Heiskanen, Tarja; Hamunen, Katri; Hirvonen, Outi
Palliative pain management is usually successful, if the medication is strengthened in a stepwise manner in accordance with pain intensity, and initiation of a strong opioid is not delayed. Finding of a sufficiently effective dose of the opioid drug with simultaneous management of adverse effects requires continuous pain assessment and patient monitoring. In many cases it is possible to enhance analgesia by supplementing the medication with an antidepressant or an antiepileptic along with the opioid and paracetamol or the analgesic. Palliative radiotherapy will relieve tissue injury pain caused by bone metastases and soft tissue tumors as well as pain due to the possible nerve entrapments caused by them.
An article about the growth of palliative care, a medical subspecialty that has been shown to improve patient outcomes such as symptom management, quality of life, and patient and family satisfaction with care.
... Families Take the Quiz What Is Palliative Care? Definition Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is ... or treatment. Follow Us What Is Palliative Care Definition Pediatric Palliative Care Disease Types Glossary FAQ How ...
Thompson, Lindsay A; Meinert, Elizabeth; Baker, Kimberly; Knapp, Caprice
Pain is common as a presenting complaint to outpatient and emergency departments for children, yet pain management represents one of the children's largest unmet needs. A child may present with acute pain for an intermittent issue or may have acute or chronic pain in the setting of chronic illness. The mainstay of treatment for pain uses a stepwise approach for pain management, such as set up by the World Health Organization. For children with life-limiting illnesses, the Institute of Medicine guidelines recommends referral upon diagnosis for palliative care, meaning that the child receives comprehensive services that include pain control in coordination with curative therapies; yet barriers remain. From the provider perspective, pain can be better addressed through a careful assessment of one's own knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The key components of pain management in children are multimodal, regardless of the cause of the pain.
Liossi, Christina; Anderson, Anna-Karenia; Howard, Richard F
Priority setting for healthcare research is as important as conducting the research itself because rigorous and systematic processes of priority setting can make an important contribution to the quality of research. This project aimed to prioritise clinical therapeutic uncertainties in paediatric pain and palliative care in order to encourage and inform the future research agenda and raise the profile of paediatric pain and palliative care in the United Kingdom. Clinical therapeutic uncertainties were identified and transformed into patient, intervention, comparison and outcome (PICO) format and prioritised using a modified Nominal Group Technique. Members of the Clinical Studies Group in Pain and Palliative Care within National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN)-Children took part in the prioritisation exercise. There were 11 clinically active professionals spanning across a wide range of paediatric disciplines and one parent representative. The top three research priorities related to establishing the safety and efficacy of (1) gabapentin in the management of chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics, (2) intravenous non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the management of post-operative pain in pre-schoolers and (3) different opioid formulations in the management of acute pain in children while at home. Questions about the long-term effect of psychological interventions in the management of chronic pain and various pharmacological interventions to improve pain and symptom management in palliative care were among the ‘top 10’ priorities. The results of prioritisation were included in the UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (DUETS) database. Increased awareness of priorities and priority-setting processes should encourage clinicians and other stakeholders to engage in such exercises in the future. PMID:28386399
... Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Palliative Care KidsHealth > For Parents > Palliative Care Print A A ... decisions about their child's care. Who Needs Palliative Care? Any child who has a serious, complex, or ...
... Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Palliative Care KidsHealth > For Parents > Palliative Care A A A ... decisions about their child's care. Who Needs Palliative Care? Any child who has a serious, complex, or ...
Hemming, Laureen; Maher, David
Pain is the major source of anxiety and distress at the end of life, particularly in cases of end-stage cancer. However, pain management is not always effective or effectively implemented. This article identifies several barriers to effective pain relief in terminal cancer--the complexity of pain; difficulties in physical, emotional and spiritual assessment; difficulties in the delivery of medication--that challenge the skills of all professionals involved in palliative care. There are no simple answers, but awareness of the breadth of the issues may help focus nurses' minds on the patient in every encounter.
Physical pain is well analysed by medical science, but still often neglected by the practicians. It is entangled with moral suffering at the end of life. The distinction between these two fundamental experiences is difficult but necessary for the care of patients. The concept of palliative care is far from being integrated by health professionals as well as by everybody, because it questions our finitude, the signification of life and human solidarity.
Joshi, Mandar; Chambers, William A
Pharmacological treatment forms the foundation of the management of pain in patients with advanced cancer. Although the majority of patients in the realm of palliative care can be provided with acceptable pain relief using the three-step WHO cancer pain guidelines, a significant minority still have pain that is not adequately controlled by conventional pharmacological management. Development of pain management strategies using a multidisciplinary input with appropriate and timely use of interventional pain management techniques can provide satisfactory pain relief for these patients, helping to reduce distress in the patient and their relatives during this difficult period. This clinical review aims to discuss the commonly used interventional techniques in pain management in palliative care. As patients with advanced cancer are the major recipients of palliative care services, the main focus of this article remains on pain management in advanced cancer. The use of central neuraxial blockade, autonomic blockade and peripheral nerve blocks are summarized.
Kumar, Senthil P
Objective: A common disorder requiring symptom palliation in palliative and end-of-life care is cancer. Cancer pain is recognized as a global health burden. This paper sought to systematically examine the extent to which there is an adequate scientific research base on cancer pain and its reporting characteristics in the palliative care journal literature. Materials and Methods: Search conducted in MEDLINE and CINAHL sought to locate all studies published in 19 palliative/ hospice/ supportive/ end-of-life care journals from 2009 to 2010. The journals included were: American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, BMC Palliative Care, Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care, End of Life Care Journal, European Journal of Palliative Care, Hospice Management Advisor, Indian Journal of Palliative Care, International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Internet Journal of Pain Symptom Control and Palliative Care, Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, Journal of Palliative Care, Journal of Palliative Medicine, Journal of Social Work in End-of-life and Palliative Care, Journal of Supportive Oncology, Palliative Medicine, Palliative and Supportive Care, and Supportive Care in Cancer. Journal contents were searched to identify studies that included cancer pain in abstract. Results: During the years 2009 and 2010, of the selected 1,569 articles published in the journals reviewed, only 5.86% (92 articles) were on cancer pain. Conclusion: While researchers in the field of palliative care have studied cancer pain, the total percentage for studies is still a low 5.86%. To move the field of palliative care forward so that appropriate guidelines for cancer pain management can be developed, it is critical that more research be reported upon which to base cancer pain therapy in an evidence-based palliative care model. PMID:21633623
Palliative care is treatment of the discomfort, symptoms, and stress of serious illness. It provides relief from distressing symptoms ... of the medical treatments you're receiving. Hospice care, care at the end of life, always includes ...
Johnston, Donna L.; Hentz, Tracy A.; Friedman, Debra L.
Pediatric palliative care provides benefit to children living with life-threatening or terminal conditions. Palliative care should be available to all seriously ill children. Palliative care includes the treatment of symptoms such as pain, nausea, dyspnea, constipation, anorexia, and sialorrhea. This care can occur in a variety of settings, from home to hospice to hospital, and must include bereavement care and follow up after the death of a child. There are many challenges in pediatric palliative care, but continued research into this important area of pediatrics will lead to improvements in the care of children with life-threatening illnesses. PMID:23118638
Chang, Victor T; Sorger, Brooke; Rosenfeld, Kenneth E; Lorenz, Karl A; Bailey, Amos F; Bui, Trinh; Weinberger, Lawrence; Montagnini, Marcos
Severe pain is highly prevalent, with rates of 40% to 70% in patients with advanced cancer, liver disease, heart failure, human immunodeficiency virus, and renal failure. Wide variations in pain assessment and reporting methods and the measurement of multiple symptoms should be addressed in future studies. Regarding psychological approaches, determining whether hypnotherapy or other individual psychotherapeutic interventions reduce pain and/or psychological distress in a palliative care population is difficult. Interest is increasing in the concept of demoralization syndromes and the role of posttraumatic stress disorder in modulating responses to pain at the end of life. We review evidence from multiple studies that the use of rehabilitative therapy improves functional status and pain control among patients with advanced cancer, and we raise the possibility that rehabilitation therapy will be helpful in patients with other advanced diseases. We summarize ongoing clinical trials of electronic order sets, clinical care pathways, and care management pathways to improve pain management in palliative care. Wagner's Chronic Illness Model provides a way of analyzing how healthcare systems can be changed to provide adequate and continuing pain management in palliative care. Much work remains to ensure that pain is recognized, treated, and monitored effectively.
Klein, Carsten; Lang, Ute; Bükki, Johannes; Sittl, Reinhard; Ostgathe, Christoph
Summary Patients with advanced life-limiting disease often suffer from symptoms that considerably impair their quality of life and that of their families. Palliative care aims to alleviate these symptoms by a multidimensional approach. Pharmacotherapy is an essential component. The objective of this review is to give an overview of symptom-oriented drug therapy for the most important symptoms in palliative care. Leading symptoms that affect quality of life include pain, dyspnea, nausea and emesis, weakness and disorientation. Careful examination and history taking help to understand the individual mechanisms underlying these symptoms. Specific pharmacotherapy provides an efficient way to achieve symptom control in the context of palliative care. PMID:21547023
Millions of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) in Asia need access to palliative care as part of a comprehensive response to their support needs. There are many causes of pain in HIV/AIDS, and its prevalence is as high if not higher than in cancer, but it is frequently undertreated. Access to adequate pain relief and palliative care is impeded by the barriers which face PLHA in Asia. These include few care and support services, lack of recognition and acknowledgement of pain in HIV/AIDS by health care professionals, widespread stigma and discrimination especially towards vulnerable groups such as injecting drug users, government regulatory mechanisms which make access to opioids even more difficult for the care services which have developed and a lack of understanding of or advocacy for pain relief and palliative care in the literature on HIV/AIDS care and support. During the growth of palliative care in Asia, there is opportunity for advocates of palliative care and care for PLHA to collaborate to influence national policy.
Paudel, Bishnu Dutta; Ryan, Karen M; Brown, Mary Skemp; Krakauer, Eric L; Rajagopal, M R; Maurer, Martha A; Cleary, James F
Globally, cancer incidence and mortality are increasing, and most of the burden is shifting to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where patients often present with late-stage disease and severe pain. Unfortunately, LMICs also face a disproportionate lack of access to pain-relieving medicines such as morphine, despite the medical and scientific literature that shows morphine to be effective to treat moderate and severe cancer pain. In 2008, an oncologist from Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, was selected to participate in the International Pain Policy Fellowship, a program to assist LMICs, to improve patient access to pain medicines. Following the World Health Organization public health model for development of pain relief and palliative care, the Fellow, working with colleagues and mentors, has achieved initial successes: three forms of oral morphine (syrup, immediate-release tablets, and sustained-release tablets) are now manufactured in the country; health-care practitioners are receiving training in the use of opioids for pain relief; and a new national palliative care association has developed a palliative care training curriculum. However, long-term implementation efforts, funding, and technical assistance by governments, philanthropic organizations, and international partners are necessary to ensure that pain relief and palliative care become accessible by all in need in Nepal and other LMICs.
A nurse clinician within a mobile pain and palliative care team carries out multiple activities. A philosophical approach and technical and relational skills are required, notably for the carrying out of second line consultations. This specific contribution means the nurse clinician plays an important role within the multidisciplinary team.
Comfort care; End of life - palliative care; Hospice - palliative care ... The goal of palliative care is to help people with serious illnesses feel better. It prevents or treats symptoms and side effects of disease and ...
Herndon, Christopher M; Strassels, Scott A; Strickland, Jennifer M; Kral, Lee A; Craig, David S; Nesbit, Suzanne Amato; Finley, Rebecca S; McPherson, Mary Lynn
Pain and symptoms related to palliative care (pain and palliative care [PPC]) are often undertreated. This is largely owing to the complexity in the provision of care and the potential discrepancy in education among the various health care professionals required to deliver care. Pharmacists are frequently involved in the care of PPC patients, although pharmacy education currently does not offer or require a strong curriculum commitment to this area of practice. The Strategic Planning Summit for the Advancement of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacy was convened to address opportunities to improve the education of pharmacists and pharmacy students on PPC. Six working groups were charged with objectives to address barriers and opportunities in the areas of student and professional assessment, model curricula, postgraduate training, professional education, and credentialing. Consensus was reached among the working groups and presented to the Summit Advisory Board for adoption. These recommendations will provide guidance on improving the care provided to PPC patients by pharmacists through integrating education at all points along the professional education continuum.
Collaborations in palliative care have helped to create a framework and identify preferred practices so the field of palliative care can grow. Teamwork designed in a transdisciplinary style is desired and provides whole-person, sensitive, and comprehensive care. In applying the basic key concepts and evidenced-based knowledge of palliative care, this article details one palliative care department's effort to create change, enhance the delivery of care, and build their palliative care practice. Creating collaborations and building partnerships were fundamental outcomes to improve the palliative care practice, increase transdisciplinary teamwork activities, and enhance the delivery of care in this organization.
... emotional distress. A special type of care called palliative care is available to help you get relief from these and other symptoms. You can receive palliative care at any stage of your serious illness, including ...
Thomas, Jay R; Cooney, Gail Austin; Slatkin, Neal E
Opioid analgesics are a cornerstone of pain therapy in the hospice and palliative care population. However, opioid-induced bowel dysfunction (OBD) is a commonly associated condition that frequently compromises the usefulness of these agents. Although its most common and debilitating symptom is constipation, the impact of OBD extends beyond constipation to encompass a myriad of gastrointestinal (GI) signs and symptoms, ranging from decreased gastric emptying and reflux to abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Even after aggressive therapies to improve bowel function have been implemented, many patients continue to experience symptoms of OBD. To avoid these unwanted effects, some even choose to decrease or discontinue therapy with opioid analgesics, and experience inadequate pain control. The net result of OBD is a seriously negative impact on quality of life (QOL). For these reasons, it is important that palliative care practitioners have an adequate understanding of normal GI function and the underlying mechanisms responsible for OBD, the burden of OBD in the context of appropriate and effective pain management, and the benefits provided by effective pharmacotherapy. Several real-world cases are discussed to illustrate the application of optimal symptom management and the use of strategies that minimize the effects of OBD and improve patient QOL.
Muir, J. Cameron; Krammer, Lisa M.; von Gunten, Charles F.
Describes the elements of a program in hospice and palliative medicine that may serve as a model of an effective system of physician education. Topics for the palliative-care curriculum include hospice medicine, breaking bad news, pain management, the process of dying, and managing personal stress. (JOW)
There exists support for euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (PAS) in cases of terminal cancer. One of the premises for this approach is the goal of the alleviation of suffering. Do current means of pain control in the greater overall setting of palliative care serve as a desirable alternative? A contrast comparison may be drawn between the above approaches using both theological and medical sources to show that the enlightened use of both interventional and non-interventional pain medicine approaches in an integrated palliative care setting are a theologically grounded and medically feasible alternative to euthanasia or PAS in this population. Lay summary: Patients suffering from terminal cancer often have pain. Some have advocated euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide as a potential way of alleviating this suffering. Further examination of this topic, however, shows this approach may be essentially utilitarian and fail to consider the inherent value of human life. There has been significant development in recent years in the fields of pain medicine and palliative care, which afford alternate means of addressing suffering in this patient population.
There exists support for euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (PAS) in cases of terminal cancer. One of the premises for this approach is the goal of the alleviation of suffering. Do current means of pain control in the greater overall setting of palliative care serve as a desirable alternative? A contrast comparison may be drawn between the above approaches using both theological and medical sources to show that the enlightened use of both interventional and non-interventional pain medicine approaches in an integrated palliative care setting are a theologically grounded and medically feasible alternative to euthanasia or PAS in this population. Lay summary: Patients suffering from terminal cancer often have pain. Some have advocated euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide as a potential way of alleviating this suffering. Further examination of this topic, however, shows this approach may be essentially utilitarian and fail to consider the inherent value of human life. There has been significant development in recent years in the fields of pain medicine and palliative care, which afford alternate means of addressing suffering in this patient population. PMID:25999611
Soden, Katie; Ali, Simone; Alloway, Lara; Barclay, David; Perkins, Paul; Barker, Stephanie
The aim of this qualitative study was to gain a better understanding of how nurses working on inpatient specialist palliative care units assess and manage breakthrough pain. Thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with fifteen nurses from five different specialist palliative care units in the UK was undertaken. Themes identified have been broadly categorized into four main areas: defining breakthrough pain, assessing breakthrough pain, managing breakthrough pain, and attitudes/teamwork. Nurses had difficulty defining breakthrough pain as a distinct pain subtype and were often unable to differentiate it from poorly controlled background pain. This study highlights significant training needs and suggests that the theoretical work and recently published consensus recommendations around breakthrough pain now need to be translated into day-to-day clinical practice.
Background A minority of patients with incurable and advanced disease receive specialised palliative care. Specialised palliative care services that complement the care of difficult and complex cases ought to be integrated with services that deliver general care for most patients. A typical setting in which this integrative concept takes place is the hospital setting, where patients suffering from incurable and advanced disease are treated in many different departments. The aim of the study is to investigate the profile and spectrum of a palliative care consultation service (PCCS) at a German university hospital with special reference to pain therapy. Methods We retrospectively analysed the PCCS documentation of three years. Results Most patients were referred from non-surgical departments, 72% were inpatients, and 28% were outpatients. 98% of the patients suffered from cancer. Counselling in pain therapy was one of the key aspects of the consultation: For 76% of all consulted patients, modifications of the analgesic regimen were recommended, which involved opioids in 96%. Recommendations on breakthrough-pain medication were made for 70% of the patients; this was an opioid in most cases (68%). The most commonly used opioid was morphine. For 17% of the patients, additional diagnostic procedures were recommended. Besides pain management palliative care consultation implied a wide range of recommendations and services: In addition to organising home care infrastructure, palliative care services supported patients and their families in understanding the life-limiting diseases. They also coordinated physical therapy and social and legal advice. Conclusion This survey clearly shows that for a consultation service to support patients with incurable or advanced disease, a multi-disciplinary approach is necessary to meet the complex requirements of a needs-adapted palliative care in inpatient or outpatient settings. Timely integration of palliative expertise may support
Smith, George P
Since the beginning of the hospice movement in 1967, "total pain management" has been the declared goal of hospice care. Palliating the whole person's physical, psychosocial, and spiritual states or conditions is central to managing the pain that induces suffering. At the end-stage of life, an inextricable component of the ethics of adjusted care requires recognition of a fundamental right to avoid cruel and unusual suffering from terminal illness. This Article urges wider consideration and use of terminal sedation, or sedation until death, as an efficacious palliative treatment and as a reasonable medical procedure in order to safeguard the "right" to a dignified death. Once the state establishes a human right to avoid refractory pain of whatever nature in end-stage illness, a coordinate responsibility must be assumed by health care providers to make medical judgments consistent with preserving the best interests of a patient's quality of life by alleviating suffering. The principle of medical futility is the preferred construct for implementing this professional responsibility. Rather than continue to be mired in the vexatious quagmire of the doctrine of double effect--all in an effort to "test" whether end-stage decisions by health care providers are licit or illicit--a relatively simple test of proportionality, or cost-benefit analysis, is proffered. Imbedded, necessarily, in this equation is the humane virtue of compassion, charity, mercy or agape. Assertions of state interest in safeguarding public morality by restricting intimate associational freedoms to accelerate death in a terminal illness are suspicious, if, indeed, not invalid. No terminally ill individual suffering from either intractable somatic or non-somatic pain, or both, should be forced to continue living.
Chung, T K; French, P; Chan, S
This article reviews a study of pain management and its barriers in Hong Kong. Using an interview technique, several measures were used to understand the level of concern in patients about pain, the patients' hesitancy in reporting pain, use of analgesics, and adequacy of medication for pain. A total of nine barriers were identified, which include "addiction," "tolerance," "side effects," "physician distraction," "good patient," "fear of injection," "time interval," "fatalism," and "disease progression." Thirty-nine interviews were carried out. The interviewees were all cancer patients with pain in a palliative setting in Hong Kong. When the findings in Taiwan and the United States were compared, it was found that the cancer patients in Hong Kong had a higher level of concern toward the patient-related barriers. It was also found that the level of concern was generally higher in the group with hesitancy in reporting pain and using analgesics. Last of all, this project also identified the educational needs of patients and health care workers in Hong Kong.
... treatment to end-of-life care is a key part of palliative care. A palliative care team can help patients and their loved ones prepare for physical changes that may occur near the end of life and address appropriate symptom management for this stage of care. The team can ...
Boersma, Isabel; Miyasaki, Janis; Kutner, Jean
Palliative care is an approach to the care of patients and families facing progressive and chronic illnesses that focuses on the relief of suffering due to physical symptoms, psychosocial issues, and spiritual distress. As neurologists care for patients with chronic, progressive, life-limiting, and disabling conditions, it is important that they understand and learn to apply the principles of palliative medicine. In this article, we aim to provide a practical starting point in palliative medicine for neurologists by answering the following questions: (1) What is palliative care and what is hospice care? (2) What are the palliative care needs of neurology patients? (3) Do neurology patients have unique palliative care needs? and (4) How can palliative care be integrated into neurology practice? We cover several fundamental palliative care skills relevant to neurologists, including communication of bad news, symptom assessment and management, advance care planning, caregiver assessment, and appropriate referral to hospice and other palliative care services. We conclude by suggesting areas for future educational efforts and research. PMID:24991027
Moody, Karen; Siegel, Linda; Scharbach, Kathryn; Cunningham, Leslie; Cantor, Rabbi Mollie
Progress in pediatric palliative care has gained momentum, but there remain significant barriers to the appropriate provision of palliative care to ill and dying children, including the lack of properly trained health care professionals, resources to finance such care, and scientific research, as well as a continued cultural denial of death in children. This article reviews the epidemiology of pediatric palliative care, special communication concerns, decision making, ethical and legal considerations, symptom assessment and management, psychosocial issues, provision of care across settings, end-of-life care, and bereavement. Educational and supportive resources for health care practitioners and families, respectively, are included.
Escutia Gutiérrez, Raymundo; Cortéz Álvarez, César R.; Álvarez Álvarez, Rosa M.; Flores Hernández, Jorge LV.; Gutiérrez Godínez, Jéssica; López Y López, José G.
Neither the purchase nor the distribution of pharmaceuticals in hospitals and community pharmacies in Mexico is under the care of pharmacists. Some are under control of physicians. This report presents the results of the implementation of somef pharmaceutical services for the Jalisco Pain Relief, and Palliative Care Institute (Palia Institute), under the direction of the Secretary of Health, Government of Jalisco. The services implemented were drug distribution system, Drug Information Service, Pharmacovigilance Program, and home pharmacotherapy follow-up pilot program for patients with advanced illness, with the ultimate using the appropriate medication. The drug distribution system included dispensing of opioid pain medications, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, NSAIDs, anxiolytic drugs, steroid drugs, laxatives, and anti-emetics. The frequently used drugs were morphine sulfate (62%), amitriptyline (6.4%), and dextropropoxyphene (5.8%). The Drug Information Service answered 114 consultations, mainly asked by a physician (71%) concerned with adverse drug reactions and contraindications (21%). The pharmacovigilance program identified 146 suspected adverse drug reactions and classified them reasonably as possible (27%), probable (69%), and certain (4%). These were attributed mainly to pregabalin and tramadol. The home pharmacotherapy follow-up pilot program cared patients with different cancer diagnoses and drug-related problems (DRP), which were identified and classified (according to second Granada Consensus) for pharmaceutical intervention as DRP 1 (5%), DRP 2 (10%), DRP 3 (14%), DRP 4 (19%), DRP 5 (24%), or DRP 6 (28%). This report provides information concerning the accurate use of medication and, above all, an opportunity for Mexican pharmacists to become an part of health teams seeking to resolve drug-related problems. PMID:25170355
This paper shows how palliative care developed as a reaction to the compartimentalized technical approach of modern medicine. But what does it mean if we say palliative care wants to treat patients as whole persons? A few pitfalls need to avoided. All disciplines involved in palliative care should act within the limits of their own specific professional role. Physicians and nurses should certainly not force patients into spiritual or religious discussions or practices. They should understand that religion and spirituality also influence the ethical (and thus medical) choices people make, respect their own conscience and worldview too and cultivate conscious compassion. PMID:21811369
Provinciali, Leandro; Tarquini, Daniela; De Falco, Fabrizio A; Carlini, Giulia; Zappia, Mario; Toni, Danilo
Palliative care in neurology is characterized by the need of taking into account some distinguishing features which supplement and often differ from the general palliative approach to cancer or to severe organ failures. Such position is emphasized by a new concept of palliative assistance which is not limited to the "end of life" stage, as it was the traditional one, but is applied along the entire course of progressive, life-limiting, and disabling conditions. There are various reasons accounting for a differentiation of palliative care in neurology and for the development of specific expertise; the long duration of the advanced stages of many neurological diseases and the distinguishing features of some clinical problems (cognitive disorders, psychic disorders, etc.), in addition to the deterioration of some general aspects (nutrition, etc.), make the general criteria adopted for cancer, severe respiratory, hepatic or renal failures and heart failure inadequate. The neurological diseases which could benefit from the development of a specific palliative approach are dementia, cerebrovascular diseases, movement disorders, neuromuscular diseases, severe traumatic brain injury, brain cancers and multiple sclerosis, as well as less frequent conditions. The growing literature on palliative care in neurology provides evidence of the neurological community's increasing interest in taking care of the advanced and terminal stages of nervous system diseases, thus encouraging research, training and updating in such direction. This document aims to underline the specific neurological requirements concerning the palliative assistance.
Lohman, Diederik; Amon, Joseph J
Palliative care has been defined as care that is person-centered and attentive to physical symptoms and psychological, social, and existential distress in patients with severe or life-threatening illness. The identification of access to palliative care and pain treatment as a human rights issue first emerged among palliative care advocates, physicians, and lawyers in the 1990s, with a basis in the right to health and the right to be free from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Using a case study approach, we evaluate the results of a human rights-based advocacy approach on access to pain medicine and palliative care in India, Kenya, and Ukraine. In each country, human rights advocacy helped raise awareness of the issue, identify structural barriers to care, define government obligations, and contribute to the reform of laws, policies, and practices impeding the availability of palliative care services. In addition, advocacy efforts stimulated civil society engagement and high-level political leadership that fostered the implementation of human rights-based palliative care programs. Globally, access to palliative care was increasingly recognized by human rights bodies and within global health and drug policy organizations as a government obligation central to the right to health.
Klick, Jeffrey C; Hauer, Julie
Palliative care has always been a part of the care of children. It includes any intervention that focuses on relieving suffering, slowing the progression of disease, and improving quality of life at any stage of disease. In addition, for even the child with the most unpredictable disease, there are predictable times in this child's life when the child, family, and care team will be suffering in ways that can be mitigated by specific interventions. Rather than defining pediatric palliative care in terms of a patient base, severity of disease, or even a general philosophy of care, palliative care can best be understood as a specific set of tasks directed at mitigating suffering. By understanding these tasks; learning to identify predictable times and settings of suffering; and learning to collaborate with multidisciplinary specialists, use communication skills, and identify clinical resources, the pediatrician can more effectively support children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. In this article, we define palliative care as a focus of care integrated in all phases of life and as a set of interventions aimed at easing suffering associated with life-threatening conditions. We detail an approach to these interventions and discuss how they can be implemented by the pediatrician with the support of specialists in hospice and palliative medicine. We discuss common and predictable times of suffering when these interventions become effective ways to treat suffering and improve quality of life. Finally, we discuss those situations that pediatricians most commonly and intensely interface with palliative care-the care of the child with complex, chronic conditions and severe neurologic impairment (SNI).
Gatrad, Rashid; Panesar, Sukhmeet Singh; Brown, Erica; Notta, Hardev; Sheikh, Aziz
This article provides an overview of the palliative care needs of Sikh patients. It describes the basis of Sikh beliefs and practices and discusses practical aspects of caring for terminally ill Sikh patients and their families. Issues before and after death are considered and the importance of an individual approach is highlighted.
... Health Agencies Delivering Palliative Care in the Community Virtual Office Hour Bob Parker, DNP, RN, CENP, CHPN ... Members Only) Palliative Care Models in the Community Virtual Office Hour John Morris, MD, FAAHPM April 18, ...
Groenvold, Mogens; Adsersen, Mathilde; Hansen, Maiken Bang
Aims The aim of the Danish Palliative Care Database (DPD) is to monitor, evaluate, and improve the clinical quality of specialized palliative care (SPC) (ie, the activity of hospital-based palliative care teams/departments and hospices) in Denmark. Study population The study population is all patients in Denmark referred to and/or in contact with SPC after January 1, 2010. Main variables The main variables in DPD are data about referral for patients admitted and not admitted to SPC, type of the first SPC contact, clinical and sociodemographic factors, multidisciplinary conference, and the patient-reported European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionaire-Core-15-Palliative Care questionnaire, assessing health-related quality of life. The data support the estimation of currently five quality of care indicators, ie, the proportions of 1) referred and eligible patients who were actually admitted to SPC, 2) patients who waited <10 days before admission to SPC, 3) patients who died from cancer and who obtained contact with SPC, 4) patients who were screened with European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionaire-Core-15-Palliative Care at admission to SPC, and 5) patients who were discussed at a multidisciplinary conference. Descriptive data In 2014, all 43 SPC units in Denmark reported their data to DPD, and all 9,434 cancer patients (100%) referred to SPC were registered in DPD. In total, 41,104 unique cancer patients were registered in DPD during the 5 years 2010–2014. Of those registered, 96% had cancer. Conclusion DPD is a national clinical quality database for SPC having clinically relevant variables and high data and patient completeness. PMID:27822111
Lilly, Evan J; Senderovich, Helen
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the only major worldwide cause of mortality that is currently increasing in prevalence. Furthermore, COPD is incurable, and the only therapy that has been shown to increase survival is oxygen therapy in selected patients. Compared to patients with cancer, patients with COPD experience similar levels of pain, breathlessness, fatigue, depression, and anxiety and have a worse quality of life but have comparatively little access to palliative care. When these patients do receive palliative care, they tend to be referred later than patients with cancer. Many disease, patient-, and provider-related factors contribute to this phenomenon, including COPD's unpredictable course, misperceptions of palliative care among patients and physicians, and lack of advance care planning discussions outside of crisis situations. A new paradigm for palliative care would introduce palliative treatments alongside, rather than at the exclusion of disease-modifying interventions. This integrated approach would circumvent the issue of difficult prognostication in COPD, as any patient would receive individualized palliative interventions from the time of diagnosis. These points will be covered in this review, which discusses the challenges in providing palliative care to COPD patients, the strategies to mitigate the challenges, management of common symptoms, and the evidence for integrated palliative care models as well as some suggestions for future development.
Fainsinger, R. L.; Bruera, E.; MacMillan, K.
PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED: Access to palliative care in Edmonton has been hampered by uneven development, poor distribution of services, and more recently, economic restraints. Family physicians' involvement in palliative care has been hindered by the variety of access points, poor coordination, and inadequate reimbursement for time-consuming and difficult patient care situations. OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM: To provide high-quality palliative care throughout Edmonton in all settings, with patients able to move easily throughout the components of the program; to lower costs by having fewer palliative care patients die in acute care facilities; and to ensure that family physicians receive support to care for most patients at home or in palliative care units. MAIN COMPONENTS OF PROGRAM: The program includes a regional office, home care, and consultant teams. A specialized 14-bed palliative care unit provides acute care. Family physicians are the primary caregivers in the 56 palliative continuing care unit beds. CONCLUSIONS: This program appears to meet most of the need for palliative care in Edmonton. Family physicians, with support from consulting teams, have a central role. Evaluation is ongoing; an important issue is how best to support patients dying at home. Images p1984-a p1986-a PMID:9386885
The implementation of paediatric palliative care aims to fulfil objectives regarding the support provided for the child and his/her family in all aspects of care. It is guided by regulations and recommendations relating to pain relief, quality of life and support for families.
Labson, Margherita C; Sacco, Michele M; Weissman, David E; Gornet, Betsy; Stuart, Brad
The focus of palliative care is to alleviate pain and suffering for patients, potentially while they concurrently pursue life-prolonging or curative therapy. The potential breadth of palliative care is recognized by the Medicare program, but the Medicare hospice benefit is narrowly defined and limited to care that is focused on comfort and not on cure. Any organization or setting that has been accredited or certified to provide health care may provide palliative care. Home health agencies are highly attuned to patients' need for palliative care, and often provide palliative care for patients who are ineligible for hospice or have chosen not to enroll in it. Two home health-based programs have reported improved patient satisfaction, better utilization of services, and significant cost savings with palliative care. Moving the focus of care from the hospital to the home and community can be achieved with integrated care and can be facilitated by changes in government policy.
Ferrell, Betty; Koczywas, Marianna; Grannis, Fred; Harrington, Annie
Advancements in the surgical and medical treatment of lung cancer have resulted in more favorable short-term survival outcomes. After initial treatment, lung cancer requires continued surveillance and follow-up for long-term side effects and possible recurrence. The integration of quality palliative care into routine clinical care of patients with lung cancer after surgical intervention is essential in preserving function and optimizing quality of life through survivorship. An interdisciplinary palliative care model can effectively link patients to the appropriate supportive care services in a timely fashion. This article describes the role of palliative care for patients with lung cancer.
“If you want to travel quickly, go alone. But if you want to travel far, you must go together”. African proverb. The delivery of palliative care is often complex and always involves a group of people, the team, gathered around the patient and those who are close to them. Effective communication and functional responsive systems of care are essential if palliative care is to be delivered in a timely and competent way. Creating and fostering an effective team is one of the greatest challenges for providers of palliative care. Teams are organic and can be life giving or life sapping for their members. PMID:21811361
Notes that role of psychologist on palliative care unit is to be there for terminally ill, their friends, and their families, both during the dying and the bereavement and for the caregiver team. Focuses on work of decoding ordinary words which for many patients hide painful past. Stresses necessity to remain open to unexpected. (Author/NB)
Restau, Jame; Green, Pamela
Most patients who receive terminal care in the intensive care setting die after withdrawing or limiting of life-sustaining measures provided in the intensive care setting. The integration of palliative care into the intensive care unit (ICU) provides care, comfort, and planning for patients, families, and the medical staff to help decrease the emotional, spiritual, and psychological stress of a patient's death. Quality measures for palliative care in the ICU are discussed along with case studies to demonstrate how this integration is beneficial for a patient and family. Integrating palliative care into the ICU is also examined in regards to the complex adaptive system.
"Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." (Victor Hugo) Originally referring to the beginning of the enlightenment (reconnaissance) of the French revolution the transcription of this words regarding to German palliative Care structures would mean a tremendous effort. The meaning of the new idea is a holistic kind of care for patients with a chronic disease at the end of their lives, so that they can die as most self determined as possible at a location of their choice. The special aim of palliative care, the need of interdisciplinary cooperation leading to multidisciplinary solutions is pointed out. The meaning of palliative care team as a team with special communication skills in between the team and with further cooperating partners is described. Communication in palliative care means more than telling facts.
Codeine is designated as one of the essential medicines of palliative care for symptoms such as pain and diarrhea. Essential drugs for palliative care are drugs that are effective for the treatment of common symptoms in palliative medicine, easily available, and are affordable. Codeine is recommended for the management of mild to moderate pain and is available as a combination product or as a stand-alone opioid. It is a prodrug and exhibits an affinity to micro-opioid receptors 200 times lower than morphine. Codeine is metabolized in the liver to inactive metabolites, which account for 90 percent of the transformed product, and morphine, which accounts for 10 percent of the transformed product and provides the main analgesic effect. The production of morphine is dependent on cytochrome oxidase 2D6 enzyme activity, which may not be fully active in some populations. The purpose of this review is to examine the efficacy of codeine for common symptoms encountered in palliative medicine, which has led to its designation as an essential medicine for palliative care.
This essay is a reflection on the multidisciplinary team in palliative care, from the perspective of a final year MBBS student from the UK spending one month with an Indian pain and palliative care team at Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital (IRCH), AIIMS, New Delhi.
1. Cervical cancer is the most frequent cancer in females and also the most frequent among female genital cancers. 2. Ever though the modality of diagnostic procedures for early detection has improved, in fact most of the patients present in the late stages, so the disease is already incurable, and palliative care is really needed. 3. Palliative care is needed not only for the terminally ill patients, but can be started at the time the cancer is diagnosed. 4. Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach requiring teamwork. 5. Palliative care in Indonesia, especially in Dr. Soetomo Hospital, is a new modality in the fight against cancer, so we suffer many disadvantages, e.g., disability, limitation, lack of experience. However, such problems will stimulate the team to learn more.
Downing, J; Kiman, R; Boucher, S; Nkosi, B; Steel, B; Marston, C; Lascar, E; Marston, J
The International Children's Palliative Care Network held its second international conference on children's palliative care in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from the 18th-21st May 2016. The theme of the conference was 'Children's Palliative Care…. Now!' emphasising the need for palliative care for children now, as the future will be too late for many of them. Six pre-conference workshops were held, addressing issues connected to pain assessment and management, adolescent palliative care, ethics and decision-making, developing programmes, the basics of children's palliative care, and hidden aspects of children's palliative care. The conference brought together 410 participants from 40 countries. Plenary, concurrent, and poster presentations covered issues around the status of children's palliative care, genetics, perinatal and neonatal palliative care, the impact of children's palliative care and the experiences of parents and volunteers, palliative care as a human right, education in children's palliative care, managing complex pain in children, spiritual care and when to initiate palliative care. The 'Big Debate' explored issues around decision-making and end of life care in children, and gave participants the opportunity to explore a sensitive and thought provoking topic. At the end of the conference, delegates were urged to sign the Commitment of Buenos Aires which called for governments to implement the WHA resolution and ensure access to palliative care for neonates, children and their families, and also commits us as palliative care providers to share all that we can and collaborate with each other to achieve the global vision of palliative care for all children who need it. The conference highlighted the ongoing issues in children's palliative care and participants were continually challenged to ensure that children can access palliative care NOW.
Downing, J; Kiman, R; Boucher, S; Nkosi, B; Steel, B; Marston, C; Lascar, E; Marston, J
The International Children’s Palliative Care Network held its second international conference on children’s palliative care in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from the 18th–21st May 2016. The theme of the conference was ‘Children’s Palliative Care…. Now!’ emphasising the need for palliative care for children now, as the future will be too late for many of them. Six pre-conference workshops were held, addressing issues connected to pain assessment and management, adolescent palliative care, ethics and decision-making, developing programmes, the basics of children’s palliative care, and hidden aspects of children’s palliative care. The conference brought together 410 participants from 40 countries. Plenary, concurrent, and poster presentations covered issues around the status of children’s palliative care, genetics, perinatal and neonatal palliative care, the impact of children’s palliative care and the experiences of parents and volunteers, palliative care as a human right, education in children’s palliative care, managing complex pain in children, spiritual care and when to initiate palliative care. The ‘Big Debate’ explored issues around decision-making and end of life care in children, and gave participants the opportunity to explore a sensitive and thought provoking topic. At the end of the conference, delegates were urged to sign the Commitment of Buenos Aires which called for governments to implement the WHA resolution and ensure access to palliative care for neonates, children and their families, and also commits us as palliative care providers to share all that we can and collaborate with each other to achieve the global vision of palliative care for all children who need it. The conference highlighted the ongoing issues in children’s palliative care and participants were continually challenged to ensure that children can access palliative care NOW. PMID:27610193
Midorikawa, Yasuhiko; Suzushino, Seiko; Tamotsu, Kiyokazu
We conducted home care and home palliative care from the department of home care. We provided home care services to 190 patients(105 men, 85 women)in October 2013. Their average age was 78.7(range: 32-102)years old, and home care had been underway from 1 day to 8 years, 10 months. Among all participants, 168(88.4%)suffered from malignant diseases, 168 patients had died, and over half of deceased patients(88 out of 168)had died at home. We used opioids for control of cancer pain, carried out home parenteral nutrition(HPN), home enteral nutrition(HEN), percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy( PEG), and removed pleural effusion and ascites during home care. In order to facilitate the practice of palliative care by the palliative care team, which consists of various medical staff in the hospital, we are giving high priority to education and enlightenment in the hospital. To provide enlightenment, education, and cooperation between regional home care and home palliative care, we are also conducting educational lectures in the regional party of the Iwaki city medical associate, and providing combined educational-medical training for home care and home palliative care by various medical staff.
Lentz, Judy C
Walking the journey of serious illness is very difficult and stressful for patients and families. A universal principle of palliative care is caring for the patient/ family unit. This article introduces a model for the Palliative Care Doula for experienced and advanced practice palliative care nurses to support patients and families during the traumatic and vulnerable period of end-of-life care.
Jacobsen, Ramune; Samsanaviciene, Jurgita; Liubarskiene, Zita; Sjøgren, Per; Møldrup, Claus; Christrup, Lona; Sciupokas, Arunas; Hansen, Ole Bo
The prevalence of cancer-related pain is high despite available guidelines for the effective assessment and management of that pain. Barriers to the use of opioid analgesics partially cause undertreatment of cancer pain. The aim of this study was to compare pain management outcomes and patient-related barriers to cancer pain management in patient samples from Denmark and Lithuania. Thirty-three Danish and 30 Lithuanian patients responded to, respectively, Danish and Lithuanian versions of the Brief Pain Inventory pain scale, the Barriers Questionnaire II, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Specific Questionnaire On Pain Communication, and the Medication Adherence Report Scale. Emotional distress and patient attitudes toward opioid analgesics in cancer patient samples from both countries explained pain management outcomes in the multivariate regression models. Pain relief and pain medication adherence were better in Denmark, and the country of origin significantly explained the difference in the regression models for these outcomes. In conclusion, interventions in emotional distress and patient attitudes toward opioid analgesics may result in better pain management outcomes generally, whereas poor adherence to pain medication and poor pain relief appear to be more country-specific problems.
Zaporowska-Stachowiak, Iwona; Kowalski, Grzegorz; Łuczak, Jacek; Kosicka, Katarzyna; Kotlinska-Lemieszek, Aleksandra; Sopata, Maciej; Główka, Franciszek
Background Unacceptable adverse effects, contraindications to and/or ineffectiveness of World Health Organization step III “pain ladder” drugs causes needless suffering among a population of cancer patients. Successful management of severe cancer pain may require invasive treatment. However, a patient’s refusal of an invasive procedure necessitates that clinicians consider alternative options. Objective Intrathecal bupivacaine delivery as a viable treatment of intractable pain is well documented. There are no data on rectal bupivacaine use in cancer patients or in the treatment of cancer tenesmoid pain. This study aims to demonstrate that bupivacaine administered rectally could be a step in between the current treatment options for intractable cancer pain (conventional/conservative analgesia or invasive procedures), and to evaluate the effect of the mode of administration (intrathecal versus rectal) on the bupivacaine plasma concentration. Cases We present two Caucasian, elderly inpatients admitted to hospice due to intractable rectal/tenesmoid pain. The first case is a female with vulvar cancer, and malignant infiltration of the rectum/vagina. Bupivacaine was used intrathecally (0.25–0.5%, 1–2 mL every 6 hours). The second case is a female with ovarian cancer and malignant rectal infiltration. Bupivacaine was adminstered rectally (0.05–0.1%, 100 mL every 4.5–11 hours). Methods Total bupivacaine plasma concentrations were determined using the high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet method. Results Effective pain control was achieved with intrathecal bupivacaine (0.077–0.154 mg·kg−1) and bupivacaine in enema (1.820 mg·kg−1). Intrathecal bupivacaine (0.5%, 2 mL) caused a drop in blood pressure; other side effects were absent in both cases. Total plasma bupivacaine concentrations following intrathecal and rectal bupivacaine application did not exceed 317.2 ng·mL−1 and 235.7 ng·mL−1, respectively. Bupivacaine elimination was
Zaporowska-Stachowiak, Iwona; Kotlinska-Lemieszek, Aleksandra; Kowalski, Grzegorz; Kosicka, Katarzyna; Hoffmann, Karolina; Główka, Franciszek; Luczak, Jacek
Optimal symptoms control in advanced cancer disease, with refractory to conventional pain treatment, needs an interventional procedure. This paper presents coadministration of local anesthetic (LA) via paravertebral blockade (PVB) as the alternative to an unsuccessful subcutaneous fentanyl pain control in a 71-year old cancer patient with pathological fracture of femoral neck, bone metastases, and contraindications to morphine. Bupivacaine in continuous infusion (0.25%, 5 mL · hour(-1)) or in boluses (10 mL of 0.125%-0.5% solution), used for lumbar PVB, resulted in pain relief, decreased demand for opioids, and led to better social interactions. The factors contributing to an increased risk of systemic toxicity from LA in the patient were: renal impairment; heart failure; hypoalbuminemia; hypocalcemia; and a complex therapy with possible drug-drug interactions. These factors were taken into consideration during treatment. Bupivacaine's side effects were absent. Coadministered drugs could mask LA's toxicity. Elevated plasma α1-acid glycoprotein levels were a protective factor. To evaluate the benefit-risk ratio of the PVB treatment in boluses and in constant infusion, bupivacaine serum levels were determined and the drug plasma half-lives were calculated. Bupivacaine's elimination was slower when administered in constant infusion than in boluses (t½ = 7.80 hours versus 2.64 hours). Total drug serum concentrations remained within the safe ranges during the whole treatment course (22.9-927.4 ng mL(-1)). In the case presented, lumbar PVB with bupivacaine in boluses (≤ 137.5 mg · 24 hours(-1)) was an easy to perform, safe, effective method for pain control. Bupivacaine in continuous infusion (≤150 mg · 12 hours(-1)) had an acceptable risk-benefits ratio, but was ineffective.
... count__/__total__ Find out why Close Pediatric Palliative Care: A Personal Story NINRnews Loading... Unsubscribe from NINRnews? ... and her family. The story demonstrates how palliative care can positively influence a patient's and family's experience ...
Thai, Julie N.; Bakitas, Marie A.; Meier, Diane E.; Spragens, Lynn H.; Temel, Jennifer S.; Weissman, David E.; Rabow, Michael W.
Abstract Background Many health care organizations are interested in instituting a palliative care clinic. However, there are insufficient published data regarding existing practices to inform the development of new programs. Objective Our objective was to obtain in-depth information about palliative care clinics. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 20 outpatient palliative care practices in diverse care settings. The survey included both closed- and open-ended questions regarding practice size, utilization of services, staffing, referrals, services offered, funding, impetus for starting, and challenges. Results Twenty of 21 (95%) practices responded. Practices self-identified as: hospital-based (n=7), within an oncology division/cancer center (n=5), part of an integrated health system (n=6), and hospice-based (n=2). The majority of referred patients had a cancer diagnosis. Additional common diagnoses included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, neurologic disorders, and congestive heart failure. All practices ranked “pain management” and “determining goals of care” as the most common reasons for referrals. Twelve practices staffed fewer than 5 half-days of clinic per week, with 7 operating only one half-day per week. Practices were staffed by a mixture of physicians, advanced practice nurses or nurse practitioners, nurses, or social workers. Eighteen practices expected their practice to grow within the next year. Eleven practices noted a staffing shortage and 8 had a wait time of a week or more for a new patient appointment. Only 12 practices provide 24/7 coverage. Billing and institutional support were the most common funding sources. Most practices described starting because inpatient palliative providers perceived poor quality outpatient care in the outpatient setting. The most common challenges included: funding for staffing (11) and being overwhelmed with referrals (8). Conclusions Once established, outpatient palliative care practices
Morita, Tatsuya; Fujimoto, Koji; Imura, Chizuru; Nanba, Miki; Fukumoto, Naoko; Itoh, Tomoko
Knowledge and skill deficits about palliative care in medical professionals are among the most common barriers to quality palliative care. This study in a Japanese regional cancer center was conducted to clarify nurses' self-reported practices, confidence, and knowledge, and the changes in these parameters after the 1-year educational and clinical activity of a palliative care team. Questionnaires were distributed to 134 nurses before and after a palliative care team conducted 6-topic educational programs and clinical consultation activity throughout the year. The nurses were asked to report their practices, confidence, and knowledge about palliative care in 5 fields (pain, dyspnea, delirium, communication, and dying-phase). In some areas of palliative care, hospital nurses did not adhere to recommended practices, had knowledge deficits, and were not generally confident with palliative care practices. However, daily palliative care team activities, including educational programs and clinical consultation service, could improve their practice and knowledge levels.
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Downing, J; Marston, J; Muckaden, Ma; Boucher, S; Cardoz, M; Nkosi, B; Steel, B; Talawadekar, P; Tilve, P
The International Children's Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) held its first international conference on children's palliative care, in conjunction with Tata Memorial Centre, in Mumbai, India, from 10-12 February 2014. The theme of the conference, Transforming children's palliative care-from ideas to action, reflected the vision of the ICPCN to live in a world where every child who needs it, can access palliative care, regardless of where they live. Key to this is action, to develop service provision and advocate for children's palliative care. Three pre-conference workshops were held on 9 February, aimed at doctors, nurses, social workers, and volunteers, and focused around the principles of children's palliative care, and in particular pain and symptom management. The conference brought together 235 participants representing 38 countries. Key themes identified throughout the conference included: the need for advocacy and leadership; for education and research, with great strides having been taken in the development of an evidence base for children's palliative care, along with the provision of education; the importance of communication and attention to spirituality in children, and issues around clinical care, in particular for neonates. Delegates were continually challenged to transform children's palliative care in their parts of the world and the conference culminated in the signing of the ICPCN Mumbai Declaration. The Declaration calls upon governments around the world to improve access to quality children's palliative care services and made a call on the Belgian government not to pass a bill allowing children to be euthanised in that country. The conference highlighted many of the ongoing developments in children's palliative care around the world, and as she closed the conference, Joan Marston (ICPCN CEO) challenged participants to take positive action and be the champions that the children need, thus transforming children's palliative care.
Selwyn, Peter A
As a physician working in palliative care, the author is often privileged to share special moments with patients and their families at the end of life. This haiku poem recalls one such moment in that precious space between life and death, as an elderly woman, surrounded by her adult daughters, takes her last breath. (PsycINFO Database Record
Jain, Nelia; Wallhagen, Margaret L.
Abstract Background: Age-related hearing loss is remarkably common, affecting more than 60% of adults over the age of 75. Moreover, hearing loss has detrimental effects on quality of life and communication, outcomes that are central to palliative care. Despite its high prevalence, there is remarkably little written on the impact of hearing loss in the palliative care literature. Objective: The objective was to emphasize its importance and the need for further study. We use a case as a springboard for discussing what is known and unknown about the epidemiology, presentation, screening methodologies, and treatment strategies for age-related hearing loss in palliative care. Discussion: The case describes a 65-year-old man with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) that has progressed despite treatment. No concerns are raised about communication challenges during conversations between the palliative care team and the patient in his quiet room. However, in the midst of a family meeting, shortly after discussing prognosis, the patient reports that he cannot hear what anyone is saying. Conclusion: We describe simple methods of screening patients for hearing loss, and suggest that practical approaches should be used universally in patient encounters. These include facing the patient, pitching one's voice low, using a pocket talker, and creating a hearing-friendly environment when planning a family or group meeting. PMID:25867966
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Perrin, Kathleen Ouimet; Kazanowski, Mary
Palliative care consultations for patients with life-threatening illnesses provide benefits for the patients and their families as well as for the health care team. Patients have better quality of life and live longer but cost the health care system less. Still, many patients are not offered the opportunity to receive a palliative care consultation. Barriers to palliative care consultation for patients in critical care units include misunderstandings about palliative care and not having agreed upon criteria for referral. Critical care nurses can assist in overcoming these barriers.
Hoang, Ba X; Le, Bao T; Tran, Hau D; Hoang, Cuong; Tran, Hung Q; Tran, Dao M; Pham, Cu Q; Pham, Tuan D; Ha, Trung V; Bui, Nga T; Shaw, D Graeme
Prostate cancer (adenocarcinoma of the prostate) is the most widespread cancer in men. It causes significant suffering and mortality due to metastatic disease. The main therapy for metastatic prostate cancer (MPC) includes androgen manipulation, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy and/or radioisotopes. However, these therapeutic approaches are considered palliative at this stage, and their significant side effects can cause further decline in patients' quality of life and increase non-cancer-related morbidity/mortality. In this study, the authors have used the infusion of dimethyl sulfoxide-sodium bicarbonate (DMSO-SB) to treat 18 patients with MPC. The 90-day follow-up of the patients having undergone the proposed therapeutic regimen showed significant improvement in clinical symptoms, blood and biochemistry tests, and quality of life. There were no major side effects from the treatment. In searching for new and better methods for palliative treatment and pain relief, this study strongly suggested therapy with DMSO-SB infusions could provide a rational alternative to conventional treatment for patients with MPC.
Skrbina, Dijana; Simunović, Dubravka; Santek, Vjerocka; Njegovan-Zvonarević, Tatjana
Man is mortal, which means that as the earthly body perishes being, final. Disease and death will always be an inevitable and integral part of human experience. The way in which we try to identify and respond to the unique and individual needs of the dying is an indication of our maturity as a society. The number of people requiring palliative care is growing. Palliative care does not intend to either accelerate or postpone death she emphasizes the life and looks at dying as a normal process. It is an active form of care for patients with advanced, progressive illness, with the aim of suppressing pain and other symptoms in addition to providing psychological, social and spiritual support which ensures the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. Therefore requires a coordinated and interdisciplinary contribution team. The variety of professions in a team, and determine the needs of patients should be ready to provide physical, psychological, social and spiritual support using methods that result from an interdisciplinary, collaborative team approach. Development of a holistic approach and awareness in the medical and allied professions has led to a renewal of interest in the inclusion of music and other expressive media in contemporary concepts of palliative care, which are consistent with problem areas, clinical manifestations and the needs of patients. Music offers a direct and uncomplicated medium of intimacy, living in a man who listens to her, has a place where words lose their power. Music is like our existence, constantly polarizing and emotionally stimulating, as it touches the medium of the earliest layers of our becoming. The use of music in palliative care has proved very effective for a variety of effects that music creates in patients. These effects are achieved through the use of various musical techniques, such as musical improvisation, songwriting, receiving creative techniques, guided by imagination and music. These techniques
Munro, S.; Mount, B.
Initial observations regarding the use of music therapy at one hospital in the palliative care of patients with advanced malignant disease are presented. In the hands of a trained music therapist, music has proven to be a potent tool for improving the quality of life. The diversity of its potential is particularly suited to the deversity of the challenges - physical, psychosocial and spiritual - that these patients present. Images FIG. 1 PMID:84704
Inserra, Alessandro; Narciso, Alessandra; Paolantonio, Guglielmo; Messina, Raffaella; Crocoli, Alessandro
Survival rate for childhood cancer has increased in recent years, reaching as high as 70% in developed countries compared with 54% for all cancers diagnosed in the 1980s. In the remaining 30%, progression or metastatic disease leads to death and in this framework palliative care has an outstanding role though not well settled in all its facets. In this landscape, surgery has a supportive actor role integrated with other welfare aspects from which are not severable. The definition of surgical palliation has moved from the ancient definition of noncurative surgery to a group of practices performed not to cure but to alleviate an organ dysfunction offering the best quality of life possible in all the aspects of life (pain, dysfunctions, caregivers, psychosocial, etc.). To emphasize this aspect a more modern definition has been introduced: palliative therapy in whose context is comprised not only the care assistance but also the plans of care since the onset of illness, teaching the matter to surgeons in training and share paths. Literature is very poor regarding surgical aspects specifically dedicated and all researches (PubMed, Google Scholar, and Cochrane) with various meshing terms result in a more oncologic and psychosocial effort.
Gulia, Ashish; Byregowda, Suman; Panda, Pankaj Kumar
Patients in advanced stages of illness trajectories with local and widespread musculoskeletal incurable malignancies, either treatment naive or having recurrence are referred to the palliative care clinic to relieve various disease-related symptoms and to improve the quality of life. Palliative care is a specialized medicine that offers treatment to the disease-specific symptoms, places emphasis on the psychosocial and spiritual aspects of life and help the patients and their family to cope with advance stage cancer in a stronger and reasonable way. The overall outcome of musculoskeletal malignancies has improved with the advent of multidisciplinary management. Even then these tumors do relapse and leads to organ failures and disease-specific deaths in children and young adults in productive age group thus requiring an integrated approach to improve the supportive/palliative care needs in end-stage disease. In this article, we would like to discuss the spectrum of presentation of advanced musculoskeletal malignancies, skeletal metastasis, and their management. PMID:27559251
Frković, Aleksandra; Bosković, Zvonimir
Palliative care is frequently discussed as an alternative or a counter-balance to euthanasia. In this paper, palliative care is considered as a response to dysthanasia or therapeutic persistence. First, the main features of dysthanasia are mentioned: the accent is put on different questions: until when to implement therapeutic persistence? When does the treatment become useless? What is a permanent vegetative condition? Then, palliative care, the scope of which is to achieve the best life quality for the patient and his family is discussed. The hospice and its care are emphasized, analyzing the international guidelines on the topics at the end of life. International palliative care recommendations are analyzed; special attention is paid on the codex of medical ethics and deontology and its regulations concerning palliative care. Conclusion summarizes some thoughts about dysthanasia and palliative care.
e-Health has the potential to improve pediatric palliative care. e-Health initiatives use the Internet or health information technology to improve quality of care and have the potential to decrease costs by reducing medical errors, reducing duplication of services, improving access to diagnostic and laboratory results, and improving communication between providers and patients, and so on. The majority of e-health initiatives are for adults and only a limited amount of evidence exists in the literature on e-health interventions in palliative care that are focused on pediatrics. To explore what role e-health could play in pediatric palliative care programs, this article aims to describe the Internet use in general in the United States and in palliative care, describe the use of health information technology in general in the United States and in palliative care, and suggest areas in pediatric palliative care that might benefit from e-health interventions.
Dietrich, Cordula; Teut, M; Samwel, Kakuko Lopoyetum; Narayanasamy, S; Rathapillil, T; Thathews, G
Background: The Body Tambura is a recently invented stringed instrument that is used for receptive music therapy designed to be placed and attached on the human body. The aim of this study was to record perceived effects of a treatment with the Body Tambura on palliative care patients with special reference to pain. Materials and Methods: A prospective case study was carried out with patients of St. Joseph's Hospice for Dying Destitute in Dindigul/South India. Patients were treated with a treatment after baseline assessment and also on the next day. Outcomes were measured quantitatively by using a numeric rating scale (0–10, 10 maximum intensity of pain felt) at baseline, directly after treatment, and the day after the treatment to determine the intensity of the pain. Results: Ten patients (five women and five men) participated in the study. The majority described the therapy as a pleasant experience. The pain intensity at baseline was reduced from 8.3 ± standard deviation (SD) 1.16 to 4.6 ± 1.52 at day 1 and from 4.6 ± 2.07 to 2.4 ± 1.58 at day 2. Conclusion: A clinically relevant pain reduction was described as short time outcome; the therapy was received and perceived well. Forthcoming research should include a control group, randomization, a larger number of participants, and a longer period of treatment. PMID:26009680
... Answers Palliative Care Questions and Answers Question Palliative Care Hospice Care Who can receive this care? Anyone with a ... a package deal? No, there is no ‘palliative care’ benefit package Yes, hospice is a comprehensive benefit covered by Medicare and ...
Huffman, Joan L
Palliative care in itself has many challenges; these challenges are compounded exponentially when placed in the setting of a mass casualty event, such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Haiti itself was an austere environment with very little infrastructure before the disaster. US surgeons, intensivists, and nurses worked hand in hand with other international providers and Haitian volunteers to provide the best care for the many. Improvisation and teamwork as well as respect for the Haitian caregivers were crucial to their successes. Sisyphean trials lie ahead. Haiti and its people must not be forgotten.
Sakuyama, Toshikazu; Komatsu, Kazuhiro; Inoue, Daisuke; Fukushima, Osamu
In order to support the home palliative care learning, we made the eLearning service for home palliative care (beta version) and tried to teach the palliative care to the medical staffs in the community. The various learners (such as nurses, pharmacists and the like) accessed to the online learning and used this eLearning service. After the learners finished eLearning for home palliative care, some questionnaires were distributed to the learners and analyzed by us. The analysis of questionnaires revealed that almost all were satisfied with our eLearning services. Especially the learners were not only interested in using the skills of opioids and the management of pain control, but they had a good cognition for the usage of opioids.
Lung cancer accounts for 12% of all cancers and has the highest annual rate of mortality in men and women. The overall aim is cure or prolongation of life without evidence of disease. Almost 60% of patients at the moment of diagnosis are not eligible for radical treatment. Therefore soothing and supportive treatment is the only treatment of choice. Patients with lung cancer who have symptoms of dyspnea, chronic cough, severe pain, exhaustion and cachexia syndrome, fear and depression and significantly reduced physical and intellectual activities are qualified for inpatient or home palliative care. Knowledge about various methods used in palliative treatment allows one to alleviate symptoms that occur in an advanced stage of disease with an expected short survival period. Methods of oncological treatment that are often used in patients with advanced lung cancer include radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Drawing attention to the earlier implementation of palliative care is an objective of research carried out during recent years. Advances in surgical and conservative treatment of these patients have contributed to better outcomes and longer survival time. PMID:24596508
Schuster, M; Ferner, M; Bodenstein, M; Laufenberg-Feldmann, R
Involvement of palliative care is so far not common practice for critically ill patients on surgical intensive care units (ICUs) in Germany. The objectives of palliative care concepts are improvement of patient quality of life by relief of disease-related symptoms using an interdisciplinary approach and support of patients and their relatives considering their current physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. The need for palliative care can be identified via defined screening criteria. Integration of palliative care can either be realized using a consultative model which focusses on involvement of palliative care consultants or an integrative model which embeds palliative care principles into the routine daily practice by the ICU team. Early integration of palliative care in terms of advance care planning (ACP) can lead to an increase in goals of care discussions and quality of life as well as a decrease of mortality and length of stay on the ICU. Moreover, stress reactions of relatives and ICU staff can be reduced and higher satisfaction with therapy can be achieved. The core of goal of care discussions is professional and well-structured communication between patients, relatives and staff. Consideration of palliative care principles by model-based integration into ICU practice can improve complex intensive care courses of disease in a productive but dignified way without neglecting curative attempts.
Wiebe, Lauren A; Von Roenn, Jamie H
The interdisciplinary team is fundamental to the successful delivery of quality palliative care. Ideally, the oncologist is an integral part of either the palliative care or hospice team and serves to maintain continuity of care through the end of life. In the United States, barriers can complicate the oncologist's easy integration into the hospice team as patients often remain at home. Also, there may be philosophical or clinical practice differences between oncology and palliative care at first glance. This article focuses on ways to overcome these potential obstacles and use differences in training to strengthen the team's impact. A significant part of oncology practice includes managing difficult symptoms, mitigating suffering, and discussing priorities of care--all elements of palliative medicine that oncologists perform daily. Participating on a palliative care team may be natural for oncologists, and some might elect to provide integrated palliative cancer care for patients throughout the course of their disease and at the end of life. Thus, there is a need to enrich the general oncologist's knowledge of specialized palliative medicine, as recommended by the major cancer organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the European Society of Medical Oncology.It is important to know when to incorporate a palliative or hospice care team into the routine management of a cancer patient and what benefits these referrals can provide. Oncologists have an obligation to provide high-quality palliative care to all patients in an integrated fashion, including patients with advanced cancer enrolled in clinical trials for early therapeutics.
Johannigman, Suzanne; Eschiti, Valerie
Marijuana has been documented to provide relief to patients in palliative care. However, healthcare providers should use caution when discussing medical marijuana use with patients. This article features a case study that reveals the complexity of medical marijuana use. For oncology nurses to offer high-quality care, examining the pros and cons of medical marijuana use in the palliative care setting is important.
Porstner, Dagmar; Masel, Eva K; Heck, Ursula
The main task of palliative care specialists is to focus on symptom control such as pain, nausea or fatigue. Thorough anamnesis, physical examination, laboratory examination, and differential diagnosis can ensure appropriate treatment. In an increasing number of cases psychiatric conditions like depression or anxiety increase also occur so palliative care physicians need to be more prepared to handle them. The question of this case report is, how a palliative care specialist can distinguish between a malignant disease or neurological disease progression and a presentation primarily psychiatric in etiology, as is the case in factitious disorders. We are also interested in the incidence rate of such factitious disorders. Our case study demonstrates that it is rare but not impossible that a doctor will encounter factitious symptoms in the palliative setting. This suggest being aware of evidence of psychiatric origins even in discharge letters and referrals that indicate palliative care needs, to ensure that palliative care really is the best treatment option for the patient. We do believe such cases to be rare in a palliative setting, however.
Barawid, Edward; Covarrubias, Natalia; Tribuzio, Bianca; Liao, Solomon
Palliative care requires an interdisciplinary team approach to provide the best care for patients with life-threatening illnesses. Like palliative medicine, rehabilitation also uses an interdisciplinary approach to treating patients with chronic illnesses. This review article focuses on rehabilitation interventions that can be beneficial in patients with late stage illnesses. Rehabilitation may be useful in improving the quality of life by palliating function, mobility, activities of daily living, pain relief, endurance, and the psyche of a patient while helping to maintain as much independence as possible, leading to a decrease in burden on caregivers and family. Rehabilitative services are underutilized in the palliative care setting, and more research is needed to address how patients may benefit as they approach the end of their lives.
The paper overviews the role of systemic radionuclide therapy in patients with disseminated bone metastases. Most patients with bone metastases experience painful symptoms. Systemic radioisotope therapy is an alternative to traditional hemibody radiation in cases of multiple, diffuse metastases. Usually given as a single i.v. slow infusion it provides a pain relief beginning in one to three weeks, with a mean duration up to several months, depending on the kind of radioisotope applied. The paper overviews the role of unsealed source therapy with these bone-seeking radiopharmaceuticals in palliating pain, improving quality of life, indications, contraindications and complications of this therapy are discussed, as well as cost-benefit aspects.
Jankowski, Jane B
This article explores the hypothesis that when a child has a life-limiting illness, the interpersonal boundaries between the patient, the patient's parents, and the health care team members differ from traditional provider, patient, and parent boundaries because of the unique dynamics of palliative care in pediatrics. Providers from the Journey's Palliative Care Team at Albany Medical Center completed a brief survey about working in pediatric palliative care and what ethical challenges they have faced in trying to maintain professional boundaries as new palliative care providers. A retrospective review of survey responses and a review of relevant literature offer insight into the various concerns reported by the Journey's team. Conclusions about delivering comprehensive ethically sound palliative care services may serve as a pathway for future studies.
Boss, Renee D
Extremely premature infants face multiple acute and chronic life-threatening conditions. In addition, the treatments to ameliorate or cure these conditions often entail pain and discomfort. Integrating palliative care from the moment that extremely premature labor is diagnosed offers families and clinicians support through the process of defining goals of care and making decisions about life support. For both the extremely premature infant who dies soon after birth and the extremely premature infant who experiences multiple complications over weeks and months in the neonatal intensive care unit, palliative care can maintain a focus on infant comfort and family support. This article highlights the ways in which palliative care can be incorporated into intensive care for all critically ill infants.
Chintamaneni, Raja Lakshmi; Mpv, Prabhat; Gummadapu, Sarat; Salvadhi, Shyam Sundar
World Health Organization defines “palliative care” as the active total care of patients whose disease is not responding to curative treatment. Palliative care actually deals with patients at the terminal end stage of the disease. We always face a question why a dentist should be in a palliative team? What is the exact role of dentist? Dental treatment may not always be strenuous and curative, but also can focus on improving quality of life of the patient. Hence forth the present paper enlightens the importance of dentist role in palliative team. PMID:25121074
Wu, Jackson S.Y.; Kerba, Marc; Wong, Rebecca K.S.; Mckimmon, Erin; Eigl, Bernhard; Hagen, Neil A.
Purpose: External beam radiotherapy (RT) is commonly indicated for the palliation of symptomatic bone metastases, but there is evidence of underutilization of this treatment modality in palliative care for cancer populations. This study was conducted to investigate factors that influenced the use of palliative RT services at a regional comprehensive cancer center. Methods and Materials: A cohort of patients with radiographically confirmed bone metastases and first-time users of palliative RT between 2003 and 2005 was retrospectively reviewed from the time of initial diagnosis of bone metastases to death or last follow-up. Type of radiation treatment service provider used (rapid access or routine access) and patient-, tumor-, and treatment-related factors were analyzed for their influences on the number of treatment courses given over the duration of disease. Results: A total of 887 patients received 1,354 courses of palliative RT for bone metastases at a median interval of 4.0 months between courses. Thirty-three percent of patients required more than one RT course. Increased age and travel distance reduced the likelihood and number of treatment courses, while service through a rapid access clinic was independently associated with an increase in subsequent use of palliative RT. Conclusions: A rapid access service model for palliative RT facilitated access to RT. Travel distance and other factors remained substantial barriers to use of palliative RT services. The pattern of practice suggests an unmet need for symptom control in patients with bone metastases.
Feudtner, Chris; Blinman, Thane A
Palliative care is now a core component of pediatric care for children and families who are confronting serious illness with a low likelihood of survival. Pediatric surgeons, in partnership with pediatric palliative care teams, can play a pivotal role in assuring that these patients receive the highest possible quality of care. This article outlines a variety of definitions and conceptual frameworks, describes decision-making strategies and communication techniques, addresses issues of interdisciplinary collaboration and personal self-awareness, and illustrates these points through a series of case vignettes, all of which can help the pediatric surgeon perform the core tasks of pediatric palliative care.
Waldman, Elisha; Wolfe, Joanne
Over the past two decades, paediatric palliative care has emerged as both a primary approach and as its own medical subspecialty, the overall aim of which is to ease suffering for children with life-threatening illness and their families through a concurrent model of care. However, most discussions have been focused on the transition to palliative care when no realistic hope for cure exists. We believe that, because the course of cancer is so unpredictable, this idea is misleading. Indeed, palliative care is increasingly being recognized as being about not just how to cope with the process of dying, but also about how to engage in living when faced with a life-threatening illness. This article will examine our current understanding of several areas of palliative care, with the ultimate message that palliative care is simply a novel term for the total care of a child and family, an approach that should be applied consistently and concurrently regardless of disease status. By improving familiarity with palliative care and building relationships with palliative care specialists, the paediatric oncology clinician will ensure that the best care possible for children and families is provided, regardless of outcome.
Yeaman, Paul A; Ford, James L; Kim, Kye Y
Providing quality palliative care is a daunting task profoundly impacted by diminished patient capacity at the end of life. Alzheimer disease (AD) is a disorder that erases our memories and is projected to increase dramatically for decades to come. By the time the patients with AD reach the end stage of the disease, the ability of patients to provide pertinent subjective complaints of pain and discomfort would have vanished. Historical perspectives of palliative care, exploration of the AD process, ethical issues, and crucial clinical considerations are provided to improve the understanding of disease progression and quality of care for patients with end-stage AD.
Sherman, Deborah Witt
Describes the role and responsibilities of advanced-practice nurses in palliative care and nursing's initiative in promoting high-quality care through the educational preparation of these nurses. (JOW)
Patel, Preena; Koh, Michelle; Carr, Lucinda; McHugh, Kieran
Palliative care is an expanding specialty within paediatrics, which has attracted little attention in the paediatric radiological literature. Paediatric patients under a palliative care team will have numerous radiological tests which we traditionally categorise under organ systems rather than under the umbrella of palliative medicine. The prevalence of children with life-limiting illness is significant. It has been estimated to be one per thousand, and this may be an underestimate. In this review, we will focus on our experience at one institution, where radiology has proven to be an invaluable partner to palliative care. We will discuss examples of conditions commonly referred to our palliative care team and delineate the crucial role of diagnostic radiology in determining treatment options.
Pathmawathi, Subramanian; Beng, Tan Seng; Li, Lee Mei; Rosli, Roshaslina; Sharwend, Supermanian; Kavitha, Rasaiah R; Christopher, Boey Chiong Meng
Breakthrough pain is a significant contributor to much suffering by patients. The experience of intense pain may interfere with, and affect, daily life functioning and has major consequences on patients' well-being if it is not well managed. The area of breakthrough pain has not been fully understood. This study thus aimed to explore the experiences of breakthrough pain among palliative patients. A qualitative study based on a series of open-ended interviews among 21 palliative patients suffering from pain at an urban tertiary hospital in Malaysia was conducted. Five themes were generated: (i) pain viewed as an unbearable experience causing misery in the lives of patients, (ii) deterioration of body function and no hope of recovery, (iii) receiving of inadequate pain management for pain, (iv) insensitivity of healthcare providers toward patients' pain experience, and (v) pain coping experiences of patients. The findings revealed that nonpharmacologic approaches such as psychosocial support should be introduced to the patients. Proper guidance and information should be given to healthcare providers to improve the quality of patient care. Healthcare providers should adopt a sensitive approach in caring for patients' needs. The aim is to meet the needs of the patients who want to be pain free or to attain adequate relief of their pain for breakthrough pain.
Reville, Barbara; Foxwell, Anessa M
All persons have a right to palliative care during cancer treatment and at the end-of-life. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines palliative care as a medical specialty that addresses physical, psychological, social, legal, and spiritual domains of care by an interdisciplinary team of professional and lay health care providers. Widespread adoption of this universal definition will aid policy development and educational initiatives on a national level. The need for palliative care is expanding due to the aging of the world's population and the increase in the rate of cancer in both developed and developing countries. However, in one third of the world there is no access to palliative care for persons with serious or terminal illness. Palliative care improves symptoms, most frequently pain, and improves quality of life for patients and their families, especially in the terminal disease phase. Accessibility to palliative care services, adequately trained health care professionals, availability of essential medicines, and gaps in education vary greatly throughout the world. Pain management is an integral concept in the practice of palliative care; however, opioiphobia, insufficient supply of opioids, and regulatory restrictions contribute to undue suffering for millions. Ongoing advocacy efforts call for increased awareness, palliative care integration with cancer care, and public and professional education. Enacting necessary change will require the engagement of health ministries and the recognition of the unique needs and resources of each country. The aim of this review is to examine progress in palliative care development and explore some of the barriers influencing cancer care across the globe.
Ayed, Ahmad; Sayej, Sumaya; Harazneh, Lubna; Fashafsheh, Imad; Eqtait, Faeda
Background: Palliative care (PC) is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems like physical, psychosocial and…
Boss, Renee D.
Extremely premature infants face multiple acute and chronic life-threatening conditions. In addition, the treatments to ameliorate or cure these conditions often entail pain and discomfort. Integrating palliative care from the moment that extremely premature labor is diagnosed offers families and clinicians support through the process of defining…
White, B P; Willmott, L; Ashby, M
Care and decision-making at the end of life that promotes comfort and dignity is widely endorsed by public policy and the law. In ethical analysis of palliative care interventions that are argued potentially to hasten death, these may be deemed to be ethically permissible by the application of the doctrine of double effect, if the doctor's intention is to relieve pain and not cause death. In part because of the significance of ethics in the development of law in the medical sphere, this doctrine is also likely to be recognized as part of Australia's common law, although hitherto there have been no cases concerning palliative care brought before a court in Australia to test this. Three Australian States have, nonetheless, created legislative defences that are different from the common law with the intent of clarifying the law, promoting palliative care, and distinguishing it from euthanasia. However, these defences have the potential to provide less protection for doctors administering palliative care. In addition to requiring a doctor to have an appropriate intent, the defences insist on adherence to particular medical practice standards and perhaps require patient consent. Doctors providing end-of-life care in these States need to be aware of these legislative changes. Acting in accordance with the common law doctrine of double effect may not provide legal protection. Similar changes are likely to occur in other States and Territories as there is a trend towards enacting legislative defences that deal with the provision of palliative care.
Owens, Darrell; Flom, Jan
The goal of palliative care is to provide the alleviation or reduction of suffering and the support for the best possible quality of life for patients regardless of the stage of the disease. Palliative care can be provided in any patient care setting, including intensive care units. Death in intensive care units is a common occurrence, with literature suggesting that approximately 20% of deaths in the United States occur after a stay in the intensive care unit. Other studies suggest that approximately half of all chronically ill patients who die in a hospital receive care in the intensive care unit within 3 days of their deaths. Critical care nurses who work in neurological intensive care units are at the forefront of integrating palliative and critical care.
Ho, Charles; Straatman, Lynn
Recent studies and consensus statements have expressed the need to involve palliative care services in the care of children with progressive neuromuscular diseases (PMD), yet there have been no reviews of the utilization of palliative care services by children who died on a palliative care program. We conducted a retrospective chart review of all children who had a PMD who died on a single-center palliative care program. Twenty cases were identified. Services utilized by these patients included respite care, transition services, pain and symptom management, and end-of-life care. Prominent symptoms in the last 24 hours of life included respiratory distress, pain, nausea/vomiting, and anxiety; however, symptom management was very good. Utilization of services differed depending on the disease trajectory, with respite playing a critical role in the care of children with PMD. Good symptom management can be achieved.
Hajjar, Ramzi R; Charalambous, Haris A; Baider, Lea; Silbermann, Michael
Care for elderly people with life-limiting illness cannot be delivered primarily by geriatricians or palliative care practitioners. The role of these clinicians is to help carers become adept in palliative care medicine. In a culture in which family ties run deep, the offer of palliative care from an outsider may be met with suspicion. The family bond in the Middle East is strong, but the emotional response to terminal illness may push families to request futile treatments, and physicians to comply. When palliative care is well developed and well understood, it provides a viable alternative to such extreme terminal measures.
Engelman, Suzanne R
A growing body of research and clinical reports support the benefits of utilizing animal-assisted therapy (AAT) as a complementary, transdisciplinary treatment intervention in medical settings. However, fewer articles are found demonstrating AAT's use in palliative care settings. This article is a study of the effects of AAT in palliative care situations, presenting one anecdotal clinical vignette. In this way, the efficacy of this technique in decreasing patient pain, thereby increasing patient quality of life, and lowering staff stress levels may be illustrated.
Hermsen, Maaike A; ten Have, Henk A M J
With the growth and development of palliative care, interest in pastoral care, spirituality, and religion also seems to be growing. The aim of this article is to review the topic of pastoral care, spirituality, and religion appearing in the journals of palliative care, between January 1984 and January 2002.
Ward-Smith, Peggy; Linn, Jill Burris; Korphage, Rebecca M; Christenson, Kathy; Hutto, C J; Hubble, Christopher L
The American Academy of Pediatrics has provided clinical recommendations for palliative care needs of children. This article outlines the steps involved in implementing a pediatric palliative care program in a Midwest pediatric magnet health care facility. The development of a Pediatric Advanced Comfort Care Team was supported by hospital administration and funded through grants. Challenges included the development of collaborative relationships with health care professionals from specialty areas. Pediatric Advanced Comfort Care Team services, available from the time of diagnosis, are provided by a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals and individualized on the basis of needs expressed by each child and his or her family.
Itch/pruritus can be very distressing in palliative care population and often is difficult to treat. Conventional antihistamines lack efficacy. Cutaneous and central pathogenesis of itch is extremely complex and unclear, making its treatment challenging. Neuronal mechanisms have been identified in the pathophysiology of itch hence providing a myriad of therapeutic options. It has been established that pruritus and pain neuronal pathway interact with each other, hence neuropathic analgesics like gabapentin has shown to be efficacious antipruritic therapeutic option. Gabapentin impedes transmitting nociceptive sensations to brain, thus also suppressing pruritus. Gabapentin is safe and found to be effective in uremic pruritus, cancer/hematologic causes, opiod-induced itch, brachioradial pruritis, burns pruritus, and pruritus of unknown origin. Further research is required in this area to establish whether gabapentin is consistently effective.
Morrison, R Sean; Meier, Diane E
The elimination of suffering and the cure of disease are the fundamental goals of medicine. While medical advances have transformed previously fatal conditions such as cancer and heart disease into illnesses that people can live with for many years, they have not been accompanied by corresponding improvements in the quality of life for these patients and their families. Living with a serious illness should not mean living in pain or experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, or fatigue. Yet, multiple studies over the past decade suggest that medical care for patients with advanced illness is characterized by inadequately treated physical distress; fragmented care systems; poor communication between doctors, patients, and families; and enormous strains on family caregiver and support systems. Palliative care is interdisciplinary care focused on relief of pain and other symptoms and support for best possible quality of life for patients with serious illness, and their families. It is appropriate at the point of diagnosis of a serious illness. It goes beyond hospice care to offer patients and their families treatments focused on improving quality of life while they are receiving life-prolonging and curative treatments. Palliative care programs have been shown to reduce symptoms, improve doctor-patient-family communication and satisfaction with care, as well as enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of hospital services. In the last 5 years alone the number of palliative care programs has more than doubled. This growth is in response to the increasing numbers and needs of Americans living with serious, complex and chronic illnesses, and the realities of the care responsibilities faced by their families. In order to ensure that all persons with serious illness and their families receive the quality of care they deserve, palliative care must become an integral part of the U.S. healthcare landscape. Specifically, persons facing serious illness and their
Alexander, Koshy; Goldberg, Jessica; Korc-Grodzicki, Beatriz
SYNOPSIS Older cancer patients are best served by a multidisciplinary approach with Palliative Care (PC) playing an integral role. PC focuses on symptom control irrespective of its cause and should not be associated only with terminal care. It provides an additional layer of support in the care of the cancer patient with an emphasis on quality of life. In this article, we discuss the evaluation and management of pain and other common non-pain symptoms that occur in the elderly cancer patient, as well as end of life care. PMID:26614860
... gov/ency/patientinstructions/000531.htm Palliative care - fluid, food, and digestion To use the sharing features on ... When Your Body Has Problems Handling Fluids and Food It is normal for a person who has ...
... include cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis and more. Palliative care can be provided at any stage of illness and along with treatment meant to ...
Palliative care and geriatrics share many ideas and concepts: both intend to imporve quality of life, both focus on more than the physical domain, and both work in a multiprofessional team. More and more the elderly person attracts notice by palliative care. In multimorbid geriatric patients intentions to cure and to care go alongside sometimes over years in a fragile equilibrium and with uncertain prognosis. Therefore principals of palliative care and geriatrics meet at its best in these patients: improving function plays a major role in any symptom management; how to deal with cognitively impaired patients can be learned from geriatrics; various approaches from curative, palliative and rehabilitative often go hand in hand; decision making is a permanent and sophisticated task in all patients due to prognosis and multimorbidity.
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0802 TITLE: Racial Disparities in Palliative Care for Prostate Cancer PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Alfred I. Neugut, MD, PhD...Disparities in Palliative Care for Prostate Cancer 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-10-1-0802 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S... palliative treatments. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Prostate cancer, palliative care , ureteral obstruction, cord compression 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF
Cojean, N; Strub, C; Kuhn, P; Calvel, L
The "patients' rights and end-of-life care" act, known as the Leonetti law, has allowed implementation of palliative care in neonatology as an alternative to unreasonable therapeutic interventions. A palliative care project can be offered to newborns suffering from intractable diseases. It must be focused on the newborn's quality of life and comfort and on family support. Palliative care for newborns can be provided in the delivery room, in the neonatal unit, and also at home. Going home is possible but requires medical support. Here we describe the potential benefits of the intervention of a regional team of pediatric palliative care for newborns, both in the hospital and at home. Two clinical situations of palliative care at home started in the neonatal period and the neonatal unit are presented. They are completed by a retrospective national survey focusing on the type of support to newborns in palliative care in 2014, which was conducted in 22 French regional pediatric palliative care teams. It shows that 26 newborns benefited from this support at home in 2014. Sixteen infants were born after a pregnancy with a palliative care birth plan and ten entered palliative care after a decision to limit life-sustaining treatments. Twelve of them returned home before the 20th day of life. Sixteen infants died, six of them at home. The regional pediatric palliative care team first receives in-hospital interventions: providing support for ethical reflection in the development of the infant's life project, meeting with the child and its family, helping organize the care pathway to return home. When the child is at home, the regional pediatric palliative care team can support the caregiver involved, provide home visits to continue the clinical monitoring of the infant, and accompany the family. The follow-up of the bereavement and the analysis of the practices with caregivers are also part of its tasks.
Dai, Ying-Xiu; Chen, Tzeng-Ji; Lin, Ming-Hwai
The term "palliative care" has a negative connotation and may act as a barrier to early patient referrals. Rebranding has thus been proposed as a strategy to reduce the negative perceptions associated with palliative care. For example, using the term "supportive care" instead of "palliative care" in naming palliative care units has been proposed in several studies. In Taiwan, terms other than "palliative" and "hospice" are already widely used in the names of palliative care units. With this in mind, this study investigated the characteristics of palliative care unit names in order to better understand the role of naming in palliative care. Relevant data were collected from the Taiwan Academy of Hospice Palliative Medicine, the National Health Insurance Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the open database maintained by the government of Taiwan. We found a clear phenomenon of avoiding use of the terms "palliative" and "hospice" in the naming of palliative care units, a phenomenon that reflects the stigma attached to the terms "palliative" and "hospice" in Taiwan. At the time of the study (September, 2016), there were 55 palliative care units in Taiwan. Only 20.0% (n = 11) of the palliative care unit names included the term "palliative," while 25.2% (n = 14) included the term "hospice." Religiously affiliated hospitals were less likely to use the terms "palliative" and "hospice" (χ(2) = 11.461, P = .001). There was also a lower prevalence of use of the terms "palliative" and "hospice" for naming palliative care units in private hospitals than in public hospitals (χ(2) = 4.61, P = .032). This finding highlights the strong stigma attached to the terms "palliative" and "hospice" in Taiwan. It is hypothesized that sociocultural and religious factors may partially account for this phenomenon.
Shawawra, Mousa; Khleif, Amal Dweib
Palliative care is a very new concept in Palestine. In fact, it is still not applicable or provided within the Palestinian health care system. However, Al-Sadeel Society had organized a one day workshop in Bethlehem on November 2008 for the health professionals from the governmental and non-governmental sectors to initiate and introduce the idea of palliative care for the first time in Palestine. The general population of Palestine is approximately 2.4 millions (2007), with a life expectancy of 74.3 years of age, the death rate is 3.7 per 1000 population, having 8,910 deaths a year. Deaths due to cancer were 2,305 in five years (1999-2003), where 5,542 new cases were newly diagnosed in the same period. Health services available for cancer patients are hospital units either in patient or day care units. According to the ministry of health (MOH) statistics there are 75 beds in oncology departments in MOH hospitals; represent 2.7% of the total number of beds available, and 60 beds in daily care departments with an occupancy rate at 231.8%. There is no hospice or bereavement follow up care available for patients or their families. Despite the fact that the Palestinian culture is one of the cultures that respect and care for the elderly, but at the end of life, when the load of symptoms is high, most of the patient are care for at hospitals, and usually dye there, because the families are not able to care for their patients, and as there is no system for home care available for the Palestinian patients, and if it is available it is available in limited places and on private bases that are expensive and not affordable to the majority of patients, gross domestic product (GPD) per capita= 1,100 as 2007 estimates). We conducted a needs assessment survey within the only four facilities that provide care for the oncology patients in the West Bank and were filled by the direct health care providers. The results were expressing the fact that there is no palliative care service
Ferrell, Betty R; Dahlin, Constance; Campbell, Margaret L; Paice, Judith A; Malloy, Pam; Virani, Rose
The integration of palliative care in critical care settings is essential to improve care of the dying, and critical care nurses are leaders in these efforts. However, lack of education in providing end-of-life (EOL) care is an obstacle to nurses and other healthcare professionals as they strive to deliver palliative care. Education regarding pain and symptom management, communication strategies, care at the end of life, ethics, and other aspects of palliative care are urgently needed. Efforts to increase EOL care education in most undergraduate and graduate nursing curricula are beginning; yet, most critical care nurses have not received formal training in palliative care. Moreover, educational resources such as critical care nursing textbooks often contain inadequate information on palliative care. The ELNEC-Critical Care program provides a comprehensive curriculum that concentrates on the requirements of those nurses who are working in areas of critical care. Extensive support materials include CD-ROM, binder, Web sites, newsletters, textbooks, and other supplemental items. The ultimate goal is to improve EOL care for patients in all critical care settings and enhance the experience of family members witnessing the dying process of their loved ones.
Madden, Kevin; Wolfe, Joanne; Collura, Christopher
The chronicity of illness that afflicts children in Pediatric Palliative Care and the medical technology that has improved their lifespan and quality of life make prognostication extremely difficult. The uncertainty of prognostication and the available medical technologies make both the neonatal intensive care unit and the pediatric intensive care unit locations where many children will receive Pediatric Palliative Care. Health care providers in the neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric intensive care unit should integrate fundamental Pediatric Palliative Care principles into their everyday practice.
The purpose for this observational research was to understand how Can Support provides palliative care at home and analyze its strengths and weaknesses in various socioeconomic scenarios for future development. In the period of 2 weeks, patients and their caregivers were silently observed in their natural surroundings during home care visits in order to listen their problems, identify the pattern of questions for the home care team, their natural way of storytelling, organizational techniques for medicines and medical reports, care givers lives, patient journey, etc. Such observations have enabled the understanding of the phenomena of home palliative care and have led to the identification of certain influential variables of the practice.
Bétrémieux, P; Mannoni, C
The period of palliative care is a difficult time for parents and caregivers because they are all weakened by the proximity of death. First of all, because of religious and cultural differences, parents and families cannot easily express their beliefs or the rituals they are required to develop; second, this impossibility results in conflicts between the caregiver team and the family with consequences for both. Caregivers are concerned to allow the expression of religious beliefs and cultural demands because it is assumed that they may promote the work of mourning by relating the dead child to its family and roots. However, caregivers' fear not knowing the cultural context to which the family belongs and having inappropriate words or gestures, as sometimes families dare not, cannot, or do not wish to describe their cultural background. We attempt to differentiate what relates to culture and to religion and attempt to identify areas of potential disagreement between doctors, staff, and family. Everyone has to work with the parents to open a space of freedom that is not limited by cultural and religious assumptions. The appropriation of medical anthropology concepts allows caregivers to understand simply the obligations imposed on parents by their culture and/or their religion and open access to their wishes. Sometimes help from interpreters, mediators, ethnopsychologists, and religious representatives is needed to understand this reality.
Weissman, David E; Morrison, R Sean; Meier, Diane E
Data collection and analysis are vital for strategic planning, quality improvement, and demonstration of palliative care program impact to hospital administrators, private funders and policymakers. Since 2000, the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) has provided technical assistance to hospitals, health systems and hospices working to start, sustain, and grow nonhospice palliative care programs. CAPC convened a consensus panel in 2008 to develop recommendations for specific clinical and customer metrics that programs should track. The panel agreed on four key domains of clinical metrics and two domains of customer metrics. Clinical metrics include: daily assessment of physical/psychological/spiritual symptoms by a symptom assessment tool; establishment of patient-centered goals of care; support to patient/family caregivers; and management of transitions across care sites. For customer metrics, consensus was reached on two domains that should be tracked to assess satisfaction: patient/family satisfaction, and referring clinician satisfaction. In an effort to ensure access to reliably high-quality palliative care data throughout the nation, hospital palliative care programs are encouraged to collect and report outcomes for each of the metric domains described here.
Clark, Jennifer K; Fasciano, Karen
Young adulthood is a time of immense growth and possibilities. As a result, it is also a time when serious illness can have profound effects. This review examines the current data pertinent to young adult palliative care and discusses the challenges and opportunities where palliative medicine can enhance the care provided to this growing and vulnerable population. From the data, 2 primary themes emerged (1) ongoing young adult development not only generates unique biologic disease burdens and clinical treatment options but also requires frequent assessment and promotion and (2) binary health care systems often leave young adults without access to developmentally appropriate health care. Given its interdisciplinary approach, palliative care is uniquely poised to address the challenges known to caring for the seriously ill young adult.
Hui, David; Bruera, Eduardo
Over the past five decades, palliative care has evolved from serving patients at the end of life into a highly specialized discipline focused on delivering supportive care to patients with life-limiting illnesses throughout the disease trajectory. A growing body of evidence is now available to inform the key domains in the practice of palliative care, including symptom management, psychosocial care, communication, decision-making, and end-of-life care. Findings from multiple studies indicate that integrating palliative care early in the disease trajectory can result in improvements in quality of life, symptom control, patient and caregiver satisfaction, quality of end-of-life care, survival, and costs of care. In this narrative Review, we discuss various strategies to integrate oncology and palliative care by optimizing clinical infrastructures, processes, education, and research. The goal of integration is to maximize patient access to palliative care and, ultimately, to improve patient outcomes. We provide a conceptual model for the integration of supportive and/or palliative care with primary and oncological care. We end by discussing how health-care systems and institutions need to tailor integration based on their resources, size, and the level of primary palliative care available. PMID:26598947
Mun, Eluned; Nakatsuka, Craig; Umbarger, Lillian; Ruta, Ruth; McCarty, Tracy; Machado, Cynthia; Ceria-Ulep, Clementina
Objective: For improved utilization of the existing palliative care team in the intensive care unit (ICU), a process was needed to identify patients who might need a palliative care consultation in a timelier manner. Methods: A systematic method to create a new program that would be compatible with our specific ICU environment and patient population was developed. A literature review revealed a fairly extensive array of reports and numerous clinical practice guidelines, which were assessed for information and strategies that would be appropriate for our unit. Results: The recommendations provided by the Center to Advance Palliative Care from its Improving Palliative Care in the ICU project were used to successfully implement a new palliative care initiative in our ICU. Conclusion: The guidelines provided by the Improving Palliative Care in the ICU project were an important tool to direct the development of a new palliative care ICU initiative. PMID:28241905
Nair, Shoba; Mary, Thiophin Regina; Tarey, SD; Daniel, Sudha Pauline; Austine, Jose
Introduction: Hyponatremia is an undertreated finding in clinical practice. It is the most common electrolyte abnormality. Hyponatremia can be asymptomatic or can cause symptoms ranging from nausea and lethargy to convulsions and coma. Palliative care patients have a multitude of symptoms and there are several contributing factors towards this. Hyponatremia could be one of the contributing factors. Looking at the prevalence of hyponatremia would highlight the magnitude of the problem and would prompt healthcare professionals to investigate and treat hyponatremia in palliative care patients, which in turn might reduce symptoms such as fatigue and nausea. This could improve the quality of life in palliative care patients. Aim: To assess the prevalence of hyponatremia among patients referred for palliative care in a tertiary care hospital. Methodology: This is a descriptive study, with retrospective analysis of consecutive patient charts for 5 years. The sodium levels at the time of referral for palliative care, was reviewed. Inferential statistics for the result was calculated using the Z-test. Results: Of the 2666 consecutive patient charts that were reviewed, sodium values were recorded in 796 charts. Among the recorded charts, 28.8 % of patients showed hyponatremia at the time of referral which was significant with a P value of 0.000 (<0.05). Of these, 61.1 % had malignancy as their diagnosis and the rest had nonmalignant diseases, ranging from trauma to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Conclusions: Prevalence of hyponatremia is significant in palliative care patients. A prospective study looking at the causes and clinical outcomes associated with hyponatremia in palliative care patients is needed. PMID:26962278
LeBlanc, Thomas W.; Lodato, Jordan E.; Currow, David C.; Abernethy, Amy P.
Purpose: Palliative care is increasingly viewed as a necessary component of cancer care, especially for patients with advanced disease. Rigorous clinical trials are thus needed to build the palliative care evidence base, but clinical research—especially participant recruitment—is difficult. Major barriers include (1) patient factors, (2) “gatekeeping,” and (3) ethical concerns. Here we discuss an approach to overcoming these barriers, using the Palliative Care Trial (PCT) as a case study. Patients and Methods: The PCT was a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial randomized controlled trial (RCT) of different service delivery models to improve pain control in the palliative setting. It used a recruitment protocol that fused evidence-based strategies with principles of “social marketing,” an approach involving the systematic application of marketing techniques. Main components included (1) an inclusive triage algorithm, (2) information booklets targeting particular stakeholders, (3) a specialized recruitment nurse, and (4) standardization of wording across all study communications. Results: From an eligible pool of 607 patients, the PCT enrolled 461 patients over 26 months. Twenty percent of patients referred to the palliative care service were enrolled (76% of those eligible after screening). Several common barriers were minimized; among those who declined participation, family disinterest was uncommon (5%), as was the perception of burden imposed (4%). Conclusion: Challenges to clinical trial recruitment in palliative care are significant but not insurmountable. A carefully crafted recruitment and retention protocol can be effective. Our experience with designing and deploying a social-marketing–based protocol shows the benefits of such an approach. PMID:24130254
Rassouli, Maryam; Sajjadi, Moosa
Cancer is the third leading cause of death in Iran and its incidence has been increasing in recent years. Patients' quality of life is altered rather enormously due to cancer, which doubles the importance of and the need for providing palliative care in Iran. Although many steps have been taken toward the development and providing of palliative care in Iran, there is still a large gap between the status quo and the desirable state. This study presents the current state of palliative care for cancer patients and discusses the barriers, challenges and outlook of palliative care in Iran. If infrastructural projects that have recently been launched prove successful, proper advancement toward the providing of palliative care services in Iran will then not far on the horizon.
Robinson, Maisha T.; Holloway, Robert G.
Abstract Purpose of review: To present current knowledge and recommendations regarding communication tasks and practice approaches for neurologists as they practice primary palliative care, including discussing serious news, managing symptoms, aligning treatment with patient preferences, introducing hospice/terminal care, and using the multiprofessional approach. Recent findings: Neurologists receive little formal palliative care training yet often need to discuss prognosis in serious illness, manage intractable symptoms in chronic progressive disease, and alleviate suffering for patients and their families. Because patients with neurologic disorders often have major cognitive impairment, physical impairment, or both, with an uncertain prognosis, their palliative care needs are particularly challenging and they remain largely uncharacterized and often unmanaged. Summary: We provide an overview of neuropalliative care as a fundamental skill set for all neurologists. PMID:26918202
Mitchell, Gary; Agnelli, Joanne; McGreevy, Jessie; Diamond, Monica; Roble, Herlindina; McShane, Elaine; Strain, Joanne
The terms palliative and end of life care are often used interchangeably and healthcare practitioners may perceive that palliative care is only appropriate during the terminal stages of an illness. This article, the first of two parts, provides healthcare practitioners with an overview of the concept of palliative care. It explains how this can be differentiated from end of life care and how it should be commenced in a timely manner, so that people who are living with dementia can contribute to the planning of their future care and death. The policies and tools used in the provision of palliative and end of life care are discussed, including advance care planning and The Gold Standards Framework. The article is framed in a care home context; there is little research about how to optimise palliative care for people living with dementia in care homes. The second part of this article will discuss end of life care and the best practices for providing end of life care, including nutrition and hydration, oral hygiene, pain management and spiritual care.
... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Proposed Collection; Comment Request: Palliative Care.... Proposed Collection Palliative Care: Conversations Matter Evaluation -0925--New--National Institute of... developed Palliative Care: Conversations Matter, a pediatric palliative care campaign to address...
According to the guidelines which were published by WHO in 2008, palliative care has been defined as "An approach that improves the quality of life of the patients and their families who face the problems which are associated with life-threatening illnesses, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of an early identification, an impeccable assessment and the treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual". The intervention which is provided as a part of the palliative care has to be provided by health professionals who strictly work as a part of multidisciplinary team and have been specifically trained to an optimal level of competency in the field. The impairment of the physical function and pain are two key problem areas in palliative care, which a physiotherapist deals with. Is a physiotherapist who is trained in India, trained to work as an efficient member of the team in this field? THIS ARTICLE DEALS WITH THE FOLLOWING: What is palliative care and what is its importance?A multidisciplinary approach to palliative careThe scenario of palliative care in IndiaThe role of physiotherapy in palliative care.The current scenario of physiotherapy education vis a vis palliative care.
Kelley, Amy S.; Morrison, R. Sean
Palliative care is the interdisciplinary specialty focused on improving quality of life for persons with serious illness and their families. Over the past decade,1 the field has undergone substantial growth and change, including an expanded evidence base, new care-delivery models, innovative payment mechanisms, and increasing public and professional awareness. PMID:26287850
Strauss, Gerald; Nelson, Barbara J.
Interviews with 6 of 10 Veterans' Affairs programs offering postdoctoral fellowships in geropsychology indicated that only 30% included palliative care or hospice training, despite the fact that the veteran population is likely to have an increasing need for terminal illness care. (SK)
Bégnon, Julie; Vigneron, Sylvie
A team has studied the impact of laughter in palliative care. For the majority of caregivers, laughter is perceived as a complementary tool for supporting patients, but many are reluctant to use it. Patients, for their part, are receptive to it. Used in the correct doses, laughter can enrich care.
Alexander, Koshy; Goldberg, Jessica; Korc-Grodzicki, Beatriz
Older patients with cancer are best served by a multidisciplinary approach with palliative care (PC) playing an integral role. PC focuses on symptom control irrespective of its cause and should not be associated only with terminal care. It provides an additional layer of support in the care of patients with cancer with an emphasis on quality of life. This article discusses the evaluation and management of pain and other common nonpain symptoms that occur in elderly patients with cancer, as well as end-of-life care.
The extension of the Belgian law on euthanasia to minors during the course of 2014 raises questions with regard to the needs of children in the context of paediatric palliative care. These needs concern essentially the focus given to the interrelations between the child, their family and the caregiving team as well as to the relief of the physical, psychological and spiritual pain. Ethical guidelines help to fuel the discussions surrounding professional practices.
Weaver, Meaghann S; Heinze, Katherine E; Kelly, Katherine P; Wiener, Lori; Casey, Robert L; Bell, Cynthia J; Wolfe, Joanne; Garee, Amy M; Watson, Anne; Hinds, Pamela S
The study team conducted a systematic review of pediatric and adolescent palliative cancer care literature from 1995 to 2015 using four databases to inform development of a palliative care psychosocial standard. A total of 209 papers were reviewed with inclusion of 73 papers for final synthesis. Revealed topics of urgent consideration include the following: symptom assessment and intervention, direct patient report, effective communication, and shared decision-making. Standardization of palliative care assessments and interventions in pediatric oncology has the potential to foster improved quality of care across the cancer trajectory for children and adolescents with cancer and their family members.
Gaskins, Jessica L
Palliative care is not a term solely used for humans when discussing health care; the term is also used when discussing veterinary patients. Pets are considered part of the family by pet owners, and they have a special relationship that only another pet owner can fully understand. This article discusses some of the healthcare problems that affect pets (and their owners), statistics on the most commonly used medications for veterinary patients, quality of life, and discussions on the veterinary pharmacist-owner-palliative pet relationship and how compounding pharmacists can prepare patient-specific medications.
Nakazawa, Y; Miyashita, M; Morita, T; Umeda, M; Oyagi, Y; Ogasawara, T
Development of palliative care educational programmes continues in Japan. An instrument to evaluate a wider range of palliative care knowledge among general physicians and nurses is needed. However, such an instrument does not currently exist. The aim of this study was to develop an assessment to measure the efficacy of palliative care educational programmes. The questionnaire survey was validated with a group of 940 nurses at two facilities. The response rate was 85 % (n = 797). This study used psychometric methods such as item response theory and intraclass correlation coefficients. Ultimately, 20 items in 5 domains including 'philosophy', 'pain', 'dyspnoea', 'psychiatric problems' and 'gastrointestinal problems' were selected. For these items, the intraclass correlation was 0.88 overall and 0.61-0.82 in each domain; the Kuder-Richardson formula 20 in internal consistency was 0.81. Validity and reliability of the instrument were established. This tool is designed to evaluate a wider range of palliative care knowledge than currently available assessments and can be used for general physicians and nurses. The evaluation of educational programmes and the clarification of actual knowledge acquired are possible using this instrument.
... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request: Palliative Care... requested in writing. Proposed Collection: Palliative Care: Conversations Matter Evaluation, -0925-New... Information Collection: NINR developed Palliative Care: Conversations Matter, a pediatric palliative...
Palliative care comprises the complete treatment and care of patients suffering from incurable, life-threatening or chronically progressive disease. The aim is to provide the patients with the best possible quality of life and support them through the course of their illness until their death, to alleviate their suffering as much as possible and in consideration of the social, spiritual and religious aspects according to the patient's wishes. Palliative care is most important when the dying process and the patient's impending death do seem to be inevitable. Shared decision-making at an early stage of illness is mandatory. Respect for a person's dignity means focusing on their autonomy, their personal preferences and their right to live according to their own values and convictions. A person's autonomy is based on the level of information that he or she is given, the pertinent situation, and the patient's readiness and ability to take responsibility for their own life and end-of-life decisions. Decisions about life-prolonging measures, treatment of pain, dyspnea and palliative sedation require balancing the burden against the benefits. Decision-making must rest with the patient - as far as possible and as long as possible. The potential life-shortening effect of palliative therapy will need to be considered and discussed.
Henner, Natalia; Boss, Renee D
Neonatologists receive highly varied and largely inadequate training to acquire and maintain communication and palliative care skills. Neonatology fellows often need to give distressing news to families and frequently face unique communication challenges. While several approaches to teaching these skills exist, practice opportunities through simulation and role play will likely provide the most effective learning.
... can care start? • Receive services, like art or music therapy • Find ways to relax and play Palliative ... Nurses • Child life specialists • Respite providers • Art and music therapists • Chaplains • Case managers • Counselors • Home health aides • ...
Hozumi, Jun; Sumitani, Masahiko
World Health Organization has proposed that palliative medicine should be applied early in the course of the malignant diseases. Regrettably, however, palliative care has been usually provided to patients with the advanced stage of cancer, as terminal care. Recently, palliative medicine begins at the time when patients are diagnosed with cancer. In response to changes in clinical settings of palliative medicine, anesthesiologists, with substantial experience in interdisciplinary pain management, can utilize their advantages in providing palliative medicine to cancer patients: 1) use of opioid analgesics; 2) considering the biopsychosocial model of pain; 3) helping patients live as actively as possible until death; and 4) helping the family cope with the patient's illness and their own bereavement.
According to the guidelines published by the WHO in 2010, palliative care has been defined as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial, and spiritual.” Intervention provided as a part of the palliative care has to be by health professionals who strictly work as a part of the multidisciplinary team and have been specifically trained to an optimal level of competency in the field. Two key problem areas in palliative care which a physiotherapist deals with are poor physical function and pain. This article deals with the following issues: (1) What is palliative care education and its importance? (2) Current scenario of palliative care in medical and allied fields internationally. (3) Current scenario of palliative care education in medical and allied fields in India. (4) Proposed curriculum guidelines for palliative care in physiotherapy. PMID:27981164
Edwards, Asher; Nam, Samuel
As the baby boomer generation ages, the need for palliative care services will be paramount and yet training for palliative care physicians is currently inadequate to meet the current palliative care needs. Nonspecialty-trained physicians will need to supplement the gap between supply and demand. Yet, no uniform guidelines exist for the training of internal medicine residents in palliative care. To our knowledge, no systematic study has been performed to evaluate how internal medicine residencies currently integrate palliative care into their training. In this study, we surveyed 338 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited internal medicine program directors. We queried how palliative care was integrated into their training programs. The vast majority of respondents felt that palliative care training was "very important" (87.5%) and 75.9% of respondents offered some kind of palliative care rotation, often with a multidisciplinary approach. Moving forward, we are hopeful that the data provided from our survey will act as a launching point for more formal investigations into palliative care education for internal medicine residents. Concurrently, policy makers should aid in palliative care instruction by formalizing required palliative care training for internal medicine residents.
By 2050, it is predicted that 26% of the population will be aged 80 and over. Although older people have much to contribute, one challenging aspect of an aging population is the increasing rate of dementia. Palliative care is now included as part of the care pathway of a wide variety of nonmalignant diseases. The European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) and the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS) have jointly called for every older citizen with chronic disease to be offered the best possible palliative care approach wherever they are cared for. This report is adapted from paineurope 2013; Issue 2, ©Haymarket Medical Publications Ltd., and is presented with permission. paineurope is provided as a service to pain management by Mundipharma International LTD. and is distributed free of charge to healthcare professionals in Europe. Archival issues can be accessed via the website: http://www.paineurope.com at which European health professionals can register online to receive copies of the quarterly publication.
Coulibaly, J Didi-Kouko; Datie, A-M; Binlin-Dadie, R; Kouame, I; N'guessan, Zc; Barouan, M-C; Koffi, E; Coulibaly, I; Mensah, J; Yenou, H Memain; Dedomey, E; Echimane, Ka; Plo, Kj; Kouassi, B
Ivory Coast adhered to the strategy of the primary cares of health whose leading principles served basis to the definition of the National politics of sanitary development, exposed in the National plan of sanitary development 1996-2005. The improvement of the quality of the cares is the main objective of this plan. The attack of this objective cannot make itself without the hold in account of the palliative cares that are a component of the cares for the patients affected by chronic and incurable affections, since the diagnosis until the death and even after the death. Conscious of the necessity to develop the palliative cares to improve the quality of life of the patients and their families, the ministry in charge of health, in collaboration with the partners to the development, initiated a project of development of the palliative care in Ivory Coast. It is about an innovating gait in Ivory Coast concerning politics of health. This work has for goal to present the big lines and the setting in which this politics has been put in place.
Koh, Kwee Choy; Gupta, Esha Das; Poovaneswaran, Sangeetha; Then, Siaw Ling; Teo, Michelle Jia Jui; Gan, Teik Yiap; Thing, Joanne Hwei Yean
Context: The Palliative Care Outcome Scale (POS) is an easy-to-use assessment tool to evaluate the effectiveness of palliative care. There is no published literature on the use of POS as an assessment tool in Malaysia. Aim: To define the concordance in the assessment of quality of life between patients with advanced cancers and their palliative care nurses using a Malay version of the POS. Settings and Design: This study was conducted in the palliative care unit of the Hospital Tuanku Ja'afar Seremban, Malaysia, from February 2014 to June 2014. Subjects and Methods: We adapted and validated the English version of the 3-day recall POS into Malay and used it to define the concordance in the assessment of quality of life between patients and palliative care nurses. Forty patients with advanced stage cancers and forty palliative care nurses completed the Malay POS questionnaire. Statistical Analysis Used: The kappa statistical test was used to assess the agreement between patients and their palliative care nurses. Results: Slight to fair concordance was found in all items, except for one item (family anxiety) where there was no agreement. Conclusions: The Malay version of the POS was well accepted and reliable as an assessment tool for evaluation of the effectiveness of palliative care in Malaysia. Slight to fair concordance was shown between the patients and their palliative care nurses, suggesting the needs for more training of the nurses. PMID:28216862
As the music therapy profession has developed internationally over the last 25 years, so has its role in palliative care. Music is a highly versatile and dynamic therapeutic modality, lending itself to a variety of music therapy techniques used to benefit both those living with life-threatening illnesses and their family members and caregivers. This article will give a broad overview of the historical roots of music therapy and introduce the techniques that are employed in current practice. By combining a review of mainstream music therapy practice involving musical improvisation, song-writing and receptive/recreational techniques with case material from my own experience, this article aims to highlight the potential music therapy holds as an effective holistic practice for palliative care, whatever the care setting.
Brown, J. B.; Sangster, M.; Swift, J.
OBJECTIVE: To examine factors that influence family physicians' decisions to practise palliative care. DESIGN: Qualitative method of in-depth interviews. SETTING: Southwestern Ontario. PARTICIPANTS: Family physicians who practise palliative care on a full-time basis, who practise on a part-time basis, or who have retired from active involvement in palliative care. METHOD: Eleven in-depth interviews were conducted to explore factors that influence family physicians' decisions to practise palliative care and factors that sustain their interest in palliative care. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. The analysis strategy used a phenomenological approach and occurred concurrently rather than sequentially. All interview transcriptions were read independently by the researchers, who then compared and combined their analyses. Final analysis involved examining all interviews collectively, thus permitting relationships between and among central themes to emerge. MAIN OUTCOME FINDINGS: The overriding theme was a common philosophy of palliative care focusing on acceptance of death, whole person care, compassion, communication, and teamwork. Participants' philosophies were shaped by their education and by professional and personal experiences. In addition, participants articulated personal and systemic factors currently affecting their practice of palliative care. CONCLUSIONS: Participants observed that primary care physicians should be responsible for their patients' palliative care within the context of interdisciplinary teams. For medical students to be knowledgeable and sensitive to the needs of dying patients, palliative care should be given higher priority in the curriculum. Finally, participants argued compellingly for transferring the philosophy of palliative care to the overall practice of medicine. PMID:9612588
Confronted with the complexities inherent in delivering palliative care, effective collaboration with referring staff becomes vital. Based on the evaluation of the physical and psychosocial concerns of patients, the goal of palliative care is to craft interventions that maintain quality of life in the face of increasing symptoms and deteriorating functional status. The project's goal was to increase the appropriateness of referrals to palliative care by the primary services in the hospital. The aim was to achieve this by developing a process to assess patient functioning in critical psychosocial and functional areas, and providing this data to referring medical staff to educate them on the contribution of palliative care to symptom control and patient quality of life. The findings show that referrals to palliative care have increased over 100% from a broader range of services since initiating this project. Assessment data has been collected on 165 patients and outcomes are discussed.
Chumash Healers used breathing therapy and counseling to keep patients involved in daily life and to avoid depression. Heat therapy, massage and pain medications were used to help with pain. Another primary function of the Healer was to help the patient sleep as normally as possible, possibly using mugwort or momoy. Nutrition was considered by Healers in treating their patients. The overall concern of the Healer was to help maintain the daily routine of village life during the normal process of the death of a village member. PMID:15937554
Shaw, Clare; Eldridge, Lucy
Many palliative care patients experience nutritional problems as their conditions progress. This includes those with progressive neurological conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as advanced cancer. Nutritional issues not only impact patients physically but also psychologically and can also have an effect on those caring for them. It is important that patients are screened appropriately and that one identifies what symptoms are potentially affecting their intake. Decisions should always be patient-centred. Nutritional interventions range from food modification and nutritional supplements, to more intense methods such as enteral or parenteral nutrition, and these may have ethical and legal considerations. This article explores the nutritional issues faced by palliative patients, the ethical issues supporting decision-making and the methods of nutritional support available.
Pelant, Diane; McCaffrey, Terri; Beckel, Jean
Palliative care, long-used in the adult setting, is new to the pediatric setting. Research indicates that palliative care reduces length of stay and use of aggressive end-of-life interventions, improves quality of life, and provides hope. It balances provision of coordinated care with building of family memories and preparation for the child's death with celebration of the child's life. We advocate implementation of pediatric palliative care in any hospital that cares for children. This article provides a model outlining critical steps and considerations for establishing a successful pediatric palliative care program.
Whittall, Dawn; Lee, Susan; O'Connor, Margaret
To review factors shaping volunteering in palliative care in Australian rural communities using Australian and International literature. Identify gaps in the palliative care literature and make recommendations for future research. A comprehensive literature search was conducted using Proquest, Scopus, Sage Premier, Wiley online, Ovid, Cochran, Google Scholar, CINAHL and Informit Health Collection. The literature was synthesised and presented in an integrated thematic narrative. Australian Rural communities. While Australia, Canada, the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) are leaders in palliative care volunteer research, limited research specifically focuses on volunteers in rural communities with the least occurring in Australia. Several interrelated factors influence rural palliative care provision, in particular an increasingly ageing population which includes an ageing volunteer and health professional workforce. Also current and models of palliative care practice fail to recognise the innumerable variables between and within rural communities such as distance, isolation, lack of privacy, limited health care services and infrastructure, and workforce shortages. These issues impact palliative care provision and are significant for health professionals, volunteers, patients and caregivers. The three key themes of this integrated review include: (i) Geography, ageing rural populations in palliative care practice, (ii) Psychosocial impact of end-end-of life care in rural communities and (iii) Palliative care models of practice and volunteering in rural communities. The invisibility of volunteers in rural palliative care research is a concern in understanding the issues affecting the sustainability of quality palliative care provision in rural communities. Recommendations for future Australian research includes examination of the suitability of current models of palliative care practice in addressing the needs of rural communities; the recruitment
Barilan, Y Michael
In refutation of hedonism, Nozick offered a hypothetical thought experiment, known as the Experience Machine. This paper maintains that end-of-life-suffering of the kind that is resistant to state-of-the-art palliation provides a conceptually equal experiment which validates Nozick's observations and conclusions. The observation that very many terminal patients who suffer terribly do no wish for euthanasia or terminal sedation is incompatible with motivational hedonism. Although irreversible vegetative state and death are equivalently pain-free, very many people loath the former even at the price of the latter. This attitude cannot be accounted for by hedonism. Following these observations, the goals of palliative care are sketched along four circles. The first is mere removal or mitigation of noxious symptoms and suffering. The second targets sufferings that stymie patients' life-plans and do not allow them to be happy, the third targets sufferings that interfere with their pursuance of other goods (palliation as a primary good). The fourth is the control of sufferings that do not allow the person to benefit from any human good whatsoever ("total pain" or critical suffering). Only in the fourth circle are people hedonists.
Bolognesi, Deborah; Brighi, Nicole; Muciarelli, Pier-Angelo; Biasco, Guido
Development of palliative care (PC) culture spur the need of proper and formal training. Palliative medicine is not fully recognized as an academic medical discipline due to its humanistic influences, and studies show that physicians declare to be not prepared to provide care and pain management to dying patients. Nowadays, despite leading countries in PC being considered more innovative than other countries,such as Italy, facts show that the achievement of acknowledged discipline went through a long process. In Italy,professionals from about 450 PC units and organizations need to receive a proper and homogeneous training. In Italy, palliative medicine official certification is an undergoing process advocated by a few organizations and in Bologna the Academy of the Sciences of Palliative Medicine operates since 2007 with the defined mission of developing PC culture, also within the University. In order to be as much effective in pursuing its mission, the Academy has strengthened several international cooperation programs and today is leader in PC professional training and research in Italy. The recent law and its feasibility is fastening the process of development of Palliative Care Culture in Italy even if training is not properly regulated and official certification for physician is under evaluation. In Europe, the European Association of Palliative Care is stressing the need for training programs in palliative medicine and the outcomes of the dedicated task force on official certification and specialty in Palliative Medicine will remarkably force policy makers and national councils to officially recognize the discipline. PMID:23766591
Broadley, K E; Kurowska, A; Dick, R; Platts, A; Tookman, A
Transcatheter arterial embolization (TCAE) is a well recognized radiological technique that has been used for over 25 years. It is a method of diminishing blood flow through selected vessels by inserting haemostatic material under angiographic control. The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic through a femoral or, occasionally, an axillary approach. We present our experience of the use of TCAE in the management of pain and haemorrhage in three hospice inpatients in whom other options had been exhausted. The use of TCAE as a technique for the palliation of these symptoms in the hospice setting is discussed.
Boersma, Isabel; Miyasaki, Janis; Kutner, Jean; Kluger, Benzi
Palliative care is an approach to the care of patients and families facing progressive and chronic illnesses that focuses on the relief of suffering due to physical symptoms, psychosocial issues, and spiritual distress. As neurologists care for patients with chronic, progressive, life-limiting, and disabling conditions, it is important that they understand and learn to apply the principles of palliative medicine. In this article, we aim to provide a practical starting point in palliative medicine for neurologists by answering the following questions: (1) What is palliative care and what is hospice care? (2) What are the palliative care needs of neurology patients? (3) Do neurology patients have unique palliative care needs? and (4) How can palliative care be integrated into neurology practice? We cover several fundamental palliative care skills relevant to neurologists, including communication of bad news, symptom assessment and management, advance care planning, caregiver assessment, and appropriate referral to hospice and other palliative care services. We conclude by suggesting areas for future educational efforts and research.
Dallara, Alexis; Meret, Anca; Saroyan, John
Objectives of this review were to examine definitions and background of palliative care, as well as address whether there is an increased need for palliative care education among neurologists. The review also explores what literature exists regarding palliative care within general neurology and child neurology. A literature review was conducted examining use of palliative care within child neurology. More than 100 articles and textbooks were retrieved and reviewed. Expert guidelines stress the importance of expertise in palliative care among neurologists. Subspecialties written about in child neurology include that of peripheral nervous system disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and metabolic disorders. Adult and child neurology patients have a great need for improved palliative care services, as they frequently develop cumulative physical and cognitive disabilities over time and cope with decreasing quality of life before reaching the terminal stage of their illness.
Khosla, Divya; Patel, Firuza D; Sharma, Suresh C
Despite its limited coverage, palliative care has been present in India for about 20 years. Obstacles in the growth of palliative care in India are too many and not only include factors like population density, poverty, geographical diversity, restrictive policies regarding opioid prescription, workforce development at base level, but also limited national palliative care policy and lack of institutional interest in palliative care. Nonetheless we have reasons to be proud in that we have overcome several hurdles and last two decades have seen palpable changes in the mindset of health care providers and policy makers with respect to need of palliative care in India. Systematic and continuous education for medical staff is mandatory, and a major break-through for achieving this purpose would be to increase the number of courses and faculties in palliative medicine at most universities. PMID:23439559
Webster, Ruth; Lacey, Judith; Quine, Susan
Palliative care is an emerging specialist discipline worldwide with the majority of services located in developed countries. Developing countries, however, have higher incidences of cancer and AIDS and most of these patients would benefit from palliative care. While there is prominent coverage of this issue in the palliative care literature, there is limited coverage in the specialist public health literature, which suggests that the challenges of palliative care may not yet have been generally recognized as a public health priority, particularly in developing countries. The aim of this article is to introduce the topic of "Palliative care in developing countries" into the specialist public health literature to raise awareness and stimulate debate on this issue among public health professionals and health policy makers, thereby potentially facilitating establishment of palliative care services in developing countries.
Mierendorf, Susanne M; Gidvani, Vinita
The Emergency Department (ED) is the place where people most frequently seek urgent care. For patients living with chronic disease or malignancy who may be in a crisis, this visit may be pivotal in determining the patients’ trajectory. There is a large movement in education of emergency medicine physicians, hospitalists, and intensivists from acute aggressive interventions to patient-goal assessment, recognizing last stages of life and prioritizing symptom management. Although the ED is not considered an ideal place to begin palliative care, hospital-based physicians may assist in eliciting the patient’s goals of care and discussing prognosis and disease trajectory. This may help shift to noncurative treatment. This article will summarize the following: identification of patients who may need palliation, discussing prognosis, eliciting goals of care and directives, symptom management in the ED, and making plans for further care. These efforts have been shown to improve outcomes and to decrease length of stay and cost. The focus of this article is relieving “patient” symptoms and family distress, honoring the patient’s goals of care, and assisting in transition to a noncurative approach and placement where this may be accomplished. PMID:24694318
Zulman, Donna M.
Abstract With global aging and scientific advances extending survival, the number of adults experiencing multiple chronic conditions has grown substantially and is projected to increase by another third between 2000 and 2030. Among the many challenges posed by multimorbidity, some of the most pressing include how to characterize and measure comorbid conditions, understand symptoms and illness burden, and provide person-centered care in the context of competing health care priorities and increasing complexity. In this white paper emanating from a National Institute on Aging supported conference to discuss research gaps at the geriatrics–palliative care interface, the authors review common definitions of multimorbidity; describe the association between multimorbidity and quality of life, functional status, quality of care, and health care utilization; note content and methodological gaps in multimorbidity evidence; and make recommendations regarding research priorities in this area of expanding public health impact. PMID:23777331
Berry, Mary Judith; Saito-Benz, Maria; Klein, Tisha; Bowkett, Brendon; Richardson, Vaughan F
Complete ectopia cordis in the newborn represents a significant management challenge. There are minimal data available to inform optimal clinical care for those infants with coexisting complex congenital heart disease who are therefore not candidates for surgical intervention. The exteriorisation of the heart and absence of the pericardial sac requires meticulous wound care to prevent desiccation of the myocardium and to minimise infection risk. Additionally, the technique selected must address the risk of occlusion of the cardiac vascular pedicle and abrasion between the mobile myocardium and dressing surface. We report a novel approach to wound management and integrated palliative care that enabled community-based care. Our patient, a full-term male infant with complete ectopia cordis was born in good condition by assisted vaginal delivery. He was discharged from hospital on day 8 and was cared for in the community until his demise from cardiac failure on day 15.
Michelson, Kelly Nicole; Steinhorn, David M.
Optimizing the quality of medical care at the end of life has achieved national status as an important health care goal. Palliative care, a comprehensive approach to treating the physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs of patients and their families facing life-limiting illnesses, requires the coordinated efforts of a multidisciplinary group of caregivers. Understanding the basic principles of palliative care can aid emergency department staff in identifying patients who could benefit from palliative care services and in managing the challenging situations that arise when such patients present to the hospital for care. In this article we present the overall philosophy of pediatric palliative care, describe key elements of quality palliative care, and identify additional referral sources readers can access for more information. PMID:18438449
Evidence and information is an integral part of the processes enabling clinical and service delivery within health. It is used by health professionals in clinical practice and in developing their professional knowledge, by policy makers in decision making, and is sought by health consumers to help them manage their health needs and assess their options. Increasingly, this evidence and information is being disseminated and sought through online channels. The internet is fundamentally changing how health information is being distributed and accessed. Clinicians, patients, community members, and decision makers have an unprecedented capacity to find online information about palliative care and end-of-life care. However, it is clear that not all individuals have the skills to be able to find and assess the quality of the resources they need. There are also many issues in creating online resources that are current, relevant and authoritative for use by health professionals and by health consumers. This paper explores the processes and structures used in creating a major national palliative care knowledge resource, the CareSearch website, to meet the needs of health professionals and of patients and their families and carers. PMID:27983592
Robert, Rhonda; Zhukovsky, Donna S; Mauricio, Riza; Gilmore, Katherine; Morrison, Shirley; Palos, Guadalupe R
This study's goal was to describe and begin to understand the experience of bereaved parents whose deceased child had received pediatric oncology services at a tertiary comprehensive cancer center. Focus groups were conducted with parents whose children were age 10 years and older at the time of death. Potential participants were contacted by mail and telephone. Sessions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. The ATLAS.ti qualitative software program was used to identify and analyze dominant themes. Fourteen parents identified four major themes: standards of care, emotional care, communication, and social support. Bereaved parents discussed the challenges associated with institutional procedures and interpersonal aspects of care in anticipation of and following their child's death. The results of these personal narratives may be used to guide care plans and deliver pediatric palliative and end-of-life interventions.
Santos Salas, Anna; Cameron, Brenda L
Understanding how a nurse acts in a particular situation reveals how nurses enact their ethics in day-to-day nursing. Our ethical frameworks assist us when we experience serious ethical dilemmas. Yet how a nurse responds in situations of daily practice is contingent upon all the presenting cues that build the current moment. In this article, we look at how a home care nurse responds to the ethical opening that arises when the nurse enters a person's home. We discuss how the home presents the nurse with knowledge that informs the provision of ethical nursing care. The analysis is based on findings from an interpretive research study in palliative home care in Canada. Through interpretive analysis of a nursing situation we delineate how the nurse engages with the whole and acts inside the moment. The analysis shows how home care nurses are ethically determined to engage with whatever is going on in a patient's home.
Connell, Tanya; Fernandez, Ritin S; Griffiths, Rhonda; Tran, Duong; Agar, Meera; Harlum, Janeane; Langdon, Rachel
A wide range of services are provided to palliative care clients to alleviate pain and improve their quality of life. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of clients and their carers regarding palliative care services in New South Wales, Austalia. Ten patients and their carers (n = 7) were randomly selected from a sample of palliative care clients and were informed of the study and interviewed. Interview data were coded independently by three researchers and thematic analysis was undertaken. The themes identified were similar for both clients and carers and included: access to services; service provision; impact on way of life; usefulness of services; and staffing. An additional theme identified by clients was the burden of caregiving on carers. Knowledge of perceptions and concerns of client and carers is important to consider when planning palliative care services.
The value of palliative care in pediatrics has received significant attention over the past 10 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Institute of Medicine published recommendations involving children who have a life-limiting diagnosis in a palliative care program early in their disease process. Palliative care is intended to assure an emphasis on quality of life in addition to the current medical treatment, which may be focused on cure, symptom management, and/or end-of-life care. This article describes one hospital's experience in planning, implementing, and managing a pediatric palliative care program. Implementing a hospital-based palliative care program in a children's hospital can be accomplished through careful planning and analysis of need. Writing an official business plan formalized the request for organizational support for this program, including the mission and vision, plans for how services would be provided, expected financial implications, and initial plans for evaluation of success.
Gkialas, I; Iordanidou, L; Galanakis, I; Giannopoulos, S
Bone pain associated with advanced prostate and other cancers is a frequent and significant complication. Pharmaceutical therapy of bone pain includes nonsteroidal analgesics and opiates. While external beam radiation therapy remains the mainstay of pain palliation of solitary lesions, bone-seeking radiopharmaceuticals have entered the armamentarium for the treatment of multiple osseous metastases. The 3 radioisotopes currently approved for treatment of pain (strontium-89/(89)Sr, samarium-153/(153)Sm and rhenium-186/(186)Re) are discussed in this review including the approved dose, method of administration and indications for use.
O'Connor, Moira; Pugh, Judith; Jiwa, Moyez; Hughes, Jeff; Fisher, Colleen
Palliative care emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to care to improve quality of life and relieve symptoms. Palliative care is provided in many ways; in hospices, hospital units, and the community. However, the greatest proportion of palliative care is in the community. In hospice and palliative care units in hospitals, clinical pharmacists are part of the interdisciplinary team and work closely with other health care professionals. Their expertise in the therapeutic use of medications is highly regarded, particularly as many palliative care patients have complex medication regimens, involving off-label or off-license prescribing that increases their risk for drug-related problems. However, this active involvement in the palliative care team is not reflected in the community setting, despite the community pharmacist being one of the most accessible professionals in the community, and visiting a community pharmacist is convenient for most people, even those who have limited access to private or public transport. This may be due to a general lack of understanding of skills and knowledge that particular health professionals bring to the interdisciplinary team, a lack of rigorous research supporting the necessity for the community pharmacist's involvement in the team, or it could be due to professional tensions. If these barriers can be overcome, community pharmacists are well positioned to become active members of the community palliative care interdisciplinary team and respond to the palliative care needs of patients with whom they often have a primary relationship.
Grant, Marcia; Elk, Ronit; Ferrell, Betty; Morrison, R. Sean; von Gunten, Charles F.
Palliative and end-of-life care is changing in the United States. This dynamic field is improving the care for patients with serious and life-threatening cancer through creation of national guidelines for quality care, multidisciplinary educational offerings, research endeavors, and resources made available to clinicians. Barriers to implementing quality palliative care across cancer populations include a rapidly expanding population of older adults who will need cancer care and a decrease in the workforce available to give care. Ways to integrate current palliative care knowledge into care of patients include multidisciplinary national education and research endeavors, and clinician resources. Acceptance of palliative care as a recognized medical specialty provides a valuable resource for improvement of care. While the evidence base for palliative care is only beginning, national research support has assisted in providing support to build the knowledge foundation for appropriate palliative care. Opportunities are available for clinicians to understand and apply appropriate palliative and end-of-life care to patients with serious and life-threatening cancers. PMID:19729681
Wood, Emily B.; Meekin, Sharon Abele; Fins, Joseph J.; Fleischman, Alan R.
Evaluated a project to catalyze New York State medical schools to develop and implement strategic plans for curricular change to enhance palliative care education. Found that the project's process of self-assessment and curriculum mapping with the Palliative Education Assessment Tool, along with strategic planning for change, appears to have…
Lilley, Elizabeth J; Cooper, Zara; Schwarze, Margaret L; Mosenthal, Anne C
Given the acute and often life-limiting nature of surgical illness, as well as the potential for treatment to induce further suffering, surgical patients have considerable palliative care needs. Yet, these patients are less likely to receive palliative care than their medical counterparts and palliative care consultations often occur when death is imminent, reflecting poor quality end-of-life care. Surgical patients would likely benefit from early palliative care delivered alongside surgical treatment to promote goal-concordant decision making and to improve patients' physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being and quality of life. To date, evidence to support the role of palliative care in surgical practice is sparse and palliative care research in surgery is encumbered by methodological challenges and entrenched cultural norms that impede appropriate provision of palliative care. The objective of this article was to describe the existing science of palliative care in surgery within three priority areas and expose specific gaps within the field. We propose a research agenda to address these gaps and provide a road map for future investigation.
The purpose of this qualitative study, using a modified grounded theory approach, was to investigate how palliative care nurses care for people from cultural backgrounds other than their own. Ten palliative care nurses were interviewed. The semi-structured interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Analysis commenced as soon as data began to emerge. The findings show that palliative nursing across cultural boundaries is paradoxical. In endeavouring to treat everyone equally, nurses treated everyone as individuals. They made intense efforts to transcend both cultural and language barriers. The nurses gave of themselves when caring for the patients, but their endeavours were impeded by limited resources and a lack of education. The theory of cross-cultural endeavour in palliative nursing was developed to explain how palliative care nurses care for patients from cultures other than their own.
Daher, Michel; Estephan, Elie; Abu-Saad Huijer, Huda; Naja, Zoher
The goal of palliative care (PC) is to relieve suffering. PC is an urgent humanitarian need worldwide for people with cancer and other chronic fatal diseases. PC in Lebanon has made some important strides in the last decade but it is still in its infancy. More attention needs to be given in the near future to the implementation of the recommendations already listed by previous meetings and workshops. In order to do so, it is necessary to change the legislative system in Lebanon in order to recognize and to integrate this new discipline. Education and training of health professionals in PC should be provided by medical and nursing schools throughout the country. Postgraduate education in medicine and nursing and ensuing certification should be made available. Ideally, PC services should be provided from the time of diagnosis of life-threatening illness, adapting to the increasing needs of cancer patients and their families as the disease progresses into the terminal phase. They should also provide support to families in their bereavement. It is as important and essential to involve policy makers in the development of pain relief and PC services and clinics which meet the needs of the population in Lebanon. Effective PC services should be integrated into the existing health system at all levels of care, especially community and home-based care. They involve the public and the private sector and are adapted to the specific cultural, social and economic setting. In order to respond to the cancer priority needs in a community and make the best use of scarce resources, PC services should be strategically linked to cancer prevention, early detection and treatment services. The time will come for Lebanon to form the National Council for Pain Relief and Palliative Care as an advocacy and coordination body for pain relief and PC in the near future. To that effect, we believe the future is near.
Daly, Donnelle; Matzel, Stephen Chavez
A transdisciplinary team is an essential component of palliative and end-of-life care. This article will demonstrate how to develop a transdisciplinary approach to palliative care, incorporating nursing, social work, spiritual care, and pharmacy in an acute care setting. Objectives included: identifying transdisciplinary roles contributing to care in the acute care setting; defining the palliative care model and mission; identifying patient/family and institutional needs; and developing palliative care tools. Methods included a needs assessment and the development of assessment tools, an education program, community resources, and a patient satisfaction survey. After 1 year of implementation, the transdisciplinary palliative care team consisted of seven palliative care physicians, two social workers, two chaplains, a pharmacist, and End-of-Life Nursing Consortium (ELNEC) trained nurses. Palomar Health now has a palliative care service with a consistent process for transdisciplinary communication and intervention for adult critical care patients with advanced, chronic illness.
Lloyd-Williams, Mari; Field, David
Responses from 46 of 108 nurse educators in the United Kingdom indicated that diploma students received a mean of 7.8 hours and degree students 12.2 hours of palliative care training. Although 82% believed it should be a core component, 67% had difficulty finding qualified teachers. Palliative care knowledge was not formally assessed in most…
Hubble, Rosemary A; Ward-Smith, Peggy; Christenson, Kathy; Hutto, C J; Korphage, Rebecca M; Hubble, Christopher L
Recommendations for best practice from the American Academy of Pediatrics include the availability of palliative care for children with life-threatening or life-limiting health care conditions. The uniqueness of the both the pediatric population and a pediatric health care setting requires changing the culture that previously has provided only curative or hospice care to these individuals. Methods to provide palliative care alongside of treatment and coordination of these efforts must be multidisciplinary and include family members.
Kampo medicines are currently manufactured under strict quality controls. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan has approved 148 Kampo formulas. There is increasing evidence for the efficacy of Kampo medicines, and some are used clinically for palliative care in Japan. The specific aim of this review is to evaluate the clinical use of Kampo medicines in palliative care in the treatment of cancer. The conclusions are as follows: Juzentaihoto inhibits the progression of liver tumors in a dose-dependent manner and contributes to long-term survival. Hochuekkito has clinical effects on cachexia for genitourinary cancer and improves the QOL and immunological status of weak patients, such as postoperative patients. Daikenchuto increases intestinal motility and decreases the postoperative symptoms of patients with total gastrectomy with jejunal pouch interposition, suppresses postoperative inflammation following surgery for colorectal cancer, and controls radiation-induced enteritis. Rikkunshito contributes to the amelioration of anorectic conditions in cancer cachexia-anorexia syndrome. Goshajinkigan and Shakuyakukanzoto reduce the neurotoxicity of patients with colorectal cancer who undergo oxaliplatin and FOLFOX (5-fluorouracil/folinic acid plus oxaliplatin) therapy. Hangeshashinto has the effect of preventing and alleviating diarrhea induced by CPT-11(irinotecan) and combination therapy with S-1/CPT-11. O’rengedokuto significantly improves mucositis caused by anticancer agents. PMID:24447861
Bergman, Jonathan; Laviana, Aaron A
Palliative care involves aggressively addressing and treating psychosocial, spiritual, religious, and family concerns, as well as considering the overall psychosocial structures supporting a patient. The concept of integrated palliative care removes the either/or decision a patient needs to make: they need not decide if they want either aggressive chemotherapy from their oncologist or symptom-guided palliative care but rather they can be comanaged by several clinicians, including a palliative care clinician, to maximize the benefit to them. One common misconception about palliative care, and supportive care in general, is that it amounts to “doing nothing” or “giving up” on aggressive treatments for patients. Rather, palliative care involves very aggressive care, targeted at patient symptoms, quality-of-life, psychosocial needs, family needs, and others. Integrating palliative care into the care plan for individuals with advanced diseases does not necessarily imply that a patient must forego other treatment options, including those aimed at a cure, prolonging of life, or palliation. Implementing interventions to understand patient preferences and to ensure those preferences are addressed, including preferences related to palliative and supportive care, is vital in improving the patient-centeredness and value of surgical care. Given our aging population and the disproportionate cost of end-of-life care, this holds great hope in bending the cost curve of health care spending, ensuring patient-centeredness, and improving quality and value of care. Level 1 evidence supports this model, and it has been achieved in several settings; the next necessary step is to disseminate such models more broadly. PMID:27226721
Kumar, Senthil P
Context: Pediatric palliative care clinical practice depends upon an evidence-based decision-making process which in turn is based upon current research evidence. Aims: This study aimed to perform a quantitative analysis of research publications in palliative care journals for reporting characteristics of articles on pediatric palliative care. Settings and Design: This was a systematic review of palliative care journals. Materials and Methods: Twelve palliative care journals were searched for articles with “paediatric” or “children” in titles of the articles published from 2006 to 2010. The reporting rates of all journals were compared. The selected articles were categorized into practice, education, research, and administration, and subsequently grouped into original and review articles. The original articles were subgrouped into qualitative and quantitative studies, and the review articles were grouped into narrative and systematic reviews. Each subgroup of original articles’ category was further classified according to study designs. Statistical Analysis Used: Descriptive analysis using frequencies and percentiles was done using SPSS for Windows, version 11.5. Results: The overall reporting rate among all journals was 2.66% (97/3634), and Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing (JHPN) had the highest reporting rate of 12.5% (1/8), followed by Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care (JSWELPC) with a rate of 7.5% (5/66), and Journal of Palliative Care (JPC) with a rate of 5.33% (11/206). Conclusions: The overall reporting rate for pediatric palliative care articles in palliative care journals was very low and there were no randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews found. The study findings indicate a lack of adequate evidence base for pediatric palliative care. PMID:22347775
Macaden, Stanley C; Salins, Naveen; Muckaden, Maryann; Kulkarni, Priyadarshini; Joad, Anjum; Nirabhawane, Vivek; Simha, Srinagesh
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Purpose: To develop an End of Life Care (EOLC) Policy for patients who are dying with an advanced life limiting illness. To improve the quality of care of the dying by limiting unnecessary therapeutic medical interventions, providing access to trained palliative care providers, ensuring availability of essential medications for pain and symptom control and improving awareness of EOLC issues through education initiatives. Evidence: A review of Country reports, observational studies and key surveys demonstrates that EOLC in India is delivered ineffectively, with a majority of the Indian population dying with no access to palliative care at end of life and essential medications for pain and symptom control. Limited awareness of EOLC among public and health care providers, lack of EOLC education, absent EOLC policy and ambiguous legal standpoint are some of the major barriers in effective EOLC delivery. Recommendations: Access to receive good palliative and EOLC is a human right. All patients are entitled to a dignified death. Government of India (GOI) to take urgent steps towards a legislation supporting good EOLC, and all hospitals and health care institutions to have a working EOLC policyProviding a comprehensive care process that minimizes physical and non physical symptoms in the end of life phase and ensuring access to essential medications for pain and symptom controlPalliative care and EOLC to be part of all hospital and community/home based programsStandards of palliative and EOLC as established by appropriate authorities and Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) met and standards accredited and monitored by national and international accreditation bodiesAll health care providers with direct patient contact are urged to undergo EOLC certification, and EOLC training should be incorporated into the curriculum of health care education. PMID:25191002
Kinoshita, Satomi; Miyashita, Mitsunori; Morita, Tatsuya; Sato, Kazuki; Shoji, Ayaka; Chiba, Yurika; Miyazaki, Tamana; Tsuneto, Satoru; Shima, Yasuo
The study purpose was to understand the perspectives of bereaved family members regarding palliative care unit (PCU) and palliative care and to compare perceptions of PCU before admission and after bereavement. A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted, and the perceptions of 454 and 424 bereaved family members were obtained regarding PCU and palliative care, respectively. Family members were significantly more likely to have positive perceptions after bereavement (ranging from 73% to 80%) compared to before admission (ranging from 62% to 71%). Bereaved family members who were satisfied with medical care in the PCU had a positive perception of the PCU and palliative care after bereavement. Respondents younger than 65 years of age were significantly more likely to have negative perceptions of PCU and palliative care.
Kaye, Erica C; Rubenstein, Jared; Levine, Deena; Baker, Justin N; Dabbs, Devon; Friebert, Sarah E
Early integration of pediatric palliative care (PPC) for children with life-threatening conditions and their families enhances the provision of holistic care, addressing psychological, social, spiritual, and physical concerns, without precluding treatment with the goal of cure. PPC involvement ideally extends throughout the illness trajectory to improve continuity of care for patients and families. Although current PPC models focus primarily on the hospital setting, community-based PPC (CBPPC) programs are increasingly integral to the coordination, continuity, and provision of quality care. In this review, the authors examine the purpose, design, and infrastructure of CBPPC in the United States, highlighting eligibility criteria, optimal referral models to enhance early involvement, and fundamental tenets of CBPPC. This article also appraises the role of CBPPC in promoting family-centered care. This model strives to enhance shared decision making, facilitate seamless handoffs of care, maintain desired locations of care, and ease the end of life for children who die at home. The effect of legislation on the advent and evolution of CBPPC also is discussed, as is an assessment of the current status of state-specific CBPPC programs and barriers to implementation of CBPPC. Finally, strategies and resources for designing, implementing, and maintaining quality standards in CBPPC programs are reviewed.
Palliative care is expanding out of the hospice, and out of the narrow confines of its association with cancer. It should be a part of all care. District nurses are ideally placed to implement and coordinate palliative care in the community, making use of the talents of many other agencies and professionals. However, because of a lack of communication between these agencies, there is confusion about their roles, and many patients may not be receiving optimal care. This article argues that by promoting interagency and interprofessional communication and cooperation, district nurses can strengthen their role at the heart of palliative care provision in the community.
Gurfolino, V; Dumas, L
In this article, some differences are presented between hospice and home care nurses. Issues related to pain control, symptom management, and dehydration are highlighted. Emphasis is placed on the spiritual dimensions of hospice care and the holism implicit in its concept.
Yoshida, Saran; Miyashita, Mitsunori; Morita, Tatsuya; Akizuki, Nobuya; Akiyama, Miki; Shirahige, Yutaka; Ichikawa, Takayuki; Eguchi, Kenji
This study primarily aimed to identify future actions required to promote palliative care in Japan. The future actions regarded as effective by the general population were "improve physicians' skill in palliative care" (61%), "create a counseling center for cancer" (61%), and "improve nurses' skill in palliative care" (60%). In contrast, future actions regarded as effective by the health care professionals were "set up a Web site that provides information about cancer" (72%), "promote consultation with specialists in palliative care" (71%), and "open an outpatient department specializing in palliative care" (70%). The results suggest (1) development and maintenance of settings; (2) enhancement of palliative care education and training programs for health care providers; and (3) improvement in distributing information about cancer and regional palliative care resources to the general population.
da Costa, Thailly Faria; Ceolim, Maria Filomena
Pediatric palliative care is a challenge for nursing because it requires emotional balance and knowledge about its specific features. This study is an integrative literature review that aims to identify nursing actions in palliative care for children and adolescents with cancer, considering peculiarities of the disease and dying process. The review was performed by searching for articles indexed in Biblioteca Virtual da Adolescência (Adolec), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Literatura Latino-Americana e do Caribe em Ciências da Saúde (LILACS) and PubMed databases from January 2004 till May 2009. From 29 references found, six met inclusion criteria. Results show teamwork, home care, pain management, dialogue, family support and particularities of childhood cancer fundamental tools for nursing in palliative care. The complexity of care in this situation requires solidarity, compassion, support and relieving suffering.
McClement, Susan E; Care, Dean; Dean, Ruth; Cheang, Mary
Our study was an evaluation of a pilot course in palliative nursing care designed to improve practising nurses' knowledge regarding cancer pain management and attitudes toward care of the dying patient. The course involved 12 weeks (36 hours) of systematic classroom instruction for registered nurses, and a one-day observational experience on a designated palliative care unit. A total of 16 nurses participated in the study. A repeated measures design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the course. Attitudes toward care of the dying patient and his/her family were also evaluated. Results showed that nurses' attitudes improved significantly from Time 1 (first day of course) to Time 2 (last day of course) (p=0.0007), and that this improvement was maintained at Time 3 (three months later) (p=0.064). The observational experience on a palliative care unit held in conjunction with the course was reported to be helpful to students in consolidating theoretical instruction.
Bradford, Natalie K; Armfield, Nigel R; Young, Jeanine; Herbert, Anthony; Mott, Christine; Smith, Anthony C
We compared the records of paediatric palliative consultations undertaken face-to-face, with telemedicine consultations undertaken in patients' homes. A convenience sample of consecutive paediatric palliative care patients was identified from the hospital's palliative care database. A total of 100 consultations was reviewed (50 telemedicine consultations during home visits and 50 face-to-face consultations) according to 14 established principles and components of a paediatric palliative care consultation. In the telemedicine group there was a higher proportion of patients in a stable condition (58% vs 7%), and a lower proportion of patients in terminal phase (2% vs 17%). Discussion about pain and anorexia were significantly more common in the telemedicine group. Discussion about follow up was significantly more common in the telemedicine group (86% vs 56%), whilst resuscitation planning was more common in deteriorating patients receiving inpatient care. All other components and principles of a palliative care consultation were documented equally regardless of method of consultation. The findings confirm that palliative consultations via telemedicine are just as effective as face-to-face consultations in terms of the documented components of the consultation.
Kwekkeboom, Kristine L; Vahl, Cheryl; Eland, Joann
Currently, major deficiencies exist in undergraduate nursing education for end-of-life care. Nursing students report feeling anxious and unprepared to be with patients who are dying. A Palliative Care Companion program that allows undergraduate nursing students to volunteer to spend time with patients at the end of life provides a unique educational opportunity to enhance students' knowledge and attitudes toward palliative care. In addition, the program offers a service to patients and families by providing a nonmedical, caring human presence to patients who may be alone, lonely, or bored. In accordance with tenets of Experiential Learning Theory, a Palliative Care Companion program was developed and revised using feedback from initial participants and facilitators. Data collected during the first two semesters indicated increased knowledge of palliative care, improved attitudes about care at the end of life, and fewer concerns about providing nursing care to dying patients, when participating students were compared to their undergraduate peers.
von Plessen, Christian; Nielsen, Thyge L; Steffensen, Ida E; Larsen, Shuruk Al-Halwai; Taudorf, Ebbe
Terminal chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and advanced cancer have similar prognosis and symptom burden. However, palliative care of patients with terminal COPD has been neglected in Denmark. We describe the symptoms of terminal COPD and suggest criteria for defining the palliative phase of the disease. Furthermore we discuss the prognostic and ethical challenges for patients, their families and their caregivers. Finally, we summarize the current evidence for palliative treatment of dyspnoea and ways to evaluate response to treatment.
Sargeant, S; Chamley, C
This is the second part of a two-part article on oral health assessment and mouth care for children and young people receiving palliative care. This article covers basic oral hygiene and management of oral health problems: oral candidiasis, coated tongue/dirty mouth, dry mouth, hypersalivation, ulceration, painful mouth, stomatitis and mucositis. The article also covers treating patients who are immunocompromised and the need to educate families and carers in the basic principles of oral care, including the importance of preventing cross-infection. Part one outlined oral assessment and discussed the adaptation of the Nottingham Oral Health Assessment Tool (Freer 2000).
Humphrey, Lisa; Kang, Tammy I
Children with advanced cancer, including those with hematologic malignancies, can benefit from interdisciplinary palliative care services. Palliative care includes management of distressing symptoms, attention to psychosocial and spiritual needs, and assistance with navigating complex medical decisions with the ultimate goal of maximizing the quality-of-life of the child and family. Palliative care is distinct from hospice care and can assist with the care of patients throughout the cancer continuum, irrespective of prognosis. While key healthcare organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Society of Clinical Oncology among many others endorse palliative care for children with advanced illness, barriers to integration of palliative care into cancer care still exist. Providing assistance with advance care planning, guiding patients and families through prognostic uncertainty, and managing transitions of care are also included in goals of palliative care involvement. For patients with advanced malignancy, legislation, included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act allows patients and families more options as they make the difficult transition from disease directed therapy to care focused on comfort and quality-of-life.
Moore, Shannon Y; Pirrello, Rosene D; Christianson, Sonya K; Ferris, Frank D
High quality comprehensive palliative care is a critical need for millions of patients and families, but remains only a dream in many parts of the world. The failure to do a strategic planning process is one obstacle to advancing education and pain prevention and relief. The Middle Eastern Cancer Consortium Steering Committee attendees completed an initial strategic planning process and identified "developmental steps" to advance palliative care. Underscoring the multi-disciplinary nature of comprehensive palliative care, discipline-specific planning was done (adult and pediatric cancer and medicine, pharmacy, nursing) in a separate process from country-specific planning. Delineating the layers of intersection and differences between disciplines and countries was very powerful. Finding the common strengths and weaknesses in the status quo creates the potential for a more powerful regional response to the palliative care needs. Implementing and refining these preliminary strategic plans will augment and align the efforts to advance palliative care education and pain management in the Middle East. The dream to prevent and relieve suffering for millions of patients with advanced disease will become reality with a powerful strategic planning process well implemented.
Ghandourh, Wsam A
Advanced cancer patients commonly have misunderstandings about the intentions of treatment and their overall prognosis. Several studies have shown that large numbers of patients receiving palliative radiation or chemotherapy hold unrealistic hopes of their cancer being cured by such therapies, which can affect their ability to make well-informed decisions about treatment options. This review aimed to explore this discrepancy between patients' and physicians' expectations by investigating three primary issues: (1) the factors associated with patients developing unrealistic expectations; (2) the implications of having unrealistic hopes and the effects of raising patients' awareness about prognosis; and (3) patients' and caregivers' perspective on disclosure and their preferences for communication styles. Relevant studies were identified by searching electronic databases including Pubmed, EMBASE and ScienceDirect using multiple combinations of keywords, which yielded a total of 65 articles meeting the inclusion criteria. The discrepancy between patients' and doctors' expectations was associated with many factors including doctors' reluctance to disclose terminal prognoses and patients' ability to understand or accept such information. The majority of patients and caregivers expressed a desire for detailed prognostic information; however, varied responses have been reported on the preferred style of conveying such information. Communication styles have profound effects on patients' experience and treatment choices. Patients' views on disclosure are influenced by many cultural, psychological and illness-related factors, therefore individuals' needs must be considered when conveying prognostic information. More research is needed to identify communication barriers and the interventions that could be used to increase patients' satisfaction with palliative care.
Chung, Vincent C.H.; Wu, Xinyin; Lu, Ping; Hui, Edwin P.; Zhang, Yan; Zhang, Anthony L.; Lau, Alexander Y.L.; Zhao, Junkai; Fan, Min; Ziea, Eric T.C.; Ng, Bacon F.L.; Wong, Samuel Y.S.; Wu, Justin C.Y.
Abstract Use of Chinese herbal medicines (CHM) in symptom management for cancer palliative care is very common in Chinese populations but clinical evidence on their effectiveness is yet to be synthesized. To conduct a systematic review with meta-analysis to summarize results from CHM randomized controlled trials (RCTs) focusing on symptoms that are undertreated in conventional cancer palliative care. Five international and 3 Chinese databases were searched. RCTs evaluating CHM, either in combination with conventional treatments or used alone, in managing cancer-related symptoms were considered eligible. Effectiveness was quantified by using weighted mean difference (WMD) using random effect model meta-analysis. Fourteen RCTs were included. Compared with conventional intervention alone, meta-analysis showed that combined CHM and conventional treatment significantly reduced pain (3 studies, pooled WMD: −0.90, 95% CI: −1.69 to −0.11). Six trials comparing CHM with conventional medications demonstrated similar effect in reducing constipation. One RCT showed significant positive effect of CHM plus chemotherapy for managing fatigue, but not in the remaining 3 RCTs. The additional use of CHM to chemotherapy does not improve anorexia when compared to chemotherapy alone, but the result was concluded from 2 small trials only. Adverse events were infrequent and mild. CHM may be considered as an add-on to conventional care in the management of pain in cancer patients. CHM could also be considered as an alternative to conventional care for reducing constipation. Evidence on the use of CHM for treating anorexia and fatigue in cancer patients is uncertain, warranting further research. PMID:26886628
Sinclair, Shane; Pereira, Jose; Raffin, Shelley
Research related to spirituality and health has developed from relative obscurity to a thriving field of study over the last 20 years both within palliative care and within health care in general. This paper provides a descriptive review of the literature related to spirituality and health, with a special focus on spirituality within palliative and end-of-life care. CINAHL and MEDLINE were searched under the keywords "spirituality" and "palliative." The review revealed five overarching themes in the general spirituality and health literature: (1) conceptual difficulties related to the term spirituality and proposed solutions; (2) the relationship between spirituality and religion; (3) the effects of spirituality on health; (4) the subjects enrolled in spirituality-related research; and (5) the provision of spiritual care. While the spirituality literature within palliative care shared these overarching characteristics of the broader spirituality and health literature, six specific thematic areas transpired: (1) general discussions of spirituality in palliative care; (2) the spiritual needs of palliative care patients; (3) the nature of hope in palliative care; (4) tools and therapies related to spirituality; (5) effects of religion in palliative care; and (6) spirituality and palliative care professionals. The literature as it relates to these themes is summarized in this review. Spirituality is emerging largely as a concept void of religion, an instrument to be utilized in improving or maintaining health and quality of life, and focussed predominantly on the "self" largely in the form of the patient. While representing an important beginning, the authors suggest that a more integral approach needs to be developed that elicits the experiential nature of spirituality that is shared by patients, family members, and health care professionals alike.
End-of-life care is an integral part of neurology practice, and neuropalliative medicine is an emerging neurology subspeciality. This begins with serious illness communication as a protocol-based process that depends on an evaluation of patient autonomy and accurate prognostication. Communication needs vary between chronic, life-limiting neurologic illnesses and acute brain injury. In an ideal situation, the patient's wishes are spelled out in advance care plans and living wills, and surrogates have only limited choices for implementation. Palliative care prepares for decline and death as an expected outcome and focuses on improving the quality of life for both the patients and their caregivers. In the Intensive Care Unit, this may require clarity on withholding and withdrawal of treatment. In all locations of care, the emphasis is on symptom control. Neurologists are the quintessential physicians, and our “dharma” is best served by empathetically bringing our technical knowledge and communication skills into easing this final transition for our patients and their families to the best of our ability. PMID:27891024
Hatton, Ian; McDonald, Keith; Nancarrow, Lynette; Fletcher, Keith
In September 2000 the Commonwealth released, as part of its National Palliative Care Strategy under the Australian Health Care Agreements, a National Framework for Palliative Care Service Development. The new National Framework stressed an important set of values to guide models of palliative care delivery. It notes that the challenge is to secure the place of palliative care as an integral part of health care across Australia, routinely available within local communities to those people who need it. Care and support for people who are dying and their families need to be built not only into health care services, but also into the fabric of communities and their support networks. While few would disagree with this, little is known about how best to achieve it in rural Australia. The Griffith Area Palliative Care Service (GAPS) is a two-year pilot project delivering a palliative care service through a truly integrated approach to care for patients, their carers and families within the Griffith Local Government Area and Carrathool Shire areas. This paper describes how GAPS is successfully meeting the challenges of service provision to rural and remote areas.
Floriani, Ciro Augusto; Schramm, Fermin Roland
Palliative care, a model in end-of-life care, is currently undergoing expansion in Brazil. This article emphasizes the need to implement palliative care in primary health care, with an important role in end-of-life care, especially in areas without specialized palliative-care teams. The article discusses key aspects in the organization of this treatment modality and analyzes how palliative care could and should be implemented within primary health care in Brazil. The article describes several challenges for health teams to provide such care, related to the primary caregiver, inherent ethical conflicts, and human resource allocation.
Locklin, Julia K.; Mannes, Andrew; Berger, Ann; Wood, Bradford J.
The purpose of this study was to analyze the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to treat pain from soft tissue neoplasms. RFA was performed on 15 painful soft tissue tumors in 14 patients. Tumors varied in histology and location and ranged in size from 2 to 20 cm. Patient pain was assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) at baseline and 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months post RFA. All patients had unresectable tumors or were poor operative candidates whose pain was poorly controlled by conventional treatment methods. BPI scores were divided into two categories: pain severity and interference of pain. Although not all scores were statistically significant, all mean scores trended down with increased time post ablation. Based on these outcomes, RFA appears to be a low-risk and well-tolerated procedure for pain palliation in patients with unresectable, painful soft tissue neoplasms. RFA is effective for short-term local pain control and may provide another option for failed chemotherapy or radiation therapy in patients with cancer. However, pain may transiently worsen, and relief is often temporary. PMID:15524075
Doré-Pautonnier, Delphine; Baussant-Crenn, Camille; Frattini, Marie-Odile; Mino, Jean-Christophe; Rennesson, Marina
The French National Palliative Care Resource Centre (CNDR) provides people impacted by the end of life, death and bereavement with a range of constantly evolving services. Spreading the palliative approach in order to enable everyone to benefit from it and appropriate it constitutes the main mission of the CNDR.
Unlike in other nations, in Canada palliative care has its origins in university hospitals. It has subsequently developed in a few Canadian schools as an academic discipline closely linked with oncology programs. Although this model is successful, other faculties of medicine and cancer centres have been slow to emulate it. Today, the situation is rapidly changing, and both palliative care and oncology professionals are re-examining the manifest need for collaborative efforts in patient care, research and education. Palliative care must be regarded as an essential component of cancer care, its principles must be applied throughout the course of the illness and, as in other phases of cancer control, palliative care should be regarded as an exercise in prevention--prevention of suffering. This article discusses practical applications that flow from acceptance of these concepts. PMID:9676548
Ratcliff, Cathy; Thyle, Ann; Duomai, Savita; Manak, Manju
Introduction: EMMS International and Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA) implemented a pilot project, poverty reduction in India through palliative care (PRIPCare). A total of 129 interviews with patients and family enrolled in palliative care at three EHA hospitals (in Fatehpur, Lalitpur and Utraula) and staff discussions established that 66% of palliative care patients had lost livelihoods due to illness, 26% of patients' families had members who had lost livelihoods due to the illness, 98% of enrolled households had debts, 59% had loans for which they had sold assets, 69% of households took out debt after their family member fell ill, many patients do not know about government benefits and lack necessary documents, many village headmen require bribes to give people access to benefits, and many bereaved women and children lose everything. Palliative care enabled 85% of patients and families to spend less on medicines, 31% of patients received free medicines, all patients reduced use of out-patient departments (OPDs), 20% reduced use of inpatient departments (IPDs), and therefore spent less on travel, 8% of patients had started earning again due to improved health, members of 10% of families started earning again, and one hospital educated 171 village headmen and increased by 5% the number of patients and their families receiving government benefits. If only 0.7% of needy adults are receiving palliative care, these benefits could be delivered to 143 times more families, targeted effectively at poverty reduction. Palliative care has great scope to reduce that most desperate poverty in India caused by chronic illness. Context: This article concerns a study by the UK NGO EMMS International and Indian NGO EHA, to assess whether palliative care reduces household poverty. Aims: EHA staff had noticed that many patients spend a lot on ineffective treatment before joining palliative care, many families do not know their entitlement to government healthcare subsidies or
Jones, Diana; Lhussier, Monique; Cunningham, Bill
Introduction Policy- and evidence-based guidelines have highlighted the need for improved palliative and end-of-life care. However, there is still evidence of individuals dying undignified deaths with little pain control, therefore inflicting unnecessary suffering. New commissioning powers have enabled a 2-year pilot of an innovative integrated care pathway (ICP) designed to improve arrangements for individuals with life-limiting illnesses requiring palliative care. A novel feature of the ICP is its focus on palliative care over the last 6 months of life, aiming to intervene early to prepare for and ensure a good death. What is not known is if this pathway works, how it works and who it works for. Methods and analysis A realist evaluation and a complex analytical framework will investigate and discover context, mechanism and outcome conjectures and configurations of the ICP and thus facilitate exploration of how it works and who it works for. A mixed methods approach will be used with small sample sizes to capture the breadth of the ICP. Phase 1 will identify if the pathway works through analysis of NHS Morbidity Information Query and Export Syntax data, locality Death Audit data and the Quality of Dying and Death Questionnaire. Phase 2 employs soft systems methodology with data from focus groups with health professionals to identify how the pathway works. Phase 3 uses the Miller Behavioural Style Scale and interviews with palliative care patients and bereaved relatives to analyse communication in palliative care. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval has been granted from the NHS local ethics committee (REC reference number: 11/NE/0318). Research & Development approval has been gained from four different trusts, and relevant voluntary organisations and the local council have been informed about the research. This protocol illustrates the complexity inherent in evaluating a palliative care ICP. Identification of whether the pathway works, how it works and who
Musyoki, David; Gichohi, Sarafina; Ritho, Johnson; Ali, Zipporah; Kinyanjui, Asaph; Muinga, Esther
Palliative care is patient and family-centred care that optimises quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Open Society Foundation public health program (2011) notes that people facing life-threatening illnesses are deeply vulnerable: often in severe physical pain, worried about death, incapacitation, or the fate of their loved ones. Legal issues can increase stress for patients and families and make coping harder, impacting on the quality of care. In the absence of a clear legal provision expressly recognising palliative care in Kenya, providers may face numerous legal and ethical dilemmas that affect the availability, accessibility, and delivery of palliative care services and commodities. In order to ensure positive outcomes from patients, their families, and providers, palliative care services should be prioritised by all and includes advocating for the integration of legal support into those services. Palliative care service providers should be able to identify the various needs of patients and their families including specific issues requiring legal advice and interventions. Access to legal services remains a big challenge in Kenya, with limited availability of specialised legal services for health-related legal issues. An increased awareness of the benefits of legal services in palliative care will drive demand for easily accessible and more affordable direct legal services to address legal issues for a more holistic approach to quality palliative care.
Bélanger, Emmanuelle; Rodríguez, Charo; Groleau, Danielle; Légaré, France; MacDonald, Mary Ellen; Marchand, Robert
The participation of patients in making decisions about their care is especially important towards the end of life because palliative care decisions involve extensive uncertainty and are heavily influenced by personal values. Yet, there is a scarcity of studies directly observing clinical interactions between palliative patients and their health care providers. In this study, we aimed to understand how patient participation in palliative care decisions is constructed through discourse in a community hospital-based palliative care team. This qualitative study combined ethnographic observations of a palliative care team with discourse analysis. Eighteen palliative care patients with cancer diagnoses, six family physicians, and two nurses were involved in the study. Multiple interactions were observed between each patient and health care providers over the course of 1 year, for a total of 101 consultations, 24 of which were audio-recorded. The analysis consisted in looking for the interpretive repertoires (i.e., familiar lines of argument used to justify actions) that were used to justify patient participation in decision-making during clinical interactions, as well as exploring their implications for decision roles and end-of-life care. Patients and their health care providers seldom addressed their decision-making roles explicitly. Rather, they constructed patient participation in palliative care decisions in a covert manner. Four interpretive repertoires were used to justify patient participation: (1) exposing uncertainty, (2) co-constructing patient preferences, (3) affirming patient autonomy, and finally (4) upholding the authority of health care providers. The results demonstrate how patients and health care providers used these arguments to negotiate their respective roles in decision-making. In conclusion, patients and health care providers used a variety of interpretive repertoires to covertly negotiate their roles in decision-making, and to legitimize
Bélanger, Emmanuelle; Rodríguez, Charo; Groleau, Danielle; Légaré, France; MacDonald, Mary Ellen; Marchand, Robert
The participation of patients in making decisions about their care is especially important towards the end of life because palliative care decisions involve extensive uncertainty and are heavily influenced by personal values. Yet, there is a scarcity of studies directly observing clinical interactions between palliative patients and their health care providers. In this study, we aimed to understand how patient participation in palliative care decisions is constructed through discourse in a community hospital-based palliative care team. This qualitative study combined ethnographic observations of a palliative care team with discourse analysis. Eighteen palliative care patients with cancer diagnoses, six family physicians, and two nurses were involved in the study. Multiple interactions were observed between each patient and health care providers over the course of 1 year, for a total of 101 consultations, 24 of which were audio-recorded. The analysis consisted in looking for the interpretive repertoires (i.e., familiar lines of argument used to justify actions) that were used to justify patient participation in decision-making during clinical interactions, as well as exploring their implications for decision roles and end-of-life care. Patients and their health care providers seldom addressed their decision-making roles explicitly. Rather, they constructed patient participation in palliative care decisions in a covert manner. Four interpretive repertoires were used to justify patient participation: (1) exposing uncertainty, (2) co-constructing patient preferences, (3) affirming patient autonomy, and finally (4) upholding the authority of health care providers. The results demonstrate how patients and health care providers used these arguments to negotiate their respective roles in decision-making. In conclusion, patients and health care providers used a variety of interpretive repertoires to covertly negotiate their roles in decision-making, and to legitimize
Wilcox, Sarah K
Patients with Parkinson's disease have an illness which shortens their life and involves a heavy symptom burden for patient and carer. This article discusses some common palliative care issues pertinent to patients with Parkinson's disease.
Jamwal, Nisha Rani; Kumar, Senthil P
Smartphones are technologically advanced mobile phone devices which use software similar to computer-based devices as a user-friendly interface. This review article is aimed to inform the palliative care professionals, cancer patients and their caregivers about the role of smartphone applications (apps) in the delivery of palliative care services, through a brief review of existing literature on the development, feasibility, analysis, and effectiveness of such apps. There is a dearth need for sincere palliative care clinicians to work together with software professionals to develop the suitable smartphone apps in accordance with the family/caregivers’ necessities and patients’ biopsychosocial characteristics that influence the technology driven evidence informed palliative cancer care. PMID:26962291
Mol, Rani P
The palliative doctor gives the 'touch of God' as he/she takes care of the terminally ill patient. The oncologist encounters great difficulties in managing oral cavity problems of these patients. A trained dental doctor can help other doctors in dealing with these situations. But the general dental surgeon does not have enough idea about his part in these treatments. The community is also unaware of the role that a nearby dentist can play. Adequate training programs have to be conducted and awareness has to be created. A trained dentist will be a good team mate for the oncologist or radiotherapist or other doctors of the palliative care team. In this paper, a brief attempt is made to list a few areas in which a palliative care dentist can help other members of the palliative care team and also the patient in leading a better life.
Carter, Brian S
Recent laws in Europe now allow for pediatric euthanasia. The author reviews some rationale for caution, and addresses why ensuring the availability of pediatric palliative care is an important step before allowing pediatric euthanasia.
Intensive care medicine and palliative care medicine were considered for a long time to be contrasting concepts in therapy. While intensive care medicine is directed towards prolonging life and tries to stabilize disordered body functions, palliative care medicine is focused upon the relief of disturbances to help patients in the face of death. Today both views have become congruent. Palliative aspects are equally important in curative therapy. In the course of illness or in respect of the patient's will, the aim of therapy may change from curative to palliative. Two examples are presented to illustrate the ethical challenges in this process. They follow from the medical indication, attention to the patient's will, different opinions in the team, truth at the bedside and from what must be done in the process of withdrawing therapy.
Patients receiving palliative care experience extreme vulnerability reminding them of the fragility of their human condition. How are they to trust nurses bearing bad news in these crucial moments? Trust is built on team coherence and rigorous support.
Delibegovic, Adnan; Sinanovic, Osman; Galic, Gordan; Sabic, Adela; Sabic, Dzevad
Objective: Objective of this work is to determine influence of palliative care on the quality of life in patients with lung cancer. Subjects and Methods: Our study group included 40 patients, consecutively selected, which is determined by symptomatic treatment and hospitalized at the Department of Palliative Care of University Clinical Center Tuzla. The control group consisted of 40 patients who had a diagnosis of lung cancer treated at home by an authorized ambulance Health Center Tuzla. Tests in both groups were carried out using the test SF-36 scale for assessing quality of life in period of two weeks. Two-stage test was performed, initially, immediately after disease was diagnosed, and two weeks later. Results: All life quality parameters (general, physical and emotional) were better in second test, in patients who were situated in the department of palliative care (study group) (p<0.0001). In the area of physical health (physical function, physical limitations, pain, general health), in patients who have resided in the department of palliative care (study group), showed a statistically significant improvement in all the aspects (p<0.0001). In the study patients all aspects of mental health were statistically significantly improved after two weeks being in department (p<0.0001). Conclusion: Two weeks treatment of patients with lung cancer in the Department of Palliative Care significantly improve all general aspects of quality of life. PMID:28144191
Many life-limiting and progressive disorders require effective pain-management strategies. The use of opioids is one facet of pain management and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Clinical has produced guidance on this. One of the primary messages from the guideline is the need for careful assessment and excellent communication. This article discusses the various recommendations included in the guideline, covering issues of correct dosage, understanding patients' expectations and fears, ongoing monitoring and management of the side-effects associated with opioids.
Gelfman, Laura P; Kavalieratos, Dio; Teuteberg, Winifred G; Lala, Anuradha; Goldstein, Nathan E
Heart failure (HF) is a chronic and progressive illness, which affects a growing number of adults, and is associated with a high morbidity and mortality, as well as significant physical and psychological symptom burden on both patients with HF and their families. Palliative care is the multidisciplinary specialty focused on optimizing quality of life and reducing suffering for patients and families facing serious illness, regardless of prognosis. Palliative care can be delivered as (1) specialist palliative care in which a palliative care specialist with subspecialty palliative care training consults or co-manages patients to address palliative needs alongside clinicians who manage the underlying illness or (2) as primary palliative care in which the primary clinician (such as the internist, cardiologist, cardiology nurse, or HF specialist) caring for the patient with HF provides the essential palliative domains. In this paper, we describe the key domains of primary palliative care for patients with HF and offer some specific ways in which primary palliative care and specialist palliative care can be offered in this population. Although there is little research on HF primary palliative care, primary palliative care in HF offers a key opportunity to ensure that this population receives high-quality palliative care in spite of the growing numbers of patients with HF as well as the limited number of specialist palliative care providers.
Schultz, Michael; Baddarni, Kassim; Bar-Sela, Gil
Spiritual care is a vital part of holistic patient care. Awareness of common patient beliefs will facilitate discussions about spirituality. Such conversations are inherently good for the patient, deepen the caring staff-patient-family relationship, and enhance understanding of how beliefs influence care decisions. All healthcare providers are likely to encounter Muslim patients, yet many lack basic knowledge of the Muslim faith and of the applications of Islamic teachings to palliative care. Similarly, some of the concepts underlying positive Jewish approaches to palliative care are not well known. We outline Jewish and Islamic attitudes toward suffering, treatment, and the end of life. We discuss our religions' approaches to treatments deemed unnecessary by medical staff, and consider some of the cultural reasons that patients and family members might object to palliative care, concluding with specific suggestions for the medical team. PMID:22203878
Fitch, Margaret I.; DasGupta, Tracey; Ford, Bill
Caring for individuals at the end of life in the hospital environment is a challenging proposition. Understanding the challenges to provide quality end of life care is an important first step in order to develop appropriate approaches to support and educate staff members and facilitate their capacity remaining “caring.” Four studies were undertaken at our facility to increase our understanding about the challenges health professionals experience in caring for patients at end of life and how staff members could be supported in providing care to patients and families: (1) In-depth interviews were used with cancer nurses (n = 30) to explore the challenges talking about death and dying with patients and families; (2) Surveys were used with nurses (n = 27) and radiation therapists (n = 30) to measure quality of work life; (3) and interprofessional focus groups were used to explore what it means “to care” (five groups held); and (4) interprofessional focus groups were held to understand what “support strategies for staff” ought to look like (six groups held). In all cases, staff members confirmed that interactions concerning death and dying are challenging. Lack of preparation (knowledge and skill in palliative care) and lack of support from managers and colleagues are significant barriers. Key strategies staff members thought would be helpful included: (1) Ensuring all team members were communicating and following the same plan of care, (2) providing skill-based education on palliative care, and (3) facilitating “debriefing” opportunities (either one-on-one or in a group). For staff to be able to continue caring for patients at the end of life with compassion and sensitivity, they need to be adequately prepared and supported appropriately. PMID:27981141
Integrating palliative care in the surgical and trauma intensive care unit: A report from the Improving Palliative Care in the Intensive Care Unit (IPAL-ICU) Project Advisory Board and the Center to Advance Palliative Care
Mosenthal, Anne C.; Weissman, David E.; Curtis, J. Randall; Hays, Ross M.; Lustbader, Dana R.; Mulkerin, Colleen; Puntillo, Kathleen A.; Ray, Daniel E.; Bassett, Rick; Boss, Renee D.; Brasel, Karen J.; Campbell, Margaret; Nelson, Judith E.
Objective Although successful models for palliative care delivery and quality improvement in the intensive care unit have been described, their applicability in surgical intensive care unit settings has not been fully addressed. We undertook to define specific challenges, strategies, and solutions for integration of palliative care in the surgical intensive care unit. Data Sources We searched the MEDLINE database from inception to May 2011 for all English language articles using the term “surgical palliative care” or the terms “surgical critical care,” “surgical ICU,” “surgeon,” “trauma” or “transplant,” and “palliative care” or “end-of- life care” and hand-searched our personal files for additional articles. Based on review of these articles and the experiences of our interdisciplinary expert Advisory Board, we prepared this report. Data Extraction and Synthesis We critically reviewed the existing literature on delivery of palliative care in the surgical intensive care unit setting focusing on challenges, strategies, models, and interventions to promote effective integration of palliative care for patients receiving surgical critical care and their families. Conclusions Characteristics of patients with surgical disease and practices, attitudes, and interactions of different disciplines on the surgical critical care team present distinctive issues for intensive care unit palliative care integration and improvement. Physicians, nurses, and other team members in surgery, critical care and palliative care (if available) should be engaged collaboratively to identify challenges and develop strategies. “Consultative,” “integrative,” and combined models can be used to improve intensive care unit palliative care, although optimal use of trigger criteria for palliative care consultation has not yet been demonstrated. Important components of an improvement effort include attention to efficient work systems and practical tools and to
On July 20, 2015, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced hospices that have been selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model. Fewer than half of the Medicare beneficiaries use hospice care for which they are eligible. Current Medicare regulations preclude concurrent palliative and curative care. Under the Medicare Choices Model, dually eligible Medicare beneficiaries may elect to receive supportive care services typically provided by hospice while continuing to receive curative services. This report describes how CMS has expanded the model from an originally anticipated 30 Medicare-certified hospices to over 140 Medicare-certified hospices and extended the duration of the model from 3 to 5 years. Medicare-certified hospice programs that will participate in the model are listed.
Gatrad, A R; Sheikh, A
National and European directives have now enshrined within European law the requirement that healthcare professionals provide their patients with culturally appropriate and sensitive care. Although well intentioned, many health professionals find it difficult to translate these directives into practice. Barriers to providing culturally competent care include racism, institutional discrimination and gaps in our understanding of the interface between culture and health--this latter factor reflecting the lack of training in transcultural health care. In this paper, we concentrate on issues relating to the provision of palliative care near death to Muslims of South Asian origin in the UK, although much of what is said will equally be applicable to Muslims from other parts of the world. This is the first of two articles giving insights into the palliative care of Muslims. The second article 'Palliative care of Muslims and issues after death' will appear in a later issue.
Broom, Alex; Kirby, Emma; Good, Phillip; Wootton, Julia; Yates, Patsy; Hardy, Janet
Nurses play a pivotal role in caring for patients during the transition from life-prolonging care to palliative care. This is an area of nursing prone to emotional difficulty, interpersonal complexity, and interprofessional conflict. It is situated within complex social dynamics, including those related to establishing and accepting futility and reconciling the desire to maintain hope. Here, drawing on interviews with 20 Australian nurses, we unpack their accounts of nursing the transition to palliative care, focusing on the purpose of nursing at the point of transition; accounts of communication and strategies for representing palliative care; emotional engagement and burden; and key interprofessional challenges. We argue that in caring for patients approaching the end of life, nurses occupy precarious interpersonal and interprofessional spaces that involve a negotiated order around sentimental work, providing them with both capital (privileged access) and burden (emotional suffering) within their day-to-day work.
Davidson, Patricia M; Introna, Kate; Cockburn, Jill; Daly, John; Dunford, Mary; Paull, Glenn; Dracup, Kathleen
Advances in the practice of medicine and nursing science have increased survival for patients with chronic cardiorespiratory disease. Parallel to this positive outcome is a societal expectation of longevity and cure of disease. Chronic disease and the inevitability of death creates a dilemma, more than ever before, for the health care professional, who is committed to the delivery of quality care to patients and their families. The appropriate time for broaching the issue of dying and determining when palliative care is required is problematic. Dilemmas occur with a perceived dissonance between acute and palliative care and difficulties in determining prognosis. Palliative care must be integrated within the health care continuum, rather than being a discrete entity at the end of life, in order to achieve optimal patient outcomes. Anecdotally, acute and critical care nurses experience frustration from the tensions that arise between acute and palliative care philosophies. Many clinicians are concerned that patients are denied a good death and yet the moment when care should be oriented toward palliation rather than aggressive management is usually unclear. Clearly this has implications for the type and quality of care that patients receive. This paper provides a review of the extant literature and identifies issues in the end of life care for patients with chronic cardiorespiratory diseases within acute and critical care environments. Issues for refinement of acute and critical care nursing practice and research priorities are identified to create a synergy between these philosophical perspectives.
Kamal, Arif H; Currow, David C; Ritchie, Christine S; Bull, Janet; Abernethy, Amy P
Palliative care in the U.S. has evolved from a system primarily reliant on community-based hospices to a combined model that includes inpatient services at most large hospitals. However, these two dominant approaches leave most patients needing palliative care-those at home (including nursing homes) but not yet ready for hospice-unable to access the positive impacts of the palliative care approach. We propose a community-based palliative care (CPC) model that spans the array of inpatient and outpatient settings in which palliative care is provided and links seamlessly to inpatient care; likewise, it would span the full trajectory of advanced illness rather than focusing on the period just before death. Examples of CPC programs are developing organically across the U.S. As our understanding of CPC expands, standardization is needed to ensure replicability, consistency, and the ability to relate intervention models to outcomes. A growing body of literature examining outpatient palliative care supports the role of CPC in improving outcomes, including reduction in symptom burden, improved quality of life, increased survival, better satisfaction with care, and reduced health care resource utilization. Furthermore the examination of how to operationalize CPC is needed before widespread implementation can be realized. This article describes the key characteristics of CPC, highlighting its role in longitudinal care across patient transitions. Distinguishing features include consistent care across the disease trajectory independent of diagnosis and prognosis; inclusion of inpatient, outpatient, long-term care, and at-home care delivery; collaboration with other medical disciplines, nursing, and allied health; and full integration into the health care system (rather than parallel delivery).
Victoria, Kitty; Patel, Sarita
Background: Studies have shown that over 50% of end-of-life discussions take place for the first time in the hospital and that terminally ill patients often have unrealistic views regarding the possible scope of treatment. The Palliative Care information Act (PCIA) was passed in an attempt to address the lack of access for terminally ill patients to palliative care services. A multi-database systematic review was performed on published studies from 2010 to present, and there were none found measuring the effectiveness of the PCIA. Objectives: We aimed to study the effect of the PCIA on access to palliative care services. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all terminally ill patients who died at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center from January 2010 to August 2013 in relation to passing of the PCIA. Results: Prelaw (prior to the law passing), 12.3% of the terminal patients received palliative care consults, 25% during the transition period (time between passing of law and when it came into effect) and 37.7% postlaw (after coming into effect) (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Legislation can have a significant effect on terminally ill patient's access to palliative care services and can change the culture of a hospital to be more pro-palliative for the appropriate populations. PMID:27803564
Burbeck, Rachel; Low, Joe; Sampson, Elizabeth L; Scott, Rosalind; Bravery, Ruth; Candy, Bridget
Objective To assess the involvement of volunteers with direct patient/family contact in UK palliative care services for children and young people. Method Cross-sectional survey using a web-based questionnaire. Setting UK specialist paediatric palliative care services. Participants Volunteer managers/coordinators from all UK hospice providers (n=37) and one National Health Service palliative care service involving volunteers (covering 53 services in total). Main outcomes Service characteristics, number of volunteers, extent of volunteer involvement in care services, use of volunteers’ professional skills and volunteer activities by setting. Results A total of 21 providers covering 31 hospices/palliative care services responded (30 evaluable responses). Referral age limit was 16–19 years in 23 services and 23–35 years in seven services; three services were Hospice at Home or home care only. Per service, there was a median of 25 volunteers with direct patient/family contact. Services providing only home care involved fewer volunteers than hospices with beds. Volunteers entirely ran some services, notably complementary therapy and pastoral/faith-based care. Complementary therapists, school teachers and spiritual care workers most commonly volunteered their professional skills. Volunteers undertook a wide range of activities including emotional support and recreational activities with children and siblings. Conclusions This is the most detailed national survey of volunteer activity in palliative care services for children and young people to date. It highlights the range and depth of volunteers’ contribution to specialist paediatric palliative care services and will help to provide a basis for future research, which could inform expansion of volunteers’ roles. PMID:24644170
Bosma, Harvey; Johnston, Meaghen; Cadell, Susan; Wainwright, Wendy; Abernethy, Ngaire; Feron, Andrew; Kelley, Mary Lou; Nelson, Fred
Social workers play an important role in the delivery of Hospice Palliative Care in many diverse settings. The profession brings a unique perspective to end-of-life care that reflects and supports the holistic philosophy of Hospice Palliative Care. Despite the prominent and longstanding position of social work in this area, the role and functions of social workers had not been clearly defined. A Canadian task group of social work practitioners and educators utilized a modified Delphi process to consult front line clinicians nationally, and thereby achieved consensus regarding the identification and description of eleven core competencies in Hospice Palliative Care. These competencies are relevant for social workers at different experience levels across care settings. They can be used to inform social work practice, as well as professional development and educational curricula in this area.
Brennan, Caitlin W; Kelly, Brittany; Skarf, Lara Michal; Tellem, Rotem; Dunn, Kathleen M; Poswolsky, Sheila
Increasing demands on palliative care teams point to the need for continuous improvement to ensure teams are working collaboratively and efficiently. This quality improvement initiative focused on improving interprofessional team meeting efficiency and subsequently patient care. Meeting start and end times improved from a mean of approximately 9 and 6 minutes late in the baseline period, respectively, to a mean of 4.4 minutes late (start time) and ending early in our sustainability phase. Mean team satisfaction improved from 2.4 to 4.5 on a 5-point Likert-type scale. The improvement initiative clarified communication about patients' plans of care, thus positively impacting team members' ability to articulate goals to other professionals, patients, and families. We propose several recommendations in the form of a team meeting "toolkit."
Fernandes, Maria Andréa; Evangelista, Carla Braz; Platel, Indiara Carvalho dos Santos; Agra, Glenda; Lopes, Marineide de Souza; Rodrigues, Francileide de Araújo
This study sought to assess the perception of nurses with respect to cancer patients under palliative care. It is an exploratory study with a qualitative approach conducted with nurses from a hospital attending cancer patients under palliative care located in the city of João Pessoa, State of Paraíba. The study included nine nurses who worked in the hospital. The empirical material was collected using the technique of semi-structured interviews and analyzed using the content analysis technique. The interpretative analysis of the interviews led to the definition of three categories: Improving the quality of life through the alleviation of pain and suffering; Palliative Care: a multi-professional study of terminal patients and their families in the grieving process; Communication: a source of dignity in the terminal care process. The conclusion reached is that the study revealed that the nurses involved acknowledge the importance of the multidisciplinary team. It enables the nurses to reflect on the use of communication as an essential element of care for patient and family under palliative care. It is hoped that the data obtained may foster further research on the topic.
Hudson, Peter; Quinn, Karen; O'Hanlon, Brendan; Aranda, Sanchia
Background Support for family carers is a core function of palliative care. Family meetings are commonly recommended as a useful way for health care professionals to convey information, discuss goals of care and plan care strategies with patients and family carers. Yet it seems there is insufficient research to demonstrate the utlility of family meetings or the best way to conduct them. This study sought to develop multidisciplinary clinical practice guidelines for conducting family meetings in the specialist palliative care setting based on available evidence and consensus based expert opinion. Methods The guidelines were developed via the following methods: (1) A literature review; (2) Conceptual framework; (3) Refinement of the guidelines based on feedback from an expert panel and focus groups with multidisciplinary specialists from three palliative care units and three major teaching hospitals in Melbourne, Australia. Results The literature review revealed that no comprehensive exploration of the conduct and utility of family meetings in the specialist palliative care setting has occurred. Preliminary clinical guidelines were developed by the research team, based on relevant literature and a conceptual framework informed by: single session therapy, principles of therapeutic communication and models of coping and family consultation. A multidisciplinary expert panel refined the content of the guidelines and the applicability of the guidelines was then assessed via two focus groups of multidisciplinary palliative care specialists. The complete version of the guidelines is presented. Conclusion Family meetings provide an opportunity to enhance the quality of care provided to palliative care patients and their family carers. The clinical guidelines developed from this study offer a framework for preparing, conducting and evaluating family meetings. Future research and clinical implications are outlined. PMID:18710576
Al-Shahri, Mohammad Zafir
It is well established that provision of palliative care is a human right for the patients and their families going through the suffering associated with a life-threatening illness. The holistic nature of palliative care, dictated by the multifaceted suffering experienced by patients, calls for giving due consideration to the cultural and spiritual background of the target population. Similarly, the paramount impact of Islamic wholeness on Muslims' perceptions, beliefs, and way of living makes it necessary for non-Muslim palliative care professionals who are caring for Muslim patients to increase their awareness about the parts of Islamic theology pertinent to the principles of palliative care. This would include a basic knowledge of the Islamic faith and how Muslims view and cope with the calamity of a life-threatening condition along with the suffering associated with it. Equally important are issues related to the management of symptoms using agents that are normally strictly prohibited by Islamic teachings, including opioids, brain stimulants, and cannabinoids. The current review briefly discusses the Islamic perspectives pertinent to a Muslim patient's journey throughout the palliative care experience, onward to a safe passing, and beyond.
Getino Canseco, María
This article focuses on patients with cancer during the terminal phase. It deals with the care that individuals need after trying to seek health solutions in different hospitals when the disease is deemed incurable and they then require palliative care (PC) to obtain welfare and assist them to die. In the Spanish health system these patients are cared for in palliative care units or services. The main objective of palliative care is to give comfort. Comforting is destined to alleviate and support patients and families during the process of health / disease / care / patient death. During this period, it is important to care for the ailing body. Similarly, when a disease is incurable, the pain and suffering runs its inexorable course and leaves perceptible traces. These signs can be an indication that death is nigh. Although scientific advances have produced positive results in the control of pain, in some cases there are critical moments when situations of misery and despair arise for the terminal patients.
Atkins, L.F.; Mausner, L.F.; Meinken, G.E.
Sn-117m(4+)DTPA prepared at Brookhaven National Laboratory has favorable physical and biological characteristics for use as a palliative agent to relieve pain from osseous metastases. The short range of the emitted conversion electrons permits large bone radiation doses without excessive radiation to the bone marrow. An accompanying 158.6 keV gamma is useful for monitoring the distribution. The T1/2 of 13.6 days provides an adequate shelf life. A previous study in humans has demonstrated favorable dosimetry with a bone surface dose of approximately 57.9 mGy/MBq and a bone surface to marrow ratio of 10:1. This study was instituted to find a dose level which was effective and to monitor effects on bone marrow. Sn-117m was administered to 14 patients. Administered activity ranged between 66 and 573 MBq or 1.2-5.8 MBq/kg body weight. At the lower dose levels (<3.1 MBq/kg, n=7), 1 obtained good relief of pain, 1 partial relief, and 1 no relief. The remaining 4 were not evaluated because of the need for further treatment of soft tissue disease or because of intervening death. The 7 patients treated at the higher dose level (4.8-5.8 MBq/kg) included patients with prostate (3), breast (3) and unknown (1) primary cancers. All patients experienced relief of pain, 5 excellent and 2 partial. No marrow suppression was observed as a result of Sn-117m therapy. Initial observations indicate that Sn-117m DTPA is effective in palliation of pain from osseous metastases without producing bone marrow suppression. Further studies at a higher dose level are planned.
Turriziani, Adriana; Attanasio, Gennaro; Scarcella, Francesco; Sangalli, Luisa; Scopa, Anna; Genualdo, Alessandra; Quici, Stefano; Nazzicone, Giulia; Ricciotti, Maria Adelaide; La Commare, Francesco
In the last decades, palliative care has been more and more focused on the evaluation of patients' and families' satisfaction with care. However, the evaluation of customer satisfaction in palliative care presents a number of issues such as the presence of both patients and their families, the frail condition of the patients and the complexity of their needs, and the lack of standard quality indicators and appropriate measurement tools. In this manuscript, we critically review existing evidence and literature on the evaluation of satisfaction in the palliative care context. Moreover, we provide - as a practical example - the preliminary results of our experience in this setting with the development of a dedicated tool for the measurement of satisfaction.
The subject of death denial in the West has been examined extensively in the sociological literature. However, there has not been a similar examination of its "opposite", the acceptance of death. In this study, I use the qualitative method of discourse analysis to examine the use of the term "acceptance" of dying in the palliative care literature from 1970 to 2001. A Medline search was performed by combining the text words "accept or acceptance" with the subject headings "terminal care or palliative care or hospice care", and restricting the search to English language articles in clinical journals discussing acceptance of death in adults. The 40 articles were coded and analysed using a critical discourse analysis method. This paper focuses on the theme of acceptance as integral to palliative care, which had subthemes of acceptance as a goal of care, personal acceptance of healthcare workers, and acceptance as a facilitator of care. For patients and families, death acceptance is a goal that they can be helped to attain; for palliative care staff, acceptance of dying is a personal quality that is a precondition for effective practice. Acceptance not only facilitates the dying process for the patient and family, but also renders care easier. The analysis investigates the intertextuality of these themes with each other and with previous texts. From a Foucauldian perspective, I suggest that the discourse on acceptance of dying represents a productive power, which disciplines patients through apparent psychological and spiritual gratification, and encourages participation in a certain way to die.
Masel, Eva K; Schur, Sophie; Watzke, Herbert H
It is part of a palliative care assessment to identify patients' spiritual needs. According to Buddhism, suffering is inherent to all human beings. Advice on how suffering can be reduced in the course of serious illness might be helpful to patients with incurable and progressive diseases. Palliative care could benefit from Buddhist insights in the form of compassionate care and relating death to life. Buddhist teachings may lead to a more profound understanding of incurable diseases and offer patients the means by which to focus their minds while dealing with physical symptoms and ailments. This might not only be beneficial to followers of Buddhism but to all patients.
Jecker, Nancy S.
Patients with chronic lung diseases suffer higher symptom burden, lower quality of life, and greater social isolation compared with patients with other diagnoses, such as cancer. These conditions may be alleviated by palliative care, yet palliative care is used less by patients with chronic lung disease compared with patients with cancer. Underuse is due, in part, to poor implementation of primary palliative care and inadequate referral to specialty palliative care. Lack of primary and specialty palliative care in patients with chronic lung disease falls short of the minimum standard of competent health care, and represents a disparity in health care and a social injustice. We invoke the ethical principles of justice and sufficiency to highlight the importance of this issue. We identify five barriers to implementing palliative care in patients with chronic lung disease: uncertainty in prognosis; lack of provider skill to engage in discussions about palliative care; fear of using opioids among patients with chronic lung disease; fear of diminishing hope; and perceived and implicit bias against patients with smoking-related lung diseases. We propose mechanisms for improving implementation of palliative care for patients with chronic lung disease with the goal of enhancing justice in health care. PMID:26730490
Doshi, Ami; Carrasca, London; Pian, Patricia; Auger, JoAnne; Baker, Amira; Proudfoot, James A.; Pian, Mark S.
Background. There is a need for increased palliative care training during pediatric residency. Objective. In this pilot study, we created a comprehensive experiential model to teach palliative care skills to pediatric residents. Our Comfort Care Modules (CCMs) address pediatric palliative care (PPC) topics of breaking bad news, dyspnea, anxiety, pain management, and the dying child. We also evaluated a scoring system and gathered qualitative data. Methods. The CCMs are part of the University of California San Diego pediatric residency's second-year curriculum. Comparisons were made for statistical trends between residents exposed to the modules (n = 15) and those not exposed (n = 4). Results. Nineteen of 36 residents (52%) completed surveys to self-rate their preparedness, knowledge, and confidence about PPC before and after the intervention. Resident scores increased in all areas. All improvements reached statistical significance except confidence when breaking bad news. Overall, the resident feedback about the CCMs was positive. Conclusions. This study demonstrates that the CCMs can be performed effectively in an academic setting and can benefit residents' self-perception of preparedness, confidence, and knowledge about pediatric palliative care. In the future, we plan to implement the modules on a larger scale. We encourage their use in interprofessional settings and across institutions. PMID:28286527
Perez-Hoyos, Santiago; Agra-Varela, Yolanda
Abstract Background Primary care physicians (PCPs) have a major responsibility in the management of palliative patients. Online palliative care (PC) education has not been shown to have a clinical impact on patients that is equal or different to traditional training. Objective This study tested the clinical effectiveness of online PC education of physicians through impact on symptom control, quality of life (QOL), caregiver satisfaction, and knowledge-attitude of physicians at 18 months of the intervention. Methods We conducted a randomized clinical trial. Subjects were 169 physicians randomly assigned to receive the online model or traditional training. Consecutive patients with advanced cancer requiring PC were included. Physicians and patients completed the Palliative Care Outcome Scale (POS), and patients the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL) twice, 7 to 10 days apart. Caregivers completed the SERVQUAL. Physicians' level of knowledge-attitude was measured at 18 months. Results Sixty-seven physicians enrolled 117 patients. The intervention group had reduced scores for pain, symptoms, and family anxiety. The global RSCL scale showed a difference between groups. There was no significant difference in the questionnaires used. Caregiver satisfaction was comparable between groups. Physicians in the intervention group significantly increased their knowledge without any differences in attitude. Online training was completed by 86.6% in the intervention group, whereas 13.4% in the control group accessed traditional training. Conclusions Participation in an online PC education program by PCPs improved patient scores for some symptoms and family anxiety on the POS and also showed improved global QOL. Significant differences were found in physicians' knowledge at short and long term. PMID:23987657
Das, Tapas; Banerjee, Sharmila
Bone pain arising due to skeletal metastases is one of the common complications experienced by the majority of patients suffering from prostate, breast and lung cancer at the advanced stage of the disease. These patients are subjected to palliative care in order to improve the quality of their remaining life. With the gradually increasing number of cancer cases, palliation of metastatic bone pain is gaining importance. Bone-seeking radiopharmaceuticals play a pivotal role in the management of cancer pain, particularly in patients with multiple metastases, as these agents are proven to be effective in controlling the bone pain with minimum side effects. Although a plethora of such radiopharmaceuticals have been developed and evaluated in animal models, only a few are regularly used in clinics while some of these agents are at different stages of clinical evaluations. The present article describes only those bone-seeking radiopharmaceuticals, which have been reported to be clinically administered till date, along with their relative merits and drawbacks.
... Families Take the Quiz Step 3: Meet the Palliative Care Team The palliative care team will spend a lot of time with ... are some suggestions: What can I expect from palliative care? Where will my care be provided (e.g., ...
Campos, Sarah; Presutti, Roseanna; Zhang Liying; Salvo, Nadia; Hird, Amanda; Tsao, May; Barnes, Elizabeth A.; Danjoux, Cyril; Sahgal, Arjun; Mitera, Gunita; Sinclair, Emily; DeAngelis, Carlo; Nguyen, Janet; Napolskikh, Julie; Chow, Edward
Purpose: To investigate the efficacy of palliative radiotherapy (RT) in relieving metastatic bone pain in elderly patients. Methods and Materials: The response to RT for palliation of metastatic bone pain was evaluated from a prospective database of 558 patients between 1999 and 2008. The pain scores and analgesic intake were used to calculate the response according to the International Bone Metastases Consensus Working Party palliative RT endpoints. Subgroup analyses for age and other demographic information were performed. Results: No significant difference was found in the response rate in patients aged >=65, >=70, and >=75 years compared with younger patients at 1, 2, or 3 months after RT. The response was found to be significantly related to the performance status. Conclusion: Age alone did not affect the response to palliative RT for bone metastases. Elderly patients should be referred for palliative RT for their painful bone metastases, regardless of age, because they receive equal benefit from the treatment.
The mobile palliative care and support team nurse works in different departments within the hospital. The clinical situation of a patient enables the team to identify in what ways she is declining and thereby participate in the care management in order to favour the patient's return home.
Nagington, Maurice; Luker, Karen; Walshe, Catherine
Ethical care is beginning to be recognised as care that accounts for the views of those at the receiving end of care. However, in the context of palliative and supportive district nursing care, the patients' and their carers' views are seldom heard. This qualitative research study explores these views. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 26 patients with palliative and supportive care needs receiving district nursing care, and 13 of their carers. Participants were recruited via community nurses and hospices between September 2010 and October 2011. Post-structural discourse analysis is used to examine how discourses operate on a moral level. One discourse, 'busyness', is argued to preclude a moral form of nursing care. The discourse of friendship is presented to contrast this. Discussion explores Gallagher's 'slow ethics' and challenges the currently accepted ways of measuring to improve quality of care concluding that quality cannot be measured.
Nakanishi, Miharu; Miyamoto, Yuki
This study examined factors contributing to the knowledge and attitudes of nursing home staff regarding palliative care for advanced dementia in Japan. A cross-sectional survey of 275 nurses and other care workers from 74 long-term care facilities was conducted across three prefectures in August 2014. The Japanese versions of the Questionnaire on Palliative Care for Advanced Dementia (qPAD) and Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying scale, Form B (FATCOD-B-J) were used. Greater knowledge was exhibited among nursing home staff in facilities that established a manual for end-of-life care. Higher levels of positive attitudes were observed among nursing home staff in facilities that had established a manual and those in facilities with a physician's written opinions on end-of-life care. An organisational effort should be explored to establish end-of-life care policies among nursing home staff for advanced dementia.
Golden, Adam G; Antoni, Charles; Gammonley, Denise
We describe the development and implementation of a home-based palliative care consult service for Veterans with advanced illness. A retrospective chart review was performed on 73 Veterans who received a home-based palliative care consult. Nearly one-third were 80 years of age or older, and nearly one-third had a palliative diagnosis of cancer. The most common interventions of the consult team included discussion of advance directives, completion of a "do not resuscitate" form, reduction/stoppage of at least 1 medication, explanation of diagnosis, referral to home-based primary care program, referral to hospice, and assessment/support for caregiver stress. The home-based consult service was therefore able to address clinical and psychosocial issues that can demonstrate a direct benefit to Veterans, families, and referring clinicians.
Barutta, Joaquín; Vollmann, Jochen
Even among advocates of legalising physician-assisted death, many argue that this should be done only once palliative care has become widely available. Meanwhile, according to them, physician-assisted death should be banned. Four arguments are often presented to support this claim, which we call the argument of lack of autonomy, the argument of existing alternatives, the argument of unfair inequalities and the argument of the antagonism between physician-assisted death and palliative care. We argue that although these arguments provide strong reasons to take appropriate measures to guarantee access to good quality palliative care to everyone who needs it, they do not justify a ban on physician-assisted death until we have achieved this goal.
Cook, A M; Finlay, I G; Edwards, A G; Hood, K; Higginson, I J; Goodwin, D M; Normand, C E; Douglas, H R
A systematic review into palliative care team effectiveness was undertaken which has, inherent in its methodology, grey literature searching. Over 100 letters were written to a systematically chosen range of service providers, commissioners, and experts in combination with requests for information in six UK national cancer/palliative care organization newsletters. In addition, the System for Information on Grey Literature (SIGLE ) database was searched. As a result, 25 document hard copies were received. The documents were, in all but one case (this one study was also highlighted by the SIGLE search), not relevant as they were predominated by annual reports, service descriptions, and needs assessments. In terms of obtaining unpublished studies for possible inclusion in the review, this comprehensive search was unsuccessful and, therefore, it would appear that grey literature searching is not a useful tool in palliative care systematic reviews.
Wiener, Lori; Weaver, Meaghann Shaw; Bell, Cynthia J; Sansom-Daly, Ursula M
Medical providers are trained to investigate, diagnose, and treat cancer. Their primary goal is to maximize the chances of curing the patient, with less training provided on palliative care concepts and the unique developmental needs inherent in this population. Early, systematic integration of palliative care into standard oncology practice represents a valuable, imperative approach to improving the overall cancer experience for adolescents and young adults (AYAs). The importance of competent, confident, and compassionate providers for AYAs warrants the development of effective educational strategies for teaching AYA palliative care. Just as palliative care should be integrated early in the disease trajectory of AYA patients, palliative care training should be integrated early in professional development of trainees. As the AYA age spectrum represents sequential transitions through developmental stages, trainees experience changes in their learning needs during their progression through sequential phases of training. This article reviews unique epidemiologic, developmental, and psychosocial factors that make the provision of palliative care especially challenging in AYAs. A conceptual framework is provided for AYA palliative care education. Critical instructional strategies including experiential learning, group didactic opportunity, shared learning among care disciplines, bereaved family members as educators, and online learning are reviewed. Educational issues for provider training are addressed from the perspective of the trainer, trainee, and AYA. Goals and objectives for an AYA palliative care cancer rotation are presented. Guidance is also provided on ways to support an AYA's quality of life as end of life nears. PMID:25750863
Mazwi, Mjaye L; Henner, Natalia; Kirsch, Roxanne
Patients with critical congenital heart disease are exposed to significant lifetime morbidity and mortality. Prenatal diagnosis can provide opportunities for anticipatory co-management of patients between palliative subspecialists and the cardiac care team. The benefits of palliative care include support for longitudinal decision-making and avoidance of interventions not consistent with family goals. Effectively counseling families requires an up-to-date understanding of outcomes and knowledge of provider biases. Patient-proxy reported quality of life (QOL) is highly variable in this population and healthcare providers need to be aware of limitations in their own subjective assessment of QOL.
Harrison Dening, Karen
Dementia is a life-limiting condition that is largely a disease of ageing. However, older people in general, and older people with dementia in particular, have not always had equal access to effective palliative and end of life care. As a result, people with dementia at the end of life often receive aggressive and burdensome interventions, or inadequate assessment and management of their symptoms. Patterns in how people with dementia experience and present symptoms as they near the end of life can indicate when the goals of care should change and a palliative approach should be adopted.
At the Institute for Palliative Medicine (IPM) in San Diego, medical residents are re-tooling for one of the most essential aspects of medicine: caring for seriously ill patients. “The goal is to teach them the core competencies in palliative care,” explained Dr. Charles von Gunten, the institute’s provost. |
Karam, Chafic Y; Paganoni, Sabrina; Joyce, Nanette; Carter, Gregory T; Bedlack, Richard
As palliative care physicians become increasingly involved in the care of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), they will be asked to provide guidance regarding the use of supplements, diet, exercise, and other common preventive medicine interventions. Moreover, palliative care physicians have a crucial role assisting patients with ALS in addressing health care decisions to maximize quality of life and cope with a rapidly disabling disease. It is therefore important for palliative care physicians to be familiar with commonly encountered palliative care issues in ALS. This article provides an evidenced-based review of palliative care options not usually addressed in national and international ALS guidelines.
Karam, Chafic Y.; Paganoni, Sabrina; Joyce, Nanette; Carter, Gregory T.; Bedlack, Richard
As palliative care physicians become increasingly involved in the care of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), they will be asked to provide guidance regarding the use of supplements, diet, exercise, and other common preventive medicine interventions. Moreover, palliative care physicians have a crucial role assisting patients with ALS in addressing health care decisions to maximize quality of life and cope with a rapidly disabling disease. It is therefore important for palliative care physicians to be familiar with commonly encountered palliative care issues in ALS. This article provides an evidenced-based review of palliative care options not usually addressed in national and international ALS guidelines. PMID:25202033
Recognition of the importance of 'cultural competence' is now central to health care policy and to nurse education and training across the international spectrum. Detailed engagement with models of cultural competence is comparatively recent in palliative care nursing. This article presents the findings from a development project on elders and carers from 'minority ethnic' groups, funded by the Department of Health, to increase awareness of palliative care and to improve understanding of the needs of these groups of service users. The article describes the experiences of nurses involved in the delivery of palliative care who were interviewed in focus groups as a part of the project. It draws attention to the complicated relationships between cultural knowledge and practice and to the non-rational and visceral dimensions of intercultural care. These aspects of nursing are marginalised in current approaches to cultural competence, which emphasise the rational acquisition and application of cultural knowledge and skills by practitioners. It is suggested that recognition of these marginalised experiences can contribute to the development of new approaches to intercultural nursing that are also more attuned to the ethos and values of palliative care.
Rushton, Cynda Hylton
Recent studies highlight the need for an integrated model for palliative and end-of-life pediatric care. About 55,000 children die each year in the United States and, on any given day, about 8,600 children could benefit from care that acknowledges their limited life expectancy and severity of illness. Two case studies of children illustrate different approaches-one that aggressively applies all possible technologies to maximize chances of survival and another that focuses on the patient's overall quality of life and on healing rather than curing. The cases highlight characteristics of an integrated model of palliative care to address clinical, moral, and ethical uncertainties. This model integrates being with doing, provides for developing attunement and presence as capacities for being with children and their parents, and addresses challenges in the healthcare environment. Strategies for integrating palliative care into pediatric practice include listening, fostering respect for the child and parents across the organization, nurturing collaborative connections, managing uncertainty, tolerating ambiguity, making peace with conflict, and committing to self-care. Every pediatric nurse can play a role in making the vision of palliative care a reality integrated into the fabric of pediatric practice.
Bueno Pernias, Maria José; Hueso Montoro, César; Guardia Mancilla, Plácido; Montoya Juárez, Rafael; García Caro, Maria Paz
Objectives: To describe the clinical encounters that occur when a palliative care team provides patient care and the features that influence these encounters and indicate whether they are favorable or unfavorable depending on the expectations and feelings of the various participants. Methods: A qualitative case study conducted via participant observation. A total of 12 observations of the meetings of palliative care teams with patients and families in different settings (home, hospital and consultation room) were performed. The visits were follow-up or first visits, either scheduled or on demand. Content analysis of the observation was performed. Results: The analysis showed the normal follow-up activity of the palliative care unit that was focused on controlling symptoms, sharing information and providing advice on therapeutic regimens and care. The environment appeared to condition the patients' expressions and the type of patient relationship. Favorable clinical encounter conditions included kindness and gratitude. Unfavorable conditions were deterioration caused by approaching death, unrealistic family objectives and limited resources. Conclusion: Home visits from basic palliative care teams play an important role in patient and family well-being. The visits seem to focus on controlling symptoms and are conditioned by available resources. PMID:27226663
Glare, Paul; Miller, Jeanna; Nikolova, Tanya; Tickoo, Roma
Nausea and vomiting are portrayed in the specialist palliative care literature as common and distressing symptoms affecting the majority of patients with advanced cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. However, recent surveys indicate that these symptoms may be less common and bothersome than has previously been reported. The standard palliative care approach to the assessment and treatment of nausea and vomiting is based on determining the cause and then relating this back to the “emetic pathway” before prescribing drugs such as dopamine antagonists, antihistamines, and anticholinergic agents which block neurotransmitters at different sites along the pathway. However, the evidence base for the effectiveness of this approach is meager, and may be in part because relevance of the neuropharmacology of the emetic pathway to palliative care patients is limited. Many palliative care patients are over the age of 65 years, making these agents difficult to use. Greater awareness of drug interactions and QTc prolongation are emerging concerns for all age groups. The selective serotonin receptor antagonists are the safest antiemetics, but are not used first-line in many countries because there is very little scientific rationale or clinical evidence to support their use outside the licensed indications. Cannabinoids may have an increasing role. Advances in interventional gastroenterology are increasing the options for nonpharmacological management. Despite these emerging issues, the approach to nausea and vomiting developed within palliative medicine over the past 40 years remains relevant. It advocates careful clinical evaluation of the symptom and the person suffering it, and an understanding of the clinical pharmacology of medicines that are available for palliating them. PMID:21966219
Masel, Eva K; Kitta, Anna; Huber, Patrick; Rumpold, Tamara; Unseld, Matthias; Schur, Sophie; Porpaczy, Edit; Watzke, Herbert H
Objective The aims of the study were to examine a) patients’ knowledge of palliative care, b) patients’ expectations and needs when being admitted to a palliative care unit, and c) patient’s concept of a good palliative care physician. Methods The study was based on a qualitative methodology, comprising 32 semistructured interviews with advanced cancer patients admitted to the palliative care unit of the Medical University of Vienna. Interviews were conducted with 20 patients during the first three days after admission to the unit and after one week, recorded digitally, and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using NVivo 10 software, based on thematic analysis enhanced with grounded theory techniques. Results The results revealed four themes: (1) information about palliative care, (2) supportive care needs, (3) being treated in a palliative care unit, and (4) qualities required of palliative care physicians. The data showed that patients lack information about palliative care, that help in social concerns plays a central role in palliative care, and attentiveness as well as symptom management are important to patients. Patients desire a personal patient-physician relationship. The qualities of a good palliative care physician were honesty, the ability to listen, taking time, being experienced in their field, speaking the patient’s language, being human, and being gentle. Patients experienced relief when being treated in a palliative care unit, perceived their care as an interdisciplinary activity, and felt that their burdensome symptoms were being attended to with emotional care. Negative perceptions included the overtly intense treatment. Conclusions The results of the present study offer an insight into what patients expect from palliative care teams. Being aware of patient’s needs will enable medical teams to improve professional and individualized care. PMID:27389693
Beard, Walter L; Long, R Craig; Geraci, Stephen A
Heart failure is a chronic disease afflicting millions of patients worldwide. Advances in treatment have allowed sufferers to enjoy overall prolonged survival and enhanced quality of life. Yet, a consequence of these therapeutic successes is that more patients survive to end-stage disease, with severe symptoms, poor quality of life, and no options available to prolong their survival reasonably. End-stage heart failure patients require a comprehensive palliative approach to care during their final months, with treatment goals focusing on symptom relief. Often, specific heart failure therapies can further this cause and should be administered when appropriate to alleviate specific symptoms, while other general palliative measures should also be considered as with other terminal patients. End-of-life palliative strategies must conform to accepted principles of ethical care. Constant communication with patients and families is essential to achieve best treatment goals for this growing segment of the population.
Munck, Berit; Sandgren, Anna
The increase in the use of medical devices in palliative home care requires that patients and next-of-kin feel secure. Therefore, the aim was to describe medical technology's impact on the sense of security for patients, next-of-kin and district nurses. Deductive content analysis was conducted on data from three previous studies, using the theoretical framework 'palliative home care as a secure base'. The use of medical technology was shown to have an impact on the sense of security for all involved. A sense of control was promoted by trust in staff and their competence in managing the technology, which was linked to continuity. Inner peace and being in comfort implied effective symptom relief facilitated by pain pumps and being relieved of responsibility. Health care professionals need to have practical knowledge about medical technology, but at the same time have an awareness of how to create and maintain a sense of security.
Abudari, Gassan; Zahreddine, Hassan; Hazeim, Hassan; Assi, Mohammad Al; Emara, Sania
Background Palliative care is not yet integrated into the health-care system in Saudi Arabia. King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre-Riyadh (KFSH&RC-Riyadh) is a tertiary care facility and regional cancer centre in Saudia Arabia with a highly multinational nursing workforce. Little is known about these nurses' knowledge of and attitudes towards palliative care. Aim To determine the palliative care knowledge and attitudes of the nursing workforce of KFSH&RC-Riyadh and any influencing factors. Method A questionnaire including demographic data, the Palliative Care Quiz for Nurses (PCQN), and Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying scale (FATCOD) was completed by 395 staff nurses from 19 countries. Results The nurses scored a mean of 111.66 out of 150 on the FATCOD scale and of 9.06 out of 20 on the PCQN. These scores indicate moderate attitudes towards but a knowledge deficit regarding palliative care. The nurses' palliative care training and years of nursing experience significantly affected the scores. The level of palliative care integration in the nurses' home countries was the most significant factor in multiple regression tests. Conclusion Palliative care integration into the health-care system of the country in which nurses train significantly influences their knowledge of and attitudes towards palliative care. Incorporating palliative care into nursing education might promote positive attitudes towards palliative care in nurses while enhancing their knowledge and skills.
Silbermann, M.; Arnaout, M.; Daher, M.; Nestoros, S.; Pitsillides, B.; Charalambous, H.; Gultekin, M.; Fahmi, R.; Mostafa, K.A.H.; Khleif, A.D.; Manasrah, N.; Oberman, A.
Background In larger parts of the Middle East palliative care is still misunderstood among health professionals, cancer patients and the public at large. One reason to that is because the term does not obviously communicate the intent of this clinical discipline, which is lending better quality of life while combating cancer. Further, culture, tradition and religion have contributed to this misgiving and confusion especially at the terminal stage of the disease. Methods The Middle East Cancer Consortium jointly with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Oncology Nursing Society, the San Diego Hospice Center for Palliative Medicine and the Children's Hospital & Clinics of Minnesota initiated a series of training courses and workshops in the Middle East to provide updated training to physicians, nurses, social workers and psychologists from throughout the region with basic concepts of palliative care and pain managements in adults and children cancers. Results During the past 6 years hundreds of professionals took part in these educational and training activities, thereby creating the core of trained caregivers who start to make the change in their individual countries. Conclusions The outcome of consecutive training activities can overcome geopolitical instabilities, and yield a genuine change in approach of both regulators, medical administrators, medical staff and the public; as to the important contribution of palliative care services to the welfare of the patient and his/her family. PMID:22628412
Pereira, J; Macmillan, A; Bruera, E
The Internet, with its graphical subdivision, the World Wide Web (WWW). has become a powerful tool for the dissemination of information and for communication. This paper discusses the authors' experiences with creating, launching and maintaining an official publication on the Internet by the Edmonton Regional Palliative Care Program and the Division of Palliative Medicine, University of Alberta, Canada. It describes the content and format of the homepage and the process of publication. Over a six-month period there were 892 visits to the site and 84 separate items of correspondence to the site's editors. Of these correspondence items, 36 were requesting further information regarding clinical and other programme information. Sixty-nine of the 84 communications came from North America and Europe. The pattern of readership is briefly discussed as are some of the potential advantages and challenges when utilizing this electronic medium. To promote the dissemination of reliable information on the Internet, the authors encourage other palliative care groups and organizations to publish on the WWW. The URL is http:/(/)www.palliative.org (previously http:/(/)www.caritas.ab.ca/approximately palliate).
Giesbrecht, Melissa; Crooks, Valorie A; Castleden, Heather; Schuurman, Nadine; Skinner, Mark; Williams, Allison
We draw lines to divide our world into specific places, territories, and categories. Although borders and boundaries are dynamic and socially constructed, their existence creates many broad impacts on our lives by geographically distinguishing between groups (e.g., us/them; here/there; inside/outside) at various scales from the national down to the personal spaces of the individual. Particularly, borders and boundaries can be used to define a variety of differing spaces such as the familial, social, economic, political, as well as issues of access - including access to health services. Despite the implicit connection between borders, boundaries, and health, little research has investigated this connection from a health geography perspective. As such, this secondary thematic analysis contributes to addressing this notable gap by examining how borders and boundaries are experienced and perceived to impact access to palliative care in rural Canada from the perspectives of the formal and informal providers of such care. Drawing upon data from qualitative interviews (n = 40) with formal and informal palliative caregivers residing in four different rural Canadian communities, five forms of borders and boundaries were found to directly impact care delivery/receipt: political; jurisdictional; geographical; professional; and cultural. Implicitly and explicitly, participants discussed these borders and boundaries while sharing their experiences of providing palliative care in rural Canada. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for palliative care in rural Canada, while also emphasizing the need for more health geography, and related social science, researchers to recognize the significance of borders and boundaries in relation to health and healthcare delivery. Lastly, we emphasize the transferability of these findings to other health sectors, geographical settings, and disciplines.
Chan, Wallace C H; Epstein, I
This study operationalizes and assesses the percentage of "good deaths" achieved among Chinese cancer patients in a palliative care program, the profile of these patients, the relationship between patients with a good death and psychosocial factors, and the differences in background factors, and physical and psychosocial conditions between patients who experienced a good death and those who did not. Clinical data mining was the research method used. Records of deceased cancer patients between 2003 and 2005 in a palliative care unit were the sole data source. Good death was operationally defined as the patient's record indicating no pain (physical) or anxiety (psychological), and having open and honest communication with family (social) in the final assessment by the Support Team Assessment Schedule (STAS) just before death. Using these criteria, about one-fifth of patients (21.5%; 137 out of 638) experienced a good death. Those with a good death were significantly older and were in palliative care longer. Their records also indicated lower levels of constipation, insomnia, oral discomfort, and family anxiety at their first and at their final STAS assessments. Good death was positively associated with recorded indicators of fullness in life, caregivers' acceptance and support, and negatively with reported feelings of upset about changes in the course of their illness. The results heighten awareness among social workers and other healthcare professionals about the value of good death in patients in palliative care. This empirically-based awareness can foster professionals' ability to set intervention objectives to help patients in palliative care achieve this universally accepted goal.
Malloy, Pam; Paice, Judith; Coyle, Nessa; Coyne, Patrick; Smith, Thomas; Ferrell, Betty
Many challenges exist when providing international education to those who care for people at the end of life. Though issues related to culture and language may vary, the one commonality that crosses all nations is that its people die. In general, societies seek to provide the best care they are trained to give. Many have few resources to provide this care well. Traditions of the past influence norms and dictate policies and procedures of the present. Since its inception in 2000, the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium Project has provided palliative care education to nurses and other members of the interdisciplinary team in six of the seven continents. This article describes the efforts of this project to improve education around the globe, with the goal of providing excellent, compassionate palliative care, irrespective of location, financial status, political views, religion, race, and/or ethnicity.
Adriaansen, Marian J. M.; Frederiks, Carla M. A.
A postgraduate course on palliative nursing includes four class sessions and four peer review meetings in which students discuss case studies and assignments. The course is intended to prepare nurses for the bureaucratic, biomedical, social-therapeutic, and informal roles of terminal care. (SK)
Robinson, Carole A.; Pesut, Barbara; Bottorff, Joan L.
Context: Growing concern exists among health professionals over the dilemma of providing necessary health care for Canada's aging population. Hospice palliative services are an essential need in both urban and rural settings. Rural communities, in particular, are vulnerable to receiving inadequate services due to their geographic isolation.…
Logue, Barbara J.
Examines feasibility of palliative approach for all patients, showing reasonable people may refuse even the most exemplary care for themselves or an incompetent relative. Medical realities and alleviation of pointless suffering necessitate that policymakers consider other options, including "active" euthanasia, consistent with patient…
Rao, Kishore; Simha, Nagesh
This article is a story of networking of palliative care at the corporate level. This gives an insight that if you have will and dedication then you can imagine and make it true that networking can start even before the birth of an organization. PMID:21811363
Veterinary patients in palliative and hospice care have progressive and often degenerative diseases that can cause pain as well as loss of function and decreased quality of life. These patients can often benefit from the application of physical medicine and rehabilitation techniques to maximize comfort and function. Physical medicine and rehabilitation are most effective as adjuncts to pharmacologic pain management. Physical medicine and rehabilitation can decrease the doses of analgesics required to keep these patients comfortable. The blend of physical and pharmacologic medicine allows an optimum balance between maximum comfort and maximum mentation.
Cumming, M; Boreland, F; Perkins, D
Community primary health care nurses in rural and remote settings are required to provide palliative care as part of their generalist role. They have limited access to specialist medical and nursing support and sometimes there are no resident GPs. A study consisting of a mailed survey and follow-up interviews was conducted to explore the experiences of these nurses and to determine how personally and professionally equipped they felt for palliative care service provision. Most participants were registered nurses experienced in nursing and in rural and remote settings, who juggled multiple generalist work roles. They had only occasional palliative care patients, and more than half had provided palliative care for a friend or family member. Some nurses found palliative care rewarding, others preferred not to have to do it. However, even those who did not enjoy working with palliative care patients often went beyond the 'call of duty' to support a home death if that was what the patient wanted. Three-quarters had attended palliative care education in the last 2 years but 88% wanted more education. Barriers to education included competing work roles, work load, geographical isolation and lack of backfill. Support from managers and peers was considered important, as was accessing timely and relevant clinical support.
Miner, Thomas J
Excellence as a surgeon requires not only the technical and intellectual ability to effectively take care of surgical disease but also an ability to respond to the needs and questions of patients. This article provides an overview of the importance of communication skills in optimal surgical palliation and offers suggestions for a multidisciplinary team approach, using the palliative triangle as the ideal model of communication and interpersonal skills. This article also discusses guidelines for advanced surgical decision making and outlines methods to improve communication skills.
Woods, Anne; Willison, Kathleen; Kington, Cindy; Gavin, Alan
A systematic overview of the literature on palliative care for people with severe persistent mental illness (SPMI) was conducted to inform clinical practice, research, and education. Empirical studies and nonempirical papers were included. Few empirical studies exist. There is even less information about the palliative care needs of, or the nature of palliative care provided to, people with SPMI. Mental health, primary care, and palliative care providers need to partner with people who have SPMI in developing and providing palliative care. The field of palliative care for people with SPMI is wide open and in need of methodologically sound studies that will help define the issues that exist for this vulnerable population. Recognizing the similarities between mental health and palliative care should lead to collaborative ventures and discussions in an attempt to address common and parallel issues.
Srivastava, Suresh C.; Meinken, George E.; Mausner, Leonard F.; Atkins, Harold L.
The invention provides a method for the palliation of bone pain due to cancer by the administration of a unique dosage of a tin-117m (Sn-117m) stannic chelate complex in a pharmaceutically acceptable composition. In addition, the invention provides a method for simultaneous palliation of bone pain and radiotherapy in cancer patients using compositions containing Sn-117m chelates. The invention also provides a method for palliating bone pain in cancer patients using Sn-117m-containing compositions and monitoring patient status by imaging the distribution of the Sn-117m in the patients. Also provided are pharmaceutically acceptable compositions containing Sn-117m chelate complexes for the palliation of bone pain in cancer patients.
Srivastava, S.C.; Meinken, G.E.; Mausner, L.F.; Atkins, H.L.
The invention provides a method for the palliation of bone pain due to cancer by the administration of a unique dosage of a tin-117m (Sn-117m) stannic chelate complex in a pharmaceutically acceptable composition. In addition, the invention provides a method for simultaneous palliation of bone pain and radiotherapy in cancer patients using compositions containing Sn-117m chelates. The invention also provides a method for palliating bone pain in cancer patients using Sn-117m-containing compositions and monitoring patient status by imaging the distribution of the Sn-117m in the patients. Also provided are pharmaceutically acceptable compositions containing Sn-117m chelate complexes for the palliation of bone pain in cancer patients. 5 figs.
An audit was undertaken of people with a diagnosis of breast cancer who were referred to a community palliative care specialist nursing team over a 12-month period, to explore the reasons for referral to the service and the duration of involvement with the service. Breast cancer patients accounted for 10% of the total referrals to the specialist service, with symptom management (including pain control) and emotional support being the main reasons for referral. The majority of people referred with breast cancer had metastatic breast cancer (87%); interestingly, 13% had primary breast cancer. The mean duration of intervention was 3 months and 1 week. Referrals seemed to occur late in patients' disease trajectories, and total numbers were lower than might be expected. It may be concluded that there is scope for the specialist palliative care team to be a more integral part of care for patients with metastatic breast cancer.
Palliative care psychiatry is an emerging subspecialty field at the intersection of Palliative Medicine and Psychiatry. The discipline brings expertise in understanding the psychosocial dimensions of human experience to the care of dying patients and support of their families. The goals of this review are (1) to briefly define palliative care and summarize the evidence for its benefits, (2) to describe the roles for psychiatry within palliative care, (3) to review recent advances in the research and practice of palliative care psychiatry, and (4) to delineate some steps ahead as this sub-field continues to develop, in terms of research, education, and systems-based practice. PMID:23794027
This case study examines the current state of cultural competence in hospice and palliative care in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Because of changing demographic trends and ethnic minorities underutilizing hospice palliative care services, this research examined the current state of culturally competent care in a hospice setting, and the challenges to providing culturally competent care in a hospice in the GTA. A case study was conducted with a hospice and included in-depth interviews with 14 hospice volunteers. The findings reveal that volunteers encountered cultural clashes when their level of cultural competency was weak. Second, volunteers revealed there was a lack of adequate cultural competency training with their hospice, and finally, there was a lack of ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity among the hospice volunteers.
Downing, Robin; Adams, Valarie Hajek; McClenaghan, Ann P
Hygiene, comfort, and safety during pet palliative care and hospice are usually straightforward. The veterinary health care team must coordinate care to ensure that the pet and the family are fully informed and engaged in the process. End-of-life issues, euthanasia, and death are typically not everyday concerns for the pet owner. Pet owners and veterinary patients rely on the veterinary health care team to help create the structure within which the pet will die. The veterinary team can give the family-pet unit the gift of structure and multifaceted comfort. The veterinary profession must take seriously this unique niche of care.
McCarron, Mary; McCallion, Philip; Fahey-McCarthy, Elizabeth; Connaire, Kevin
Aim: To better describe the role and timing of palliative care in supporting persons with intellectual disabilities and advanced dementia (AD). Background: Specialist palliative care providers have focused mostly on people with cancers. Working with persons with intellectual disabilities and AD offers opportunities to expand such palliative care…
Background Population ageing, changes to the profiles of life-limiting illnesses and evolving societal attitudes prompt a critical evaluation of models of palliative care. We set out to identify evidence-based models of palliative care to inform policy reform in Australia. Method A rapid review of electronic databases and the grey literature was undertaken over an eight week period in April-June 2012. We included policy documents and comparative studies from countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published in English since 2001. Meta-analysis was planned where >1 study met criteria; otherwise, synthesis was narrative using methods described by Popay et al. (2006). Results Of 1,959 peer-reviewed articles, 23 reported systematic reviews, 9 additional RCTs and 34 non-randomised comparative studies. Variation in the content of models, contexts in which these were implemented and lack of detailed reporting meant that elements of models constituted a more meaningful unit of analysis than models themselves. Case management was the element most consistently reported in models for which comparative studies provided evidence for effectiveness. Essential attributes of population-based palliative care models identified by policy and addressed by more than one element were communication and coordination between providers (including primary care), skill enhancement, and capacity to respond rapidly to individuals’ changing needs and preferences over time. Conclusion Models of palliative care should integrate specialist expertise with primary and community care services and enable transitions across settings, including residential aged care. The increasing complexity of care needs, services, interventions and contextual drivers warrants future research aimed at elucidating the interactions between different components and the roles played by patient, provider and health system factors. The findings of this review are limited by its
Tavares, Marianne; Berger, Brian
Abstract Background The provision of complementary therapy in palliative care is rare in Canadian hospitals. An Ontario hospital's palliative care unit developed a complementary therapy pilot project within the interdisciplinary team to explore potential benefits. Massage, aromatherapy, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch™ were provided in an integrated approach. This paper reports on the pilot project, the results of which may encourage its replication in other palliative care programs. Objectives The intentions were (1) to increase patients'/families' experience of quality and satisfaction with end-of-life care and (2) to determine whether the therapies could enhance symptom management. Results Data analysis (n=31) showed a significant decrease in severity of pain, anxiety, low mood, restlessness, and discomfort (p<0.01, 95% confidence interval); significant increase in inner stillness/peace (p<0.01, 95% confidence interval); and convincing narratives on an increase in comfort. The evaluation by staff was positive and encouraged continuation of the program. Conclusions An integrated complementary therapy program enhances regular symptom management, increases comfort, and is a valuable addition to interdisciplinary care. PMID:24020920
Potter, Gail; Pesut, Barbara; Hooper, Brenda Pherne; Erbacker, Lynnelle
This article describes the preparation and delivery of an educational intervention designed to improve rural nurses and unlicensed care providers' confidence in a palliative approach to care. A palliative approach takes the principles of supportive palliative care and adapts them for application earlier in nonspecialized palliative contexts for individuals living with life-limiting chronic illness. Curriculum in a palliative approach was constructed for nurses and unlicensed care providers (care aides and home health workers) and was delivered through a workshop and monthly follow-up sessions offered through distance technology. Participants valued the joint interactive education and came away with greater appreciation for one another's contributions to care. Insights were gained into common challenges when attempting to apply a palliative approach in rural areas. Important lessons were learned about educating nurses and unlicensed care providers together, about the use of technology for this group, and about teaching the concept of a palliative approach.
Blackler, Laura; Mooney, Caroline; Jones, Christine
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a slow, debilitating, progressive disease and, as symptoms worsen, quality of life is affected and issues surrounding end of life arise. There are known difficulties about the healthcare professional's ability to manage this area and this is reflected in the literature. It is recognized that palliative care services for people with non-malignant diseases are not developed but this needs to be addressed. Within a London teaching hospital the COPD team has been working towards improving the standard of service offered to patients with advanced COPD using various strategies. The team's approach to this area of care focuses on quality of life by recognizing when an individual may need further support, and patients have reported that they feel their needs are being addressed. This article aims to review current evidence on the management of palliative care for patients with COPD and identify what steps have been taken by a London teaching hospital to address this issue.
Tanneberger, S; Köhler, U
In the light of the unprecedented demographic changes in many countries it is important to review and adapt existing strategies for giving old and incurable patients the adequate health care. Based on available data the importance of companion animals needs to be considered as part of individual care planning. Despite intensive research in other areas of health care, there is limited data concerning the use of companion animals in palliative care. The field demands much more recognition. For many people companion animals can be a chance for better quality of life.
Pesut, Barbara; Beswick, Frances; Robinson, Carole A; Bottorff, Joan L
Increasingly, palliative care is being referred to as an essential programme and in some cases as a human right. Once it is recognized as such, it becomes part of the lexicon of social justice in that it can be argued that all members of society should have access to such care. However, this begs the question of how that care should be enacted, particularly in rural and remote areas. This question illustrates some of Friedrich Hayek's critiques of social justice. Hayek has likened social justice to a 'moral stone' arguing that social justice is meaningless to the extent that society is impersonal and as such cannot be just, only those individuals who make up that society can be just. When responsibility for justice is assigned to an impersonal society, ideas of social justice can become a clarion call for whom no one is directly accountable. This opens the door for questionable macro-level political agendas that have no capacity to enact the ideal, and worse, may suppress individual moral acts towards the desired end. Further, acts of interference at the macro level with the ideal of equal opportunity run the risk of disadvantaging other members of society. Instead, he has argued that a better approach lies in finding ways to induce and support individual moral acts that promote the human good. Hayek's arguments are particularly compelling for rural palliative care. In this paper we draw upon data from an ethnographic study in rural palliative care to illustrate the potential misfit between the ethical ideal of palliative care as expressed by rural participants and the narratives of social justice.
Radbruch, Lukas; Strasser, Florian; Elsner, Frank; Gonçalves, Jose Ferraz; Løge, Jon; Kaasa, Stein; Nauck, Friedemann; Stone, Patrick
Fatigue is one of the most frequent symptoms in palliative care patients, reported in .80% of cancer patients and in up to 99% of patients following radio- or chemotherapy. Fatigue also plays a major role in palliative care for noncancer patients, with large percentages of patients with HIV, multiple sclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or heart failure reporting fatigue. This paper presents the position of an expert working group of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), evaluating the available evidence on diagnosis and treatment of fatigue in palliative care patients and providing the basis for future discussions. As the expert group feels that culture and language influence the approach to fatigue in different European countries, a focus was on cultural issues in the assessment and treatment of fatigue in palliative care. As a working definition, fatigue was defined as a subjective feeling of tiredness, weakness or lack of energy. Qualitative differences between fatigue in cancer patients and in healthy controls have been proposed, but these differences seem to be only an expression of the overwhelming intensity of cancer-related fatigue. The pathophysiology of fatigue in palliative care patients is not fully understood. For a systematic approach, primary fatigue, most probably related to high load of proinflammatory cytokines and secondary fatigue from concurrent syndromes and comorbidities may be differentiated. Fatigue is generally recognized as a multidimensional construct, with a physical and cognitive dimension acknowledged by all authors. As fatigue is an inherent word only in the English and French language, but not in other European languages, screening for fatigue should include questions on weakness as a paraphrase for the physical dimension and on tiredness as a paraphrase for the cognitive dimension. Treatment of fatigue should include causal interventions for secondary fatigue and symptomatic treatment with
Reflection on palliative care nursing practice has to encompass every dimension of the holistic care we offer. In this article a possible structured model for reflection on palliative care nursing is discussed and used to reflect on the care given during a community Macmillan nurse visit. The reflection revealed a number of challenges. These included the possible conflict between patient autonomy and quality of life for carers; the role of intuition in palliative nursing and spiritual care. The article concludes that reflection has a role to play in exploring the innate tensions in palliative care, voicing the often silent intuitive knowledge and promoting expertise in spiritual care.
de Andrade, Cristiani Garrido; da Costa, Solange Fátima Geraldo; Lopes, Maria Emília Limeira
Palliative care involves an approach in the field of care for terminal patients and their families that seeks to assure them better quality of life by establishing good communication. The scope of this study was to verify how nurses use communication in the field of palliative care when assisting patients in the terminal phase. This is exploratory research of a qualitative nature in which 28 nurses working in wards of a hospital in the city of Joao Pessoa in the State of Paraíba participated in the period from August to October 2012. A form was used for data collection that was then analyzed using the content analysis technique. Three categories emerged from the analysis of the material: "palliative care and communication - interpersonal relationship between the nurse and the terminal patient"; "communication in palliative care as a strategy for strengthening the bond between the nurse and the terminal patient"; and "the importance of communication between the nurse and the family of the terminal patient under palliative care." The conclusion reached was that communication is seen to be an effective element of care for the patient in the terminal phase and it is extremely important for the promotion of palliative care.
Valadares, Maria Thereza Macedo; Mota, Joaquim Antônio César; de Oliveira, Benigna Maria
Objective To evaluate the approach to palliative care for hematological oncology patients in the pediatric ward of a tertiary hospital. Methods This was a retrospective, descriptive study of 29 hematological oncology patients who died between 2009 and 2011. Data regarding the approach and prevalence of pain, prevalence of other symptoms, multidisciplinary team participation, communication between staff and family and limited invasive therapy were collected from the medical records. Results Twenty-seven (93.1%) patients displayed disease progression unresponsive to curative treatment. The median age at death was ten years old. Pain was the most prevalent symptom with all patients who reported pain receiving analgesic medications. The majority took weak (55.2%) and/or strong (65.5%) opioids. The patients were followed by pediatricians and a pediatric hematologist/oncologist. Participation of other professionals was also documented: 86.2% were followed by social services and 69% by psychologists, among others. There were explicit descriptions of limitation of invasive therapy in the medical records of 26 patients who died with disease progression. All these decisions were shared with the families. Conclusion Although the hospital where this study was conducted does not have a specialized team in pediatric palliative care, it meets all the requirements for developing a specific program. The importance of approaching pain and other prevalent symptoms in children with cancer involving a comprehensive multidisciplinary team is evident. Discussions were had with most of the families on limiting invasive therapy, but no record of a well-defined and coordinated treatment plan for palliative care was found. PMID:25453649
At first, palliative care and technology might seem like strange bedfellows. At its core, palliative care is a very human side of medicine, relying heavily on talking with and listening to people to understand their experiences and goals. Technology, on the other hand, can often feel impersonal, cold, and one-size-fitsall. Despite this apparent disconnect, researchers and clinicians are finding new ways to harness technology to facilitate communication between patients and caregivers.
Ferrell, Betty; Sun, Virginia; Hurria, Arti; Cristea, Mihaela; Raz, Dan J.; Kim, Jae Y.; Reckamp, Karen; Williams, Anna Cathy; Borneman, Tami; Uman, Gwen; Koczywas, Marianna
Context Palliative care, including symptom management and attention to quality of life (QOL) concerns, should be addressed throughout the trajectory of a serious illness such as lung cancer. Objectives This study tested the effectiveness of an interdisciplinary palliative care intervention for patients with stage I–IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods Patients undergoing treatments for NSCLC were enrolled in a prospective, quasi-experimental study whereby the usual care group was accrued first followed by the intervention group. Patients in the intervention group were presented at interdisciplinary care meetings, and appropriate supportive care referrals were made. They also received four educational sessions. In both groups, QOL, symptoms, and psychological distress were assessed at baseline and 12 weeks using surveys which included the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung and the lung cancer subscale, the 12-item Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being, and the Distress Thermometer. Results A total of 491 patients were included in the primary analysis. Patients who received the intervention had significantly better scores for QOL (109.1 vs. 101.4; P<0.001), symptoms (25.8 vs. 23.9; P<0.001) spiritual well-being (38.1 vs. 36.2; P=0.001), and lower psychological distress (2.2 vs. 3.3; P<0.001) at 12 weeks, after controlling for baseline scores, compared to patients in the usual care group. Patients in the intervention group also had significantly higher numbers of completed advance care directives (44% vs. 9%; P<0.001), and overall supportive care referrals (61% vs. 28%; P<0.001). The benefits were seen primarily in the earlier stage patients versus those with stage IV disease. Conclusion Interdisciplinary palliative care in the ambulatory care setting resulted in significant improvements in QOL, symptoms, and distress for NSCLC patients. PMID:26296261
... Life Care in the ICU Because of Nursing Research: Supporting Technologies for Healthy Independent Living Genomic Science For the ... Life Care in the ICU Because of Nursing Research: Supporting Technologies for Healthy Independent Living Genomic Science For the ...
Tanuseputro, Peter; Budhwani, Suman; Bai, Yu Qing; Wodchis, Walter P
Background: Little population-level information exists about the delivery of palliative care across multiple health sectors, important in providing a complete picture of current care and gaps in care. Aim: Provide a population perspective on end-of-life palliative care delivery across health sectors. Design: Retrospective population-level cohort study, describing palliative care in the last year of life using linked health administrative databases. Setting/participants: All decedents in Ontario, Canada, from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2012 (n = 177,817). Results: Across all health sectors, about half (51.9%) of all decedents received at least one record of palliative care in the last year of life. Being female, middle-aged, living in wealthier and urban neighborhoods, having cancer, and less multi-morbidity were all associated with higher odds of palliative care receipt. Among 92,276 decedents receiving palliative care, 84.9% received care in acute care hospitals. Among recipients, 35 mean days of palliative care were delivered. About half (49.1%) of all palliative care days were delivered in the last 2 months of life, and half (50.1%) had palliative care initiated in this period. Only about one-fifth of all decedents (19.3%) received end-of-life care through publicly funded home care. Less than 10% of decedents had a record of a palliative care home visit from a physician. Conclusion: We describe methods to capture palliative care using administrative data. Despite an estimate of overall reach (51.9%) that is higher than previous estimates, we have shown that palliative care is infrequently delivered particularly in community settings and to non-cancer patients and occurs close to death. PMID:27317412
DeMarco, Rosanna F
It is challenging to develop and assess skills in a classroom setting, for graduate students particularly, in the area of quality improvement project plans that are real, relevant, and sensitive in a unique health care context. Although understanding significant issues related to palliative care needs of U.S. citizens through the interpretation of those who publish in this area is extremely helpful to students, it does not allow for an experience uniquely situated in realities faced by those living with life-threatening and chronic illness or in a time frame that is current. Graduate students in a Health Resources and Services Administration-funded program of study completed a secondary data analysis of digitally recorded conversations of African American women living with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome to identify consumer-driven palliative care needs and create possible quality improvement program solutions. This exercise supports the World Health Organization's advice to become palliative care leaders through engagement in clients' realities.
Claxton-Oldfield, Stephen; Claxton-Oldfield, Jane
The goal of this study was to examine the impact of hospice palliative care work on volunteers' lives. In-depth interviews were conducted with 23 direct-patient care volunteers. More than half of the volunteers became involved in hospice palliative care because of their own experiences with family members and/or friends who have died. Most of the volunteers reported that they were different now or had changed in some way since they have been volunteering (e.g., they had grown in some way, have learned how to keep things in perspective). In addition, most of the volunteers felt that their outlook on life had changed since they started volunteering (e.g., they were more accepting of death, and they learned the importance of living one day at a time). Volunteers reported doing a number of different things to prevent compassion fatigue or burnout (e.g., reading a book, listening to music, talking to others, and taking time off from volunteering). Most of the volunteers said that they would tell anyone who might be thinking of volunteering in hospice palliative care that it is a very rewarding activity and/or that they should try it. Finally, many of the volunteers offered suggestions for doing things differently in their programs.
Of the approximately 80,000 new cases of all cancers detected every year in India, 10–15% are gynecological malignancies. As per population-based registries under the National Cancer Registry Program, the leading sites of cancer among women are the cervix uteri, breast, and oral cavity. About 50–60% of all cancers among women in India are mainly of the following four organs: cervix uteri, breast, corpus uteri, and ovaries. Over 70% of these women report for diagnostic and treatment services at an advanced stage of disease, resulting in poor survival and high mortality rates. Among all gynecological cancers, ovarian cancer is the deadliest one and, in 2/3rd of the cases, is detected in an advanced stage. But, in India and in other developing countries, due to inadequate screening facilities for the preventable cancer cervix, this kills more women than any other cancer in females. Gynecology Oncologist as a sub-specialist has an immensely important role in curtailing the menace of gynecological malignancies by providing comprehensive preventive, curative, palliative and follow-up services, with the aim of assuring a good quality of life to women as a cornerstone of cancer management. PMID:21811372
Denvir, M A; Murray, S A; Boyd, K J
Palliative care is recommended for patients with end-stage heart failure with several recent, randomised trials showing improvements in symptoms and quality of life and more studies underway. Future care planning provides a framework for discussing a range of palliative care problems with patients and their families. This approach can be introduced at any time during the patient's journey of care and ideally well in advance of end-of-life care. Future care planning is applicable to a wide range of patients with advanced heart disease and could be delivered systematically by cardiology teams at the time of an unplanned hospital admission, akin to cardiac rehabilitation for myocardial infarction. Integrating cardiology care and palliative care can benefit many patients with advanced heart disease at increased risk of death or hospitalisation. Larger, randomised trials are needed to assess the impact on patient outcomes and experiences.
Cooper, Dan; Aherne, Michael; Pereira, José
The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (2002) identifies spiritual care of the dying and their families as a core service for Hospice Palliative Care programs. Yet, until the Spiritual Care Development Initiative of the Canadian Pallium Project, there was no published literature indicating systematic profiling of occupationally relevant core competencies or competency-based training programs specific to this specialized field of practice. This article describes a Canadian Community of Practice process to develop an occupational analysis-based competency profile for the Professional Hospice Palliative Care Spiritual Care Provider utilizing a modified Developing a Curriculum (DACUM) methodology. Competency profiles are important contributions to the development of curricula to train care providers who are recognized by other professions and by institutions as possessing the requisite theoretical and clinical expertise, particularly in academic tertiary care settings.
O'Mahony, Sean; McHenry, Janet; Blank, Arthur E; Snow, Daniel; Eti Karakas, Serife; Santoro, Gabriella; Selwyn, Peter; Kvetan, Vladimir
Nearly half of Americans who die in hospitals spend time in the intensive care unit (ICU) in the last 3 days of life. Minority patients who die in the ICU are less likely to formalize advance directives and surviving family members report lower satisfaction with the provision of information and sensitivity to their cultural traditions at the end-of-life. This is a descriptive report of a convenience sample of 157 consecutive patients served by a palliative care team which was integrated into the operations of an ICU at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, from August 2005 until August 2007. The team included an advance practice nurse (APN) and social worker. A separate case-control study was conducted comparing the length of hospital stay for persons who died in the ICU during the final 6 months of the project, prior to and post-palliative care consultation for 22 patients at the hospital campus where the project team was located versus 24 patients at the other campus. Pharmaco-economic data were evaluated for 22 persons who died with and 43 who died without a palliative care consultation at the intervention campus ICU to evaluate whether the project intervention was associated with an increase in the use of pain medications or alterations in the use of potentially non-beneficial life-prolonging treatments in persons dying in the ICU. Data was abstracted from the medical record with a standardized chart abstraction instrument by an unblinded research assistant. Interviews were conducted with a sample of family members and ICU nurses rating the quality of end-of-life care in the ICU with the Quality of Dying and Death in the ICU instrument (ICUQODD), and a family focus group was also conducted. Forty percent of patients were Caucasian, 35% were African American or Afro-Caribbean, 22% Hispanic and 3% were Asian or other. Exploration of the patients' and families' needs identified significant spiritual needs in 62.4% of cases. Education on the death
Kelsall, Kay; Brennan, Ebony; Cole, Teresa
This paper presents the development and implementation of a recurrently funded, rolling, 6-month palliative care secondment programme for NHS community staff nurses based in a rural health economy in Southwest England. The programme is a key tool in a wider development plan for improving access to, and the quality of, palliative and end-of-life care for a dispersed rural population. This is part of a much bigger programme of integration to meet the shared challenges of service capacity, equity, and sustainability that are presented by the geographical and demographical profile of the locality. The 'bigger picture' is defined and set in the context of the national drive and evidence base for integration in order to explain the reasons behind the secondment programme. This is followed by outlining the iterative process of design and implementation--the 'what?' and 'how?'--and key learning points to date are shared.
This article outlines the conceptual thinking and development of core competencies for a palliative care educator. It is suggested that the process of defining a common core of key skills, personal qualities and attributes that reflect the unique role of a palliative care educator can provide an indicator of the diversity and complexity of this role, which can be used by the educator and employer in job planning, review and professional development. It can also potentially inform pay remuneration that is commensurate with both experience and responsibilities. For employers there is the opportunity to use the core competencies in the appointment of suitably able educators above and beyond the requirements of a standard job description.
Wittenberg-Lyles, Elaine M; Goldsmith, Joy; Ragan, Sandra L; Sanchez-Reilly, Sandra
This study focused on the undergraduate medical student to identify views and ideas held toward palliative care communication training, pedagogical approaches to this training, and its perceived effectiveness and use in the medical field. Two focus groups consisting of fourth-year medical students were conducted, and their responses were analyzed using grounded theory categorization. Results indicated that students: (a) prefer to learn nonverbal communication techniques, (b) believe that natural ability and experience outweigh communication curriculum, (c) view the skill of breaking bad news as largely dependent on knowledge and expertise, and (d) prefer curriculum on palliative care and hospice to consist of information (eg, advance directives) rather than communication skills. Implications for these interpretive themes are discussed as well as future research and practice.
Community palliative care nurses in Perth have joined the throng of healthcare workers relying on personal digital assistants (PDAs) to store, access and send client information in 'real time'. This paper is guided by Heidegger's approach to technologies and Habermas' insights into the role of law in administering social welfare programs to reveal how new ethical and legal understandings regarding patient information add to nursing's professional responsibilities. This qualitative research interprets data from interviews with twenty community palliative care nurses about clients' legal rights to informational privacy and confidentiality. It explores nurses' views of their nursing responsibilities regarding clients' legal rights, liability issues, bureaucratic monitoring and enforcement procedures. It concludes that nurses and clients are construed as legal subjects entrenched in legal relations that have magnified since these nurses began using PDAs in 2005/2006.
Stilos, Kalli; Daines, Pat
Demand for palliative care services in Canada will increase owing to an aging population and the evolving role of palliative care in non-malignant illness. Increasing healthcare demands continue to shape the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) role, especially in the area of palliative care. Clinical nurse specialists bring specialized knowledge, skills and leadership to the clinical setting to enhance patient and family care. This paper highlights the clinical leadership role of the CNS as triage leader for a hospital-based palliative care consulting team. Changes to the team's referral and triage processes are emphasized as key improvements to team efficiency and timely access to care for patients and families.
Müller, Jakob; Frick, Eckhard; Petersen, Yvonne; Mauer, Christine
The aim of this paper is to discuss and explore the interrelation between two concepts, attachment theory and the concept of spirituality, which are important to palliative care and to founding a multivariate understanding of the patient's needs and challenges. Both concepts have been treated by research in diverse and multiform ways, but little effort has yet been made to integrate them into one theoretical framework in reference to the palliative context. In this paper, we begin an attempt to close this scientific gap theoretically. Following the lines of thought in this paper, we assume that spirituality can be conceptualized as an adequate response of a person's attachment pattern to the peculiarity of the palliative situation. Spirituality can be seen both as a recourse to securely based relationships and as an attempt to explore the ultimate unknown, the mystery of one's own death. Thus, spirituality in the palliative context corresponds to the task of attachment behavior: to transcend symbiosis while continuing bonds and thus to explore the unknown environment independently and without fear. Spiritual activity is interpreted as a human attachment behavior option that receives special quality and importance in the terminal stage of life. Implications for clinical practice and research are discussed in the final section of the paper. PMID:24319482
Wee, Bee; Hadley, Gina; Derry, Sheena
Background In contemporary medical research, randomised controlled trials are seen as the gold standard for establishing treatment effects where it is ethical and practical to conduct them. In palliative care such trials are often impractical, unethical, or extremely difficult, with multiple methodological problems. We review the utility of Cochrane reviews in informing palliative care practice. Methods Published reviews in palliative care registered with the Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group as of December 2007 were obtained from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, issue 1, 2008. We reviewed the quality and quantity of primary studies available for each review, assessed the quality of the review process, and judged the strength of the evidence presented. There was no prior intention to perform any statistical analyses. Results 25 published systematic reviews were identified. Numbers of included trials ranged from none to 54. Within each review, included trials were heterogeneous with respect to patients, interventions, and outcomes, and the number of patients contributing to any single analysis was generally much lower than the total included in the review. A variety of tools were used to assess trial quality; seven reviews did not use this information to exclude low quality studies, weight analyses, or perform sensitivity analysis for effect of low quality. Authors indicated that there were frequently major problems with the primary studies, individually or in aggregate. Our judgment was that the reviewing process was generally good in these reviews, and that conclusions were limited by the number, size, quality and validity of the primary studies. We judged the evidence about 23 of the 25 interventions to be weak. Two reviews had stronger evidence, but with limitations due to methodological heterogeneity or definition of outcomes. No review provided strong evidence of no effect. Conclusion Cochrane reviews in palliative care are well
Shanmugasundaram, Sujatha; Chapman, Ysanne; O'Connor, Margaret
India is a land of ancient civilizations with cities and villages, cultivated fields and works of art dating back 4,000 years. Currently, it is sharing the position of the second largest population in the world. Two-thirds of the population live in rural areas and only one-third live in urban areas. Because of these disparities in the population locations, the health-care system faces significant problems of adequate provision in rural areas. A lack of resources, illiteracy, poverty, lack of awareness about the types of available health care make developing palliative-care services a major challenge in India.
Lewin, Warren H; Schaefer, Kristen G
Heart failure (HF) affects nearly 5.7 million Americans and is described as a chronic incurable illness carrying a poor prognosis. Patients living with HF experience significant symptoms including dyspnea, pain, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. As the illness advances into later stages, symptoms become more intense and refractory to standard treatments, leading to recurrent acute-care utilization and contributing to poor quality of life. Advanced HF symptoms have been described to be as burdensome, if not more than, those in cancer populations. Yet access to and provision of palliative care (PC) for this population has been described as suboptimal. The Institute of Medicine recently called for better access to PC for seriously ill patients. Despite guidelines recommending the inclusion of PC into the multidisciplinary HF care team, there is little data offering guidance on how to best operationalize PC skills in caring for this population. This paper describes the emerging literature describing models of PC integration for HF patients and aims to identify key attributes of these care models that may help guide future multi-site clinical trials to define best practices for the successful delivery of PC for patients living with advanced HF.
Terui, Takeshi; Koike, Kazuhiko; Hirayama, Yasuo; Kusakabe, Toshiro; Ono, Kaoru; Mihara, Hiroyoshi; Kobayashi, Kenji; Takahashi, Yuji; Nakajima, Nobuhisa; Kato, Junji; Ishitani, Kunihiko
More than 30 years have passed since the introduction of the concept of palliative care in cancer care in Japan. However, the majority of the estimated three million cancer patients in Japan do not receive palliative care. Higashi Sapporo Hospital was established in 1983 as a hospital specialized in cancer care. The palliative care unit of our hospital currently consists of 58 beds. Our hospital is one of the largest hospitals in Japan in terms of the number of palliative care beds. On admission to our hospital, all patients are evaluated for palliative care by a multi-disciplinary team and some patients who undergo anticancer therapy receive palliative care when necessary. There are about 65 patients on average (28.3%) who are receiving only palliative care. In 2011, 793 patients died of cancer while admitted at our hospital. This number of cancer deaths accounted for 15% of the 5,324 cancer deaths in Sapporo City in the same year. Our hospital has played an active role according to the philosophy that "palliative cancer care is part of cancer medical care". We here report the current status of the contribution of our hospital to overcoming problems in palliative care and cancer care in Japan.
Gilmer, Mary Jo; Baudino, Marissa N; Tielsch Goddard, Anna; Vickers, Donna C; Akard, Terrah Foster
Animal-assisted therapy is an emerging complementary strategy with an increasing presence in the literature. Limited studies have been conducted with children, particularly those with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. Although outcomes show promise in decreasing suffering of children receiving palliative care services, more work is needed to validate evidence to support implementation of animal-assisted therapy with this vulnerable population.
Supportive and palliative care research includes studies to prevent or treat the acute and chronic symptoms and morbidities related to cancer and its treatment, and to examine the effects of cancer and its treatment on quality of life and psychosocial issues and treatment strategies at the end of life. Active Projects can range from caregiver issues to geriatrics, physical functioning to cognitive dysfunction. | Examining symptoms and morbidities related to cancer, its treatment, quality of life and end of life.
Health-related quality of life has become an important end point in modern day clinical practice in patients with primary or secondary brain tumors. Patients have unique symptoms and problems from diagnosis till death, which require interventions that are multidisciplinary in nature. Here, we review and summarize the various key issues in palliative care, quality of life and end of life in patients with brain tumors, with the focus on primary gliomas. PMID:25165570
Lagman, Ruth; Walsh, Declan
Because of the advent of disease-modifying agents for patients with malignancies, cancer is now a chronic illness. However, most cancer patients will experience significant symptoms and complications during the course of their illness or its treatment. In addition to their physical symptoms, patient and families are burdened with psychological, social, and spiritual difficulties. Palliative medicine addresses all these issues and complements attempts to cure the disease; it is an essential part of modern comprehensive cancer care.
Schreiner, Lynnette S; Pimple, Cathy; Wolf Bordonaro, Gaelynn P
Children with life-threatening illnesses rarely benefit from palliative services. Because nurses spend more time with dying children than any other healthcare professional does, it is essential that they are prepared to address the complicated physical, psychological, legal, ethical, and spiritual issues associated with terminal illness and death. The authors discuss a course that provides students with the knowledge, skills, and attitude needed to provide comprehensive care for pediatric patients and their families.
Zhang, Zhe; Cheng, Wen-Wu
The main aim of palliative care is to provide relief from pain and distressing symptoms and to offer psychological and spiritual support to enhance the quality of life. We present a case of an elderly Chinese patient with major depressive disorder who was a doctor himself, and through his experience of treating patients had become afraid about the complications of advanced disease. He wished to forego treatment, which was in conflict with those of his family. This report highlights the role of the palliative medical team in improving outcomes through enabling communication to occur between the family and the patient to achieve the best outcomes. This should lead to better training provision for the involved medical staff.
Barrett, Nina; Wholihan, Dorothy
Nurses should be familiar with and equipped to address the challenges that arise when caring for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer-identified (LGBTQ) patients. LGBTQ individuals have increased rates of certain physical diseases and are at greater risk of suffering from stress-sensitive mental health issues. Negative social attitudes, widespread discrimination and stigma, physical and psychological victimization, and less social support with aging contribute to the complexity of care for these individuals. Open communication, welcoming and accepting attitudes and environments, and sensitivity to unique multidimensional issues improve care to LGBTQ patients with serious advanced illness. Nursing can reach this vulnerable minority and positively impact the quality of care.
Mathisen, Bernice; Yates, Patsy; Crofts, Penny
This paper reports on the experience of undergraduate speech-language pathology students at one university chosen for the implementation stage of the Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U) Project. Funded by a government department for health and ageing through a national palliative care programme, the project was managed by a team of researchers from the discipline of nursing. The PCC4U project championed the inclusion of palliative care education as an integral part of medical, nursing, and allied healthcare undergraduate training. Of the pilot sites chosen for the PCC4U project, only one site, reported here, included both speech-language pathology and social work disciplines, providing an important opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration on novel curriculum development in an area of mutual interest. This synergy served as an excellent foundation for ongoing opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching and learning in the university. Speech-language pathology students reported that the project was an invaluable addition to their education and preparation for clinical practice.
Ledford, Christy J W; Canzona, Mollie Rose; Cafferty, Lauren A; Kalish, Virginia B
In the majority of U.S. hospitals, inpatient medicine teams make palliative care decisions in the absence of a formalized palliative system. Using a grounded theory approach, interviews with inpatient team members were systematically analyzed to uncover how participants conceptualize palliative care and how they regard the communicative structures that underlie its delivery. During analysis, Weick's model of organizing emerged as a framework that fit the data. The 39 participant inpatient team members discussed palliative care as primarily a communicative process. Themes describing the meaning of palliative care emerged around the concepts of receiver of care, timeline of care, and location of care. The emerging model included four stages in the communicative processes of inpatient palliative care: (a) interpret the need, (b) initiate the conversation, (c) integrate the processes, and (d) identify what works. In contrast to stable, focused palliative care teams or hospice care teams, which have prescribed patient populations and processes, the inpatient medicine team faces the equivocality of providing palliative care within a broader practice. This research offers a four-phase model to show how these inpatient teams communicate within this context. Implications for the provision of palliative care are discussed.
Pokropska, Wieslawa; Łuczak, Jacek; Kaptacz, Anna; Stachowiak, Andrzej; Hurich, Krystyna; Koszela, Monika
Introduction The main task of palliative care units is to provide a dignified life for people with advanced progressive chronic disease through appropriate symptom management, communication between medical specialists and the patient and his family, as well as the coordination of care. Many palliative care units struggle with low incomes from the National Health Fund (NHF), which causes serious economic problems. The aim of the study was to estimate of direct and administrative costs of care and the actual cost per patient per day in selected palliative care units and comparison of the results to the valuation of the NHF. Material and methods The study of the costs of hospitalization of 175 patients was conducted prospectively in five palliative care units (PCUs). The costs directly associated with care were recorded on the specially prepared forms in each unit and also personnel and administrative costs provided by the accounting departments. Results The total costs of analyzed units amounted to 209 002 EUR (898 712 PLN), while the payment for palliative care services from the NHF amounted to 126 010 EUR (541 844 PLN), which accounted for only 60% of the costs incurred by the units. The average cost per person per day of hospitalization, calculated according to the actual duration of hospitalization in the unit, was 83 EUR (357 PLN), and the average payment from the NHF was 52.8 EUR (227 PLN). Underpayment per person per day was approximately 29.2 EUR (125 PLN). Conclusions The study showed a significant difference between the actual cost of palliative care units and the level of refund from the NHF. Based on the analysis of costs, the application has been submitted to the NHF to change the reimbursement amount of palliative care services in 2013. PMID:27186194
Costa de Freitas, Ricardo Miguel Menezes, Marcos Roberto de; Cerri, Giovanni Guido; Gangi, Afshin
Cryoablative therapies have been proposed to palliate pain from soft-tissue or osteolytic bone tumors. A case of a patient with painful thoracic and sacral spine sclerotic metastases successfully treated by image-guided percutaneous cryoablation with the aid of insulation techniques and thermosensors is reported in this case report.
Johnson, Bonnye; Mack, A. Kyle; Labotka, Richard; Molokie, Robert E.
Sickle cell disease is a chronic illness that impacts patients physically and emotionally and can do so at an early age. An ecological model of palliative care that involves improved communication among the health care team, patients, and their families can be beneficial. Open and honest communication regarding advance care planning, disease management, relief of pain and other symptoms, and bereavement and grief are all important for the patient, family, and health care team. Given the multiple acute and chronic complications of sickle cell disease, an approach to care that is holistic and comprehensive may help to improve a patient’s biological function and the perceived health, functional status, and quality of life of the patient and family. PMID:20804884
Pain management at home for a patient, suffering from one or more advanced progressive diseases, goes beyond the prescription of an opioid. Apart from the importance of finding the most suitable analgesic drug (controlled pain with least possible adverse effects), three important dimensions will be addressed: interprofessionnal care (shared care goals, evaluation, monitoring of pain and other symptoms; physiotherapy, etc.) information, education and support for patients and relatives in particular on the use of opioids, and finally the importance of anticipation. This includes for example the requirement of breakthrough pain treatment in case of pain exacerbation or the definition of the place of hospitalization in case of worsening general condition or of death.
Duenk, RG; Verhagen, C; Dekhuijzen, PNR; Vissers, KCP; Engels, Y; Heijdra, Y
Introduction Early palliative care is not a common practice for patients with COPD. Important barriers are the identification of patients for palliative care and the organization of such care in this patient group. Objective Pulmonologists have a central role in providing good quality palliative care for patients with COPD. To guide future research and develop services, their view on palliative care for these patients was explored. Methods A survey study was performed by the members of the Netherlands Association of Physicians for Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis. Results The 256 respondents (31.8%) covered 85.9% of the hospital organizations in the Netherlands. Most pulmonologists (92.2%) indicated to distinguish a palliative phase in the COPD trajectory, but there was no consensus about the different criteria used for its identification. Aspects of palliative care in COPD considered important were advance care planning conversation (82%), communication between pulmonologist and general practitioner (77%), and identification of the palliative phase (75.8%), while the latter was considered the most important aspect for improvement (67.6%). Pulmonologists indicated to prefer organizing palliative care for hospitalized patients with COPD themselves (55.5%), while 30.9% indicated to prefer cooperation with a specialized palliative care team (SPCT). In the ambulatory setting, a multidisciplinary cooperation between pulmonologist, general practitioner, and a respiratory nurse specialist was preferred (71.1%). Conclusion To encourage pulmonologists to timely initiate palliative care in COPD, we recommend to conduct further research into more specific identification criteria. Furthermore, pulmonologists should improve their skills of palliative care, and the members of the SPCT should be better informed about the management of COPD to improve care during hospitalization. Communication between pulmonologist and general practitioner should be emphasized in training to improve
Connell, Shirley E; Yates, Patsy; Barrett, Linda
The learning experiences of student nurses undertaking clinical placement are reported widely, however little is known about the learning experiences of health professionals undertaking continuing professional development (CPD) in a clinical setting, especially in palliative care. The aim of this study, which was conducted as part of the national evaluation of a professional development program involving clinical attachments with palliative care services (The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach [PEPA]), was to explore factors influencing the learning experiences of participants over time. Thirteen semi-structured, one-to-one telephone interviews were conducted with five participants throughout their PEPA experience. The analysis was informed by the traditions of adult, social and psychological learning theories and relevant literature. The participants' learning was enhanced by engaging interactively with host site staff and patients, and by the validation of their personal and professional life experiences together with the reciprocation of their knowledge with host site staff. Self-directed learning strategies maximised the participants' learning outcomes. Inclusion in team activities aided the participants to feel accepted within the host site. Personal interactions with host site staff and patients shaped this social/cultural environment of the host site. Optimal learning was promoted when participants were actively engaged, felt accepted and supported by, and experienced positive interpersonal interactions with, the host site staff.
Larson, Anne M
Liver disease results in over four million physician visits and over 750,000 hospitalizations per year in the USA. Those with chronic liver disease frequently progress to cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease (ESLD), and death. Patients with ESLD experience numerous complications, including muscle cramps, confusion (hepatic encephalopathy), protein calorie malnutrition, muscle wasting, fluid overload (ascites, edema), bleeding (esophagogastric variceal hemorrhage), infection (spontaneous bacterial peritonitis), fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Despite significant improvements in palliation of these complications, patients still suffer reduced quality of life and must confront the fact that their disease will often inexorably progress to death. Liver transplantation is a valid option in this setting, increasing the duration of survival and palliating many of the symptoms. However, many patients die waiting for an organ or are not candidates for transplantation due to comorbid illness. Others receive a transplant but succumb to complications of the transplant itself. Patients and families must struggle with simultaneously hoping for a cure while facing a life-threatening illness. Ideally, the combination of palliative care with life-sustaining therapy can maximize the patients' quality and quantity of life. If it becomes clear that life-sustaining therapy is no longer an option, these patients are then already in a system to help them with end-of-life care.
Zimmermann, Camilla; Swami, Nadia; Krzyzanowska, Monika; Leighl, Natasha; Rydall, Anne; Rodin, Gary; Tannock, Ian; Hannon, Breffni
Background: Early palliative care is increasingly recommended but seldom practised. We sought to examine perceptions of palliative care among patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers. Methods: After conducting a cluster randomized controlled trial of early palliative care versus standard care for patients with advanced cancer, we approached patients and their caregivers to participate in semistructured interviews seeking to assess, qualitatively, their attitudes and perceptions about palliative care. We used the grounded theory method for data collection and analysis. Results: A total of 48 patients (26 intervention, 22 control) and 23 caregivers (14 intervention, 9 control) completed interviews. Participants’ initial perceptions of palliative care in both trial arms were of death, hopelessness, dependency and end-of-life comfort care for inpatients. These perceptions provoked fear and avoidance, and often originated from interactions with health care professionals. During the trial, those in the intervention arm developed a broader concept of palliative care as “ongoing care” that improved their “quality of living” but still felt that the term itself carried a stigma. Participants in the intervention group emphasized the need for palliative care to be reframed and better explained by health care professionals. Participants in the control group generally considered it pointless to rename palliative care, but many in the intervention group stated emphatically that a different name was necessary in the early outpatient setting. Interpretation: There is a strong stigma attached to palliative care, which may persist even after positive experiences with an early palliative care intervention. Education of the public, patients and health care providers is paramount if early integration of palliative care is to be successful. PMID:27091801
Fielding, S; Fayers, P M; Loge, J H; Jordhøy, M S; Kaasa, S
Missing data is a common problem in palliative care research due to the special characteristics (deteriorating condition, fatigue and cachexia) of the population. Using data from a palliative study, we illustrate the problems that missing data can cause and show some approaches for dealing with it. Reasons for missing data and ways to deal with missing data (including complete case analysis, imputation and modelling procedures) are explored. Possible mechanisms behind the missing data are: missing completely at random, missing at random or missing not at random. In the example study, data are shown to be missing at random. Imputation of missing data is commonly used (including last value carried forward, regression procedures and simple mean). Imputation affects subsequent summary statistics and analyses, and can have a substantial impact on estimated group means and standard deviations. The choice of imputation method should be carried out with caution and the effects reported.
Gatrad, Rashid; Sheikh, Aziz
In this, our second paper looking at issues in providing palliative care to Muslims in the UK, we focus on death customs and bereavement. We cover issues relating to the immediate handling of the body after death, washing the deceased and reasons for early burial. Muslim views on post-mortems and organ transplantation are explored. In addition to sharing information on practices common among Muslim communities, we also provide practical advice on the day-to-day issues that may arise when caring for a 'recently deceased' Muslim patient and his or her relatives.
Henneghan, Ashley M; Schnyer, Rosa N
Terminally ill patients experience negative symptoms at end of life (EOL) that hinder well-being and quality of life (QOL). Current intervention strategies are not always effective or feasible. A focused literature review to evaluate the use of biofield therapies (ie, Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch, and Reiki) to manage the symptoms in EOL revealed no studies on the use these therapies, specifically in this population. Evidence from studies on relevant populations (patients with cancer, elderly patients, and patients experiencing chronic pain), which addressed the outcomes relevant to palliative and EOL care (EOLC; pain levels, changes in psychological symptoms, well-being, and QOL), supports the use of biofield therapies in relieving pain, improving QOL and well-being, and reducing psychological symptoms of stress. Further research to assess the use of biofield therapies in EOLC is clearly needed.
Death Studies, 1993
Notes that International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement recognizes wide variation of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors pertaining to childhood death, dying, and bereavement. Statement identifies set of assumptions which can serve as guidelines, across cultures, in care of children with terminal illness and their families. (Author/NB)
Taye, G A W C
This survey was intended to gauge the management of pain in palliative cancer patients by the doctors in Melaka Hospital. It also sought to identify possible barriers to adequate pain management among doctors and gauge their response to the adequacy of medical school teaching on cancer pain issues. A 39 item survey was used to cover the issues involved. Overall, the doctors displayed a lack of systematic approach to cancer pain management with inadequate knowledge of analgesia handling. Medical school exposure to cancer pain issues was lacking. Formulation of accepted clinical practice guidelines and new education strategies can improve cancer pain management.
Initial Experience of Head and Neck Cancer Patients Treated in an Oncologist Led Palliative Cancer Care Clinic at a Tertiary Cancer Care Center in Uttar Pradesh: Is the Initiative of a Full-fledged Palliative Care for Cancer Patients Justified
Lal, Punita; Verma, Mranalini; Kumar, Gaurav; Shrivastava, Resham; Kumar, Shaleen
Introduction: Poor socioeconomic status and illiteracy attribute to the advanced presentation of head and neck cancer (HNC) patients in India and are candidates for palliation in our setup. We set up a palliative cancer care clinic (PCCC), and an audit of initial 153 HNC patients is presented. Aims and Objectives: To assess the impact of palliative cancer care services. Methodology: Data of advanced HNC patients suited for palliation were collected to document demography, symptomatology, cancer treatment, and supportive care. Results: One hundred and fifty-three patients were seen during January 2013 to March 2015 in the PCCC. Seventy-two (47%) referral cases were due to disease progression and 81 (53%) due to de novo advanced cases. Median follow-up for this group was 5.3 months. Ninety (59%) cases needed some degree of assistance for their normal activities. Sixty-seven (44%) patients belonged to poor socioeconomic status and 65 (43%) were educated up to equivalent of high school. One hundred and thirty-five (88%) patients had an adequate family support. Pain was the most common presenting symptom in 134 (87%) cases with adequate relief in 112 (84%) patients with another 13 (09%) could not be assessed. Overall median duration of symptoms was 6 months. Cancer-directed therapy was used in 143 (93%) patients. Near the end of life in 47 (73%) out of 63 documented cases, caregivers were psychologically prepared for the inevitable. Conclusion: The role of palliative care team in alleviating physical, psychosocial, and emotional issues of patient and family members was significant. PCCC seems to be a feasible working model in our setup. PMID:27803571
Cox, Christopher E; Curtis, J Randall
A decade ago, the major obstacles to integration of palliative care into the intensive care unit (ICU) were the limited number of providers trained in palliative care, an immature evidence base, and a lack of appreciation for the importance of palliative care in the ICU. In 2016, the palliative care workforce has expanded markedly and there is growing appreciation of the benefits of palliative care, whether provided by a generalist (intensivist, nurse, social worker) or palliative care specialist. However, there is evidence that the quality of ICU-based palliative care is often suboptimal. A major barrier to more broadly addressing this quality problem is the lack of scalable ICU-based palliative care models that use technology to deliver efficient, collaborative palliative care in the ICU setting to the right patient at the right time. To address these challenges, we first review strengths and limitations of current care models as the basis for our novel conceptual framework that uses the electronic health record as a platform on which external innovations can be built, including: (1) screening for patients at risk for poor outcomes, (2) integrating patient- and family-reported needs, (3) personalizing care, and (4) directing generalist versus specialist triage algorithms. In the approaches considered, we describe current challenges and propose specific solutions that use technology to improve the quality of the human interaction in a stressful, complex environment.
This article is a sequel to 'Spirituality in palliative care: what language do we need?' (Byrne, 2002). It looks at the language of pastoral care, its place in palliative settings and how it is regarded by patients and carers. Spirituality and spiritual need is multifaceted, and the various beliefs regarding the concept of spirituality and the spiritual needs of terminally ill patients are appraised, and the methods of spiritual assessment reviewed. The role of the chaplain in spiritual care is also assessed, and an ability to move beyond the boundaries of their own denominational position addressed. Several components of the language of pastoral care are identified.
Beaune, Laura; Leavens, Anne; Muskat, Barbara; Ford-Jones, Lee; Rapoport, Adam; Zlotnik Shaul, Randi; Morinis, Julia; Chapman, Lee Ann
It has been recognized that families of children with life-limiting health conditions struggle with significant financial demands, yet may not have awareness of resources available to them. Additionally, health care providers may not be aware of the socioeconomic needs of families they care for. This article describes a mixed-methods study examining the content validity and utility for health care providers of a poverty screening tool and companion resource guide for the pediatric palliative care population. The study found high relevance and validity of the tool. Significant barriers to implementing the screening tool in clinical practice were described by participants, including: concerns regarding time required, roles and responsibilities, and discomfort in asking about income. Implications for practice and suggestions for improving the tool are discussed. Screening and attention to the social determinants of health lie within the scope of practice of all health care providers. Social workers can play a leadership role in this work.
In recent years, palliative care and related organizations have increasingly adopted a stance of "studied neutrality" on the question of whether euthanasia should be legalized as a bona fide medical regimen in palliative care contexts. This stance, however, has attracted criticism from both opponents and proponents of euthanasia. Pro-euthanasia activists see the stance as an official position of indecision that is fundamentally disrespectful of a patient's right to "choose death" when life has become unbearable. Some palliative care constituents, in turn, are opposed to the stance, contending that it reflects an attitude of "going soft" on euthanasia and as weakening the political resistance that has hitherto been successful in preventing euthanasia from becoming more widely legalized. In this article, attention is given to examining critically the notion and possible unintended consequences of adopting a stance of studied neutrality on euthanasia in palliative care. It is argued that although palliative care and related organizations have an obvious stake in the outcome of the euthanasia debate, it is neither unreasonable nor inconsistent for such organizations to be unwilling to take a definitive stance on the issue. It is further contended that, given the long-standing tenets of palliative care, palliative care organizations have both a right and a responsibility to defend the integrity of the principles and practice of palliative care and to resist demands for euthanasia to be positioned either as an integral part or logical extension of palliative care.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders of the elderly population. Few therapeutic options are available for patients with PD requiring palliative care. Treatment of the early stages of PD is entirely different from later stages. During the later stages, the palliative care model is introduced to provide the patient with comfort and support. Early palliative care in PD requires minimization of dyskinesias and decreasing occurrence of motor and non-motor off times in an effort to maximize independent motor function. In the later stages, the focus of treatment shifts to treating the predominant non-motor symptoms and having a more supportive and palliative nature. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of the palliative care management issues and palliative care management options of end-stage PD patients. PMID:23098090
Paediatric Palliative Care in Switzerland is still in its infancy. In comparison to palliative care in adults, the knowledge about palliative care in children is limited. To facilitate the decision of when to start palliative care, an instrument for health professionals has been developed. The instrument, called Paediatric Palliative Screening Scale (PaPaS Scale), builds on five domains shedding light on the child's illness: 1) trajectory of disease and impact on daily activities; 2) treatment options and burden of treatment; 3) symptoms, controllability, and problem burden; 4) preferences of patient or parents; and 5) life expectancy. The aims of a reasonably starting palliative care are quality of life and the ability to actively create the rest of life.
Carpenter, Joan G
Although palliative care consultation teams are common in U.S. hospitals, follow up and outcomes of consultations for frail older adults discharged to nursing facilities are unclear. To summarize and critique research on the care of patients discharged to nursing facilities following a hospital-based palliative care consult, a systematic search of PubMed, CINAHL, Ageline, and PsycINFO was conducted in February 2016. Data from the articles (N = 12) were abstracted and analyzed. The results of 12 articles reflecting research conducted in five countries are presented in narrative form. Two studies focused on nurse perceptions only, three described patient/family/caregiver experiences and needs, and seven described patient-focused outcomes. Collectively, these articles demonstrate that disruption in palliative care service on hospital discharge and nursing facility admission may result in high symptom burden, poor communication, and inadequate coordination of care. High mortality was also noted. [Res Gerontol Nurs. 2017; 10(1):25-34.].
Puchalski, Christina M; Dorff, Rabbi Elliot; Hendi, Imam Yahya
In end-of-life care, attending to spiritual needs ensures that a dying patient has the opportunity to find meaning in the midst of suffering and to have the opportunity for love, compassion, and partnership in their final journey. This article summarizes some of the beliefs and traditions from Judaism, Islam, and Christianity that affect people as they face their own dying and mortality. People who do not participate in any formal religion also have a drive to find meaning in the midst of suffering and dying. They may find this in personal ways. This article presents some practical tools to help clinicians address and respect spiritual and religious issues of patients. It is crucial that our culture and our systems of care for the dying include a spiritual approach so that dying can be meaningful and even filled with hope.
Clemmer, Sarah J.; Ward-Griffin, Catherine; Forbes, Dorothy
Canadians are experiencing increased life expectancy and chronic illness requiring end-of-life care. There is limited research on the multiple roles for family members providing home-based palliative care. Based on a larger ethnographic study of client-family-provider relationships in home-based palliative care, this qualitative secondary analysis…
... Care Campaign Pilot Survey Summary: In compliance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the.... Proposed Collection: Pediatric Palliative Care Campaign Pilot Survey-0925-New-National Institute of Nursing... developed a Pediatric Palliative Care Campaign to address the communications challenges faced by health...
Prütz, Franziska; Saß, Anke-Christine
Palliative care is more and more in the focus of politics and the public. Although provision and utilization of palliative care have increased considerably in recent years, there is still a great need for palliative services and a comprehensive supply has not yet been achieved. Reliable and continually available data are indispensable to describe developments in Germany, to identify existing gaps in palliative care provision, and to assess the impact of relevant policies. In this article, we present a systematic outline of publicly available data sources on palliative care in Germany and point out their potentials and limitations. We show that mainly data on palliative care provision are available. Data on utilization are basically limited to inpatient and specialized outpatient palliative care ("spezialisierte ambulante Palliativversorgung", SAPV). Periodical analyses of routine data, e. g. from statutory health insurances or from the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, would be helpful to fill these data gaps. Monitoring the sociodemographic characteristics of users of palliative care could also be of major interest. Another important indicator is the place of death. The difference between the places where people die and where they wish to die indicates that there is a continuous need to strengthen outpatient structures of palliative care.
Schneck, Linda M
Music-thanatology draws as much historical inspiration from the Asclepian ideal as it does from the practice of Cluniac monastic medicine. In both traditions, the patient initiates the social drama and is a most active agent in the healing process. In both traditions, the patient has the central voice and is listened to and responded to by the caregivers and clinicians, who facilitate and support in the spirit of service rather than direct/control. In both traditions, we may find death-bed healing without curing and be struck by the urgent, transcendental role of Beauty, as expressed in nature (human and elemental), the arts, architecture, and music. Clearly, our guest author envisions a profound end-of-life music-thanatology clinical practice in which the well-known, empirical Hippocratic and the lesser known, sacred Asclepian are integrated into the ideals of monastic medicine. In so doing, not only are pain and suffering uniquely met, but a blessed, peace-filled or conscious transitus may occur, and each death-bed setting has the potential to become nothing less than a sanctuary for completion.
Casañas i Comabella, Carolina; Wanat, Marta
Difficulties relating to supportive and palliative care research are often reported. However, studies have highlighted that people near the end of life are happy to participate in research and want their voices heard. Thus, one may raise a twofold question: are we limiting the free will of people who are seriously ill? And are we missing important data, which probably cannot be obtained from other sources? In light of this landscape, a new opportunity has emerged: the use of social media (SM). This paper provides a comprehensive summary of SM, including its theoretical underpinnings, and recent examples of successful uses of SM in healthcare research. It also outlines the opportunities (wider reach, direct access, the potential of Big Data, readiness of research data, empowered participants) and challenges (anonymity of participants, digital divide, sample bias, screening and 'saying no' to participants, data analysis) of using SM in end-of-life care research. Finally, it describes the practical steps that a researcher could follow to recruit patients using SM. Implications for palliative care clinicians, researchers and policymakers are also discussed, with a focus on the need to facilitate patient-centred care through the use of SM. The need for relevant and updated guidelines in this new, emerging field is highlighted.
Wolf, Michael T
Palliative sedation is a technique of providing a sedative for end-of-life care to patients with intractable pain. The literature discusses the techniques and use of palliative sedation. Numerous articles have been written regarding the issues surrounding its use, but no literature has discussed the prescription or administration of palliative sedation by a nurse anesthetist. By understanding the concept and ethics involved in its use and providing nursing care that is theory based, the author argues that the involvement of nursing anesthesia is appropriate and within the scope of practice. Few other healthcare disciplines can provide the patient care and empirical knowledge that is imperative in the care of the dying patient. This article discusses the concept and ethics of palliative sedation and presents a case of providing palliative sedation to a terminally ill patient by an experienced nurse anesthetist. Palliative sedation should be understood, embraced, and utilized as an area of expertise suited for nursing anesthesia.
Bhatnagar, Sushma; Noble, Simon; Chaturvedi, Santosh K; Gielen, Joris
Introduction: There are only a few studies on spirituality among palliative care patients in India. This gap in research may be caused by the absence of relevant questionnaires and scales specifically designed for Indian palliative care populations. In this study, we describe the development of such a questionnaire and explain its psychometric characteristics. Methods: We designed a questionnaire on the basis of a systematic review of the literature. After a review of the questionnaire by specialists and a subsequent pilot study, the questionnaire was amended. The final questionnaire consisted of a list of 36 spirituality items. It was administered to a sample of 300 cancer patients attending the pain clinic of a tertiary hospital in New Delhi. Results: A factor analysis led to four factors explaining 54.6% of variance: Shifting moral and religious values (Factor 1), support from religious relationship (Factor 2), existential blame (Factor 3), and spiritual trust (Factor 4). The skewness and kurtosis for Factors 1, 3, and 4 were within a tolerable range for assuming a normal distribution, but Factor 2 was skewed. The alphas showed that the four factors have an acceptable internal consistency. Statistically significant associations were observed for age and Factor 3 (P = 0.004), gender and Factor 4 (P = 0.014), marital status and Factors 3 (P = 0.002) and 4 (P = 0.001), educational level and Factors 3 (P < 0.001) and 4 (P < 0.001), and pain scores and Factors 1 (P < 0.001), 2 (P < 0.001), and 3 (P = 0.001). Conclusion: The questionnaire offers promising prospects for the study of spirituality among palliative care patients in India. PMID:26962275
Humphrey, Lisa; Dell, Mary Lynn
Using a case study, in this article we seek to highlight how the distinct developmental needs of adolescent and young adult patients facing a life-threatening condition require a different approach to patient care by pediatric health care workers. The case underscores pitfalls in using a pediatric construct of care in areas of pain management, social stressors, and advanced care planning, and suggests programs to implement for improvement, including partnership with psychiatry, substance abuse, and palliative care specialists.
Nelson, Judith E; Mathews, Kusum S; Weissman, David E; Brasel, Karen J; Campbell, Margaret; Curtis, J Randall; Frontera, Jennifer A; Gabriel, Michelle; Hays, Ross M; Mosenthal, Anne C; Mulkerin, Colleen; Puntillo, Kathleen A; Ray, Daniel E; Weiss, Stefanie P; Bassett, Rick; Boss, Renee D; Lustbader, Dana R
Rapid response teams (RRTs) can effectively foster discussions about appropriate goals of care and address other emergent palliative care needs of patients and families facing life-threatening illness on hospital wards. In this article, The Improving Palliative Care in the ICU (IPAL-ICU) Project brings together interdisciplinary expertise and existing data to address the following: special challenges for providing palliative care in the rapid response setting, knowledge and skills needed by RRTs for delivery of high-quality palliative care, and strategies for improving the integration of palliative care with rapid response critical care. We discuss key components of communication with patients, families, and primary clinicians to develop a goal-directed treatment approach during a rapid response event. We also highlight the need for RRT expertise to initiate symptom relief. Strategies including specific clinician training and system initiatives are then recommended for RRT care improvement. We conclude by suggesting that as evaluation of their impact on other outcomes continues, performance by RRTs in meeting palliative care needs of patients and families should also be measured and improved.
Jansen, Wim J J; Vissers, Kris C P; Zuurmond, Wouter W A; van Montfort, Guus P W P; Rhebergen, Andre; Loer, Stephan A
In the Netherlands, the quality and availability of palliative care has improved markedly within the last decade. However, many open questions remain concerning the position of palliative care as an insurable product on the Dutch healthcare market. Therefore, we analysed the policies of all private Dutch healthcare insurance companies as well as the public insurance policy for extraordinary medical costs. We studied how and which parts of palliative care were reimbursed in 2007. We observed a huge variability in costs and reimbursement regulations reflecting a rapid turnover of products for palliative care due to various new developments on this specific field of medical care. We conclude that a better definition of the product 'palliative care' is necessary for patients, health care providers and insurance companies.
Hubble, Rosemary; Trowbridge, Kelly; Hubbard, Claudia; Ahsens, Leslie; Ward-Smith, Peggy
The capability of effectively communicating is crucial when providing palliative care, especially when the patient is a child. Communication among healthcare professionals with the child and family members must be clear, concise, and consistent. Use of a communication tool provides documentation for conversations, treatment plans, and specific desires related to care. This paper describes communication theory, portrays the use of this theory to develop a communication tool, and illustrates the use of this tool by multidisciplinary members of a healthcare team to provide pediatric palliative care.
Freeman, Rachel; Luyirika, Emmanuel BK; Namisango, Eve; Kiyange, Fatia
The high burden of non-communicable diseases and communicable diseases in Africa characterised by late presentation and diagnosis makes the need for palliative care a priority from the point of diagnosis to death and through bereavement. Palliative care is an intervention that requires a multidisciplinary team to address the multifaceted needs of the patient and family. Thus, its development takes a broad approach that involves engaging all key stakeholders ranging from policy makers, care providers, educators, the public, patients, and families. The main focus of stakeholder engagement should address some core interventions geared towards improving knowledge and awareness, strengthening skills and attitudes about palliative care. These interventions include educating health and allied healthcare professionals on the palliative care-related problems of patients and best practices for care, explaining palliative care as a clinical and holistic discipline and demonstrating its effectiveness, the need to include palliative care into national policies, strategic plans, training curriculums of healthcare professionals and the engagement of patients, families, and communities. Interventions from a five-year programme that was aimed at strengthening the health system of Namibia through the integration of palliative care for people living with HIV and AIDS and cancer in Namibia are shared. This article illustrates how a country can implement the World Health Organisation’s public health strategy for developing palliative care services, which recommends four pillars: government policy, education, drug availability, and implementation. PMID:27563348
Freeman, Rachel; Luyirika, Emmanuel Bk; Namisango, Eve; Kiyange, Fatia
The high burden of non-communicable diseases and communicable diseases in Africa characterised by late presentation and diagnosis makes the need for palliative care a priority from the point of diagnosis to death and through bereavement. Palliative care is an intervention that requires a multidisciplinary team to address the multifaceted needs of the patient and family. Thus, its development takes a broad approach that involves engaging all key stakeholders ranging from policy makers, care providers, educators, the public, patients, and families. The main focus of stakeholder engagement should address some core interventions geared towards improving knowledge and awareness, strengthening skills and attitudes about palliative care. These interventions include educating health and allied healthcare professionals on the palliative care-related problems of patients and best practices for care, explaining palliative care as a clinical and holistic discipline and demonstrating its effectiveness, the need to include palliative care into national policies, strategic plans, training curriculums of healthcare professionals and the engagement of patients, families, and communities. Interventions from a five-year programme that was aimed at strengthening the health system of Namibia through the integration of palliative care for people living with HIV and AIDS and cancer in Namibia are shared. This article illustrates how a country can implement the World Health Organisation's public health strategy for developing palliative care services, which recommends four pillars: government policy, education, drug availability, and implementation.
Marston, Joan M
The concept of "ubuntu," a Nguni word, is found in many southern African cultures and means that we are part of all humanity and we are who we are through our interconnectedness with others. Children with life-limiting conditions often become isolated and take on a new identity in the eyes of others, linked to their illness and treatment. Terms that are used can dehumanize the child. The concept of ubuntu can help the child, the family, and the community to ensure the child remains connected to society. Programs providing palliative care for children often say they feel isolated; ubuntu principles are relevant to effective network development.
Downing, Julia; Leng, Mhoira; Grant, Liz
Global oncology and palliative care needs are increasing faster than the available capacity to meet these needs. This is particularly marked in sub-Saharan Africa, where healthcare capacity and systems are limited and resources are stretched. Uganda, a country of 35.6 million people in eastern Africa, faces the challenges of a high burden of communicable disease and a rising number of cases of non-communicable disease, including cancer. The vast majority of patients in Uganda are diagnosed with cancer too late for curative treatment to be an option because of factors like poor access to healthcare facilities, a lack of health education, poverty, and delays resulting from seeking local herbal or other traditional remedies. This article describes an innovative model of nurse leadership training in Uganda to improve the delivery of palliative care. The authors believe this model can be applicable to other low- and middle-income countries, where health resources are constrained and care needs are great. .
Sweet, Lisa; Adamis, Dimitrios; Meagher, David; Davis, Daniel; Currow, David; Bush, Shirley H.; Barnes, Christopher; Hartwick, Michael; Agar, Meera; Simon, Jessica; Breitbart, William; MacDonald, Neil; Lawlor, Peter G.
Context Delirium occurs commonly in settings of palliative care (PC), in which patient vulnerability in the unique context of end-of-life care and delirium-associated impairment of decision-making capacity may together present many ethical challenges. Objectives Based on deliberations at the Studies to Understand Delirium in Palliative Care Settings (SUNDIPS) meeting and an associated literature review, this article discusses ethical issues central to the conduct of research on delirious PC patients. Methods Together with an analysis of the ethical deliberations at the SUNDIPS meeting, we conducted a narrative literature review by key words searching of relevant databases and a subsequent hand search of initially identified articles. We also reviewed statements of relevance to delirium research in major national and international ethics guidelines. Results Key issues identified include the inclusion of PC patients in delirium research, capacity determination, and the mandate to respect patient autonomy and ensure maintenance of patient dignity. Proposed solutions include designing informed consent statements that are clear, concise, and free of complex phraseology; use of concise, yet accurate, capacity assessment instruments with a minimally burdensome schedule; and use of PC friendly consent models, such as facilitated, deferred, experienced, advance, and proxy models. Conclusion Delirium research in PC patients must meet the common standards for such research in any setting. Certain features unique to PC establish a need for extra diligence in meeting these standards and the employment of assessments, consent procedures, and patient-family interactions that are clearly grounded on the tenets of PC. PMID:24388124
Grant, Marcia; Elk, Ronit; Ferrell, Betty; Morrison, R Sean; von Gunten, Charles F
Palliative and end-of-life care is changing in the United States. This dynamic field is improving care for patients with serious and life-threatening cancer through creation of national guidelines for quality care, multidisciplinary educational offerings, research endeavors, and resources made available to clinicians. Barriers to implementing quality palliative care across cancer populations include a rapidly expanding population of older adults who will need cancer care and a decrease in the workforce available to give care. Methods of integrating current palliative care knowledge into care of patients include multidisciplinary national education and research endeavors, and clinician resources. Acceptance of palliative care as a recognized medical specialty provides a valuable resource for improvement of care. Although compilation of evidence for the importance of palliative care specialities is in its initial stages, national research grants have provided support to build the knowledge necessary for appropriate palliative care. Opportunities are available to clinicians for understanding and applying appropriate palliative and end-of-life care to patients with serious and life-threatening cancers.
Phungrassami, Temsak; Thongkhamcharoen, Rojanasak; Atthakul, Narumol
Research on palliative care services in Thailand is incomplete. We conducted a countrywide cross-sectional postal survey to update the situation. We approached hospitals and asked them to respond to a questionnaire. The overall response rate of government hospitals was 61 percent (537 of 882 hospitals). Of these, 59 percent reported that they had personnel trained in palliative care; the majority had received less than a week of such training. In all, 60 percent of the hospitals reported that they offered palliative care services, but 25 percent of these services were delivered by staff who had no palliative care training. The criteria of having at least one trained doctor and nurse on staff was met by 17 percent of the hospitals. Only seven hospitals, most of them associated with medical schools, employed both a doctor and a nurse who had been trained in palliative care for one month or more; these professionals mainly provided hospital and home palliative care team services. Our survey reveals the lack of both health care personnel fully trained in palliative care and specialist palliative care services in Thailand.
Van Hoover, Cheri; Holt, Lisa
Historically, midwives held an important role in society as cradle-to-grave practitioners who eased individuals, families, and communities through difficult transitions across the life span. In the United States, during the first half of the 20th century, physicians assumed care for people during birth and death, moving these elements of the human experience from homes into the hospital setting. These changes in practice resulted in a dehumanization of birth and death experiences and led to detachment from what it means to be human among members of society. There is a current movement across the United States to incorporate palliative care and hospice care into both the home setting and the inpatient setting. Through their education and training, certified nurse-midwives/certified midwives (CNMs/CMs) are well equipped to serve as hospice and palliative care clinicians. Current midwives, skilled in assisting women and families through the transition of pregnancy to motherhood, can use their education and skills to help individuals and their families through the transition from life to death. The similarities between these states of the human experience (pregnancy to birth and terminal illness to death) allow for a fluidity between these experiences from the midwife perspective. The many parallels between these 2 elements of the human condition include stress, anxiety, and pain. Training in holistic approaches to symptom management and supporting individuals through difficult experiences (eg, birth) gives midwives a unique perspective that is readily translatable to assist individuals and families through the passage between life and death.
Brink, Peter; Frise Smith, Trevor
Many terminally ill patients are given the choice to die at home. This study identified determinants of home death among patients receiving palliative home care. Health information was collected using the interRAI palliative care assessment tool. The sample included health information from 536 patients receiving home health care from one community care access centre in Ontario, Canada. Patients who died at home were more likely to be functionally impaired and less likely to live alone. The patients' wish to die at home and the family's ability to cope were strong determinants of home death. This study suggests that the presence of a supportive family that is able to work with the health care team to implement a plan of care is important to the patients' ability to die at home. This study highlights the need to treat the patient and the caregiver(s) as a unit of care.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
Currently, the extent of palliative care instruction varies considerably across and within the three major phases of the physician education and training process. This analysis of current educational efforts in palliative care is based on information obtained from a survey conducted of all United States medical schools, surveys conducted on United…
Viney, Linda L.; And Others
Compared palliative care staff with staff from burn and neonatal units and with mature age general nursing trainees at end of training. Found that palliative care staff expressed better quality of life, in terms of significantly less anxiety and depression, as well as more good feelings than other staff groups. (Author/NB)
Tardy, B; Picard, S; Guirimand, F; Chapelle, C; Danel Delerue, M; Celarier, T; Ciais, J-F; Vassal, P; Salas, S; Filbet, M; Gomas, J-M; Guillot, A; Gaultier, J-B; Merah, A; Richard, A; Laporte, S; Bertoletti, L
Essentials Bleeding incidence as hemorrhagic risk factors are unknown in palliative care inpatients. We conducted a multicenter observational study (22 Palliative Care Units, 1199 patients). At three months, the cumulative incidence of clinically relevant bleeding was 9.8%. Cancer, recent bleeding, thromboprophylaxis and antiplatelet therapy were independent risk factors.
Cagle, John G.; Bolte, Sage
Social workers in hospice and palliative care settings have been charged with the responsibility of addressing sexuality with their patients and families. However, little direction has been offered as to how to approach this difficult subject within the context of palliative care. This article provides a critical analysis of the previous…
Walker, Richard William
In Parkinson's disease (PD) typical "palliative care" type symptoms, such as pain, nausea, weight loss and breathlessness can occur throughout the condition, but become more prevalent in later disease stages. Pain may be specifically related to PD, e.g. dystonic pain with wearing off, but is more commonly due to other conditions. The cause can usually be elicited by a careful history and examination, and this guides intervention, both non-pharmaceutical, and pharmaceutical. For example, dystonic pain will respond best to appropriate changes to dopaminergic medication. In later disease stages people have increasing problems with swallowing, and also cognitive impairment. Impaired swallowing may lead to aspiration pneumonia, which is a common cause of hospital admission, and also death. Decisions about interventions towards the end of life, such as insertion of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube for nutrition, can be very challenging, particularly if, as in most cases, the person with PD has not previously expressed their views upon this while they still maintained capacity to make decisions. Advance care planning (ACP) in PD should be encouraged in relation to interventions such as PEG tubes. It may also cover issues such as preferred place of death. Over recent years lower proportions of people have been dying at home, and this is especially true for PD, but home may well be where they would have preferred to die. However, there is little evidence to guide health professionals about how, when, and by whom, ACP should be approached.
Mazutti, Sandra Regina Gonzaga; Nascimento, Andréia de Fátima; Fumis, Renata Rego Lins
Objective To estimate the incidence of limitations to Advanced Life Support in critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit with integrated palliative care. Methods This retrospective cohort study included patients in the palliative care program of the intensive care unit of Hospital Paulistano over 18 years of age from May 1, 2011, to January 31, 2014. The limitations to Advanced Life Support that were analyzed included do-not-resuscitate orders, mechanical ventilation, dialysis and vasoactive drugs. Central tendency measures were calculated for quantitative variables. The chi-squared test was used to compare the characteristics of patients with or without limits to Advanced Life Support, and the Wilcoxon test was used to compare length of stay after Advanced Life Support. Confidence intervals reflecting p ≤ 0.05 were considered for statistical significance. Results A total of 3,487 patients were admitted to the intensive care unit, of whom 342 were included in the palliative care program. It was observed that after entering the palliative care program, it took a median of 2 (1 - 4) days for death to occur in the intensive care unit and 4 (2 - 11) days for hospital death to occur. Many of the limitations to Advanced Life Support (42.7%) took place on the first day of hospitalization. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (96.8%) and ventilatory support (73.6%) were the most adopted limitations. Conclusion The contribution of palliative care integrated into the intensive care unit was important for the practice of orthothanasia, i.e., the non-extension of the life of a critically ill patient by artificial means. PMID:27626949
Feudtner, Chris; Nathanson, Pamela G
The fields of pediatric palliative care (PPC) and pediatric medical ethics (PME) overlap substantially, owing to a variety of historical, cultural, and social factors. This entwined relationship provides opportunities for leveraging the strong communication skills of both sets of providers, as well as the potential for resource sharing and research collaboration. At the same time, the personal and professional relationships between PPC and PME present challenges, including potential conflict with colleagues, perceived or actual bias toward a palliative care perspective in resolving ethical problems, potential delay or underuse of PME services, and a potential undervaluing of the medical expertise required for PPC consultation. We recommend that these challenges be managed by: (1) clearly defining and communicating clinical roles of PPC and PME staff, (2) developing questions that may prompt PPC and PME teams to request consultation from the other service, (3) developing explicit recusal criteria for PPC providers who also provide PME consultation, (4) ensuring that PPC and PME services remain organizationally distinct, and (5) developing well-defined and broad scopes of practice. Overall, the rich relationship between PPC and PME offers substantial opportunities to better serve patients and families facing difficult decisions.
Rodin, Danielle; Grover, Surbhi; Elmore, Shekinah N; Knaul, Felicia M; Atun, Rifat; Caulley, Lisa; Herrera, Cristian A; Jones, Joshua A; Price, Aryeh J; Munshi, Anusheel; Gandhi, Ajeet K; Shah, Chiman; Gospodarowicz, Mary
Radiotherapy (RT) is a powerful tool for the palliation of the symptoms of advanced cancer, although access to it is limited or absent in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). There are multiple factors contributing to this, including assumptions about the economic feasibility of RT in LMICs, the logical challenges of building capacity to deliver it in those regions, and the lack of political support to drive change of this kind. It is encouraging that the problem of RT access has begun to be included in the global discourse on cancer control and that palliative care and RT have been incorporated into national cancer control plans in some LMICs. Further, RT twinning programs involving high- and low-resource settings have been established to improve knowledge transfer and exchange. However, without large-scale action, the consequences of limited access to RT in LMICs will become dire. The number of new cancer cases around the world is expected to double by 2030, with twice as many deaths occurring in LMICs as in high-income countries (HICs). A sustained and coordinated effort involving research, education, and advocacy is required to engage global institutions, universities, health care providers, policymakers, and private industry in the urgent need to build RT capacity and delivery in LMICs.
Håkanson, Cecilia; Cronfalk, Berit Seiger; Henriksen, Eva; Norberg, Astrid; Ternestedt, Britt-Marie; Sandberg, Jonas
The aim of this study was to investigate first-line nursing home managers' views on their leadership and related to that, palliative care. Previous research reveals insufficient palliation, and a number of barriers towards implementation of palliative care in nursing homes. Among those barriers are issues related to leadership quality. First-line managers play a pivotal role, as they influence working conditions and quality of care. Nine first-line managers, from different nursing homes in Sweden participated in the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using qualitative descriptive content analysis. In the results, two categories were identified: embracing the role of leader and being a victim of circumstances, illuminating how the first-line managers handle expectations and challenges linked to the leadership role and responsibility for palliative care. The results reveal views corresponding to committed leaders, acting upon demands and expectations, but also to leaders appearing to have resigned from the leadership role, and who express powerlessness with little possibility to influence care. The first line managers reported their own limited knowledge about palliative care to limit their possibilities of taking full leadership responsibility for implementing palliative care principles in their nursing homes. The study stresses that for the provision of high quality palliative care in nursing homes, first-line managers need to be knowledgeable about palliative care, and they need supportive organizations with clear expectations and goals about palliative care. Future action and learning oriented research projects for the implementation of palliative care principles, in which first line managers actively participate, are suggested.
Håkanson, Cecilia; Cronfalk, Berit Seiger; Henriksen, Eva; Norberg, Astrid; Ternestedt, Britt-Marie; Sandberg, Jonas
The aim of this study was to investigate first-line nursing home managers’ views on their leadership and related to that, palliative care. Previous research reveals insufficient palliation, and a number of barriers towards implementation of palliative care in nursing homes. Among those barriers are issues related to leadership quality. First-line managers play a pivotal role, as they influence working conditions and quality of care. Nine first-line managers, from different nursing homes in Sweden participated in the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using qualitative descriptive content analysis. In the results, two categories were identified: embracing the role of leader and being a victim of circumstances, illuminating how the first-line managers handle expectations and challenges linked to the leadership role and responsibility for palliative care. The results reveal views corresponding to committed leaders, acting upon demands and expectations, but also to leaders appearing to have resigned from the leadership role, and who express powerlessness with little possibility to influence care. The first line managers reported their own limited knowledge about palliative care to limit their possibilities of taking full leadership responsibility for implementing palliative care principles in their nursing homes. The study stresses that for the provision of high quality palliative care in nursing homes, first-line managers need to be knowledgeable about palliative care, and they need supportive organizations with clear expectations and goals about palliative care. Future action and learning oriented research projects for the implementation of palliative care principles, in which first line managers actively participate, are suggested. PMID:25628769
Ngwenya, Nothando B; Mills, Stella
The use of weblogs has had a huge impact within the healthcare sector, and palliative care users have found a way to express themselves using this technology. The objective of this article is to review current research on palliative care service users' experience of using weblogs. A search was conducted in MEDLINE, PsycINFO and PubMed from 2002 to 2012 focusing on weblogs in palliative care. After extensive searches and assessment, six articles were included in the review. Results show that palliative care bloggers find blogging therapeutic and beneficial. Weblogs empowered individuals leading to health behaviour change while also giving them access to social support thus fostering well-being. However, there is lack of robust evidence showing the benefits of blogging using clinical measures or other scientific methods. Given the growth of these weblogs by palliative care patients, research is required to strengthen evidence for their benefit and to evaluate their effectiveness.
Couch, Elizabeth; Mead, Jean Marie; Walsh, Margaret M
Systematic oral care reduces oral complications among children in paediatric palliative care (PPC), yet little is known about the oral health perceptions of PPC nursing staff. This qualitative cross-sectional study used semi-structured interviews based on phenomenography to explore PPC nursing staff's perceptions of oral health and the relationship of oral care to comfort and quality of life. A purposive sample of nine nursing staff employed at a California PPC facility participated. Five themes emerged from the analysis of the interviews: signs of oral health, reasons for oral care, adaptation of oral care on a case-by-case basis, barriers to providing oral care, and facilitators of improving oral care. The perceived importance of oral health was the underlining similarity between the themes. A need for further research in the area of oral PPC is indicated. Collaboration with dental professionals may be needed to create oral PPC guidelines that fit the complex needs of children with life-limiting illnesses.
Grubbs, Vanessa; Moss, Alvin H; Cohen, Lewis M; Fischer, Michael J; Germain, Michael J; Jassal, S Vanita; Perl, Jeffrey; Weiner, Daniel E; Mehrotra, Rajnish
As the importance of providing patient-centered palliative care for patients with advanced illnesses gains attention, standard dialysis delivery may be inconsistent with the goals of care for many patients with ESRD. Many dialysis patients with life expectancy of <1 year may desire a palliative approach to dialysis care, which focuses on aligning patient treatment with patients' informed preferences. This commentary elucidates what comprises a palliative approach to dialysis care and describes its potential and appropriate use. It also reviews the barriers to integrating such an approach into the current clinical paradigm of care and existing infrastructure and outlines system-level changes needed to accommodate such an approach.
Moss, Alvin H.; Cohen, Lewis M.; Fischer, Michael J.; Germain, Michael J.; Jassal, S. Vanita; Perl, Jeffrey; Weiner, Daniel E.; Mehrotra, Rajnish
As the importance of providing patient-centered palliative care for patients with advanced illnesses gains attention, standard dialysis delivery may be inconsistent with the goals of care for many patients with ESRD. Many dialysis patients with life expectancy of <1 year may desire a palliative approach to dialysis care, which focuses on aligning patient treatment with patients’ informed preferences. This commentary elucidates what comprises a palliative approach to dialysis care and describes its potential and appropriate use. It also reviews the barriers to integrating such an approach into the current clinical paradigm of care and existing infrastructure and outlines system-level changes needed to accommodate such an approach. PMID:25104274
Daya, A Praveena; Sarkar, Sonali; Kar, Sitanshu Sekhar
Context: The coverage of palliative care services is inadequate in India. Data on number of people needing palliative care and disease conditions needing palliative care needs to be estimated prior to planning of service in any area. Aims: To estimate the prevalence of need of palliative care in an urban area of Puducherry. Settings and Design: Exploratory cross-sectional study conducted in two areas, Senthamarainagar and Thiruvalluvarnagar having about 500 households each in Muthialpet area in urban Puducherry. Materials and Methods: All residents were interviewed using a structured questionnaire containing sociodemographic details, information regarding chronic illness and a screening tool to identify people in need of palliative care. Statistical Analysis: Variables such as sociodemographic characteristics were expressed in percentages. The main outcome variable, the number of people in need of palliative care was expressed in the prevalence percentages. Results: A total of 3554 individuals were surveyed in 1004 households. A period prevalence of need of palliative care in this community was 6.1/1000 population. The prevalence among those aged ≥15 years was 8/1000 population. The mean age of people requiring palliative care was 62 years. The most common disease condition in need of palliative care was old age-related weakness (41%). Most of them were women (17/22) and from lower socioeconomic class (6/22). Conclusions: Around 6/1000 population was identified to be in need of palliative care. The prevalence was highest among the elderly women, low socioeconomic class, widowed, those with less education, and those suffering from age-related weakness. PMID:28216868
Cohen, Lynne; O'Connor, Moira; Blackmore, Amanda Marie
Nursing homes are one of the care settings in Western Australia where older people may spend their final years. Residents should be able to receive palliative care where appropriate, but this type of care is not always available at some nursing homes in the state. This study investigated nurses' attitudes to palliative care in nursing homes by examining their cognitive, affective and behavioural information. A sample of 228 nurses working in nursing homes completed a questionnaire, using a free response methodology. Results showed that participants had either a positive or negative attitude to palliative care. Cognitive and affective information significantly and independently predicted the attitudes of nurse, whereas knowledge of palliative care did not contribute significantly to these attitudes. Nurses currently working in palliative care were more positively disposed towards such care, but this disappeared when they ceased working in the area. There is an emphasis on education in the literature which does not take into account the beliefs and emotions of the nurse. Therefore, there is a need to consider these in undergraduate and postgraduate training for nurses. Current experience is also important in palliative care education. The results obtained from nurses in this study should be incorporated into policy for introducing palliative care into nursing homes and used to provide support and assistance to nurses working in this field.
Lau, Charlotte H. Y.; Wu, Xinyin; Chung, Vincent C. H.; Liu, Xin; Hui, Edwin P.; Cramer, Holger; Lauche, Romy; Wong, Samuel Y. S.; Lau, Alexander Y. L.; Sit, Regina S. T.; Ziea, Eric T. C.; Ng, Bacon F. L.; Wu, Justin C. Y.
Abstract Available systematic reviews showed uncertainty on the effectiveness of using acupuncture and related therapies for palliative cancer care. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to summarize current best evidence on acupuncture and related therapies for palliative cancer care. Five international and 3 Chinese databases were searched. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing acupuncture and related therapies with conventional or sham treatments were considered. Primary outcomes included fatigue, paresthesia and dysesthesias, chronic pain, anorexia, insomnia, limb edema, constipation, and health-related quality of life, of which effective conventional interventions are limited. Thirteen RCTs were included. Compared with conventional interventions, meta-analysis demonstrated that acupuncture and related therapies significantly reduced pain (2 studies, n = 175, pooled weighted mean difference: −0.76, 95% confidence interval: −0.14 to −0.39) among patients with liver or gastric cancer. Combined use of acupuncture and related therapies and Chinese herbal medicine improved quality of life in patients with gastrointestinal cancer (2 studies, n = 111, pooled standard mean difference: 0.75, 95% confidence interval: 0.36–1.13). Acupressure showed significant efficacy in reducing fatigue in lung cancer patients when compared with sham acupressure. Adverse events for acupuncture and related therapies were infrequent and mild. Acupuncture and related therapies are effective in reducing pain, fatigue, and in improving quality of life when compared with conventional intervention alone among cancer patients. Limitations on current evidence body imply that they should be used as a complement, rather than an alternative, to conventional care. Effectiveness of acupuncture and related therapies for managing anorexia, reducing constipation, paresthesia and dysesthesia, insomnia, and limb edema in cancer patients is uncertain, warranting
Leung, Margaret W; Goldfarb, Shari; Dizon, Don S
Treatment-related sexual complications are common in cancer patients although rarely discussed in the palliative care setting. Sexuality is an important survivorship issue and remains relevant even in the terminal setting. There are multiple barriers in dialoguing about intimacy and sexual functioning from the patient and provider perspectives. Palliative care providers, while not expected to be sexual health experts, can provide comprehensive patient-centered care by including sexual health as part of their evaluation. They can explore how sexual dysfunction can impair functioning and utilize an interdisciplinary approach to manage symptoms. Palliative care providers can help patients identify their goals of care and explore what anticipated sexual changes and treat-related side effects are tolerable and intolerable to the patient's quality of life. Principles on addressing sexuality in the palliative setting and practical ways of incorporating sexual history into the palliative care assessment are provided.
Brown, Allyson; Clark, Jonna D
Rather than in conflict or in competition with the curative model of care, pediatric palliative care is a complementary and transdisciplinary approach used to optimize medical care for children with complex medical conditions. It provides care to the whole child, including physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions, in addition to support for the family. Through the voice of a parent, the following case-based discussion demonstrates how the fundamentals of palliative care medicine, when instituted early in the course of disease, can assist parents and families with shared medical decision making, ultimately improving the quality of life for children with life-limiting illnesses. Pediatric neurologists, as subspecialists who provide medical care for children with chronic and complex conditions, should consider invoking the principles of palliative care early in the course of a disease process, either through applying general facets or, if available, through consultation with a specialty palliative care service.
Woodruff, Roger; Pettus, Katherine; Downing, Julia; Buitrago, Rosa; Munyoro, Esther; Venkateswaran, Chitra; Bhatnagar, Sushma; Radbruch, Lukas
appropriate medications, including opioids for pain and dyspnea. Conclusion: In countries and states where euthanasia and/or PAS are legal, IAHPC agrees that palliative care units should not be responsible for overseeing or administering these practices. The law or policies should include provisions so that any health professional who objects must be allowed to deny participating. PMID:27898287
Chung, Vincent C H; Wu, Xinyin; Lu, Ping; Hui, Edwin P; Zhang, Yan; Zhang, Anthony L; Lau, Alexander Y L; Zhao, Junkai; Fan, Min; Ziea, Eric T C; Ng, Bacon F L; Wong, Samuel Y S; Wu, Justin C Y
Use of Chinese herbal medicines (CHM) in symptom management for cancer palliative care is very common in Chinese populations but clinical evidence on their effectiveness is yet to be synthesized. To conduct a systematic review with meta-analysis to summarize results from CHM randomized controlled trials (RCTs) focusing on symptoms that are undertreated in conventional cancer palliative care.Five international and 3 Chinese databases were searched. RCTs evaluating CHM, either in combination with conventional treatments or used alone, in managing cancer-related symptoms were considered eligible. Effectiveness was quantified by using weighted mean difference (WMD) using random effect model meta-analysis. Fourteen RCTs were included. Compared with conventional intervention alone, meta-analysis showed that combined CHM and conventional treatment significantly reduced pain (3 studies, pooled WMD: -0.90, 95% CI: -1.69 to -0.11). Six trials comparing CHM with conventional medications demonstrated similar effect in reducing constipation. One RCT showed significant positive effect of CHM plus chemotherapy for managing fatigue, but not in the remaining 3 RCTs. The additional use of CHM to chemotherapy does not improve anorexia when compared to chemotherapy alone, but the result was concluded from 2 small trials only. Adverse events were infrequent and mild. CHM may be considered as an add-on to conventional care in the management of pain in cancer patients. CHM could also be considered as an alternative to conventional care for reducing constipation. Evidence on the use of CHM for treating anorexia and fatigue in cancer patients is uncertain, warranting further research.
Thanos, L. Mylona, S.; Kalioras, V.; Pomoni, M.; Batakis, N.
We report a case of painful perineal metastasis from urinary bladder carcinoma in a 73-years-old woman, treated with CT-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA). The pain was immediately relieved and follow-up at 1 and 6 months showed total necrosis of the mass. One year later, the patient has no pain and her quality of life is improved.
O'Connor, Margaret; Erwin, Trudy; Dawson, Linda
Home-based palliative care (hospice) services require comprehensive and fully integrated information systems to develop and manage the various aspects of their business, incorporating client data and management information. These systems assist in maintaining the quality of client care as well as improved management efficiencies. This article reports on a large not-for-profit home-based palliative care service in Australia, which embarked on a project to develop an electronic data management system specifically designed to meet the needs of the palliative care sector. This web-based client information management system represents a joint venture between the organization and a commercial company and has been a very successful project.
Hongler, Thomas; Decollogny, Anne; Clivaz Luchez, Patrizia; Clément, Christine
The Canton of Vaud introduced a development programme of palliative care in 2002. The goal of the programme was to ensure equal access to palliative care for anyone suffering from chronic progressive disease. One cornerstone of this programme is the desire to focus the intervention in the person's home, when desired by the patient and his family. Care networks are responsible for the implementation of this programme. The model presented here illustrates the means implemented and makes a preliminary assessment, which confirms the relevance of the main axes of the programme--training front-line teams, mobile second line teams specialized in palliative care and bed units.
Wood, Felicity Juliette
Terminally ill prison inmates have a right to all aspects of health care including palliative care provision. However, there are numerous difficulties in providing palliative care to high-security prisoners in the UK. Local community hospices may be reluctant to admit terminally ill prisoners and therefore initiatives must be established to provide appropriate palliative care within the prison itself. Dying prisoners need companionship and to be shown respect and compassion to avoid feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. Inmate volunteers can provide an invaluable source of support and friendship for the terminally ill prisoner, helping to improve quality of life.
Hacıkamiloglu, Ezgi; Utku, Ezgi Simsek; Cukurova, Zafer; Keskinkilic, Bekir; Topcu, Ibrahim; Gultekin, Murat; Silbermann, Michael
The Middle East has been struggling with basic issues of cancer care, and in specific, palliative care, at the primary health care level in the communities. The Middle East Cancer Consortium designated this issue as the highest priority of its activities in the region. Following basic and advanced courses and national and international workshops, local governments recognized the essentiality of developing palliative care services in their respective countries. As the result of these training activities, in 2010, the Ministry of Health in Turkey initiated a novel program whereby population-based and home-based palliative care teams were developed throughout the country, including peripheral regions in the countries where appropriate care was not available. This initiative led to a dramatic increase in the number of cancer patients receiving palliative care at their homes. The Turkish initiative can serve as a model to other countries in the Middle East and beyond it.
Heckel, Maria; Stiel, Stephanie; Ostgathe, Christoph
Little is known on the role of the senses smell and taste in end-of-life care. The presented systematic literature analysis investigates the significance of smell and taste in palliative care. The online databases PubMed, CINAHL, MEDLINE, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and British National Library were searched for English and German literature published between 1970 and April 2013 containing any kind of original data on the impact of smell and taste in patients in a palliative care situation. All retrieved publications were screened for relevance and full text was obtained for all articles identified as relevant. We integrated 13 papers for further analysis (explorative surveys 5, clinical trials 3, case studies 2, qualitative study 1, brief report 1, clinical report 1). Prevalence of smell and taste alterations in palliative care ranges between 60 and 86%. Existing literature reflects the significance of smells and tastes in palliative care setting in two main streams--smell and taste alterations as symptoms and malodorous wounds. Prevalence of smell and taste alterations in palliative care is high. However, in palliative care literature concepts for the assessment and fostering of subjective significance of smell and taste and the individual impact of significant smells and tastes are predominantly neglected. Available instruments should be characterized, validated and adapted for the use for palliative care patients.
Background Depression in palliative care patients is important because of its intrinsic burden and association with elevated physical symptoms, reduced immunity and increased mortality risk. Identifying risk factors associated with depression can enable clinicians to more readily diagnose it, which is important since depression is treatable. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms and risk factors associated with them in a large sample of palliative home care patients. Methods The data come from interRAI Palliative Care assessments completed between 2006 and 2012. The sample (n = 5144) consists of adults residing in Ontario (Canada), receiving home care services, classified as palliative, and not experiencing significant cognitive impairment. Logistic regression identified the risk factors associated with depressive symptoms. The dependent variable was the Depression Rating Scale (DRS) and the independent variables were functional indicators from the interRAI assessment and other variables identified in the literature. We examined the results of the complete case and multiple imputation analyses, and found them to be similar. Results The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 9.8%. The risk factors associated with depressive symptoms were (pooled estimates, multiple imputation): low life satisfaction (OR = 3.01 [CI = 2.37-3.82]), severe and moderate sleep disorders (2.56 [2.05-3.19] and 1.56 [1.18-2.06]), health instability (2.12 [1.42-3.18]), caregiver distress 2.01 [1.62-2.51]), daily pain (1.73 [1.35-2.22]), cognitive impairment (1.45 [1.13-1.87]), being female (1.37 [1.11-1.68]), and gastrointestinal symptoms (1.27 [1.03-1.55]). Life satisfaction mediated the effect of prognostic awareness on depressive symptoms. Conclusions The prevalence of depressive symptoms in our study was close to the median of 10-20% reported in the palliative care literature, suggesting they are present but by no means
Background The Spanish Palliative Care Strategy recommends an intermediate level of training for primary care physicians in order to provide them with knowledge and skills. Most of the training involves face-to-face courses but increasing pressures on physicians have resulted in fewer opportunities for provision of and attendance to this type of training. The effectiveness of on-line continuing medical education in terms of its impact on clinical practice has been scarcely studied. Its effect in relation to palliative care for primary care physicians is currently unknown, in terms of improvement in patient's quality of life and main caregiver's satisfaction. There is uncertainty too in terms of any potential benefits of asynchronous communication and interaction among on-line education participants, as well as of the effect of the learning process. The authors have developed an on-line educational model for palliative care which has been applied to primary care physicians in order to measure its effectiveness regarding knowledge, attitude towards palliative care, and physician's satisfaction in comparison with a control group. The effectiveness evaluation at 18 months and the impact on the quality of life of patients managed by the physicians, and the main caregiver's satisfaction will be addressed in a different paper. Methods Randomized controlled educational trial to compared, on a first stage, the knowledge and attitude of primary care physicians regarding palliative care for advanced cancer patients, as well as satisfaction in those who followed an on-line palliative care training program with tutorship, using a Moodle Platform vs. traditional education. Results 169 physicians were included, 85 in the intervention group and 84 in the control group, of which five were excluded. Finally 82 participants per group were analyzed. There were significant differences in favor of the intervention group, in terms of knowledge (mean 4.6; CI 95%: 2.8 to 6.5 (p = 0
Bennett, Michael I; Ziegler, Lucy; Allsop, Matthew; Daniel, Sunitha; Hurlow, Adam
Objective For patients with advanced cancer, several randomised controlled trials have shown that access to palliative care at least 6 months before death can improve symptoms, reduce unplanned hospital admissions, minimise aggressive cancer treatments and enable patients to make choices about their end-of-life care, including exercising the choice to die at home. This study determines in a UK population the duration of palliative care before death and explores influencing factors. Design This retrospective cohort study analysed referrals to three specialist palliative care services; a hospital-based inpatient palliative care team, and two community-based services (hospices). For each patient referred to any of the above services we identified the date of first referral to that team and calculated the median interval between first referral and death. We also calculated how referral time varied by age, sex, diagnosis and type of palliative care service. Participants 4650 patients referred to specialist palliative care services in Leeds UK between April 2012 and March 2014. Results Median age of the sample was 75 years. 3903 (84.0%) patients had a diagnosis of cancer. Age, diagnosis and place of referral were significant predictors of duration of palliative care before death. Age was independently associated (J=2 672 078, z=−392046.14, r=0.01) with duration of palliative care regardless of diagnosis. Patients over 75 years have 29 fewer days of palliative care than patients under 50. Patients with non-cancer diagnoses have 13 fewer days of palliative care than patients with cancer. Additionally, patients referred to hospital palliative care receive 24.5 fewer days palliative care than those referred to community palliative care services. Conclusions The current timing of referral to palliative care may limit the benefits to patients in terms of improvements in end-of-life care, particularly for older patients and patients with conditions other than cancer
Müller-Busch, H C; Lindena, G; Tietze, K; Woskanjan, S
Availability of different WHO-step 3 opioids has encouraged the discussion on their value and led to the concepts of opioid rotation. Rotation is suggested, when other measures fail to achieve optimal analgesia and tolerability in cancer pain treatment. Opioid use was assessed in a prospective cohort study of 412 palliative care patients from 14 inpatient and outpatient palliative care facilities in Germany. The most frequently used opioids at baseline were morphine and fentanyl. The most frequent changes in medication (N=106) occurred from oral to parenteral morphine. Only in 49 cases true switches to other long acting opioids were recorded. This is far less than expected from other reports. True switches and adverse side effects were found to occur more frequently in inpatients, while efficacy problems were more frequently recorded in outpatients. There was no correlation between the opioid used at baseline and switch frequency, but numbers of cases receiving other opioids than fentanyl or morphine were low. Reasons for and frequencies of changes in medication were found to be largely shaped by the setting reflecting patients' needs and clinical necessities. Recommendation of first line therapy and availability of opioid formulations define the frequency of opioid use. This impedes evaluation of specific differences between the opioids.
Sargeant, Stephanie; Chamley, Carol
This is the first part of two articles exploring oral health problems and treatments for children receiving palliative care, successful management of which can improve considerably the quality of life for this group of children and young people. Part one includes an adapted oral health assessment tool for use in children and young people with complex and palliative healthcare needs that has the potential to help nurses identify and monitor oral health problems and prevent or minimise oral problems from developing. Part two--to be published next month--focuses on basic oral hygiene and the management of specific oral health problems.
Palliative pastoral care is not about "adding days to life, but about "adding life to days". It does not matter whether the dying process is short or long. What matters is to ensure the best possible quality of life until the very end through mindful companionship. Palliative pastoral care is a path towards a personal dying, dying where the person is taken seriously as an individual until the last moment. Palliative care includes medical assistance, careful care, psychosocial support, and counselling that addresses the spiritual needs of the dying. This palliative care includes inpatient and outpatient hospice work and accompanies not only the patients but also their relatives. It must become the standard procedure in end of life care. The palliative pastoral care also take the needs of medical staff into account: Time-consuming care for the dying exceeds the staff's time budget. A sudden death can be perceived as traumatic. In this case palliative pastoral care must perform the tasks of crisis management, crisis intervention and de-escalation. The debriefing of involved staff can prevent the development of burn-out syndrome. In the view of holistic healthcare, health insurance funds should co-finance pastoral care. Society and humanity benefit from addressing the needs of the dying. In an economically dominated environment it is a social responsibility to make dying humane.
Alsirafy, Samy A; Abou-Alia, Ahmad M; Ghanem, Hafez M
Hospital length of stay (LoS) may be used to assess end-of-life care aggressiveness and health care delivery efficiency. We describe the terminal hospitalization LoS of patients with cancer managed by a hospital-based palliative care (PC) program comprising a palliative care consultation (PCC) service and an inpatient palliative care unit (PCU). A total of 328 in-hospital cancer deaths were divided into 2 groups. The PCU group included patients admitted by the PC team directly to the PCU. The PCC group included patients admitted by other specialties and referred to the PCC team. The LoS of the PCU group was significantly shorter than that of the PCC group (9.9 [±9.4] vs 17.8 [±19.7] days, respectively; P < .001). Direct terminal hospitalization to PCU is not associated with longer LoS among cancer deaths managed by a hospital-based PC service.
Ewing, Gail; Farquhar, Morag; Booth, Sara
There has been a steady expansion of hospital-based palliative care in the United Kingdom but limited published research on health professionals' views of hospital multidisciplinary specialist palliative care services (SPCS). The aim of the study was to describe referrer (SPCS user) and provider (SPCS staff) perspectives on delivery of specialist palliative care in hospital. Interviews were conducted with referrers, including five junior doctors, 13 consultants, and six clinical nurse specialists, to investigate the reasons for referral, beneficial aspects, and barriers to use. Focus groups were conducted with providers, six medical and five nursing, to identify their perspective on delivering the specialist service in hospital. Discussions were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed thematically using a framework analysis approach. The study found large areas of agreement between referrers and providers on what hospital palliative care teams should be providing for patients, that is, expertise in managing difficult symptoms and complex psychosocial problems, and this was being achieved locally. Access to the specialist team was also important: visibility on the wards, informal routes of access to advice and a timely response by specialists. However, discordance in views of providing palliative care was also identified; in particular, whether specialists should be providing generalist palliative care (such as basic psychological support) neglected by ward teams and implementation of specialist advice by referrers. Such perspectives on the interface of generalist and specialist provision provide insights into improving care for palliative patients in the acute hospital setting.
This article will focus on the evidence to support the treatment of a palliative patient who was diagnosed with cancer-related secondary lymphoedema. A case study approach has been adopted, which focuses on the anatomy and physiology of lymphoedema and how this is treated through an analysis of the treatment regimens. To establish the effectiveness of these treatment regimes, the use of objective and subjective tools will also be analysed to ascertain their importance within care. The findings of this case study and the supporting evidence indicate a positive correlation between the use of lymphoedema treatment methods in both limb volume reduction and quality-of-life outcomes. However, robust evidence is required to expand the importance of each treatment used in the area of lymphoedema management.
Pollens, Robin D.
Clinical speech-language pathologists (SLPs) may receive referrals to consult with teams serving patients who have a severe and/or terminal disease. Palliative care focuses on the prevention or relief of suffering to maximize quality of life for these patients and their families. This article describes how the role of the SLP in palliative care…
Nagington, Maurice; Walshe, Catherine; Luker, Karen A
Quality of care is a prominent discourse in modern health-care and has previously been conceptualised in terms of ethics. In addition, the role of knowledge has been suggested as being particularly influential with regard to the nurse-patient-carer relationship. However, to date, no analyses have examined how knowledge (as an ethical concept) impinges on quality of care. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 patients with palliative and supportive care needs receiving district nursing care and thirteen of their lay carers. Poststructural discourse analysis techniques were utilised to take an ethical perspective on the current way in which quality of care is assessed and produced in health-care. It is argued that if quality of care is to be achieved, patients and carers need to be able to redistribute and redevelop the knowledge of their services in a collaborative way that goes beyond the current ways of working. Theoretical works and extant research are then used to produce tentative suggestions about how this may be achieved.
Fainsinger, R L
Advocates of palliative care research have often described the cold and difficult environment that has constrained the development of research internationally. The development of palliative care research has been slow over the last few decades and has met with resistance and sometimes hostility to the idea of conducting research in 'vulnerable populations'. The seeds of advocacy for research can be found in palliative care literature from the 1980s and early 1990s. Although we have much to do, we need to recognize that palliative care research development has come a long way. Of particular note is the development of well-funded collaboratives that now exist in Europe, Canada, Australia and the USA. The European Association for Palliative Care and the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care has recognized the need to develop and promote global research initiatives, with a special focus on developing countries. Time is needed to develop good research evidence and in a more complex healthcare environment takes increasingly more resources to be productive. The increased support (global warming) evident in the increased funding opportunities available to palliative care researchers in a number of countries brings both benefits and challenges. There is evidence that the advocacy of individuals such as Kathleen Foley, Neil MacDonald, Balfour Mount, Vittorio Ventafridda, Robert Twycross and Geoff Hanks is now providing fertile ground and a much friendlier environment for a new generation of interdisciplinary palliative care research. We have achieved many of the goals necessary to avoid failure of the 'palliative care experiment', and need to accept the challenge of our present climate and adapt and take advantage of the change.
Ueng, Ruey-Shiuan; Hsu, Su-Hsuan; Shih, Chih-Yuan; Huang, Sheng-Jean
In Taiwan, the Department of Health (DOH) has implemented regulations and policies related to hospice and palliative care since 1995. Taiwan is the first country in Asia to have a Natural Death Act, promulgated in 2000. Although recognition of the need for palliative care in non-cancer terminally ill patients is increasing, at present, the needs of these patients are often not met. Moreover, while a majority of the population prefers to die at home, the percentage of patients who die in the home setting remains small. The palliative care system should be adjusted to improve the accessibility and continuity of care based on the needs of patients. Therefore, the Jin-Shan Branch of the National Taiwan University Hospital has run a pilot community palliative care service model since 2012. National Health Insurance reimbursement was introduced in 2014 for community-based palliative care services. Establishing a formal system of community-based palliative care should be encouraged in order to improve the quality of care at the end of life and to allow more patients to receive end-of-life care and die in their own communities. This system will require that skilled nurses provide discharge planning, symptoms control, end-of-life communications, social-resources integration, and social-support networks in order to achieve a high quality of end-of-life care.
Davies, Joanna M; Gao, Wei; Sleeman, Katherine E; Lindsey, Katie; Murtagh, Fliss E; Teno, Joan M; Deliens, Luc; Wee, Bee; Higginson, Irene J; Verne, Julia
Palliative and end of life care is essential to healthcare systems worldwide, yet a minute proportion of research funding is spent on palliative and end of life care research. Routinely collected health and social care data provide an efficient and useful opportunity for evaluating and improving care for patients and families. There are excellent examples of routine data research in palliative and end of life care, but routine data resources are widely underutilised. We held four workshops on using routinely collected health and social care data in palliative and end of life care. Researchers presented studies from the UK, USA and Europe. The aim was to highlight valuable examples of work with routine data including work with death registries, hospital activity records, primary care data and specialist palliative care registers. This article disseminates that work, describes the benefits of routine data research and identifies major challenges for the future use of routine data, including; access to data, improving data linkage, and the need for more palliative and end of life care specific data.
Bakitas, Marie; Lyons, Kathleen Doyle; Hegel, Mark T.; Ahles, Tim
Purpose To understand oncology clinicians’ perspectives about the care of advanced cancer patients following the completion of the ENABLE II (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) randomized clinical trial (RCT) of a concurrent oncology palliative care model. Methods Qualitative interview study of 35 oncology clinicians about their approach to patients with advanced cancer and the effect of the ENABLE II RCT. Results Oncologists believed that integrating palliative care at the time of an advanced cancer diagnosis enhanced patient care and complemented their practice. Self-assessment of their practice with advanced cancer patients comprised four themes: 1) treating the whole patient, 2) focusing on quality versus quantity of life, 3) “some patients just want to fight”, and 4) helping with transitions; timing is everything. Five themes comprised oncologists’ views on the complementary role of palliative care: 1) “refer early and often”, 2) referral challenges: “Palliative” equals hospice; “Heme patients are different”, 3) palliative care as consultants or co-managers, 4) palliative care “shares the load”, and 5) ENABLE II facilitated palliative care integration. Conclusions Oncologists described the RCT as holistic and complementary, and as a significant factor in adopting concurrent care as a standard of care. PMID:23040412
Davies, Joanna M; Gao, Wei; Sleeman, Katherine E; Lindsey, Katie; Murtagh, Fliss E; Teno, Joan M; Deliens, Luc; Wee, Bee; Higginson, Irene J; Verne, Julia
Palliative and end of life care is essential to healthcare systems worldwide, yet a minute proportion of research funding is spent on palliative and end of life care research. Routinely collected health and social care data provide an efficient and useful opportunity for evaluating and improving care for patients and families. There are excellent examples of routine data research in palliative and end of life care, but routine data resources are widely underutilised. We held four workshops on using routinely collected health and social care data in palliative and end of life care. Researchers presented studies from the UK, USA and Europe. The aim was to highlight valuable examples of work with routine data including work with death registries, hospital activity records, primary care data and specialist palliative care registers. This article disseminates that work, describes the benefits of routine data research and identifies major challenges for the future use of routine data, including; access to data, improving data linkage, and the need for more palliative and end of life care specific data. PMID:26928173
Coverage and development of specialist palliative care services across the World Health Organization European Region (2005–2012): Results from a European Association for Palliative Care Task Force survey of 53 Countries
Centeno, Carlos; Lynch, Thomas; Garralda, Eduardo; Carrasco, José Miguel; Guillen-Grima, Francisco; Clark, David
Background: The evolution of the provision of palliative care specialised services is important for planning and evaluation. Aim: To examine the development between 2005 and 2012 of three specialised palliative care services across the World Health Organization European Region – home care teams, hospital support teams and inpatient palliative care services. Design and setting: Data were extracted and analysed from two editions of the European Association for Palliative Care Atlas of Palliative Care in Europe. Significant development of each type of services was demonstrated by adjusted residual analysis, ratio of services per population and 2012 coverage (relationship between provision of available services and demand services estimated to meet the palliative care needs of a population). For the measurement of palliative care coverage, we used European Association for Palliative Care White Paper recommendations: one home care team per 100,000 inhabitants, one hospital support team per 200,000 inhabitants and one inpatient palliative care service per 200,000 inhabitants. To estimate evolution at the supranational level, mean comparison between years and European sub-regions is presented. Results: Of 53 countries, 46 (87%) provided data. Europe has developed significant home care team, inpatient palliative care service and hospital support team in 2005–2012. The improvement was statistically significant for Western European countries, but not for Central and Eastern countries. Significant development in at least a type of services was in 21 of 46 (46%) countries. The estimations of 2012 coverage for inpatient palliative care service, home care team and hospital support team are 62%, 52% and 31% for Western European and 20%, 14% and 3% for Central and Eastern, respectively. Conclusion: Although there has been a positive development in overall palliative care coverage in Europe between 2005 and 2012, the services available in most countries are still insufficient
Brand, Alison H; Harrison, Amanda; Kumar, Koshila
Given our ageing population and the increase in chronic disease, palliative care will become an increasingly important part of doctors' workloads, with implications for palliative care education. This study used a mixed methods strategy to evaluate second-year medical students' learning outcomes and experiences within a palliative care education program. Analysis of pre- and post-test scores showed a significant improvement in students' attitudinal scores, but no change in knowledge as measured by multiple-choice questions. Analysis of qualitative data revealed that students' learning experience was marked by a lack of clear learning objectives and experiential learning opportunities. Students also reported divergent reactions to death and dying and noted that palliative care was different from other areas of clinical medicine. This study revealed that palliative care teaching results in improved attitudes toward palliative care, reflecting the holistic and patient-focused nature of the palliative care curriculum.
Gordon, Robert; Eagar, Kathy; Currow, David; Green, Janette
This article overviews current funding and financing issues in the Australian hospice and palliative care sector. Within Australia, the major responsibilities for managing the health care system are shared between two levels of government. Funding arrangements vary according to the type of care. The delivery of palliative care services is a State/Territory responsibility. Recently, almost all States/Territories have developed overarching frameworks to guide the development of palliative care policies, including funding and service delivery structures. Palliative care services in Australia comprise a mix of specialist providers, generalist providers, and support services in the public, nongovernment, and private sectors. The National Palliative Care Strategy is a joint strategy of the Commonwealth and States that commenced in 2002 and includes a number of major issues. Following a national study in 1996, the Australian National Subacute and Nonacute Patient (AN-SNAP) system was endorsed as the national casemix classification for subacute and nonacute care. Funding for palliative care services varies depending on the type of service and the setting in which it is provided. There is no national model for funding inpatient or community services, which is a State/Territory responsibility. A summary of funding arrangements is provided in this article. Palliative care continues to evolve at a rapid rate in Australia. Increasingly flexible evidence-based models of care delivery are emerging. This article argues that it will be critical for equally flexible funding and financing models to be developed. Furthermore, it is critical that palliative care patients can be identified, classified, and costed. Casemix classifications such as AN-SNAP represent an important starting point but further work is required.
Castleden, Heather; Crooks, Valorie A; Hanlon, Neil; Schuurman, Nadine
Aboriginal Canadians experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health and have endured a history of racism in accessing and using health care. Meanwhile, this population is rapidly growing, resulting in an urgent need to facilitate better quality of living and dying in many ways, including through enhancing (cultural) access to palliative care. In this article, we report the findings from a qualitative case study undertaken in rural British Columbia, Canada through exploring the perceptions of Aboriginal palliative care in a region identified as lacking in formal palliative care services and having only a limited Aboriginal population. Using interview data collected from 31 formal and informal palliative care providers (May-September 2008), we thematically explore not only the existing challenges and contradictions associated with the prioritisation and provision of Aboriginal palliative care in the region in terms of (in)visibility but also identify the elements necessary to enhance such care in the future. The implications for service providers in rural regions are such that consideration of the presence of small, and not always 'visible', populations is necessary; while rural care providers are known for their resilience and resourcefulness, increased opportunities for meaningful two-way knowledge exchange with peers and consultation with experts cannot be overlooked. Doing so will serve to enhance culturally accessible palliative care in the region in general and for Aboriginal peoples specifically. This analysis thus contributes to a substantial gap in the palliative care literature concerning service providers' perceptions surrounding Aboriginal palliative care as well as Aboriginal peoples' experiences with receiving such care. Given the growing Aboriginal population and continued health inequities, this study serves to not only increase awareness but also create better living and dying conditions in small but incremental ways.
Souza, Paola Nóbrega; de Miranda, Erique José Peixoto; Cruz, Ronaldo; Forte, Daniel Neves
Objective To describe the characteristics of patients with HIV/AIDS and to compare the therapeutic interventions and end-of-life care before and after evaluation by the palliative care team. Methods This retrospective cohort study included all patients with HIV/AIDS admitted to the intensive care unit of the Instituto de Infectologia Emílio Ribas who were evaluated by a palliative care team between January 2006 and December 2012. Results Of the 109 patients evaluated, 89% acquired opportunistic infections, 70% had CD4 counts lower than 100 cells/mm3, and only 19% adhered to treatment. The overall mortality rate was 88%. Among patients predicted with a terminally ill (68%), the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy decreased from 50.0% to 23.1% (p = 0.02), the use of antibiotics decreased from 100% to 63.6% (p < 0.001), the use of vasoactive drugs decreased from 62.1% to 37.8% (p = 0.009), the use of renal replacement therapy decreased from 34.8% to 23.0% (p < 0.0001), and the number of blood product transfusions decreased from 74.2% to 19.7% (p < 0.0001). Meetings with the family were held in 48 cases, and 23% of the terminally ill patients were discharged from the intensive care unit. Conclusion Palliative care was required in patients with severe illnesses and high mortality. The number of potentially inappropriate interventions in terminally ill patients monitored by the palliative care team significantly decreased, and 26% of the patients were discharged from the intensive care unit. PMID:27737420
Kahveci, Kadriye; Dinçer, Metin; Doger, Cihan; Yaricı, Ayse Karhan
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is seen more in young adults, affects both patients and their families. The need for palliative care in TBI and the limits of the care requirement are not clear. The aim of this study was to investigate the length of stay in the palliative care center (PCC), Turkey, the status of patients at discharge, and the need for palliative care in patients with TBI. The medical records of 49 patients with TBI receiving palliative care in PCC during 2013–2016 were retrospectively collected, including age and gender of patients, the length of stay in PCC, the cause of TBI, diagnosis, Glasgow Coma Scale score, Glasgow Outcome Scale score, Karnofsky Performance Status score, mobilization status, nutrition route (oral, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy), pressure ulcers, and discharge status. These patients were aged 45.4 ± 20.2 years. The median length of stay in the PCC was 34.0 days. These included TBI patients had a Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤ 8, were not mobilized, received tracheostomy and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy nutrition, and had pressure ulcers. No difference was found between those who were discharged to their home or other places (rehabilitation centre, intensive care unit and death) in respect of mobilization, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, tracheostomy and pressure ulcers. TBI patients who were followed up in PCC were determined to be relatively young patients (45.4 ± 20.2 years) with mobilization and nutrition problems and pressure ulcer formation. As TBI patients have complex health conditions that require palliative care from the time of admittance to intensive care unit, provision of palliative care services should be integrated with clinical applications. PMID:28250751
Ferrell, Betty R; Temel, Jennifer S; Temin, Sarah; Alesi, Erin R; Balboni, Tracy A; Basch, Ethan M; Firn, Janice I; Paice, Judith A; Peppercorn, Jeffrey M; Phillips, Tanyanika; Stovall, Ellen L; Zimmermann, Camilla; Smith, Thomas J
Purpose To provide evidence-based recommendations to oncology clinicians, patients, family and friend caregivers, and palliative care specialists to update the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) provisional clinical opinion (PCO) on the integration of palliative care into standard oncology care for all patients diagnosed with cancer. Methods ASCO convened an Expert Panel of members of the ASCO Ad Hoc Palliative Care Expert Panel to develop an update. The 2012 PCO was based on a review of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) by the National Cancer Institute Physicians Data Query and additional trials. The panel conducted an updated systematic review seeking randomized clinical trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses, as well as secondary analyses of RCTs in the 2012 PCO, published from March 2010 to January 2016. Results The guideline update reflects changes in evidence since the previous guideline. Nine RCTs, one quasiexperimental trial, and five secondary analyses from RCTs in the 2012 PCO on providing palliative care services to patients with cancer and/or their caregivers, including family caregivers, were found to inform the update. Recommendations Inpatients and outpatients with advanced cancer should receive dedicated palliative care services, early in the disease course, concurrent with active treatment. Referral of patients to interdisciplinary palliative care teams is optimal, and services may complement existing programs. Providers may refer family and friend caregivers of patients with early or advanced cancer to palliative care services.
Maddalena, Victor; Bernard, Wanda Thomas; Davis-Murdoch, Sharon; Smith, Donna
Purpose To assess, using qualitative methods, the knowledge African Canadians living in Nova Scotia have regarding their options for palliative and end-of-life (EOL) care. Design This project engaged caregivers in a Black community in Nova Scotia, Canada, in an exploration of palliative and EOL care. A group of six caregivers who cared for someone who had died were recruited through purposive sampling. The caregivers met three times to (1) discuss their experiences, (2) receive a presentation from the palliative care service, and (3) discuss whether those services would be beneficial. This was followed by a community meeting to discuss the findings. Findings Knowledge of options for palliative care services is limited. Family centered care may be a reason why “system” is generally not aware of the EOL experiences of African Nova Scotians. Discussion Information about palliative care services is not filtering down to the community in a way that is meaningful to families. Families tend to self-select services that assist them in providing care in the home setting. There is a need to engage Black communities and palliative care services in developing culturally appropriate services. PMID:23341407
In December 2015 two different laws were adopted. Both are of importance for palliative care. One of the laws criminalizes commercial, "business-like" assisted suicide (§ 217 German Criminal Code), the other one aims to improve hospice and palliative care in Germany. Through the latter far-reaching changes in Social Code Books V and XI, as well as of the Hospital Finance Act have been made. This new Act to Improve Hospice and Palliative Care (HPG) focuses, amongst others, on: (a) Better funding of hospice services, by raising the minimum grant for patients in inpatient hospices paid per day by the health insurance funds by about 28.5%, and for outpatient hospice services by about 18%; (b) further development of general outpatient nursing and medical palliative care, and the networking of different service providers; (c) introduction of an arbitration procedure for service provider agreements to be concluded between the health insurance funds and the teams providing specialized home palliative care (SAPV); (d) the right to individual advice and support by the health insurance funds; (e) care homes may offer their residents advance care planning programs to be funded by the statutory health insurers; (f) palliative care units in hospitals can be remunerated outside the DRG system by per diem rates; (g) separate funding and criteria for multi-professional palliative care services within a hospital.While little concrete impact on hospice and palliative care can be expected following the new § 217 German Criminal Code, the HPG provides a good basis to improve care. For this purpose, however, which complementary and more concrete agreements are made to put the new legal regulations into practice will be crucial.
Goldberg, Katherine J
The death of a pet is a universal experience for those who share their lives with animals. In parallel with a rising interest in palliative medicine, hospice care and advance-care planning within human medicine, increasing attention is currently being given to serious illness and death within veterinary medicine. Our ability to prolong life has created the need for thoughtful end of life discourse. Interest in hospice and palliative care for companion animals is on the rise, yet there has been limited scholarly research in these areas to date. This review concludes that veterinary hospice and palliative care is currently hindered by an inadequate amount of scholarly research to guide clinicians. Given a lack of prospective studies in veterinary hospice and palliative care to date, a significant opportunity exists for veterinary teaching institutions to contribute to the literature in an important and growing field.
Callahan, Margaret Faut; Breakwell, Susan; Suhayda, Rosemarie
As part of a 5-year study funded by the National Cancer Institute, all graduate nursing students, including student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs) participated in a 2-credit-hour course called Interdisciplinary Palliative Care. Medical and health science students also participated in the course, with more than 800 students completing the course to date. The sample consisted of 62 master's-level students enrolled in either the first or second year of the nurse anesthesia program. A pretest-posttest design was used to determine changes in palliative care knowledge and perceived effectiveness in palliative care skills. There was an overall improvement in knowledge and attitudes related to course content. Students reported that, through the development of new knowledge, they felt better able to care for and advocate for their patients. Further research is needed into the appropriate roles that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) can play in palliative and end-of-life care.
Palliative care advocates a holistic, multiprofessional approach to the care of people with life-threatening disease. In addition to the control of physical symptoms attention should also be paid to psychosocial, cultural and spiritual aspects of the patient's experience of illness. Guidance documents and research evidence reflect the complexity of the patient's journey and the need to regularly assess these areas of need over time. Cultural background can shape how patients respond to life-threatening illness, as can the beliefs held by the patients, whether religious or more broadly spiritual. Research evidence shows the importance of identifying and addressing cultural and spiritual aspects of care held by patients, families and staff. These are often neglected in clinical practice due to the focus on biomedical concerns and staff discomfort in engaging with beliefs and culture. Recent studies have highlighted gaps in the research, and some methodological difficulties and indicate many patients welcome healthcare staff enquiring about the importance of their beliefs and culture. Identifying research priorities is necessary to guide future research and strengthen the evidence base.
Chai, Huamin; Guerriere, Denise N; Zagorski, Brandon; Coyte, Peter C
With increasing emphasis on the provision of home-based palliative care in Canada, economic evaluation is warranted, given its tremendous demands on family caregivers. Despite this, very little is known about the economic outcomes associated with home-based unpaid care-giving at the end of life. The aims of this study were to (i) assess the magnitude and share of unpaid care costs in total healthcare costs for home-based palliative care patients, from a societal perspective and (ii) examine the sociodemographic and clinical factors that account for variations in this share. One hundred and sixty-nine caregivers of patients with a malignant neoplasm were interviewed from time of referral to a home-based palliative care programme provided by the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada, until death. Information regarding palliative care resource utilisation and costs, time devoted to care-giving and sociodemographic and clinical characteristics was collected between July 2005 and September 2007. Over the last 12 months of life, the average monthly cost was $14 924 (2011 CDN$) per patient. Unpaid care-giving costs were the largest component - $11 334, accounting for 77% of total palliative care expenses, followed by public costs ($3211; 21%) and out-of-pocket expenditures ($379; 2%). In all cost categories, monthly costs increased exponentially with proximity to death. Seemingly unrelated regression estimation suggested that the share of unpaid care costs of total costs was driven by patients' and caregivers' sociodemographic characteristics. Results suggest that overwhelming the proportion of palliative care costs is unpaid care-giving. This share of costs requires urgent attention to identify interventions aimed at alleviating the heavy financial burden and to ultimately ensure the viability of home-based palliative care in future.
A randomised, multicentre clinical trial of specialised palliative care plus standard treatment versus standard treatment alone for cancer patients with palliative care needs: the Danish palliative care trial (DanPaCT) protocol
Background Advanced cancer patients experience considerable symptoms, problems, and needs. Early referral of these patients to specialised palliative care (SPC) could improve their symptoms and problems. The Danish Palliative Care Trial (DanPaCT) investigates whether patients with metastatic cancer, who report palliative needs in a screening, will benefit from being referred to ‘early SPC’. Methods/Design DanPaCT is a clinical, multicentre, parallel-group superiority trial with balanced randomisation (1:1). The planned sample size is 300 patients. Patients are randomised to specialised palliative care (SPC) plus standard treatment versus standard treatment. Consecutive patients from oncology departments are screened for palliative needs with a questionnaire if they: a) have metastatic cancer; b) are 18 years or above; and c) have no prior contact with SPC. Patients with palliative needs (i.e. symptoms/problems exceeding a certain threshold) according to the questionnaire are eligible. The primary outcome is the change in the patients’ primary need (the most severe symptom/problem measured with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30)). Secondary outcomes are other symptoms/problems (EORTC QLQ-C30), satisfaction with health care (FAMCARE P-16), anxiety and depression (the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale), survival, and health care costs. Discussion Only few trials have investigated the effects of SPC. To our knowledge DanPaCT is the first trial to investigate screening based ‘early SPC’ for patients with a broad spectrum of cancer diagnosis. Trial registration Current controlled Trials NCT01348048 PMID:24152880
Weaver, M S; Yao, A J J; Renner, L A; Harif, M; Lam, C G
Background: Given the burden of childhood cancer and palliative care need in Africa, this paper investigated the paediatric and palliative care elements in cancer control plans. Methods: We conducted a comparative content analysis of accessible national cancer control plans in Africa, using a health systems perspective attentive to context, development, scope, and monitoring/evaluation. Burden estimates were derived from World Bank, World Health Organisation, and Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance. Results: Eighteen national plans and one Africa-wide plan (10 English, 9 French) were accessible, representing 9 low-, 4 lower-middle-, and 5 upper-middle-income settings. Ten plans discussed cancer control in the context of noncommunicable diseases. Paediatric cancer was mentioned in 7 national plans, representing 5127 children, or 13% of the estimated continental burden for children aged 0–14 years. Palliative care needs were recognised in 11 national plans, representing 157 490 children, or 24% of the estimated Africa-wide burden for children aged 0–14 years; four plans specified paediatric palliative needs. Palliative care was itemised in four budgets. Sample indicators and equity measures were identified, including those highlighting contextual needs for treatment access and completion. Conclusions: Recognising explicit strategies and funding for paediatric and palliative services may guide prioritised cancer control efforts in resource-limited settings. PMID:26042935
Dantas, Margarida Maria Florêncio; Amazonas, Maria Cristina Lopes de Almeida
This paper presents a reflection about being terminally ill and the various ways that the subject has at its disposal to deal with this event. The objective is to understand the experience of palliation for patients undergoing no therapeutic possibilities of cure. The methodology of this study has the instruments to semi-structured interview, the participant observation and the field diary, and the Descriptive Analysis of Foucault's inspiration how the narratives of the subjects were perceived. The Results of paper there was the possibility of looking at the experience of illness through the eyes of a subject position assumed by the very sick. As conclusion we have than when choosing palliative care, the terminally ill opts for a way to feel more comfortable and resists the impositions of the medical model of prolonging life. O presente trabalho traz uma reflexão a respeito do ser um doente terminal e das várias maneiras que o sujeito tem a seu dispor para lidar com esse acontecimento. Nosso objetivo foi compreender a experiência da paliação por sujeitos doentes sem possibilidades terapêuticas de cura. A metodologia deste estudo teve como instrumentos a Entrevista Narrativa, a Observação Participante e o Diário de Campo, sendo a Análise Descritiva de inspiração foucaultiana o modo como as narrativas dos sujeitos foram percebidas. O resultado do estudo mostrou a possibilidade de olhar a experiência do adoecer através da ótica de uma posição de sujeito assumida pelo próprio enfermo. E concluímos que ao escolher os cuidados paliativos, o doente terminal opta por um modo de se sentir mais confortável e resiste às imposições do modelo médico de prolongamento da vida.
Salas Arrambide, M; Gabaldón Poc, O; Mayoral Miravete, J L; Pérez-Yarza, E G; Amayra Caro, I
Palliative care is essential in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Because of the mortality rates and the presence of life-threatening conditions in children admitted to the PICU, pediatricians must be prepared to provide palliative care independently of cure-directed therapies. The present article reviews certain issues, including the decision-making process in the PICU, psychosocial needs and susceptibility to burnout among PICU staff, and the emotions and attitudes of the staff when a child dies. We provide some guidelines on how to act when a child dies, how to meet with parents after the child's death and how to follow-up parental bereavement. Strategies that can help PICU pediatricians to cope with the numerous loses they experience are suggested.
Morita, T; Chihara, S; Kashiwagi, T
Although satisfaction is an important outcome of medical care, there are no validated tools to quantify family satisfaction with hospital-based palliative care. In this nationwide postal survey, an instrument to measure informal carer satisfaction with an inpatient palliative care service was validated. A 60-item questionnaire was mailed to 1344 bereaved people who had lost their family members at 50 palliative care units in Japan, and 850 responses were analysed (response rate = 64%). The reliability, construct validity, and convergent validity of the scale were examined after the responses were randomly divided into two groups: a training set used in the development phase (n = 500) and a testing set used in the validation phase (n = 350). The number of scale items was reduced from 50 to 34 through psychometric techniques in the development phase. In the testing sample, the overall Cronbach's coefficient alpha for the final 34-item scale was 0.98. A factor analysis revealed that the scale consisted of seven subcategories: Nursing Care, Facility, Information, Availability, Family Care, Cost, and Symptom Palliation. The total score of the scale was significantly correlated with the degree of global satisfaction of the bereaved (Spearman's rho = 0.78). In conclusion, this 34-item scale, the Satisfaction Scale for Family Members Receiving Inpatient Palliative Care (Sat-Fam-IPC), has acceptable psychometric properties and would be a useful tool to measure carer satisfaction with an inpatient palliative care service.
Ahia, Chad L.; Blais, Christopher M.
Background Primary palliative care consists of the palliative care competencies required of all primary care clinicians. Included in these competencies is the ability to assist patients and their families in establishing appropriate goals of care. Goals of care help patients and their families understand the patient's illness and its trajectory and facilitate medical care decisions consistent with the patient's values and goals. General internists and family medicine physicians in primary care are central to getting patients to articulate their goals of care and to have these documented in the medical record. Case Report Here we present the case of a 71-year-old male patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, congestive heart failure, and newly diagnosed Alzheimer dementia to model pertinent end-of-life care communication and discuss practical tips on how to incorporate it into practice. Conclusion General internists and family medicine practitioners in primary care are central to eliciting patients' goals of care and achieving optimal end-of-life outcomes for their patients. PMID:25598737
Alonso, Juan Pedro
This paper analyzes the palliative care of terminal patients, examining the tensions between the humanization of care and the progressive medicalization at the end-of-life situation. The research upon which the article is based adopts a qualitative methodological approach derived from interviews with professionals and patients and ethnographic observations in a palliative care unit in the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The article describes the configuration of personalized and comprehensive health care based on the core values of more humanized end-of-life care promoted by palliative care supporters. Similarly, the paper analyzes how these practices are assisted by progress in the medicalization process in which the dimension of care is considered less an unprofessional area of medical practice than an area of care in which specific technical skills and know-how are employed. The articles explores how instead of being divergent, the logic of care and medicalization work in a complementary fashion.
Lo, Raymond S K; Kwan, Bonnie H F; Lau, Kay P K; Kwan, Cecilia W M; Lam, L M; Woo, Jean
This study aims to explore in depth the needs, current knowledge, and attitudes of all ranks of old age home staff. A large-scale qualitative study with 13 semistructured focus groups was conducted in Hong Kong. Key themes were extracted by framework analysis. Three major themes were extracted, including role as a service provider, current knowledge, and attitude toward palliative care. There was a marked difference in familiarity with the concept of ''palliative care'' between different groups of staff, yet both shared the motivation for enhancement. The biggest concerns for the staff were elderly residents' readiness to accept palliative care, manpower, and resources. Care staff, regardless of rank, seemed to welcome and be ready to adopt a palliative care approach in caring for old age home residents, though not without worries and concerns.
Lagman, Ruth; Walsh, Declan; Heintz, Jessica; Legrand, Susan B; Davis, Mellar P
Palliative care in advanced disease is complex. Knowledge and experience of symptom control and management of multiple complications are essential. An interdisciplinary team is also required to meet the medical and psychosocial needs in life-limiting illness. Acute care palliative medicine is a new concept in the spectrum of palliative care services. Acute care palliative medicine, integrated into a tertiary academic medical center, provides expert medical management and specialized care as part of the spectrum of acute medical care services to this challenging patient population. The authors describe a case series to provide a snapshot of a typical day in an acute care inpatient palliative medicine unit. The cases illustrate the sophisticated medical care involved for each individual and the important skill sets of the palliative medicine specialist required to provide high-quality acute medical care for the very ill.
Hakim, Mumin; Burrier, Candice; Bhalla, Tarun; Raman, Vidya T; Martin, David P; Dairo, Olamide; Mayerson, Joel L; Tobias, Joseph D
Tumor progression during end-of-life care can lead to significant pain, which at times may be refractory to routine analgesic techniques. Although regional anesthesia is commonly used for postoperative pain care, there is limited experience with its use during home hospice care. We present a 24-year-old male with end-stage metastatic osteosarcoma who required anesthetic care for a right-sided above-the-elbow amputation. The anesthetic management was complicated by the presence of a large mediastinal mass, limited pulmonary reserve, and severe chronic pain with a high preoperative opioid requirement. Intraoperative anesthesia and postoperative pain management were provided by regional anesthesia using an interscalene catheter. He was discharged home with the interscalene catheter in place with a continuous local anesthetic infusion that allowed weaning of his chronic opioid medications and the provision of effective pain control. The perioperative applications of regional anesthesia in palliative and home hospice care are discussed. PMID:26442759
McNulty, John P; Muller, George
A compounded preparation is needed when no commercially manufactured medication is available to adequately address a patient's medical needs. Among the greatest therapeutic challenges faced by both patients and caregivers is the treatment required by individuals who have a terminal condition. It is difficult to find evidence-based studies on the management of end-of-life situations because each patient's medical case is unique. In addition, maintaining a controlled environment for such patients is difficult. End-of-life care is multifaceted; it does not lend itself to "cookbook medicine," and people with a terminal illness are among the most vulnerable patients in need of effective and compassionate care. When those patients suffer in spite of commercially available therapies, the innovation and experience of clinicians and compounding pharmacists can often yield a solution to the most challenging treatment problems. In this article, we discuss some of the most often prescribed compounds used in outpatient hospice and palliative care to treat common conditions (wounds, pain and dyspnea, intractable cough, nausea and vomiting, depression, bladder infections caused by an indwelling catheter, rectal pain). The effectiveness of the preparations we describe is substantiated in the medical literature and by our personal experience, which together encompasses nearly 100 years of clinical practice. The medications described in this report have been shown over time to be effective. Formulations for the preparations presented in this article are provided on the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding website at www.ijpc.com/webcontent.
Nair, Shoba; Tarey, SD; Barathi, B; Mary, Thiophin Regina; Mathew, Lovely; Daniel, Sudha Pauline
Background: Palliative care in low and middle-income countries is a new discipline, responding to a greater patient need, than in high-income countries. By its very nature, palliative as a specialty has to network with other specialties to provide quality care to patients. For any medical discipline to grow as a specialty, it should be well established in the teaching medical institutions of that country. Data show that palliative care is more likely to establish and grow in an academic health care institution. It is a necessity that multiple networking strategies are adopted to reach this goal. Objectives: (1) To describe a strategic approach to palliative care service development and integration into clinical academic setting. (2) To present the change in metrics to evaluate progress. Design and Setting: This is a descriptive study wherein, the different strategies that are adopted by the Department of Palliative Medicine for networking in an academic health care institution and outside the institution are scrutinized. Measurement: The impact of this networking was assessed, one, at the level of academics and the other, at the level of service. The number of people who attended various training programs conducted by the department and the number of patients who availed palliative care service over the years were assessed. Results: Ten different strategies were identified that helped with networking of palliative care in the institution. During this time, the referrals to the department increased both for malignant diseases (52–395) and nonmalignant diseases (5–353) from 2000 to 2013. The academic sessions conducted by the department for undergraduates also saw an increase in the number of hours from 6 to 12, apart from the increase in a number of courses conducted by the department for doctors and nurses. Conclusion: Networking is an essential strategy for the establishment of a relatively new medical discipline like palliative care in a developing and
Kenner, C; Press, J; Ryan, D
Technological advances have increased our ability to detect a life-threatening, life-limiting or lethal problem early in pregnancy, leaving parents months to anticipate a death or a prematurely born infant. Babies can also be born with unanticipated problems that could lead to death. In either scenario, perinatal palliative care should be offered as a strategy for family support. Since the preponderance of professional training focuses on saving lives, many health professionals are uncomfortable with palliative care. This article's purpose is to define best practices for the provision of family-centered perinatal and neonatal palliative care and provision of support to bereaved families experiencing anticipated and unanticipated life-limiting conditions or death of their infant. An overview of core concepts and values is presented, followed by intervention strategies to promote an integrated family-centered approach to palliative and bereavement care. The concluding section presents evidence-based recommendations. PMID:26597801
Siles González, José; Solano Ruiz, Maria Del Carmen
The objective of this study is to describe the evolution of palliative care in order to reflect on the possibility of its origin in primitive cultures and their relationship with the beginnings of the cult of the dead. It describes the change in the symbolic structures and social interactions involved in palliative care during prehistory: functional unit, functional framework and functional element. The theoretical framework is based on cultural history, the dialectical structural model and symbolic interactionism. Categorization techniques, cultural history and dialectic structuralism analyses were performed. Palliative care existed in primitive societies, mostly associated with the rites of passage with a high symbolic content. The social structures - functional unit, functional framework and functional element - are the pillars that supported palliative care in prehistory societies.
Kerr, Kathleen M.; Kutner, Jean S.; Ferris, Frank D.; Rathfon, Megan A.; Rabow, Michael W.
Abstract Hospital-based palliative care is becoming increasingly prevalent. There is growing evidence that it is having a positive impact on patients and their loved ones. In 2008, national data indicated that 58.5% of hospitals with 50 or more beds had a palliative care program. Data from a 2008 survey of California acute care hospitals showed that although 33% of sites had inpatient consultation services, one in five had been operational for only one year. As nascent palliative care programs grow, new issues arise and needs and plans change. Just as palliative care programs benefit from marketing and education plans, they also benefit from a plan to leverage external resources. Largely a missed opportunity, external resources such as organizations, networks, and experts can help palliative care service (PCS) leaders and team members gain information on everything from best practices to funding opportunities, while serving as sources for personal and professional support. The growing number of active PCSs and the increasing availability of support and expertise ensure that new programs no longer have to face challenges alone. Further, the steady increase in the number of new programs has created opportunities for those who are more experienced to serve as mentors for peers who are navigating the challenges of growing and sustaining a clinical service. The authors encourage both mentors and mentees to seek support from or provide support to others in the field. Leveraging the collective expertise and experiences in our field can ensure that palliative care continues to thrive and grow. PMID:22165898
Lafond, Deborah A; Kelly, Katherine Patterson; Hinds, Pamela S; Sill, Ann; Michael, Michele
Children and adolescents undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) encounter a number of distressing physical symptoms and existential distress but may not be afforded timely access to palliative care services to help ameliorate the distress. This feasibility study investigated the acceptability and outcomes of early palliative care consultation to promote comfort in this population. A longitudinal, descriptive cohort design examined both provider willingness to refer and willingness of families to receive palliative care interventions as well as satisfaction. Feasibility was demonstrated by 100% referral of eligible patients and 100% of patient and family recruitment (N = 12). Each family received 1 to 3 visits per week (ranging from 15 to 120 minutes) from the palliative care team. Interventions included supportive care counseling and integrative therapies. Families and providers reported high satisfaction with the nurse-led palliative care consultation. Outcomes included improvement or no significant change in comfort across the trajectory of HSCT, from the child and parental perspective. Early integration of palliative care in HSCT is feasible and acceptable to families and clinicians.
Crooks, Valorie A; Castleden, Heather; Hanlon, Neil; Schuurman, Nadine
Palliative care is delivered by a number of professional groups and informal providers across a range of settings. This arrangement works well in that it maximizes avenues for providing care, but may also bring about complicated 'politics' due to struggles over control and decision-making power. Thirty-one interviews conducted with formal and informal palliative care providers in a rural region of British Columbia, Canada, are drawn upon as a case study. Three types of politics impacting on palliative care provision are identified: inter-community, inter-site, and inter-professional. Three themes crosscut these politics: ownership, entitlement, and administration. The politics revealed by the interviews, and heretofore underexplored in the palliative literature, have implications for the delivery of palliative care. For example, the outcomes of the politics simultaneously facilitate (e.g. by promoting advocacy for local services) and serve as a barrier to (e.g. by privileging certain communities/care sites/provider) palliative care provision.
Yamaguchi, Takashi; Nagai, Yuki; Morita, Tatsuya; Kiuchi, Daisuke; Matsumoto, Mina; Hisahara, Ko; Hisanaga, Takayuki
We report 3 cases of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in patients with advanced cancer who received palliative care. All patients received long-term steroid therapy for symptom management. A diagnosis of PCP was based on clinical symptoms and a positive Pneumocystis jiroveci polymerase chain reaction test from induced sputum specimens. Despite appropriate treatment, only 1 patient recovered from PCP. Long-term steroid, often prescribed in palliative care settings, is the most common risk factor for PCP in non-HIV patients. Pneumocystis pneumonia may cause distressing symptoms such as severe dyspnea, and the mortality rate is high. Therefore, it is important to consider PCP prophylaxis for high-risk patients and to diagnose PCP early and provide appropriate treatment to alleviate PCP-related symptoms and avert unnecessary shortening of a patient's life expectancy.
Udo, Itoro; Mohammed, Zeid; Gash, Amanda
Issues surrounding capacity to consent to or refuse treatment are increasingly receiving clinical and legal attention. Through the use of 3 case vignettes that involve different aspects of mental health care in palliative care settings, mental capacity issues are discussed. The vignettes tackle capacity in a patient with newly developed mental illness consequent to physical illness, capacity in a patient with mental illness but without delirium and capacity in a patient with known impairment of the mind. These discussions give credence to best practice position where physicians act in the best interests of their patients at all times. It is important to emphasize that capacity decisions have to be made on a case by case basis, within the remit of legal protection. This is a fundamental requirement of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, England & Wales (MCA). The later is used as the legal basis for these discussions. The psychiatric liaison service is a useful resource to provide consultation, advice and or joint assessment to clinicians encountering complex dilemmas involving decision-making capacity. PMID:25278761
Grassi, Luigi; Caruso, Rosangela; Sabato, Silvana; Massarenti, Sara; Nanni, Maria G; The UniFe Psychiatry Working Group Coauthors
Psychiatric and psychosocial disorders among cancer patients have been reported as a major consequence of the disease and treatment. The problems in applying a pure psychiatric approach have determined the need for structuring more defined methods, including screening for distress and emotional symptoms and a more specific psychosocial assessment, to warrant proper care to cancer patients with psychosocial problems. This review examines some of the most significant issues related to these two steps, screening and assessment of psychosocial morbidity in cancer and palliative care. With regard to this, the many different variables, such as the factors affecting individual vulnerability (e.g., life events, chronic stress and allostatic load, well-being, and health attitudes) and the psychosocial correlates of medical disease (e.g., psychiatric disturbances, psychological symptoms, illness behavior, and quality of life) which are possibly implicated not only in "classical" psychiatric disorders but more broadly in psychosocial suffering. Multidimensional tools [e.g., and specific psychosocially oriented interview (e.g., the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research)] represent a way to screen for and assess emotional distress, anxiety and depression, maladaptive coping, dysfunctional attachment, as well as other significant psychosocial dimensions secondary to cancer, such as demoralization and health anxiety. Cross-cultural issues, such as language, ethnicity, race, and religion, are also discussed as possible factors influencing the patients and families perception of illness, coping mechanisms, psychological response to a cancer diagnosis.
Donaghy, Kevin; Devlin, Breige
This small-scale 10-month study evaluated teamworking within a specialist palliative care team. The study aims were to: collect, analyse and summarize information on how team members perceive teamworking; compare team members' perceptions after a teambuilding workshop; and to evaluate the longer term effect of this training on the team. A group of practitioners from a local Marie Curie Cancer Care Centre was selected and included members from all available disciplines. A piloted questionnaire was used to obtain qualitative and quantitative input. The team as a whole scored themselves above average on almost all counts. Following the teambuilding workshop significant improvement was seen in areas such as role appreciation and communication but not all improvements were long lasting. A perception of understaffing was noted as being one of the largest negative influences on teamwork whereas the setting and maintaining of agreed team objectives and having sufficient education opportunity were positive influences. Although teambuilding sessions appear to have the potential to produce the desired benefits, they should not be initiated at a time when staff already feel anxiety over their workload.
Shea, Joyce; Grossman, Sheila; Wallace, Meredith; Lange, Jean
Advanced practice nurses (APRNs) have key roles in the care of patients who are nearing death and those living with a disabling chronic disease. This article describes a mixed-method formative assessment of 36 graduate nursing students' knowledge about and attitudes toward palliative care preliminary to curricular integration of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) graduate core modules. Students' knowledge about palliative care was assessed using the 106-item ELNEC examination. In addition, qualitative data were gathered regarding students' definitions of palliative care, the role of the APRN in palliative care, and their definitions of a "good" and "bad" death. Results revealed students' limited knowledge about palliative care. Qualitative findings indicated that most students exclusively linked palliative care with end-of-life care and believed that the treatment they provide should have the goal of prolonging life over maintaining quality of life. Implications for curriculum design, advanced practice role development, and collaboration with community health partners are discussed.
Results from the first randomized clinical trial of its kind have revealed a surprising and welcome benefit of early palliative care for patients with advanced lung cancer—longer median survival. Although several researchers said that the finding needs to be confirmed in other trials of patients with other cancer types, they were cautiously optimistic that the trial results could influence oncologists’ perceptions and use of palliative care. |
Aoun, Samar M; Nekolaichuk, Cheryl
The adoption of evidence-based hierarchies and research methods from other disciplines may not completely translate to complex palliative care settings. The heterogeneity of the palliative care population, complexity of clinical presentations, and fluctuating health states present significant research challenges. The aim of this narrative review was to explore the debate about the use of current evidence-based approaches for conducting research, such as randomized controlled trials and other study designs, in palliative care, and more specifically to (1) describe key myths about palliative care research; (2) highlight substantive challenges of conducting palliative care research, using case illustrations; and (3) propose specific strategies to address some of these challenges. Myths about research in palliative care revolve around evidence hierarchies, sample heterogeneity, random assignment, participant burden, and measurement issues. Challenges arise because of the complex physical, psychological, existential, and spiritual problems faced by patients, families, and service providers. These challenges can be organized according to six general domains: patient, system/organization, context/setting, study design, research team, and ethics. A number of approaches for dealing with challenges in conducting research fall into five separate domains: study design, sampling, conceptual, statistical, and measures and outcomes. Although randomized controlled trials have their place whenever possible, alternative designs may offer more feasible research protocols that can be successfully implemented in palliative care. Therefore, this article highlights "outside the box" approaches that would benefit both clinicians and researchers in the palliative care field. Ultimately, the selection of research designs is dependent on a clearly articulated research question, which drives the research process.
Asgeirsdottir, Gudlaug Helga; Sigurbjörnsson, Einar; Traustadottir, Rannveig; Sigurdardottir, Valgerdur; Gunnarsdottir, Sigridur; Kelly, Ewan
This study explores existential and spiritual concerns from the perspective of people receiving palliative care. It examines the meaning of these concerns, their influence on people's lives and investigates the connections between them. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with ten persons. Findings reveal existential and spiritual aspects as interconnected and an integral part of the participants' everyday existence. It concludes with a call for a better understanding of these phenomena in the palliative care context.
Each year in the United States, 31% of elders who die do so in hospitals, accounting for over half a million deaths often involving expensive and unnecessary treatments (Zhao & Encinosa, 2010 ). Re-hospitalizations of frail elders with end-stage illnesses are a concern for the hospitals that have discharged them and for the facilities in which they live. In 2011, Schervier Nursing Care Center, a 364-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in the Bronx, NY, looked at its re-hospitalization rates. It was discovered that a large percentage of the residents being sent to the hospital were from the long-term and subacute populations with end-stage diseases that were no longer responding to treatment. This article describes the development of two innovative programs whose goals were to increase the number of residents receiving palliative care, increase the number of completed advance directives, reduce re-hospitalizations, and increase hospital referrals to the nursing home for palliative care. The key components of both programs and their outcomes are described. The development and implementation of these programs were the author's capstone project for the Zelda Foster Social Work Leadership Fellowship in Palliative and End-of-Life Care.
Ferrell, Betty; Malloy, Pam; Mazanec, Polly; Virani, Rose
Nurses spend the most time of any health care professional caring for patients and families dealing with the challenges of serious illness. The demand for nursing expertise in palliative care is growing as more people are living with chronic, life-limiting illnesses. Nursing faculty must prepare future nurses to meet this demand. The new American Association of Colleges of Nursing Palliative Competencies And Recommendations for Educating undergraduate nursing Students document, released February 2016, identifies the 17 competencies that all undergraduate nursing students should achieve by the time of graduation. This historic document is a revision of the 1998 American Association of Colleges of Nursing Peaceful Death document and is now the guiding framework for undergraduate nursing education. In an effort to support nursing faculty and prepare nursing students to deliver quality palliative care, an innovative, interactive on-line undergraduate End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) curriculum is under development and will be released in January 2017. This new curriculum will meet the competencies and recommendations for achieving those competencies outlined in the Competencies And Recommendations for Educating undergraduate nursing Students document.
Wharton, Tracy; Manu, Erika; Vitale, Caroline A
This article describes a pilot model to increase palliative care (PC) knowledge and collaboration among providers and to systematically identify chronic multimorbid home care patients who would benefit from focused discussion of potential PC needs. Thirty health care providers from a home-based primary care team attended interdisciplinary trainings. The Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) tool was used to trigger discussions of potential palliative needs at team rounds for patients who scored below a cutoff point on the tool. Palliative Performance Scale implementation added little burden on nurses and triggered a discussion in 51 flagged patients. The tool successfully identified 75% of patients who died or were discharged. Screening was systematic and consistent and resulted in targeted discussions about PC needs without generating additional burden on our PC consult service. This model shows promise for enhancing collaborative patient care and access to PC.
Howarth, G.; Willison, K. B.
With the current shift to community care, the need for palliative care in the home involving the family physician has increased. Potential causes of crises in the home care of the dying are identified. Strategies to prevent crises are suggested that rely on a team's providing comprehensive and anticipatory care. PMID:7539653
Krasuska, Małgorzata E; Stanisławek, Andrzej; Mazurkiewicz, Maria; Daniluk, Jadwiga
Care of the dying patient is care for the patient who is still living, it is helping that patient to live his or her life to the fullest whether at home or hospice, or in hospital. It is care that is not just centered on the individual but includes members of the family. It is focused on improving the quality of patients' life, by incorporating into the professional care most of unique human values, such as respect, empathy, compassion and tender loving care. Palliative care is a broad band of care of indeterminate length, and does not necessarily end with the death of the patient. Until life begins to glow again, some surviving relatives may need support during the bereavement period. Thanks to Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and Dame Cicely Saunders, two great women visionaries and leaders of the emergence of Palliative Care, one of the best things that has happened to medicine in the 20th century, the development of care for dying patients and their families was possible.
Burbeck, Rachel; Low, Joe; Sampson, Elizabeth L.; Bravery, Ruth; Hill, Matthew; Morris, Sara; Ockenden, Nick; Payne, Sheila
Abstract Background: Worldwide, the demand for specialist palliative care is increasing but funding is limited. The role of volunteers is underresearched, although their contribution reduces costs significantly. Understanding what volunteers do is vital to ensure services develop appropriately to meet the challenges faced by providers of palliative care. Objective: The study's objective is to describe current involvement of volunteers with direct patient/family contact in U.K. specialist palliative care. Design: An online survey was sent to 290 U.K. adult hospices and specialist palliative care services involving volunteers covering service characteristics, involvement and numbers of volunteers, settings in which they are involved, extent of involvement in care services, specific activities undertaken in each setting, and use of professional skills. Results: The survey had a 67% response rate. Volunteers were most commonly involved in day care and bereavement services. They entirely ran some complementary therapy, beauty therapy/hairdressing, and pastoral/faith-based care services, and were involved in a wide range of activities, including sitting with dying patients. Conclusions: This comprehensive survey of volunteer activity in U.K. specialist palliative care provides an up-to-date picture of volunteer involvement in direct contact with patients and their families, such as providing emotional care, and the extent of their involvement in day and bereavement services. Further research could focus on exploring their involvement in bereavement care. PMID:24475743
Prevost, V; Grach, M-C
In palliative care, the nutrition provided has to be tailored to the patient's needs, enhancing patient comfort and quality of life (QoL). We conducted a literature search to review methods of measuring QoL, and modalities of nutritional intervention and their influence on QoL of cancer patients in palliative care. Original papers published in English were selected from PubMed database by using the search terms, palliative medicine, cancer, nutrition and quality of life. Specific tools that are particularly recommended to assess QoL in a palliative care setting are reviewed. The main goal in palliative care is to maintain oral nutrition by providing nutritional counselling. Enteral nutritional support showed inconsistent effects on survival and QoL. An evidence-base for parenteral nutrition is still lacking. Ethical considerations concerning provision of food and hydration in end-of-life care are discussed. Nutritional status should be assessed early and regularly during treatment using appropriate tools. In the particularly acute context of palliative care, optimal patient management requires adequate education and counselling to patients and families. Meaningful interactions between the patient, caregivers and medical team would also increase the chance of resolving nutrition-related issues and help to fulfil each patient's specific nutritional needs and thus improve the QoL.
Hagen, Neil A; Biondo, Patricia D; Brasher, Penny M A; Stiles, Carla R
The concept of clinical trial feasibility is of great interest to the community of palliative care researchers, clinicians, and granting agencies. Significant allocation of resources is required in the form of funding, time, intellect, and motivation to carry out clinical research, and understandably, clinical investigators, institutions, and granting agencies are disappointed when funded trials are unsuccessfully conducted. We argue that for many trials conducted in palliative care, the feasibility of conducting the proposed trial should be formally explored before implementation. There is substantial information available within the literature on the topic of study feasibility but no singular guide on how one can pragmatically apply this advice in the palliative care setting. We suggest that a Formal Feasibility Study for palliative care trials should be commonly conducted before development of a larger pivotal trial, to prospectively identify barriers to research, develop strategies to address these barriers, and predict whether the larger study is feasible. If a Formal Feasibility Study is not required, elements of feasibility can be specifically tested before launching clinical trials. The purpose of this article is to offer a draft framework for the design and conduct of a Formal Feasibility Study that, if implemented, could concretely support successful completion of high-quality research in a timely fashion. Additionally, we hope to foster dialogue within the palliative care research community regarding the relevance of establishing feasibility before initiation of definitive trials in the palliative care population.
Claxton-Oldfield, Stephen; Wasylkiw, Louise; Mark, Mariko; Claxton-Oldfield, Jane
Given the essential role of volunteers in hospice palliative care, it would be beneficial to have a recruitment and retention tool that is reliable and valid. To address this gap, the current investigation sought to adapt and extend the Inventory of Motivations for Palliative Care Volunteerism (IMPCV) of Claxton-Oldfield, Jefferies, Fawcett, Wasylkiw, and Claxton-Oldfield.(1) The purpose of study 1 was to address methodological concerns of the IMPCV using 141 undergraduate students. After conceptually relevant items were added to the IMPCV, participants indicated the degree of influence each of the motivations would have on their, and another person's, decision to become a hospice palliative care volunteer. In both cases, 5 internally consistent subscales were identified through principal components analysis: altruism, civic responsibility, self-promotion, leisure, and personal gain. Convergent and discriminant validity were demonstrated using an established measure of empathy. In study 2, 141 hospice palliative care volunteers completed the revised and renamed Inventory of Motivations for Hospice Palliative Care Volunteerism (IMHPCV). Confirmatory factor analysis provided support for the 5-factor structure of the IMHPCV. The authors encourage other researchers to use the IMHPCV as a measurement tool in studying the motivations of hospice palliative care volunteers.
Rayner, Lauren; Price, Annabel; Hotopf, Matthew; Higginson, Irene J
Depression is common in cancer patients, particularly those with advanced disease. It is associated with adverse outcomes such as increased pain, disability and poorer prognosis. Our aim was to produce a European evidence-based clinical guideline on the management of depression in patients receiving palliative care to inform practice, establish policy, promote European consensus and ultimately improve patient outcomes. Recommendations were devised using the best available evidence. Where evidence was absent or equivocal, Delphi consensus methods were implemented to elicit and refine expert opinion. Evidence was graded according to the process proposed by GRADE. The resulting guideline has three main sections: (1) prevention; (2) detection, diagnosis and assessment; and (3) treatment. The prevention section outlines strategies such as optimal palliative care and support, effective communication and information-giving. The detection section provides recommendations on symptoms, screening, diagnosis and severity assessment. The treatment section gives guidance on treatment decisions including choice of psychological therapy and antidepressant medication. This is the first comprehensive, evidence-based guideline on managing depression in palliative care. It has the potential to improve patient outcomes by enabling clinicians to access and implement evidence-based knowledge quickly and easily.
Tees, Bob; Budd, Jennifer
The article describes how music has been integrated into spiritual and supportive care for palliative care patients at Brantford General Hospital (Ontario). Numerous case examples illustrate how a song or piece of music can play a vital role in the spiritual dimension of end of life care. The article expands the concept of the "living human document" by positing that a life story has an accompanying soundtrack: a musical memory and sensorial attunement that can be energized when music is offered at the bedside. The writers suggest that music provides an alternate spiritual language for patients whether or not they have a religious affiliation.
Gutgsell, Terence; Walsh, Declan; Zhukovsky, Donna S; Gonzales, Francisco; Lagman, Ruth
Comprehensive pain evaluation is requisite for optimal management. Few studies have evaluated pain syndromes and adequacy of associated analgesic regimens in one population. Available studies in cancer populations have focused on ambulatory patients or hospice-type inpatients. This study was designed to evaluate multiple characteristics of pain and adequacy of therapy in a broad spectrum of patients with advanced cancer presenting to a palliative medicine service. One hundred pain patients (95 with cancer) underwent a comprehensive pain evaluation consisting of history, physical examination, review of available diagnostics, and a pain assessment tool designed for routine clinical use. Seventy-one percent of 141 evaluable patients reported pain in the month before referral. In these 100 patients, 158 distinct sites of pain were reported, with 88 percent reporting a maximum of 2. Pain due to tumor was the most common cause (68 percent), and the most common pathophysiologic mechanism, somatic (52 percent). Pain was almost equally divided between continuous (48 percent) and intermittent (52 percent). Breakthrough pain occurred in 75 percent of continuous pains. Of these, 30 percent were exclusively incidental, 26percent nonincidental, and 16 percent due to end-of-dose failure. The remainder was of mixed etiology, but almost always with an incidental component. Of intermittent pain syndromes, 61 percent were incidental. On referral, analgesic dosing was inadequate and was compounded by use of regimens that typically did not meet peer-reviewed guidelines. Comprehensive studies rigorously evaluating characteristics of pain and response to treatment are a necessary first step toward more effective treatments for difficult pain syndromes.
Scott, Aileen; Nwosu, Amara Callistus; Latten, Richard; Wilson, James; Mayland, Catriona R; Mason, Stephen; Probert, Chris; Ellershaw, John
Objective To assess the feasibility of prospectively collecting biological samples (urine) from palliative care patients in the last weeks of life. Setting A 30-bedded specialist hospice in the North West of England. Participants Participants were adults with a diagnosis of advanced disease and able to provide written informed consent. Method Potential participants were identified by a senior clinician over a 12-week period in 2014. They were then approached by a researcher and invited to participate according to a developed recruitment protocol. Outcomes Feasibility targets included a recruitment rate of 50%, with successful collection of samples from 80% who consented. Results A total of 58 patients were approached and 33 consented (57% recruitment rate). Twenty-five patients (43%) were unable to participate or declined; 10 (17%) became unwell, too fatigued, lost capacity, died or were discharged home; and 15 (26%) refused, usually these patients had distressing pain, low mood or profound fatigue. From the 33 recruited, 20 participants provided 128 separate urine samples, 12 participants did not meet the inclusion criteria at the time of consent and 1 participant was unable to provide a sample. The criterion for a urinary catheter was removed for the latter 6 weeks. The collection rate during the first 6 weeks was 29% and 93% for the latter 6 weeks. Seven people died while the study was ongoing, and another 4 participants died in the following 4 weeks. Conclusions It is possible to recruit and collect multiple biological samples over time from palliative care patients in the last weeks and days of life even if they have lost capacity. Research into the biological changes at the end of life could develop a greater understanding of the biology of the dying process. This may lead to improved prognostication and care of patients towards the end of life. PMID:28186928
Jones, Barbara L; Contro, Nancy; Koch, Kendra D
Pediatric palliative care physicians have an ethical duty to care for the families of children with life-threatening conditions through their illness and bereavement. This duty is predicated on 2 important factors: (1) best interest of the child and (2) nonabandonment. Children exist in the context of a family and therefore excellent care for the child must include attention to the needs of the family, including siblings. The principle of nonabandonment is an important one in pediatric palliative care, as many families report being well cared for during their child's treatment, but feel as if the physicians and team members suddenly disappear after the death of the child. Family-centered care requires frequent, kind, and accurate communication with parents that leads to shared decision-making during treatment, care of parents and siblings during end-of-life, and assistance to the family in bereavement after death. Despite the challenges to this comprehensive care, physicians can support and be supported by their transdisciplinary palliative care team members in providing compassionate, ethical, and holistic care to the entire family when a child is ill.
Wilkins, Megan L; Dallas, Ronald H; Fanone, Kathleen E; Lyon, Maureen E
Improvement in treatment has led to decreased death in youth with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in developed countries. Despite this, youth with HIV are still at risk for increased mortality and morbidity compared with their uninfected counterparts. In developing countries, high numbers of youth die from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related illnesses due to lack of access to consistent antiretroviral treatment. As a result, pediatric palliative care is a relevant topic for those providing care to youth with HIV. A systematic review was conducted to gather information regarding the status of the literature related to pediatric palliative care and medical decision-making for youth with HIV. The relevant literature published between January 2002 and June 2012 was identified through searches conducted using PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, and PSYCInfo databases and a series of key words. Articles were reviewed by thematic analysis using the pillars of palliative care set out by the National Consensus Project. Twenty-one articles were retained after review and are summarized by theme. In general, few empirically based studies evaluating palliative care and medical decision-making in youth with HIV were identified. Articles identified focused primarily on physical aspects of care, with less attention paid to psychological, social, ethical, and cultural aspects of care. We recommend that future research focuses on broadening the evaluation of pediatric palliative care among youth with HIV by directly evaluating the psychological, social, ethical, and cultural aspects of care and investigating the needs of all involved stakeholders.
In this study, a hematology/oncology computerized discharge database was qualitatively and quantitatively reviewed using an empirical methodology. The goal was to identify potential patients for admission to a planned acute-care, palliative medicine inpatient unit. Patients were identified by the International Classifications of Disease (ICD-9) codes. A large heterogenous population, comprising up to 40 percent of annual discharges from the Hematology/Oncology service, was identified. If management decided to add an acute-care, palliative medicine unit to the hospital, these are the patients who would benefit. The study predicted a significant change in patient profile, acuity, complexity, and resource utilization in current palliative care services. This study technique predicted the actual clinical load of the acute-care unit when it opened and was very helpful in program development. Our model predicted that 695 patients would be admitted to the acute-care palliative medicine unit in the first year of operation; 655 patients were actually admitted during this time.
Boucher, Sue; Downing, Julia; Shemilt, Rise
Play is the universal language of childhood and the time and opportunity to play is every child’s right. The role of play as a vehicle for communication, a tool for distraction and its value in the holistic development of a normal child is without dispute. The role and value of play increases proportionately when a child is made more vulnerable through illness or disability. Despite this, providing time and opportunities to play can be overlooked or considered to be of little importance or relevance when the focus of the adult carers is the amelioration of clinical symptoms of the illness and on lessening the psychological impact the illness may have on the child. This paper outlines the role and the value of play as an integral component in the provision of palliative care for children with chronic, life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. It will show how providing appropriate equipment, sufficient time and relevant play opportunities not only improves the very sick child’s psychological wellbeing, but also allows the child to cast aside the confines and restrictions imposed upon them by their illness and for a few golden moments to be nothing more than a child at play. PMID:27417481
Gomes, Barbara; Calanzani, Natalia; Curiale, Vito; McCrone, Paul; Higginson, Irene J
, psychological, social, spiritual. We wanted to see how much of a difference these services make to people's chances of dying at home, but also to other important aspects for patients towards the end of life, such as symptoms (e.g. pain) and family distress. We also compared the impact on the costs with care. On the basis of 23 studies including 37,561 patients and 4042 family caregivers, we found that when someone with an advanced illness gets home palliative care, their chances of dying at home more than double. Home palliative care services also help reduce the symptom burden people may experience as a result of advanced illness, without increasing grief for family caregivers after the patient dies. In these circumstances, patients who wish to die at home should be offered home palliative care. There is still scope to improve home palliative care services and increase the benefits for patients and families without raising costs. PMID:23744578
Fendler, Timothy J.; Swetz, Keith M.; Allen, Larry A.
SYNOPSIS Clinical practice guidelines endorse the use of palliative care in patients with symptomatic heart failure. Palliative care is no longer seen as “giving up” or “accepting death,” but is now conceptualized as “supportive care” afforded to most patients with chronic, life-limiting illness. However, the optimal content and delivery of palliative care interventions remains unknown and its integration into existing heart failure disease management continues to be a challenge. Therefore, we will comment on the current state of multidisciplinary care for such patients, explore evidence supporting a team-based approach to palliative and end-of-life care for patients with heart failure, and identify high-priority areas for research. Ultimately, patients require a “heart failure medical home”, where various specialties may take a more central role in coordination of patient care at different times in the disease span, sometimes transitioning leadership from primary care to cardiology to palliative care. PMID:26142643
Prescription opioid analgesics are an essential treatment option for patients with moderate to severe pain. Over the last decade the increased medical use of these agents has contributed to a public health epidemic of abuse, addiction, and overdose-related deaths. These medications remain mainstays in both primary care and pain management practices. As palliative services are incorporated at earlier stages of the disease process and the number of individuals with chronic illness increases, palliative care specialists may encounter an increasing number of patients with opioid abuse and addiction problems. Extended-release (ER) and long-acting (LA) opioid formulations are administered to patients with moderate to severe chronic pain requiring around-the-clock analgesia. Given the large quantity of active ingredient contained within some dosage strengths, this medication class is associated with serious risks when taken improperly. In response to growing reports of abuse and overdose deaths, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the need for a risk mitigation strategy for the entire class of medication. The class-wide Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for ER/LA opioids will emphasize prescriber training and patient education to ensure that the therapeutic benefits outweigh the risks of addiction, unintentional overdose, and death. As primary care, pain management, and palliative care clinicians often encounter patients who require ER/LA opioids, an understanding of the suggested requirements and potential impact of this regulation is essential.
Perez-Hoyos, Santiago; Agra-Varela, Yolanda
Abstract Background Some domains of the questionnaires used to measure symptoms and quality of life (QOL) in patients with advanced cancer seem to measure similar dimensions or constructs, so it would be useful for clinicians to demonstrate the interchangeability of equivalent domains of the questionnaires in measuring the same constructs. Objective This study investigated the reliability and concurrent validity of the Palliative Outcome Scale (POS), the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL), and the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), used to measure symptom control in patients with advanced cancer. Design This was an evaluative study. Setting/Subjects Subjects were patients with advanced cancer attended by Spanish primary care physicians. Measurements Secondary analysis was performed of 117 outpatients who completed the POS, BPI, and RSCL at two different times, with an interval of 7 to 10 days. Bland and Altman analyses and plot, repeatability coefficient, as well as Spearman correlations were carried out. Results There were 117 included patients. Mean age was 69.4 (11.5) years, gender was 60% male, 37.6% completed only elementary school, diagnoses were mainly digestive and lung cancer, with a low functional rate and presence of oncologic pain. First and second questionnaire rounds showed significant correlations and agreement. Agreement was shown between pain intensity of BPI and pain and physical scales of RSCL, and between physical symptoms of RSCL and of POS, with significant correlations in equivalent dimensions. Conclusion BPI, POS, and RSCL have shown adequate reliability and moderate concurrent validity among them. PMID:23808642
Griffiths, Jane; Ewing, Gail; Rogers, Margaret; Barclay, Stephen; Martin, Anna; McCabe, Janet; Todd, Chris
The aim of this study was to examine UK district nurses' perceptions of their role in supporting palliative care cancer patients. Patients with cancer are living longer with the disease. District nurses are the largest UK workforce caring for people with cancer at home, the preferred place of care. Meeting patients' supportive and palliative care needs is complex. Little is known about district nurses' supportive role in the early phase of palliative care. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 34 district nurses. Data were analyzed thematically, with assistance from Atlas/ti. A dominant theme emerging from the interviews was ambiguity in the district nurses' supportive role in early palliative care. District nurses discussed the importance of making contact early on to support cancer patients and their families but had difficulty articulating this "support." Ambiguity, lack of confidence, and perceived skill deficits presented district nurses with dilemmas that were difficult to resolve. District nurses have great potential for meeting cancer patients' supportive and palliative care needs, a potential not currently realized. Education alone is unlikely to improve practice without an understanding of the tensions faced by district nurses in their work. Recognizing and addressing dilemmas in the everyday work of district nurses is central to moving practice forward.
Wen, Aida; Gatchell, Greg; Tachibana, Yukako; Tin, Maung Maung; Bell, Christina; Koijane, Jeannette; Zeri, Kenneth; Masaki, Kamal
The purpose of this study was to examine nursing home staff perceptions of end-of-life (EOL) care skills after an educational intervention. IMPRESS (IMproving PRofessional Education and Sustaining Support) was a quality improvement EOL care educational intervention (six lectures on core palliative care concepts) for frontline nursing home staff at five community nursing homes. Questionnaires were completed to evaluate frequency of application of palliative care skills before and after the educational series. Nursing home staff reported applying palliative care skills significantly more frequently after the intervention. A significant dose-response association was noted between number of inservice sessions attended and improvement in scores: Scores increased 0.04 points for staff who attended two of the six sessions, 0.12 for four sessions attended, and 0.46 for five to six sessions attended (p = 0.03). The results indicate that frontline nursing home staff who attend inservice sessions on core palliative care topics can significantly increase self-reported application of palliative care skills.
Kok, Victor C.; Lee, Ping-Hsueh
Hypoglycemia due to underlying terminal illness in nondiabetic end-of-life patients receiving palliative care has not been fully studied. For example, we do not have adequate information on the frequency of spontaneous hypoglycemia in patients as occurs during the different stages of palliative care. Depending on the case-mix nature of the palliative care ward, at least 2% of palliative care patients may develop hypoglycemia near the end of life when the remaining life expectancy counts down in days. As many as 25%–60% of these patients will neither have autonomic response nor have neuroglycopenic symptoms during a hypoglycemic episode. Although it is not difficult to diagnose and confirm a true hypoglycemia when it is suspected clinically, an episode of hypoglycemic attack may go unnoticed in some patients in a hospice setting. Current trends in palliative care focus on providing treatments based on a prognosis-based framework, involving shared decision-making between the patient and caregivers, after considering the prognosis, professional recommendations, patient’s autonomy, family expectations, and the current methods for treating the patient’s physical symptoms and existential suffering. This paper provides professional care teams with both moral and literature support for providing care to nondiabetic patients presenting with hypoglycemia. PMID:27920549
PaTz groups for primary palliative care: reinventing cooperation between general practitioners and district nurses in palliative care: an evaluation study combining data from focus groups and a questionnaire
Background PaTz (an acronym for ‘PAlliatieve Thuis Zorg’; palliative care at home) is an intervention to improve palliative care provision and strengthen the generalist knowledge of palliative care. In PaTz general practitioners and district nurses meet on a regular basis to identify patients with palliative care needs and to discuss care for these patients. This study explores experiences with regard to collaboration between general practitioners and district nurses, and perceived benefits of and barriers for implementation of PaTz. Methods This study is conducted within the primary care setting. Participants were 24 general practitioners who filled in a questionnaire, and seven general practitioners, five district nurses and two palliative care consultants who attended one of two focus groups. Results PaTz led to improved collaboration. Participants felt informational and emotional support from other PaTz participants. Also they felt that continuity of care was enhanced by PaTz. Practical recommendations for implementation were: meetings every 6 to 8 weeks, regular attendance from both general practitioners and district nurses, presence of a palliative care consultant, and a strong chairman. Conclusions PaTz is successful in enhancing collaboration in primary palliative care and easy to implement. Participants felt it improved continuity of care and knowledge on palliative care. Further research is needed to investigate whether patient and carer outcomes improve. PMID:24444024
Carter, Gregory T; Flanagan, Aaron M; Earleywine, Mitchell; Abrams, Donald I; Aggarwal, Sunil K; Grinspoon, Lester
Unlike hospice, long-term drug safety is an important issue in palliative medicine. Opioids may produce significant morbidity. Cannabis is a safer alternative with broad applicability for palliative care. Yet the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies cannabis as Schedule I (dangerous, without medical uses). Dronabinol, a Schedule III prescription drug, is 100% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Cannabis contains 20% THC or less but has other therapeutic cannabinoids, all working together to produce therapeutic effects. As palliative medicine grows, so does the need to reclassify cannabis. This article provides an evidence-based overview and comparison of cannabis and opioids. Using this foundation, an argument is made for reclassifying cannabis in the context of improving palliative care and reducing opioid-related morbidity.
This paper describes research undertaken as part of an MA study in leadership. It draws on interviews with six high profile leaders at the fore front of end of life care sector in the UK. Its findings and emerging themes offer insights about the opportunities for social work leaders in palliative care in the future and how the profession and palliative care sector address current barriers to taking advantage of such opportunity. The main focus of this paper is leadership related to palliative care social work. However, it relates to much broader themes including the history, politics and culture of this profession and the requirements for leadership on the part of social work in the broader contexts of health and social care. PMID:27570357
Kavalieratos, Dio; Mitchell, Emma M.; Carey, Timothy S.; Dev, Sandesh; Biddle, Andrea K.; Reeve, Bryce B.; Abernethy, Amy P.; Weinberger, Morris
Background Although similar to cancer patients regarding symptom burden and prognosis, patients with heart failure (HF) tend to receive palliative care far less frequently. We sought to explore factors perceived by cardiology, primary care, and palliative care providers to impede palliative care referral for HF patients. Methods and Results We conducted semistructured interviews regarding (1) perceived needs of patients with advanced HF; (2) knowledge, attitudes, and experiences with specialist palliative care; (3) perceived indications for and optimal timing of palliative care referral in HF; and (4) perceived barriers to palliative care referral. Two investigators analyzed data using template analysis, a qualitative technique. We interviewed 18 physician, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant providers from 3 specialties: cardiology, primary care, and palliative care. Providers had limited knowledge regarding what palliative care is, and how it can complement traditional HF therapy to decrease HF‐related suffering. Interviews identified several potential barriers: the unpredictable course of HF; lack of clear referral triggers across the HF trajectory; and ambiguity regarding what differentiates standard HF therapy from palliative care. Nevertheless, providers expressed interest for integrating palliative care into traditional HF care, but were unsure of how to initiate collaboration. Conclusions Palliative care referral for HF patients may be suboptimal due to limited provider knowledge and misperceptions of palliative care as a service reserved for those near death. These factors represent potentially modifiable targets for provider education, which may help to improve palliative care referral for HF patients with unresolved disease‐related burden. PMID:24385453
Janssens, A; Teugels, L; Kohl, S; Michielsen, T; van Meerbeeck, J P
Early introduction of palliative care in the management of patients with metastatic lung cancer is recommended since it improves quality of life and improves survival rates. In many hospitals the focus of palliative teams is often on terminal care due to limited resources. How is Early palliative care (EPC) in this setting implemented in daily oncologic care? It seems obvious that thoracic oncologists will have to become involved in EPC for lung cancer patients. In this review we want to determine the assignments for the thoracic oncologist in EPC and to give some practical tools how we started EPC in collaboration with the palliative team.
Carmont, Sue-Ann; Mitchell, Geoffrey; Senior, Hugh; Foster, Michele
The general practitioner (GP) has a critical role in an integrated model of palliative care as they often know the patient and carer well, are experts in generalist care and have knowledge of health and social services in the community. Specialist palliative services have insufficient capacity to meet demand and those with non-cancer terminal conditions and those from rural and remote areas are underserved. Research has focused on improving access to palliative care by engaging the GP with specialist secondary services in integrated palliative care.
Supiano, Katherine P
While palliative care is best delivered in an interdisciplinary format, courses teaching the interdisciplinary approach to palliative care are rare in healthcare education. This article describes a graduate-level course in palliative care for students in nursing, pharmacy, social work, and gerontology taught by faculty from each discipline. The overarching goals of this course are to convey core palliative care knowledge across disciplines, articulate the essential contribution of each discipline in collaborative care, and to define interdisciplinary processes learners need to understand and navigate interdisciplinary palliative care. Learning outcomes included increased knowledge in palliative care, enhanced attitudes in practice and application of skills to clinical practice settings, increased ability to contribute discipline-specific knowledge to their teams' discussions, and a sense of increasing confidence in participating in the care of complex patients, communicating with families, and contributing to the team as a member of their own discipline.
Librach, S Lawrence; O'Brien, Heather
"What about the kids?" is a dominant and consuming question for caregivers supporting children/youth around the dying and death of a family member. The concerns and fears encompassed in this question can overwhelm caregivers as they put vast amounts of energy into trying to protect children/youth from the suffering and pain that awaits them. Perhaps the hardest lesson these caregivers must learn is that they cannot protect their child/youth from the death any more than they can stop the death from happening. Instead, what is needed most from children/youth is to be included, prepared, and provided with a safe place for emotional expression. Children, as well as adults, will grieve in their own specific way, mediated by their developmental level, circumstances of the illness and death, and protective factors available to them. Providing comprehensive, whole-person care to palliative patients with children/youth in their care ought to include psychoeducation and support for all members of the family. Our communities' bereaved children/youth will be impacted by the death of their family members in countless ways throughout their lives. As professionals caring for people who are dying, we have a responsibility to mediate this impact to the best of our ability.
Nielsen, Lisa Seto; Angus, Jan E; Howell, Doris; Husain, Amna; Gastaldo, Denise
The literature about Chinese attitudes toward death and dying contains frequent references to strong taboos against open discussion about death; consequently, there is an assumption that dying at home is not the preferred option. This focused ethnographic study examined the palliative home care experiences of 4 Chinese immigrants with terminal cancer, their family caregivers, and home care nurses and key informant interviews with 11 health care providers. Three main themes emerged: (1) the many facets of taboo; (2) discursive tensions between patient-centered care and cultural competence; and (3) rethinking language barriers. Thus, training on cultural competence needs to move away from models that portray cultural beliefs as shared, fixed patterns, and take into account the complicated reality of everyday care provision at end of life in the home.
Background Patient-reported outcome measurement (PROM) plays an increasingly important role in palliative care. A variety of measures exists and is used in clinical care, audit and research. However, little is known about professionals' views using these measures. The aim of this study is to describe the use and experiences of palliative care professionals with outcome measures. Methods A web-based online survey was conducted in Europe and Africa. Professionals working in clinical care, audit and research in palliative care were invited to the survey via national palliative care associations and various databases. Invitation e-mails were sent with a link to the questionnaire. Results Overall participation rate 42% (663/1592), overall completion rate 59% (392/663). The majority of respondents were female (63.4%), mean age 46 years (SD 9). 68.1% respondents from Europe and 73.3% from Africa had experiences with outcome measures in palliative care. Non-users reported time constraints, burden, lack of training and guidance as main reasons. In clinical care/audit, assessment of patients' situation, monitoring changes and evaluation of services were main reasons for use. Choice of OMs for research was influenced by validity of the instrument in palliative care and comparability with international literature. Main problems were related to patient characteristics, staff, and outcome measures. Participants expressed the need for more guidance and training in the use of PROMs. Conclusions Professionals need more support for the use and implementation of PROMs in clinical practice and research through training and guidance in order to improve patient care. PMID:21507232
Hegedűs, Katalin; Lukács, Miklós; Schaffer, Judit; Csikós, Agnes
Hospice-palliative care has existed in Hungary for more than 20 years but physicians know very little about it. The objective of the study is to give detailed practical information about the possibilities and the reasonability of hospice care and the process of how to have access to it. The authors review and analyze the database of the national Hospice-Palliative Association database to provide most recent national data on hospice-palliative care. In addition, legal, financial and educational issues are also discussed. At present there are 90 active hospice providers in Hungary, which provide service for more than 8000 terminally ill cancer patients. According to WHO recommendations there would be a need for much more service providers, institutional supply and more beds. There are also problems concerning the attitude and, therefore, patients are admitted into hospice care too late. Hospice care is often confused with chronic or nursing care due to lack of information. The situation may be improved with proper forms of education such as palliative licence and compulsory, 40-hour palliative training for residents. The authors conclude that a broad dissemination of data may help to overcome misbeliefs concerning hospice and raise awareness concerning death and dying.
Mochamat; Cuhls, Henning; Peuckmann‐Post, Vera; Minton, Ollie; Stone, Patrick; Radbruch, Lukas
Abstract Background In palliative care patients, fatigue can be severely debilitating and is often not counteracted with rest, thereby impacting daily activity and quality of life. Further complicating issues are the multidimensionality, subjective nature and lack of a consensus definition of fatigue. The review aimed to evaluate the efficacy of pharmacological treatments for fatigue in palliative care, with a focus on patients at an advanced stage of disease, including patients with cancer and other chronic diseases. Methods We considered randomized controlled trials concerning adult palliative care with a focus on pharmacological treatment of fatigue compared with placebo, application of two drugs, usual care or a non‐pharmacological intervention. The primary outcome had to be non‐specific fatigue (or related terms such as asthenia). We searched the CENTRAL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and EMBASE, and a selection of cancer journals up to 28 April 2014. Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted the data. Results We screened 1645 publications of which 45 met the inclusion criteria. In total, we analysed data from 18 drugs and 4696 participants. There was a very high degree of statistical and clinical heterogeneity in the trials. Meta‐analysis of data was possible for modafinil, pemoline, and methylphenidate. Conclusions Due to the limited evidence, we cannot recommend a specific drug for the treatment of fatigue in palliative care patients. Some drugs, which may be beneficial for the treatment of fatigue associated with palliative care such as amantadine, methylphenidate, and modafinil, should be further researched. PMID:27066315
Gomes, Barbara; Harding, Richard; Foley, Kathleen M; Higginson, Irene J
More people will need palliative care in aging societies with stretched health budgets and less ability to provide informal care. The future will bring new and tougher challenges to sustain, optimize, and expand the 8000 dedicated palliative care services that currently exist in the world. The full breakdown of the costs of palliative care is yet to be unveiled, and this has left huge unresolved questions for funding, costing, evaluating, and modeling palliative care. At an international meeting in London in November 2007, a group of 40 researchers, health economists, policy makers, and advocates exchanged their experiences, concerns, and recommendations in five main areas: shared definitions, strengths and weaknesses of different payment systems, international and country-specific research challenges, appropriate economic evaluation methods, and the varied perspectives to the costs of palliative care. This article reports the discussions that took place and the views of this international group of experts on the best research approaches to capture, analyze, and interpret data on both costs and outcomes for families and patients toward the end of life.
study suggest that current palliative care services do not fully meet the palliative care needs of the existing population. Using selected strategic ... planning tools, the study examined the gaps in services by gathering staff opinions, examining local statistics regarding end-of-life care, and looking at
Hynes, Geralyn; Kavanagh, Fiona; Hogan, Christine; Ryan, Kitty; Rogers, Linda; Brosnan, Jenny; Coghlan, David
Palliative care seeks to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from the impact of life-limiting illnesses. Palliative care encompasses but is more than end-of-life care, which is defined as care during the final hours/days/weeks of life. Although palliative care policies increasingly require all healthcare professionals to have at least basic or non-specialist skills in palliative care, international evidence suggests there are difficulties in realising such policies. This study reports on an action research project aimed at developing respiratory nursing practice to address the palliative care needs of patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The findings suggest that interlevel dynamics at individual, team, interdepartmental and organisational levels are an important factor in the capacity of respiratory nurses to embed non-specialist palliative care in their practice. At best, current efforts to embed palliative care in everyday practice may improve end-of-life care in the final hours/days/weeks of life. However, embedding palliative care in everyday practice requires a more fundamental shift in the organisation of care.
...-Life and Palliative Care Sc