months of life for persons dying from cancer in Nova Scotia, Canada. Data analysis was framed to inform palliative care policy and programs, as well as to enable comparison among geographic areas within and beyond Canada.