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Sample records for palliative patienters gastrointestinale

  1. Sexuality in palliative care: patient perspectives.

    PubMed

    Lemieux, Laurie; Kaiser, Stefanie; Pereira, Jose; Meadows, Lynn M

    2004-10-01

    This qualitative study investigated the meaning of sexuality to palliative patients. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with ten patients receiving care in a tertiary palliative care unit, a hospice or by palliative home care services in their homes. Several themes emerged. Emotional connection to others was an integral component of sexuality, taking precedence over physical expressions. Sexuality continues to be important at the end of life. Lack of privacy, shared rooms, staff intrusion and single beds were considered barriers to expressing sexuality in the hospital and hospice settings. Only one subject had previously been asked about sexuality as part of their clinical care, yet all felt that it should have been brought up, especially after the initial cancer treatments were completed. Home care nurses and physicians were seen as the appropriate caregivers to address this issue. Subjects unanimously mentioned that a holistic approach to palliative care would include opportunities to discuss the impact of their illness on their sexuality.

  2. Laser palliation of the HIV+ patient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Convissar, Robert A.

    2003-12-01

    Many oral manifestations of HIV infection can be used as markers for degree of immunosupression. These manifestations may be treated with antibiotics, analgesics, and antineoplastics, which may interact and interfere with antiviral agents used to treat the disease, and possibly exacerbate it. Dentists will see more HIV-infected patients as medical research transforms this disease into a chronic illness. Lasers have been shown to be effective instruments in palliation of oral manifestations of HIV infection. The use of lasers to palliate the painful symptoms of three oral manifestations of HIV infection is described. The advantages and benefits to both patient and dentist will be discussed. The paper does not address the use of lasers as a modality to treat or cure HIV infection -- only to palliate some of its symptoms.

  3. Research sensitivities to palliative care patients.

    PubMed

    Addington-Hall, J

    2002-09-01

    This paper considers the methodological challenges of researching the health care experiences of palliative care patients and their families. Difficulties in defining a 'palliative care patient' are highlighted, and the question of whether there are specific ethical issues when researching palliative care explored. Methodological issues are discussed, including the negotiation of access via health professionals, the choice of appropriate data collection methods and tools, the consequences of high attrition rates and the use of retrospective surveys of bereaved relatives. Key areas for research are identified. These include patients' and families' experiences of research participation, the impact of being approached on those who decline, how the characteristics of those who participate differ from those who do not and the likely impact of this on findings. Research is also needed into patient and family motivations for participation, and whether and how these change as the disease progresses. To ensure that the voices of palliative care patients and their families are heard by both service providers and policy-makers, research in this area needs to address the methodological challenges raised in this paper, as well as continuing to explore users' views. PMID:12296842

  4. The oncological patient in the palliative situation.

    PubMed

    Eychmueller, Steffen; Zwahlen, Diana; Fliedner, Monica

    2014-01-01

    Palliative care approaches the patient and his or her suffering with a biopsychosocial-spiritual model. Thus, it is the strength of palliative care to complement the diagnosis driven approach of medical cancer care by a problem and resources-based assessment, participatory care plan, and patient-directed interventions. Interventions need to reflect timely prognosis, target population (the patient, the family carer, the professional), and level of trust and remaining energy. In palliative care the relevance of psycho-oncological aspects in the care of the terminally ill is considerable in the understanding of the overall suffering of patients approaching death and their loved ones and in their care and support. There is little evidence to date in terms of clinical benefit of specific psycho-oncological interventions in the last months or weeks of life, but there is evidence on effects of stress reduction and reduced anxiety if locus of control can stay within the patient as long as possible. One major difficulty in psychosocial research at the end-of-life, however, is defining patient relevant outcomes. PMID:24305769

  5. Five Policies to Promote Palliative Care for Patients with ESRD

    PubMed Central

    Meier, Diane E.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Patients with ESRD experience complex and costly care that does not always meet their needs. Palliative care, which focuses on improving quality of life and relieving suffering for patients with serious illnesses, could address a large unmet need among patients with ESRD. Strengthening palliative care is a top policy priority for health reform efforts based on strong evidence that palliative care improves value. This commentary outlines palliative care policies for patients with ESRD and is directed at policymakers, dialysis providers, nephrology professional societies, accreditation organizations, and funding agencies who play a key role in the delivery and determination of quality of ESRD care. Herein we suggest policies to promote palliative care for patients with ESRD by addressing key barriers, including the lack of access to palliative care, lack of capacity to deliver palliative care, and a limited evidence base. We also provide examples of how these policies could be implemented within the existing ESRD care infrastructure. PMID:23744000

  6. Five policies to promote palliative care for patients with ESRD.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Manjula Kurella; Meier, Diane E

    2013-10-01

    Patients with ESRD experience complex and costly care that does not always meet their needs. Palliative care, which focuses on improving quality of life and relieving suffering for patients with serious illnesses, could address a large unmet need among patients with ESRD. Strengthening palliative care is a top policy priority for health reform efforts based on strong evidence that palliative care improves value. This commentary outlines palliative care policies for patients with ESRD and is directed at policymakers, dialysis providers, nephrology professional societies, accreditation organizations, and funding agencies who play a key role in the delivery and determination of quality of ESRD care. Herein we suggest policies to promote palliative care for patients with ESRD by addressing key barriers, including the lack of access to palliative care, lack of capacity to deliver palliative care, and a limited evidence base. We also provide examples of how these policies could be implemented within the existing ESRD care infrastructure. PMID:23744000

  7. Palliative care in patients with lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Farbicka, Paulina

    2013-01-01

    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

  8. Palliative care for patients with non-malignant respiratory disease.

    PubMed

    McVeigh, Clare

    2015-05-01

    Non-malignant respiratory disease is a chronic life-limiting condition that requires holistic palliative care. Patients with non-malignant respiratory disease have a range of biopsychosocial and spiritual needs, which healthcare professionals should recognise and manage effectively. Healthcare professionals have an important role in enabling the delivery of effective palliative care to this group of patients and their carers, and in recognising the many factors that may impede delivery of palliative care. PMID:25942985

  9. Early Palliative Care Improves Patients' Quality of Life

    MedlinePlus

    ... fullstory_160885.html Early Palliative Care Improves Patients' Quality of Life Also increases chances of having end-of-life ... incurable cancer helps patients cope and improves their quality of life, a new study shows. It also leads to ...

  10. [Palliative Care for Non-cancer Patients].

    PubMed

    Ikegaki, Junichi

    2016-03-01

    Although palliative care has been developed and implemented as care for cancer pain, it is holistic care for suffering that includes physical, psychosocial and spiritual pain of life-threatening illness. It turned out that non-cancer patients in the end-stage are also suffering from various pain that should be treated as cancer patients. Trajectories of illness in non-cancer patients are with more gradual decline than those of cancer patients with steady progression and it is often difficult to make decision about end-of-life. The purpose of advance care planning was originally to help describe legal documents. This process is proved to contribute to improving QOL of patients and their families to discuss preference, hope, economic problems, spiritual question as well as medical treatment In Japan guideline of decision making process in end-of-life stage has been established. A program of communication training in end-of-life discussion has been made. Under current situation some comments on the role of anesthesiologists are also mentioned. PMID:27097506

  11. When patients are stressed, in pain, suggest palliative care.

    PubMed

    2016-06-01

    Case managers are in a good position to recognize patients who have serious medical problems that are causing them and their family members stress, and refer them for a palliative care consultation, experts say. The palliative care team coordinates with the team providing medical care and helps control pain and other physical symptoms, relieves depression and anxiety, and provides support and spiritual help for the patient and family. The core palliative care team typically includes a medical specialist, a nurse who also acts as a case manager, a social worker, and a spiritual counselor. Palliative care improves outcomes and patient satisfaction when patients have a consultation early in the stay or even in the emergency department. PMID:27323510

  12. Palliative Care: Increasing the quality of life for patients and families… | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page please turn JavaScript on. Feature: Palliative Care Palliative Care: Increasing the quality of life for patients and ... Past Issues / Spring 2014 Table of Contents Palliative Care: Conversations Matter™ for Sick Children "Palliative Care: Conversations ...

  13. [Ethical challenge in palliative support of intensive care patients].

    PubMed

    Salomon, Fred

    2015-01-01

    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.

  14. Exemplary care of the palliative patient: the journey shared.

    PubMed

    Perry, Beth

    2005-01-01

    Critical care involves caring for complex and acute needs of patients with life-threatening conditions. Despite skilful interventions, there are times when the care needed by patients and their families is primarily palliative. In this article, the author focuses on examples of ways nurses can make the palliative care they provide exemplary. Based on findings of a research study of outstanding palliative care nurses, the researcher describes the possible effect providing excellent palliative care may have on both the patient and the caregiver. Critical care nurses are often called to stand in the shadow of grief that accompanies death. Yet in doing so, these caregivers can be molded into more caring and compassionate people, and more exemplary nurses. Nurses in critical care are challenged daily to meet the multiple needs of patients and their families. Though state of the art technology, medications and advanced skills may save many lives, there are times when the care that is required is palliative. It is in these instances that a nurse 's strength and courage may be tested. By taking up this challenge, and sharing the final journey with patients, a nurse may learn many lessons. In part, caregivers may come to see that sometimes death is neither an enemy, nor a failure. Rather, sometimes death can lead to a more joyous embracing of life. Sometimes death is the only way that suffering can be erased. This article includes a description of key ways critical care nurses may address the needs of patients who are palliative. Specifically, the themes of helping people live on, individualizing care, defending human dignity, sensitive listening, sharing hope, and keeping the promise to never abandon are described. These themes all fall under the overarching theme of simple gestures, which is also described in this report. PMID:17725264

  15. Palliative communications: addressing chemotherapy in patients with advanced cancer.

    PubMed

    Kadakia, K C; Moynihan, T J; Smith, T J; Loprinzi, C L

    2012-04-01

    Patients with advanced cancers often endure chemotherapy late in their disease course leading to unnecessary adverse effects, loss of quality of life, and delay in hospice referral. Compassionate and honest communication about the use of chemotherapy can facilitate better patient care. This manuscript will explore communication issues regarding palliative-intent chemotherapy.

  16. The Palliative Care Information Act and Access to Palliative Care in Terminally ill Patients: A Retrospective Study

    PubMed Central

    Victoria, Kitty; Patel, Sarita

    2016-01-01

    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

  17. Modalities of palliative care in hospitalized patients with advanced AIDS.

    PubMed

    Vincent, I; D'Hérouville, D; Moulin, P; Bugler, C; Fraval, J; Mallet, D; Salamagne, M H; Vildé, J L; Jodelet, D; Leport, C

    2000-04-01

    This prospective multidisciplinary survey started in October 1994. The survey assessed the modalities of care of hospitalized patients with advanced AIDS in an Infectious and Tropical Diseases Unit with regards to the practices of palliative care in a Palliative Care Unit. Seventy-eight (78) AIDS patients with CD4 < or = 30/mm3 who had 102 consecutive hospitalizations were recruited. Types (symptomatic or curative) and number of drugs administered to the patients, as well as biological and radiological investigations performed were recorded. Symptoms were concomitantly assessed on a weekly basis by self-evaluation of the patients themselves and by physicians. The results showed that the practices of care were different in the two units according to the specific goals and norms of each unit. A higher density of care was delivered at the Infectious and Tropical Diseases Unit. Symptoms assessed by both patients and physicians were underestimated by physicians in frequency and in intensity. In conclusion, an integrated approach including objective and subjective criteria should enable a better adjustment of the palliative and curative therapeutic strategies in advanced AIDS. These would concomitantly take into account the wishes of the patient and the goals regarding care in the unit where the patient is hospitalized.

  18. Palliative care for patients with end-stage liver disease.

    PubMed

    Larson, Anne M

    2015-05-01

    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.

  19. [Treatment of constipation in palliative care patients is a challenge].

    PubMed

    Jarlbæk, Lene; Johnsen, Berit; Hansen, Ole Bo; Hedal, Birte

    2016-08-15

    The evidence for treatment of constipation in palliative care patients is poor. The condition of these patients is often complex, and results from studies performed in other patient groups cannot be extrapolated unconditionally. However, macrogol (polyethylene glycol), lactulose and sodium picosulphate seem to be well tolerated, and methylnaltrexone could be used in opioid-induced constipation, if the patients are not at risk from gastrointestinal perforation. The patients should be offered quiet and private surroundings, and attention should be payed to securing an optimal body position for defecation. PMID:27550785

  20. When is an invasive palliative intervention in an acute internal medical patient worth it? A structured palliative approach.

    PubMed

    Weber, Thomas; Strasser, Florian

    2015-12-01

    A 67-year-old patient with coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was scheduled for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery after a recent myocardial infarction despite a high perioperative risk of death. While waiting, acute renal failure developed, and the patient was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). After the patient and his wife were informed that CABG surgery was no longer possible, he declined further intensive care treatment and subsequently died peacefully.We show that a structured palliative approach which has been proposed for cancer patients may also be feasible in palliative situations concerning nononcologic patients. PMID:26620468

  1. Assessing patient care in palliative care using the healthcare matrix.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Joseph; Kwon, Jung Hye; Reddy, Suresh; Quinn, Doris C; Bruera, Eduardo; Hui, David

    2013-08-01

    The healthcare matrix is a novel assessment tool that facilitates systematic examination of patient cases using criteria established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the Institute of Medicine. It is particularly useful for analyzing complex cases, although its use in the palliative care setting has not been documented. We describe here the use of the healthcare matrix to examine the healthcare encounters of a 63 year-old patient with advanced cancer. The healthcare matrix helped us to dissect the physical, psychosocial, logistical, professional, and ethical aspects of care, and to highlight multiple opportunities for quality improvement. In addition to the case example we will be discussing the advantages and disadvantages for using the healthcare matrix and its potential utility in palliative care.

  2. Providing Palliative Care to LGBTQ Patients.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Nina; Wholihan, Dorothy

    2016-09-01

    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. PMID:27497022

  3. Palliative care concept gives patients another option.

    PubMed

    Sansovich, D

    1998-01-01

    New drug treatments with protease inhibitors and total parenteral nutrition are changing long-term care strategies. Case studies are presented of two patients with end-stage AIDS, both of whom would have been expected to die shortly. One made a strong recovery with drugs, although his prognosis had been so poor that hospice was under consideration. The other, in hospice care, was being given nutrients intravenously. Ethical concerns exist with both approaches to AIDS treatment.

  4. Elderly Patients With Painful Bone Metastases Should be Offered Palliative Radiotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    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

    2010-04-15

    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.

  5. How Outpatient Palliative Care Teleconsultation Facilitates Empathic Patient-Professional Relationships: A Qualitative Study

    PubMed Central

    van Gurp, Jelle; van Selm, Martine; Vissers, Kris; van Leeuwen, Evert; Hasselaar, Jeroen

    2015-01-01

    Objective The problems and needs of advanced cancer patients and proxies normally increase as the disease progresses. Home-based advanced cancer patients and their proxies benefit from collaborations between primary care physicians and hospital-based palliative care specialists when confronted with complex problems in the last phase of life. Telemedicine might facilitate direct, patient-centered communication between patients and proxies, primary care physicians, and specialist palliative care teams (SPCTs). This study focuses on the impact of teleconsultation technologies on the relationships between home-based palliative care patients and hospital-based palliative care specialists. Methods This work consists of a qualitative study among patients, family members, and caregivers that utilizes long-term direct observations, semi-structured interviews, and open interviews following the observations. Results The analysis of the empirical data resulted in three key concepts that describe the impact of teleconsultation on the patient-professional relationship in palliative homecare: transcending the institutional walls of home and hospital; transparency of teleconsultation technology; and technologized, intimate patient-professional relationships. Teleconsultation offers (1) condensed encounters between home-based palliative care patients and distant professionals, (2) a unique insight into the patients’ daily lives for palliative care specialists, and (3) long-term interaction that results in trustful relationships and experiences of intimacy and relief. Conclusions Teleconsultation fits the practice of home-based palliative care. Teleconsultation can, if well applied, facilitate computer-mediated but empathic patient-palliative care specialist relationships, which enable professional care attuned to the patient’s context as well as patient involvement. This article proposes a teleconsultation implementation guide for optimal use of teleconsultation in daily

  6. Age Disparity in Palliative Radiation Therapy Among Patients With Advanced Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Jonathan; Xu, Beibei; Yeung, Heidi N.; Roeland, Eric J.; Martinez, Maria Elena; Le, Quynh-Thu; Mell, Loren K.; Murphy, James D.

    2014-09-01

    Purpose/Objective: Palliative radiation therapy represents an important treatment option among patients with advanced cancer, although research shows decreased use among older patients. This study evaluated age-related patterns of palliative radiation use among an elderly Medicare population. Methods and Materials: We identified 63,221 patients with metastatic lung, breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer diagnosed between 2000 and 2007 from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked database. Receipt of palliative radiation therapy was extracted from Medicare claims. Multivariate Poisson regression analysis determined residual age-related disparity in the receipt of palliative radiation therapy after controlling for confounding covariates including age-related differences in patient and demographic covariates, length of life, and patient preferences for aggressive cancer therapy. Results: The use of radiation decreased steadily with increasing patient age. Forty-two percent of patients aged 66 to 69 received palliative radiation therapy. Rates of palliative radiation decreased to 38%, 32%, 24%, and 14% among patients aged 70 to 74, 75 to 79, 80 to 84, and over 85, respectively. Multivariate analysis found that confounding covariates attenuated these findings, although the decreased relative rate of palliative radiation therapy among the elderly remained clinically and statistically significant. On multivariate analysis, compared to patients 66 to 69 years old, those aged 70 to 74, 75 to 79, 80 to 84, and over 85 had a 7%, 15%, 25%, and 44% decreased rate of receiving palliative radiation, respectively (all P<.0001). Conclusions: Age disparity with palliative radiation therapy exists among older cancer patients. Further research should strive to identify barriers to palliative radiation among the elderly, and extra effort should be made to give older patients the opportunity to receive this quality of life-enhancing treatment at the end

  7. Perceptions of palliative care among patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers

    PubMed Central

    Zimmermann, Camilla; Swami, Nadia; Krzyzanowska, Monika; Leighl, Natasha; Rydall, Anne; Rodin, Gary; Tannock, Ian; Hannon, Breffni

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. A Palliative Approach to Dialysis Care: A Patient-Centered Transition to the End of Life

    PubMed Central

    Moss, Alvin H.; Cohen, Lewis M.; Fischer, Michael J.; Germain, Michael J.; Jassal, S. Vanita; Perl, Jeffrey; Weiner, Daniel E.; Mehrotra, Rajnish

    2014-01-01

    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

  9. Palliative care for patients with advance chronic kidney disease.

    PubMed

    Douglas, C A

    2014-01-01

    Over the past three decades there has been a dramatic rise in the number of patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. The fastest expanding group receiving dialysis has been the elderly. However, for those patients who are very elderly with co-morbidity, dialysis may not offer a survival advantage. Therefore, active conservative management is a growing service offered by many renal units in the UK and focuses on non-dialytic correction of fluid and electrolyes, management of renal anaemia, and assessment and management of symptoms. The five-year survival of a patient over 75 years of age starting dialysis is 20% and if a patient is over 75 years, has co-morbidity, or a poor performance status, dialysis may not offer any survival advantage. Whether a patient is managed by dialysis or by conservative management the symptom burden suffered is high. These symptoms are under-recognised and often managed poorly because of increased drug toxicity in renal failure. This complex group of patients require close working between renal, palliative care, medicine for the elderly, and community teams, to allow best quality of life and end of life care. This review describes some of the challenges in providing Advanced Care Planning for dialysis and conservatively managed patients, highlights the symptom burden of patients with advanced chronic kidney disease, and offers guidance in how to manage the symptoms effectively.

  10. Palliative care of cancer patients: audit of current hospital procedures.

    PubMed

    Sessa, C; Pampallona, S; Carobbio, M; Neuenschwander, H; Cavalli, F

    1998-05-01

    The palliative care of cancer patients admitted for tumour-related symptoms to three different departments (medical oncology, radiotherapy, internal medicine) of a general hospital was prospectively audited. The physicians directly responsible for the patients provided prospective data by reporting both the diagnostic and therapeutic interventions performed and the degree of control achieved for each symptom. A patient form for evaluation of the control achieved in the case of each symptom by means of linear analogue scales was also provided. The appropriateness of all procedures was evaluated by two external auditors. Over 6 months, 125 such admissions were recorded: 24 patients entered the study and the management of 56 symptoms, the most common of which were pain and dyspnoea, was reviewed. A total of 72 diagnostic procedures were performed, deemed necessary for only 50% of symptoms, optional for 15%, and performed as part of a logical sequence for 38%. A total of 130 therapeutic interventions were undertaken, deemed necessary for 55% of symptoms, optional for 15% and carried out as part of a logical sequence for 44%. Re-evaluations of symptoms and physician and patient evaluations of the degree of control achieved could not be assessed because of lack of information. The audit could not be repeated owing to the low accrual of patients and incompleteness of the data collection. Reasons for failure of the study and proposals for feasible methods of auditing the management of symptoms in cancer patients are discussed.

  11. Palliative treatment of patients with malignant structures of esophagus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zavodnov, Victor Y.; Kuzin, M. I.; Kharnas, Sergey S.; Linkov, Kirill G.; Loschenov, Victor B.; Stratonnikov, Alexander A.; Posypanova, Anna M.

    1996-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy with the use of laser endoscopic spectrum analyzer (LESA-5), spectral- analyzing video-imaging system, Kr laser and various types of catheters for different localizations and different geometry of tumor, and phthalocyanine aluminum photosensitizers in patients with malignant strictures of esophagus is discussed. Photodynamic therapy was carried out to four patients: with esophageal cancer (3 patients) and gastric cancer with infiltration of lower esophagus (1 patient). All patients suffered from severe dysphagia. Photosensitizer was used in a dose 1-1.5 mg/kg of weight. Usually we used 3-4 seances of laser treatment 10-30 minutes long. The accumulation of photosensitizer was controlled by LESA-5. Laser induced fluorescent image was monitored by the video-imaging system in order to control laser treatment. There were no side-effects. The results show high efficiency of photodynamic therapy. There was marked reduction of dysphagia symptoms in all cases. It seems that photodynamic therapy is a good alternative to palliative surgical treatment of patients with malignant strictures of esophagus.

  12. Role of radiation therapy in palliative care of the patient with cancer.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Stephen T; Jones, Joshua; Chow, Edward

    2014-09-10

    Radiotherapy is a successful, time-efficient, well-tolerated, and cost-effective intervention that is crucial for the appropriate delivery of palliative oncology care. The distinction between curative and palliative goals is blurred in many patients with cancer, requiring that treatments be chosen on the basis of factors related to the patient (ie, poor performance status, advanced age, significant weight loss, severe comorbid disease), the cancer (ie, metastatic disease, aggressive histology), or the treatment (ie, poor response to systemic therapy, previous radiotherapy). Goals may include symptom relief at the site of primary tumor or from metastatic lesions. Attention to a patient's discomfort and transportation limitations requires hypofractionated courses, when feasible. Innovative approaches include rapid response palliative care clinics as well as the formation of palliative radiotherapy specialty services in academic centers. Guidelines are providing better definitions of appropriate palliative radiotherapy interventions, and bone metastases fractionation has become the first radiotherapy quality measure accepted by the National Quality Forum. Further advances in the palliative radiation oncology subspecialty will require integration of education and training between the radiotherapy and palliative care specialties.

  13. Nutritional support and quality of life in cancer patients undergoing palliative care.

    PubMed

    Prevost, V; Grach, M-C

    2012-09-01

    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.

  14. The Caring Connections Project: Providing palliative care to Medicaid patients with advanced cancer.

    PubMed

    Pfeifer, Mark P; Ritchie, Christine; Scharfenberger, Jennifer; Keeney, Cynthia; Hermann, Carla; Berwick, Marilyn; Head, Barbara

    2006-01-01

    Palliative care, with its focus on symptom management, patient-centered goals, preparation for life's end, and preservation of quality of life in the face of advancing illness, is a rapidly advancing component of mainstream American medicine. Yet, access to palliative care is often lacking in the community setting and may be further hindered by the presence of healthcare disparities that impact the poor. This article presents a unique approach to assuring the availability of palliative care to Medicaid patients receiving case management services. This descriptive article describes the evolution of a palliative care management pilot program, the Caring Connections Program, beginning with the initial planning and progressing through implementation and provision of services to 56 persons. "Lessons learned" are shared to enable other providers to develop similar programs with success. Patient profiles and intervention strategies are offered to illustrate the work accomplished.

  15. Retroperitoneal Endodermal Sinus Tumor Patient with Palliative Care Needs

    PubMed Central

    Kashyap, Surbhi

    2016-01-01

    This article is a case reflection of a personal encounter on the palliative care treatment required after the removal of a complicated case of a primary extra-gonadal retro-peritoneal endodermal sinus tumor (yolk sac tumor). This reflection is from the perspective of a recently graduated MD student who spent one month with an Indian pain management and palliative care team at the Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital (IRCH), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi PMID:26962288

  16. Bed care for patients in palliative settings: considering risks to caregivers and bed surfaces.

    PubMed

    Fragala, Guy

    2015-02-01

    Ensuring patients are comfortable in bed is key to effective palliative care, but when moving and positioning patients in bed, health professionals face an occupational risk of injury. The turning and positioning (TAP) system is a new method of moving patients in bed, that evidence has shown to reduce the risk of injury to caregivers. Providing the correct bed surface is another aspect of bed care essential to the comfort of the palliative patient, and to aid wound prevention and treatment. It is important to take a patient-centred approach when considering the most appropriate bed surface patients. This article provides an overview and discussion of these two aspects of bed care for palliative patients.

  17. [Palliative surgery for malignant bowel obstruction in patients with advanced and recurrent gastroenterological cancer].

    PubMed

    Kitani, Kotaro; Yukawa, Masao; Fujiwara, Yoshinori; Tsujie, Masanori; Hara, Joji; Ikeda, Mitsunori; Sato, Katsuaki; Isono, Sayuri; Kawai, Kenji; Miura, Ken; Watatani, Masahiro; Inoue, Masatoshi

    2013-11-01

    We report the outcomes of palliative surgery for the treatment of malignant bowel obstruction in patients with advanced gastroenterological cancer. We studied 20 patients who had undergone palliative surgery over 3 years. We analyzed the clinical findings, surgical procedure, postoperative clinical course, and prognosis. The origin of the patients was colorectal cancer( 9 cases), gastric cancer( 4 cases), uterine cancer( 3 cases), pancreatic cancer( 2 cases), bladder( 1 case), and anal cancer (1 case). Small bowel obstruction was noted in 8 cases and colorectal obstruction was noted in 14 cases. Colostomy was performed in 13 cases, resection and reconstruction were performed in 6 cases, and bypass was performed in 4 cases. Ninety percent of the patients were able to eat solid food following the surgery, but 20% of the patients were forced to have bowel obstruction. The median survival time after palliative surgery was 3 (range, 0-15) months, and 6 patients (30%) died within 2 months. We concluded that palliative surgery for the treatment of malignant bowel obstruction could improve the patients' quality of life. The decision for performing palliative surgery should be made while considering the patient's prognosis, wishes, and potential for symptom improvement. PMID:24393893

  18. Future care planning: a first step to palliative care for all patients with advanced heart disease.

    PubMed

    Denvir, M A; Murray, S A; Boyd, K J

    2015-07-01

    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.

  19. [Assessment of the spiritual needs of patients in palliative care].

    PubMed

    Hajnová Fukasová, E; Bužgová, R; Feltl, D

    2015-01-01

    The appraisal and the right diagnostics of all needs and problems of patients, including the spiritual needs, are unavoidable for increase of the quality of the all-embracing nursing care. In the case of satisfying of the needs of the patients, it is important to have view the person as a unity of thebody and the soul. Identification and satisfying of the spiritual needs are not uncomplicated; moreover, spirituality does not have a target--ed and clear definition. In the palliative care, the solution and saturation of spiritual needs have a great priority, and it can be the key aspect of psychological activity. Also, medical experts are becoming aware of the meaning of spirituality as the part of psychological contentment more and more. Smaller importance is attached to measurement of spiritual needs, and in many medical institutions ends at the case history with the questions: "Are you a believer?", "Do you have any spiritual needs?". Spirituality and religion are very personal matters of every human. Many patients turn to religion to find answers to difficult questions while others find support through the spiritual beliefs outside the scope of organized religion. Mistaking of meanings of the spirituality and religionism can lead to many misunderstandings. The basic condition for the right diagnostics and satisfaction of spiritual needs are the definition of the used terms and using of standardized measurement devices in the clinical praxis. The target of summarizing study was to define the term of spirituality, to describe a lot of measurement devices these are suitable for the evaluation of human spiritual needs. For methodology for acquiring of the results of research works that are concerned with the questions of spiritual needs in case of the incurable patients, the following databases were used (2005-2013): EBSCO, Bibliographia Medica Čechoslovaca, Google Scholar, Solen - www.solen.cz, Profese on-line as the source of the data. The choice of studies were

  20. Palliative Care in Cancer

    MedlinePlus

    ... palliative care is beneficial? Yes. Research shows that palliative care and its many components are beneficial to patient and family health and well-being. A number of studies in recent years have shown that patients who ...

  1. Frequently Asked Questions (Palliative Care: Conversations Matter)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Questions Frequently Asked Questions: What is pediatric palliative care? Pediatric palliative (pal-lee-uh-tiv) care is ... for patients and families. Who provides pediatric palliative care? Every palliative care team is different. The team ...

  2. [Bioethics and nutrition in adult patients with cancer in palliative care].

    PubMed

    Benarroz, Monica de Oliveira; Faillace, Giovanna Borges Damião; Barbosa, Leandro Augusto

    2009-09-01

    Cancer constitutes a major group of chronic diseases and is the second leading cause of death in the developed countries. Palliative care proposes to offer comprehensive support to control symptoms and improve quality of life for patients and their families. Nutrition is an important tool in palliative care, helping patients with their physical, psychological, and social issues and promoting comfort and quality of life. However, in the context of palliative care, nutritional support rarely achieves its role of fully recovering and assuring nutritional status. At this point, the nutritionist must consider the individual patient's needs, preferences, and eating habits, which are essential both for controlling symptoms and assuring satisfaction and comfort. The impossibility of conventionally applying established management and the development of a new perception of the patient often raise dilemmas for professional nutritionists. PMID:19750375

  3. Delirium in adult patients receiving palliative care: a systematic review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Román, Sofía; Beltrán Zavala, Cristina; Lara Solares, Argelia; Chiquete, Erwin

    2014-01-01

    Delirium in palliative care patients is common and its diagnosis and treatment is a major challenge. Our objective was to perform a literature analysis in two phases on the recent scientific evidence (2007-2012) on the diagnosis and treatment of delirium in adults receiving palliative care. In phase 1 (descriptive studies and narrative reviews) 133 relevant articles were identified: 73 addressed the issue of delirium secondarily, and 60 articles as the main topic. However, only 4 prospective observational studies in which delirium was central were identified. Of 135 articles analysed in phase 2 (clinical trials or descriptive studies on treatment of delirium in palliative care patients), only 3 were about prevention or treatment: 2 retrospective studies and one clinical trial on multicomponent prevention in cancer patients. Much of the recent literature is related to reviews on studies conducted more than a decade ago and on patients different to those receiving palliative care. In conclusion, recent scientific evidence on delirium in palliative care is limited and suboptimal. Prospective studies are urgently needed that focus specifically on this highly vulnerable population.

  4. Do specialist palliative care teams improve outcomes for cancer patients? A systematic literature review.

    PubMed

    Hearn, J; Higginson, I J

    1998-09-01

    The objective of the study was to determine whether teams providing specialist palliative care improve the health outcomes of patients with advanced cancer and their families or carers when compared to conventional services. The study involved a systematic literature review of published research. The source of the data included studies identified from a systematic search of computerized databases (Medline, psychINFO, CINAHL and BIDS to the end of 1996), hand-searching specialist palliative care journals, and studying bibliographies and reference lists. The inclusion criteria for articles were that the study considered the use of specialist palliative care teams caring for patients with advanced cancer. Articles were assessed and data extracted and synthesized, with studies graded according to design. A variety of outcomes were considered by the authors. These addressed aspects of symptom control, patient and family or carer satisfaction, health care utilization and cost, place of death, psychosocial indices and quality of life. Overall, 18 relevant studies were identified, including five randomized controlled trials. Improved outcomes were seen in the amount of time spent at home by patients, satisfaction by both patients and their carers, symptom control, a reduction in the number of inpatient hospital days, a reduction in overall cost, and the patients' likelihood of dying where they wished to for those receiving specialist care from a multiprofessional palliative care team. It was concluded that all evaluations were of services considered to be leading the field, or were pioneering training and treatments. However, when compared to conventional care, there is evidence that specialist teams in palliative care improve satisfaction and identify and deal with more patient and family needs. Moreover, multiprofessional approaches to palliative care reduce the overall cost of care by reducing the amount of time patients spend in acute hospital settings.

  5. From cure to palliation: staff communication, documentation, and transfer of patient.

    PubMed

    Löfmark, Rurik; Nilstun, Tore; Bolmsjö, Ingrid Agren

    2005-12-01

    In the transition from curative treatment to palliative care of a general end-of-life patient population, the internal communication of the acute care staff seems to be less than optimal. The communication had reference to the dialogue within the staff both before and after the decision to concentrate on palliative care, and possible transfer of the patient. This survey of Swedish nurses and physicians showed that most of 780 respondents wanted more internal communication, and a more individualized procedure of decision-making. All staff should be informed about the decision made but full agreement was not seen as realistic. The largest difference of opinion between nurses and physicians concerned the involvement of nurses in the decision-making about the transition. A uniform documentation of the decision to transfer care focus was the ideal. Approximately every fourth patient in acute care is transferred to receive palliative care. Only approximately half of the respondents had any training in palliative care and the majority wanted more training. There seems to be a need for more palliative care training, perhaps somewhat different for each specialty. Furthermore, a common language to enable nurses and physicians to communicate more easily may improve the transition process. PMID:16351522

  6. Acting as Standardized Patients Enhances Family Medicine Residents' Self-Reported Skills in Palliative Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sittikariyakul, Pat; Jaturapatporn, Darin; Kirshen, A. J.

    2015-01-01

    Recent publications have confirmed the use of standardized patients (SPs) in improving clinical skills and enhancing competency. Little research has studied the benefits residents may themselves gain in palliative care playing the role of SPs. Nineteen Family Medicine residents were recruited as standardized patients (FMR-SPs) for a mandatory…

  7. Integration of Early Specialist Palliative Care in Cancer Care and Patient Related Outcomes: A Critical Review of Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Salins, Naveen; Ramanjulu, Raghavendra; Patra, Lipika; Deodhar, Jayita; Muckaden, Mary Ann

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: World Health Organization and American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend early integration of specialist palliative care in patients with cancer. This paper focuses on critical review of evidence on integration of early specialist palliative care in cancer care and patient-related outcomes. Methods: The question for the literature search was – Does integration of early specialist palliative care in cancer care influences patient-related outcomes? 31 articles related to literature search review question were included in this paper. Results: Ten patient-related outcomes of early specialist palliative care in adult cancer care was studied. Studies by Temel et al. (2012), Bakitas et al. (2009), Zimmermann et al. (2014), Rugno et al. (2014), Lowery et al. (2013) and Walker et al. (2014) showed early specialist palliative care improves health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Studies by Pirl et al. (2012), Lowery et al. (2013), and Walker et al. (2014) showed early specialist palliative care improved mood depression and anxiety. Studies by Zimmermann et al. and Rugno et al. (2014) showed symptom control benefit of early specialist palliative care. Studies by Temel (2010), Bakitas (2015) and Rugno et al. (2014) showed survival improvement with early specialist palliative care. All these studies were carried in ambulatory palliative care setting. No survival benefit of palliative care intervention was seen in inpatient palliative care setting. The studies by Geer et al. (2012), Rugno et al. (2014), and Lowery et al. (2013) showed that early palliative care intervention positively influences treatment decision making. All the studies showed that palliative care intervention group received less intravenous chemotherapy in last few weeks of life. Studies by Yoong et al. and Temel et al. (2011) shows early specialist palliative care improves advanced care planning. Studies by Temel et al. (2010), Greer et al. (2012), McNamara et al. (2013), Hui et al. (2014

  8. Dying in Palliative Care Units and in Hospital: A Comparison of the Quality of Life of Terminal Cancer Patients.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viney, Linda L.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Compared quality of life of terminal cancer patients (n=182) in two palliative care units with that of those in general hospital. Patients in specialized palliative care units were found to differ from those dying in hospital, showing less indirectly expressed anger but more positive feelings. They also reported more anxiety about death but less…

  9. The Use of Inpatient Palliative Care Services In Patients With Metastatic Incurable Head and Neck Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Mulvey, Carolyn L.; Smith, Thomas J.; Gourin, Christine G.

    2015-01-01

    Background Substantial health care resources are used on aggressive end-of-life care, despite an increasing recognition that palliative care improves quality of life and reduces health care costs. We examined the incidence of palliative care encounters in inpatients with incurable head and neck cancer (HNCA) and associations with in-hospital mortality, length of hospitalization, and costs. Methods Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample for 80,514 HNCA patients with distant metastatic disease in 2001–2010 was analyzed using cross-tabulations and multivariate regressions. Results Palliative care encounters occurred in 4,029 cases (5%) and were significantly associated with age ≥80 years, female sex, self-pay pay or status, and prior radiation. Palliative care was significantly associated with increased in-hospital mortality and reduced hospital-related costs. Conclusions Inpatient palliative care consultation in terminal HNCA is associated with reduced hospital-related costs, but appears to be underutilized and restricted to the elderly, uninsured, and patients with an increased risk of mortality. PMID:25331744

  10. Usefulness of Palliative Care to Complement the Management of Patients on Left Ventricular Assist Devices.

    PubMed

    Luo, Nancy; Rogers, Joseph G; Dodson, Gwen C; Patel, Chetan B; Galanos, Anthony N; Milano, Carmelo A; O'Connor, Christopher M; Mentz, Robert J

    2016-09-01

    Within the last decade, advancements in left ventricular assist device therapy have allowed patients with end-stage heart failure (HF) to live longer and with better quality of life. Like other life-saving interventions, however, there remains the risk of complications including infections, bleeding episodes, and stroke. The candidate for left ventricular assist device therapy faces complex challenges going forward, both physical and psychological, many of which may benefit from the application of palliative care principles by trained specialists. Despite these advantages, palliative care remains underused in many advanced HF programs. Here, we describe the benefits of palliative care, barriers to use within HF, and specific applications to the integrated care of patients on mechanical circulatory support. PMID:27474339

  11. Communication About Sexuality in Advanced Illness Aligns With a Palliative Care Approach to Patient-Centered Care.

    PubMed

    Leung, Margaret W; Goldfarb, Shari; Dizon, Don S

    2016-02-01

    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.

  12. Communication About Sexuality in Advanced Illness Aligns With a Palliative Care Approach to Patient-Centered Care.

    PubMed

    Leung, Margaret W; Goldfarb, Shari; Dizon, Don S

    2016-02-01

    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. PMID:26769116

  13. Implementing patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) in palliative care - users' cry for help

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    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

  14. [Integration of a palliative care approach in the management patients with polymorbidity].

    PubMed

    Pautex, Sophie; Weber, Catherine

    2016-05-11

    The number of patients with multimorbidity is steadily increasing due to medical progress and increased life expectancy. A palliative approach may be offered to some of these patients. It includes the detection and management of somatic and mental symptoms, the management of social and spiritual problems, the anticipation of care and support of the relatives. Its main goal is to improve patient's quality of life and reduce interventions that are unnecessary, or undesired by patients themselves.

  15. Palliative Care for a Mentally Incompetent End Stage Renal Failure Patient: Why Is It Important?

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Kwok-Ying; Yip, Terence; Sham, Mau-Kwong; Cheng, Benjamin Hon-Wai; Li, Cho-Wing; Wong, Yim-Chi; Lau, Vikki Wai-Kee

    2015-01-01

    People with intellectual disabilities are among the most disadvantaged groups in society. Here we report a mentally incompetent end stage renal failure (ESRF) patient with frequent emergency visits who made a significant improvement in symptoms control and reduction in casualty visits after introduction of renal palliative care service. Multidisciplinary approach would be useful in this case. PMID:25838954

  16. Palliative care for people with HIV/AIDS: views of patients, carers and providers.

    PubMed

    Butters, E; Higginson, I; George, R; McCarthy, M

    1993-01-01

    This study compared the views of palliative care reported by patients, informal carers and the Community Care Team (CCT), a multidisciplinary team caring for people with late stage HIV/AIDS illness. Patients and their carers were interviewed at home, 3-4 weeks after referral to CCT. They rated nine items of the Support Team Assessment Schedule (STAS), a standardized measure of palliative care. Items included current problems such as pain and symptom control, anxiety and service needs. Satisfaction with health services was also recorded. CCT separately recorded the severity of 17 STAS items as part of a continuing audit of care. Relatively few patients (19) and carers (8) were interviewed. Main reasons for non-interview of (105) patients were: 57 too ill and 30 less than 4 weeks in care. CCT's audit showed that non-interviewed patients had significantly more severe problems for five out of 17 STAS items. Patients and CCT identified continuing problems with symptom control, pain control, patient and family anxiety, and communication from professionals. Agreement between patient, carer and CCT ratings was reasonable. Patients and CCT ratings were significantly correlated (Spearman rho = 0.66, p < 0.005). However, patients rated pain as significantly more severe than did CCT (p < 0.05, Wilcoxon Z = -2.45). All patients and seven carers rated the care given by CCT as good or excellent. There were negative comments about communication with other professionals. Studies of palliative care which rely on data gained by patient interview may be biased to include patients with fewer problems. To overcome this providers may wish to audit their care. This study indicates that the views of palliative teams are a reasonable reflection of patients' and carers' experiences, and that the STAS is a valid tool, which we hope will be useful for those wishing to audit their work.

  17. A systematic review of psychosocial interventions for family carers of palliative care patients

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Being a family carer to a patient nearing the end of their life is a challenging and confronting experience. Studies show that caregiving can have negative consequences on the health of family carers including fatigue, sleep problems, depression, anxiety and burnout. One of the goals of palliative care is to provide psychosocial support to patients and families facing terminal illness. A systematic review of interventions for family carers of cancer and palliative care patients conducted at the start of this millennium demonstrated that there was a dearth of rigorous inquiry on this topic and consequently limited knowledge regarding the types of interventions likely to be effective in meeting the complex needs of family carers. We wanted to discern whether or not the evidence base to support family carers has improved. Furthermore, undertaking this review was acknowledged as one of the priorities for the International Palliative Care Family Carer Research Collaboration http://www.centreforpallcare.org. Methods A systematic review was undertaken in order to identify developments in family carer support that have occurred over the last decade. The focus of the review was on interventions that targeted improvements in the psychosocial support of family carers of palliative care patients. Studies were graded to assess their quality. Results A total of fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria. The focus of interventions included psycho-education, psychosocial support, carer coping, symptom management, sleep promotion and family meetings. Five studies were randomised controlled trials, three of which met the criteria for the highest quality evidence. There were two prospective studies, five pre-test/post-test projects and two qualitative studies. Conclusions The systematic review identified a slight increase in the quality and quantity of psychosocial interventions conducted for family carers in the last decade. More rigorous intervention research is

  18. Limitation to Advanced Life Support in patients admitted to intensive care unit with integrated palliative care

    PubMed Central

    Mazutti, Sandra Regina Gonzaga; Nascimento, Andréia de Fátima; Fumis, Renata Rego Lins

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. Spiritual Concerns in Hindu Cancer Patients Undergoing Palliative Care: A Qualitative Study

    PubMed Central

    Simha, Srinagesh; Noble, Simon; Chaturvedi, Santosh K

    2013-01-01

    Aims: Spiritual concerns are being identified as important components of palliative care. The aim of this study was to explore the nature of spiritual concerns in cancer patients undergoing palliative care in a hospice in India. Materials and Methods: The methodology used was a qualitative method: Interpretive phenomenological analysis. A semi-structured interview guide was used to collect data, based on Indian and western literature reports. Certain aspects like karma and pooja, relevant to Hindus, were included. Theme saturation was achieved on interviewing 10 participants. Results: The seven most common spiritual concerns reported were benefit of pooja, faith in God, concern about the future, concept of rebirth, acceptance of one's situation, belief in karma, and the question Why me? No participant expressed four of the concerns studied: Loneliness, need of seeking forgiveness from others, not being remembered later, and religious struggle. Conclusions: This study confirms that there are spiritual concerns reported by patients receiving palliative care. The qualitative descriptions give a good idea about these experiences, and how patients deal with them. The study indicates the need for adequate attention to spiritual aspects during palliative care. PMID:24049350

  20. The importance of early involvement of paediatric palliative care for patients with severe congenital heart disease.

    PubMed

    Bertaud, Sophie; Lloyd, David F A; Laddie, Joanna; Razavi, Reza

    2016-10-01

    Growing numbers of patients with severe congenital heart disease (CHD) are surviving into late childhood and beyond. This increasingly complex patient group may experience multiple formidable and precarious interventions, lifelong morbidity and the very real risk of premature death on many occasions throughout their childhood. In this paper, we discuss the advantages of a fully integrated palliative care ethos in patients with CHD, offering the potential for improved symptom control, more informed decision-making and enhanced support for patients and their families throughout their disease trajectory. These core principles may be delivered alongside expert cardiac care via non-specialists within pre-existing networks or via specialists in paediatric palliative care when appropriate. By broaching these complex issues early-even from the point of diagnosis-an individualised set of values can be established around not just end-of-life but also quality-of-life decisions, with clear benefits for patients and their families regardless of outcome.

  1. Personal values and individual quality of life in palliative care patients.

    PubMed

    Fegg, Martin J; Wasner, Maria; Neudert, Christian; Borasio, Gian Domenico

    2005-08-01

    To evaluate the relationship between personal values and individual quality of life (iQoL) in palliative care patients, 75 patients with advanced cancer or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were asked to complete a self-report questionnaire concerning personal values and a semi-structured interview on their iQoL. Sixty-four patients took part in the study (56% cancer, 44% ALS). The most important personal values were benevolence, self-direction, and universalism, whereas power, achievement, and stimulation were the least important. Self-transcendence values were higher than self-enhancement values in all patients. Compared with healthy adults, palliative care patients scored significantly higher in benevolence and lower in self-enhancement values. Conservation values (security, conformity, tradition) were correlated with higher levels of iQoL (P=0.03). There were no significant differences between ALS and cancer patients. These data suggest that conservation values protect the patients' iQoL in the palliative care situation. The observed shift towards self-transcendence values may be related to coping processes of terminally ill patients. The relationship between self-transcendence values and iQoL should be further investigated.

  2. Evaluating palliative care: bereaved family members' evaluations of patients' pain, anxiety and depression.

    PubMed

    McPherson, Christine J; Addington-Hall, Julia M

    2004-08-01

    Palliative care surveys often rely on bereaved family members to act as proxies to provide information on patient care at the end of life, after the patient's death. However, when comparing bereaved family members' assessments with those of the patients, agreement is found to be better for symptoms that are more concrete and observable than subjective aspects such as psychological symptoms and pain. To date, little is known about how proxies actually evaluate these types of symptoms. The present study used retrospective verbal protocol analysis to elucidate the thought processes of 30 bereaved relatives during their evaluations of patients' pain, anxiety and depression. The qualitative analysis raised awareness of the difficulties experienced by proxies when discerning the presence of symptoms. It also provided insights into the cues and strategies used when making decisions, contributing to a fuller understanding of how proxies distinguish symptoms. Recommendations are made to improve the design of retrospective palliative care surveys. PMID:15276191

  3. Structural Challenges of Providing Palliative Care for Patients with Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Khoshnazar, Tahereh Alsadat Khoubbin; Rassouli, Maryam; Akbari, Mohammad Esmaeil; Lotfi-Kashani, Farah; Momenzadeh, Syrus; Haghighat, Shahpar; Sajjadi, Moosa

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: To establish a palliative care system (PCS) in Iran, it is necessary to identify the potential barriers. Aim: This study aims to highlight the views of stakeholders to know the challenges of providing palliative care for women with breast cancer. Materials and Methods: Semi-structured in-depth interviews are used with purposeful sampling conducted in Tehran, Iran; from January to June 2015. Twenty participants were included in the study: nine patients with breast cancer and ten health-care providers. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative directed content analysis based on Donabedian model. Data credibility was examined using the criteria of Lincoln and Guba. Results: Based on the pattern of Avedis Donabedian model, two main categories were identified: (1) palliative care services in the health system still remain undefined and (2) lack of adequate care providers. The subcategories emerged from the main categories are: (1) Inexistent home care, (2) specialized palliative care being in high demand, lack of: (a) Rehabilitation program and guidelines, (b) treatment/training protocols, (c) inefficient insurance and out-of-pocket costs, (d) patient referral system, (e) nontransparency of job description, and (f) weakness of teamwork. Discussion: The findings of the study identify views and perceptions of patients as well as the health professionals around the challenges of providing palliative care. To establish a structured PCS, we need to meet the challenges and remove perceived barriers to, including but not limited to, building up knowledge and awareness of health professionals, educating professional, and developing updated, well-defined, and standard treatment protocols, tailored to local conditions. PMID:27803569

  4. Palliative care for patients with HIV/AIDS admitted to intensive care units

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Paola Nóbrega; de Miranda, Erique José Peixoto; Cruz, Ronaldo; Forte, Daniel Neves

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. Palliative care and circumstances of dying in German ALS patients using non-invasive ventilation.

    PubMed

    Kühnlein, Peter; Kübler, Andrea; Raubold, Sabine; Worrell, Marcia; Kurt, Anja; Gdynia, Hans-Jürgen; Sperfeld, Anne-Dorte; Ludolph, Albert Christian

    2008-04-01

    Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is known to improve quality of life and to prolong survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. However, little is known about the circumstances of dying in ventilated ALS patients. In the light of the debate on legalizing euthanasia it is important to provide empirical data about the process of dying in these patients. In a structured interview, 29 family caregivers of deceased ALS patients were asked about their own and the patient's attitude toward physician-assisted suicide (PAS) and euthanasia, circumstances of dying, and the use of palliative medication. Quantitative and qualitative content analysis was performed on the data. Non-recurring suicidal thoughts were reported by five patients. Three patients and seven relatives had thought about PAS. Seventeen caregivers described the patients' death as "peaceful", while choking was reported in six bulbar patients. In final stages of dying, the general practitioner (GP) was involved in the treatment of 10 patients, with palliative medication including sedatives and opiates being administered in eight cases. In conclusion, in contrast to the Netherlands, where 20% of terminal ALS patients die from PAS or euthanasia, only a small minority of our patients seems to have thought about PAS. The legal situation in Germany (where euthanasia is illegal), a bias due to the selection of NIV patients as well as a high percentage of religious patients and those with good levels of social support from family and friends, might account for this. Most of our patients died peacefully at home from carbon dioxide narcosis, but choking was described in some bulbar patients. Thus, palliative care, especially the use of opiates, anxiolytics and sedatives should be optimized, and the involvement of GP should be strongly encouraged, especially in bulbar patients. PMID:18428001

  6. Negotiating palliative care in the context of culturally and linguistically diverse patients.

    PubMed

    Broom, A; Good, P; Kirby, E; Lwin, Z

    2013-09-01

    There is an increasing emphasis on meeting the healthcare needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Australia. Negotiating the point of futility and the transition to specialist palliative care requires not only effective communication but also sensitivity to cultural and linguistic specificities. This can be a challenging process for clinicians, patients and families. Here, we outline some of the key challenges currently facing many clinicians in the context of CALD patients, with particular reference to the transitioning of patients to specialist palliative care. We suggest a focus on further research that can systematically document and model existing CALD-specific clinical processes and pathways, which can then support the development of targeted educational interventions. This includes developing a multi-stakeholder understanding of the CALD experience that moves beyond cultural stereotyping and predicting need. PMID:24004395

  7. Negotiating palliative care in the context of culturally and linguistically diverse patients.

    PubMed

    Broom, A; Good, P; Kirby, E; Lwin, Z

    2013-09-01

    There is an increasing emphasis on meeting the healthcare needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Australia. Negotiating the point of futility and the transition to specialist palliative care requires not only effective communication but also sensitivity to cultural and linguistic specificities. This can be a challenging process for clinicians, patients and families. Here, we outline some of the key challenges currently facing many clinicians in the context of CALD patients, with particular reference to the transitioning of patients to specialist palliative care. We suggest a focus on further research that can systematically document and model existing CALD-specific clinical processes and pathways, which can then support the development of targeted educational interventions. This includes developing a multi-stakeholder understanding of the CALD experience that moves beyond cultural stereotyping and predicting need.

  8. Enhancing Provider Knowledge and Patient Screening for Palliative Care Needs in Chronic Multi-morbid Patients Receiving Home-based Primary Care

    PubMed Central

    Wharton, Tracy; Manu, Erika; Vitale, Caroline A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a pilot model to increase palliative care knowledge and collaboration among providers, and to systematically identify chronic multi-morbid homecare patients who would benefit from focused discussion of potential palliative care (PC) needs. Thirty healthcare 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. PPS 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 palliative care consult service. This model shows promise for enhancing collaborative patient care and access to PC. PMID:24280188

  9. Evaluation of Spiritual Needs of Patients with Advanced Cancer in a Palliative Care Unit

    PubMed Central

    Valls, Joan; Porta, Josep; Viñas, Juan

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Introduction: Spiritual needs play an important role in palliative care as both a clinical dimension and a therapeutic strategy. However, recent studies have shown that the management of this dimension still remains a challenge at the clinical level of palliative care. Goals: Our goal was to evaluate the spiritual needs of patients diagnosed with advanced and terminal cancer by the palliative care unit of a hospital in Barcelona, Spain. Methods: An observational study was conducted that involved 50 patients who were recruited between May 2007 and January 2008. A questionnaire was used which included 28 items selected from a review of the literature; the responses were analyzed using a five-point Lickert scale. The results were grouped in 11 categories corresponding to different spiritual needs. Results: Two spiritual needs emerged as the most relevant for the patients: their need to be recognized as a person until the end of their life and their need to know the truth about their illness. The least important spiritual needs were identified as those: for continuity and an afterlife; to get rid of obsessions; to achieve freedom from blame and to be able to forgive others; and the need for reconciliation and to feel forgiven by others. Conclusions: When patients knew the truth about their illnesses and they were treated with dignity, their most important needs were likely to be covered. These results suggest that patients receiving palliative care wish to live for the present with as much normality as possible and show only minor concern for their past and future. PMID:24745870

  10. Results of a transparent expert consultation on patient and public involvement in palliative care research

    PubMed Central

    Daveson, Barbara A; de Wolf-Linder, Susanne; Witt, Jana; Newson, Kirstie; Morris, Carolyn; Higginson, Irene J; Evans, Catherine J

    2015-01-01

    Background: Support and evidence for patient, unpaid caregiver and public involvement in research (user involvement) are growing. Consensus on how best to involve users in palliative care research is lacking. Aim: To determine an optimal user-involvement model for palliative care research. Design: We hosted a consultation workshop using expert presentations, discussion and nominal group technique to generate recommendations and consensus on agreement of importance. A total of 35 users and 32 researchers were approached to attend the workshop, which included break-out groups and a ranking exercise. Descriptive statistical analysis to establish consensus and highlight divergence was applied. Qualitative analysis of discussions was completed to aid interpretation of findings. Setting/participants: Participants involved in palliative care research were invited to a global research institute, UK. Results: A total of 12 users and 5 researchers participated. Users wanted their involvement to be more visible, including during dissemination, with a greater emphasis on the difference their involvement makes. Researchers wanted to improve productivity, relevance and quality through involvement. Users and researchers agreed that an optimal model should consist of (a) early involvement to ensure meaningful involvement and impact and (b) diverse virtual and face-to-face involvement methods to ensure flexibility. Conclusion: For involvement in palliative care research to succeed, early and flexible involvement is required. Researchers should advertise opportunities for involvement and promote impact of involvement via dissemination plans. Users should prioritise adding value to research through enhancing productivity, quality and relevance. More research is needed not only to inform implementation and ensure effectiveness but also to investigate the cost-effectiveness of involvement in palliative care research. PMID:25931336

  11. [Influence of music on the quality of life of palliative cancer patients].

    PubMed

    Polt, Günter; Fink, Margit; Schieder, Helga; Tanzmeister, Silke

    2014-05-01

    A small prospective, multicentre study examined the effect of a perceptual acoustic stimulus (music) on quality of life of palliative cancer patients with special reference to pain.14 test subjects (m = 4, w = 10; age 67.6 (SD = 9.7)) in stationary or mobile care situation were included. The current therapy has not been modified.Each subject received a CD with 12 songs, an information folder, a guide to using the CD as well as a questionnaire.The offered music therapy was experienced by all study participants (100 %) as helpful. The effect was seen differently in psychological, physical, spiritual, and social quality of life. The pain was reduced nociable in 11 out of 14 participants.From the experience of the autors we demand to offer and enable music therapy in palliative care to each patient, but also adapt to their individual needs.

  12. Estimating Need for Palliative External Beam Radiotherapy in Adult Cancer Patients

    SciTech Connect

    Nieder, Carsten; Pawinski, Adam; Haukland, Ellinor; Dokmo, Raymond; Phillipi, Isabelle; Dalhaug, Astrid

    2010-01-15

    Purpose: Older surveys and benchmark data from different sources have suggested that 46-53% of all radiotherapy courses were administered with palliative intent. In Sweden, 87 annual palliative treatment courses per 100,000 inhabitants were registered in 2001, mainly for the treatment of bone and brain metastases (95% confidence interval [CI] 85-89). The corresponding number for Norway was 95 (95% CI 93-98) in 2004. New data are lacking, although new systemic treatment options might alter this number. Methods and Materials: We collected prospective data on the use of palliative external beam radiotherapy for adult cancer patients during a 12-month period between 2007 and 2008. All patients (median age 69 years) were treated in one Norwegian county and had unlimited, rapid access to treatment. Efforts were made to account for potential overuse. Results: Most irradiated patients had skeletal target volumes, followed by nonbony thoracic targets and brain metastases. In the present population, 133 annual treatments per 100,000 inhabitants were registered (after correction for overuse, but not accounting for radiosurgery of brain metastases and emerging treatment options; e.g., stereotactic radiotherapy for lung and liver metastases; 95% CI 119-149). Because some patients received simultaneous treatment to different target volumes, the annual number of target volumes amounted to 175 per 100,000 inhabitants (95% CI 161-191). Conclusion: The need for palliative radiotherapy has not decreased and might be greater than previously estimated. In regions with a significantly different cancer incidence, age structure, and other socioeconomic factors than northern Europe, separate analyses should be conducted.

  13. Patients attended by palliative care teams: are they always comparable populations?

    PubMed

    Nabal, Maria; Barcons, Miquel; Moreno, Roberto; Busquets, Xavier; Trujillano, Javier J; Requena, Antonio

    2013-12-01

    Patients attended by palliative care teams: are they always comparable populations? To answer this question we have compared the basic epidemiological characteristics of patients attended by home palliative care teams (HPCT) in two autonomous regions of Spain. We carried out a coordinated analytical, observational and prospective study in two Spanish autonomous regions: Aragon and Catalonia. Data were kept during each home care visit according to patients' needs. Inclusion criteria were: advanced cancer, over 18 years old and first contact with a HPCT. The recruitment period was 6 months. Variables included were: Survival time (days), age, sex, primary disease and extension, place of residence. Functional and cognitive state, and co-morbidity. 10 signs/symptoms: asthenia, anorexia, cachexia, dysphagia, xerostomy, dyspnoea, oedemas, level of consciousness, presence of delirium, presence of pressure ulcers and some treatment data. Others variables considered were: responsible team, origin, destination when discharge, date and place of death, number of visits made and duration of monitoring. We developed a comparison between groups by Chi-squared test or the non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test and a survival analysis by Kaplan-Meier curves and the logrank test to determine differences between factors. The SPSS version 15.0 software package was used. 698 patients were included, 56.2% from Aragon and 43.8% from Catalonia. 60.3% were males, without differences between the regions. Characteristics relative to age, sex, place of residence and extension of oncological diseases were similar for both groups. We found significant differences between the two populations relative to survival time, co-morbidity, functional state, presence and intensity of a number of symptoms and the treatments, patient monitoring and the their destination after discharge. We can conclude that palliative care teams cover different profiles of patients with regard to their co-morbidity, functional

  14. Collaboration between prehospital emergency medical teams and palliative care networks allows a better respect of a patient's will.

    PubMed

    Burnod, Alexis; Lenclud, Gaëlle; Ricard-Hibon, Agnès; Juvin, Philippe; Mantz, Jean; Duchateau, François-Xavier

    2012-02-01

    This study aimed to evaluate whether patient's wishes were respected by prehospital emergency medical teams after implementing collaboration and a standardized process between a community-based palliative network and the Emergency Medical Service system. Forty patients were included. In 75% of cases, the doctor of the prehospital emergency team decided in collaboration with the network's doctor according to the established procedure. This has enabled a respect of the care plan in 83% of cases. Without collaboration with the palliative care network, through the ignorance of its existence or through the wish of the prehospital emergency medical teams for taking decisions alone, the care plan was only respected in 40% of cases, P=0.025. Collaboration between prehospital emergency medical teams and community-based palliative care networks seems to enable a better respect of the care plan in the event of emergency situations affecting the patient in a palliative situation.

  15. Palliative Care and the Humanities: Centralizing the Patient at the End of Life

    PubMed Central

    Franke, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Palliative care is a quickly growing facet of modern medicine. While scientific advancements have broken new ground for the possibilities of end-of-life care, sensitive treatment of the patient as an individual has lagged behind and has frequently led to an unsatisfactory experience for patients, families, and the medical community at large. This essay argues that centralizing patients during the terminal phases of treatment by using humanistic perspectives has the potential to bring new meaning and improved effectiveness to patients and physicians alike. PMID:27505023

  16. Palliative Care and the Humanities: Centralizing the Patient at the End of Life.

    PubMed

    Franke, Richard J

    2016-03-01

    Palliative care is a quickly growing facet of modern medicine. While scientific advancements have broken new ground for the possibilities of end-of-life care, sensitive treatment of the patient as an individual has lagged behind and has frequently led to an unsatisfactory experience for patients, families, and the medical community at large. This essay argues that centralizing patients during the terminal phases of treatment by using humanistic perspectives has the potential to bring new meaning and improved effectiveness to patients and physicians alike. PMID:27505023

  17. Satisfaction with and Perception of Pain Management among Palliative Patients with Breakthrough Pain: A Qualitative Study.

    PubMed

    Pathmawathi, Subramanian; Beng, Tan Seng; Li, Lee Mei; Rosli, Roshaslina; Sharwend, Supermanian; Kavitha, Rasaiah R; Christopher, Boey Chiong Meng

    2015-08-01

    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. PMID:26256219

  18. Integrating Palliative Care into the Care of Neurocritically Ill Patients: A Report from The IPAL-ICU (Improving Palliative Care in the Intensive Care Unit) Project Advisory Board and the Center to Advance Palliative Care

    PubMed Central

    Frontera, Jennifer A.; Curtis, J. Randall; Nelson, Judith E.; Campbell, Margaret; Gabriel, Michelle; Hays, Ross M.; Mosenthal, Anne C.; Mulkerin, Colleen; Puntillo, Kathleen A.; Ray, Daniel E.; Bassett, Rick; Boss, Renee D.; Lustbader, Dana R.; Brasel, Karen J.; Weiss, Stefanie P.; Weissman, David E.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To describe unique features of neurocritical illness that are relevant to provision of high-quality palliative care; To discuss key prognostic aids and their limitations for neurocritical illnesses; To review challenges and strategies for establishing realistic goals of care for patients in the neuro-ICU; To describe elements of best practice concerning symptom management, limitation of life support, and organ donation for the neurocritically ill. Data Sources A search of Pubmed and MEDLINE was conducted from inception through January 2015 for all English-language articles using the term “palliative care,” “supportive care,” “end-of-life care,” “withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy,” “limitation of life support,” “prognosis,” or “goals of care” together with “neurocritical care,” “neurointensive care,” “neurological,” “stroke,” “subarachnoid hemorrhage,” “intracerebral hemorrhage,” or “brain injury.” Data Extraction and Synthesis We reviewed the existing literature on delivery of palliative care in the neurointensive care unit setting, focusing on challenges and strategies for establishing realistic and appropriate goals of care, symptom management, organ donation, and other considerations related to use and limitation of life-sustaining therapies for neurocritically ill patients. Based on review of these articles and the experiences of our interdisciplinary/interprofessional expert Advisory Board, this report was prepared to guide critical care staff, palliative care specialists, and others who practice in this setting. Conclusions Most neurocritically ill patients and their families face the sudden onset of devastating cognitive and functional changes that challenge clinicians to provide patient-centered palliative care within a complex and often uncertain prognostic environment. Application of palliative care principles concerning symptom relief, goal setting, and family emotional support, will

  19. [Constipation in Patients with Incurable Cancer - Recommendations of the German S3 Guideline 'Palliative Medicine'].

    PubMed

    Wirz, Stefan; Simon, Steffen; Frieling, Thomas; Bausewein, Claudia; Voltz, Raymond; Pralong, Anne; Mönig, Stefan; Follmann, Markus; Holtmann, Martin; Becker, Gerhild

    2016-08-01

    According to the German S3-guideline 'Palliative Medicine' which has been supported by the German Guideline Program in Oncology, constipation in palliative patients requires a consistent prophylaxis and therapy. Constipation is caused by immobilisation, poor health, exsiccosis, a low-fiber diet or a preexisting functional constipation. Further important causes are substances with constipating side effects, such as opioids or anticholinergic drugs. Pragmatically, constipation should be assessed by subjective parameters such as the feeling of incomplete evacuation, straining, or other complaints. Objective parameters are hard stool or reduced number of bowel movements. For the early detection of constipation the amount of the stool mass and the stool frequency are applicable. If constipation occurs, a standardized escalating protocol applying adequate fluid intake, a high fibre diet, and laxatives is recommended. New prokinetic agents, secretagogues, or opioid antagonists may be used as reserve drugs. PMID:27509350

  20. Ethical issues in palliative care. Views of patients, families, and nonphysician staff.

    PubMed Central

    Towers, Anna; MacDonald, Neil; Wallace, Ellen

    2003-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Much of what we know about ethical issues in palliative care comes from the perceptions of physicians and ethicists. In this study our goal was to hear other voices and to gain first-hand knowledge of the possibly contrasting views of patients, their families, nurses, volunteers, and other team members on end-of-life issues. DESIGN: Qualitative study using semistructured interviews. SETTING: Inpatient and consultation palliative care service of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Que. PARTICIPANTS: Of 113 people interviewed, 13 were patients, 43 were family members, 32 were volunteers, 14 were nurses, and 11 were other staff. METHOD: Interviewers elicited subjects' perspectives on ethical issues. Content analysis was used to identify, code, and categorize themes in the data. MAIN FINDINGS: Communication difficulties and insufficient resources and staff were the most frequently mentioned problems in this palliative care setting. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study will help guide policy decisions and setting of educational priorities in end-of-life care, particularly regarding the importance of adequate communication. PMID:14708928

  1. [Decision about DNR for a palliative patient - do I dare to bring up the subject?].

    PubMed

    Hirvonen, Outi; Pöyhiä, Reino

    2016-01-01

    The do not resuscitate decision (DNR) is an important choice of line of action, which should not be made on light grounds, but if neglected, may harm a patient receiving palliative care. Before making the decision, one should evaluate an unsuccessful result of possible resuscitation regarding the restoration of vital functions and quality of life. Evaluation of factors suggesting a poor prognosis should be possible already before arriving at the resuscitation situation. The decision should be discussed with the patient, trying to reach a consensus on the matter. DNRs should be made more actively for patients benefiting from the decision. PMID:27319082

  2. Home Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease: Preliminary Results

    PubMed Central

    Teruel, José L.; Rexach, Lourdes; Burguera, Victor; Gomis, Antonio; Fernandez-Lucas, Milagros; Rivera, Maite; Diaz, Alicia; Collazo, Sergio; Liaño, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Healthcare for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (ACKD) on conservative treatment very often poses healthcare problems that are difficult to solve. At the end of 2011, we began a program based on the care and monitoring of these patients by Primary Care Teams. ACKD patients who opted for conservative treatment were offered the chance to be cared for mainly at home by the Primary Care doctor and nurse, under the coordination of the Palliative Care Unit and the Nephrology Department. During 2012, 2013, and 2014, 76 patients received treatment in this program (mean age: 81 years; mean Charlson age-comorbidity index: 10, and mean glomerular filtration rate: 12.4 mL/min/1.73 m2). The median patient follow-up time (until death or until 31 December 2014) was 165 days. During this period, 51% of patients did not have to visit the hospital’s emergency department and 58% did not require hospitalization. Forty-eight of the 76 patients died after a median time of 135 days in the program; 24 (50%) died at home. Our experience indicates that with the support of the Palliative Care Unit and the Nephrology Department, ACKD patients who are not dialysis candidates may be monitored at home by Primary Care Teams. PMID:27417813

  3. Palliative Care

    MedlinePlus

    ... 5 Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy 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 ...

  4. Is There a Need for Early Palliative Care in Patients With Life-Limiting Illnesses? Interview Study With Patients About Experienced Care Needs From Diagnosis Onward.

    PubMed

    Beernaert, Kim; Deliens, Luc; De Vleminck, Aline; Devroey, Dirk; Pardon, Koen; Block, Lieve Van den; Cohen, Joachim

    2016-06-01

    The early integration of specialist palliative care has been shown to benefit the quality of life of patients with advanced cancer. In order to explore whether other seriously ill people and people at even earlier phases would also benefit from early palliative care, we conducted 18 qualitative interviews with people having cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, heart failure, or dementia at different phases of the illness trajectory about how they experienced care needs related to their disease from diagnosis onward. Respondents experienced needs within the different domains of palliative care at different stages of the illness and different illness types or duration of the illness. This study contributes to the understanding of primary care needs of patients for whom palliative care (not necessarily specialized palliative care) could be beneficial. PMID:25852203

  5. Quality of life and palliative care needs of elderly patients with advanced heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Helen YL; Yu, Doris SF; Leung, Doris YP; Chan, Aileen WK; Hui, Elsie

    2016-01-01

    Objective To examine the quality of life and palliative care needs of elderly patients with advanced heart failure (HF). Methods This was a correlation descriptive study conducted at a 650-bed sub-acute hospital. Patients who were aged 65 or over, diagnosed with HF of New York Heart Association Class III or IV symptoms, and mentally sound were eligible to the study. The Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale, the overall quality of life single item scale, and the McQill Quality of Life Questionnaire (MQoL), were used for measurement. Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine factors for predicting quality of life. Results A convenience sample of 112 patients was recruited. Their age was 81.5 ± 8.5 years. The three most distressing symptoms reported by the patients were tiredness (5.96 ± 2.78), drowsiness (5.47 ± 2.93), and shortness of breath (5.34 ± 2.96). Their mean overall quality of life single item scale score was 4.72 ± 2.06 out of 10. The mean MQoL physical subscale score was the lowest (4.20 ± 1.767), whereas their mean psychological subscale was the highest (7.14 ± 2.39). However, in a multivariate analysis model, quality of life was significantly associated with existential wellbeing, physical wellbeing, psychological wellbeing and educational level. Conclusions The findings highlight that spiritual concerns are significant palliative care needs among elderly patients with advanced HF, in addition to symptom management. This is in line with the argument that palliative care that places great emphasis on holistic care should be integrated to the care of this group of patients. PMID:27594869

  6. Five things physicians and patients should question in hospice and palliative medicine.

    PubMed

    Fischberg, Daniel; Bull, Janet; Casarett, David; Hanson, Laura C; Klein, Scott M; Rotella, Joseph; Smith, Thomas; Storey, C Porter; Teno, Joan M; Widera, Eric

    2013-03-01

    Overuse or misuse of tests and treatments exposes patients to potential harm. The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation's Choosing Wisely® campaign is a multiyear effort to encourage physician leadership in reducing harmful or inappropriate resource utilization. Via the campaign, medical societies are asked to identify five tests or procedures commonly used in their field, the routine use of which in specific clinical scenarios should be questioned by both physicians and patients based on the evidence that the test or procedure is ineffective or even harmful. The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) was invited, and it agreed to participate in the campaign. The AAHPM Choosing Wisely Task Force, with input from the AAHPM membership, developed the following five recommendations: 1) Don't recommend percutaneous feeding tubes in patients with advanced dementia; instead, offer oral-assisted feeding; 2) Don't delay palliative care for a patient with serious illness who has physical, psychological, social, or spiritual distress because they are pursuing disease-directed treatment; 3) Don't leave an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator activated when it is inconsistent with the patient/family goals of care; 4) Don't recommend more than a single fraction of palliative radiation for an uncomplicated painful bone metastasis; and 5) Don't use topical lorazepam (Ativan®), diphenhydramine (Benadryl®), and haloperidol (Haldol®) (ABH) gel for nausea. These recommendations and their supporting rationale should be considered by physicians, patients, and their caregivers as they collaborate in choosing those treatments that do the most good and avoid the most harm for those living with serious illness.

  7. Palliative care in pediatric hematological oncology patients: experience of a tertiary hospital

    PubMed Central

    Valadares, Maria Thereza Macedo; Mota, Joaquim Antônio César; de Oliveira, Benigna Maria

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. Interventional pain management in the palliative care patient.

    PubMed

    McHugh, Marlene E; Miller-Saultz, Debbie; Wuhrman, Elsa; Kosharskyy, Boleslav

    2012-09-01

    For the majority of patients, cancer pain can be treated using the World Health Organization cancer pain guidelines; however, for 10-20% of patients with advanced cancer, adequate pain control cannot be achieved using these methods owing to disease pathophysiology preventing administration/absorption of pain medications or intolerance due to opioid toxicities. The need to expand analgesic treatment when oral, transdermal, and intravenous therapies fail requires exploration of interventional pain management techniques such as neuraxial (e.g. epidural and intrathecal) infusion therapies and neurolytic interventions. Nurses caring for patients with cancer pain should develop their knowledge of these multimodal approaches to cancer pain management.

  9. Help is just a phone call away: after-hours support for palliative care patients wishing to die at home.

    PubMed

    Baird-Bower, Debbie; Roach, Julie; Andrews, Morven; Onslow, Fiona; Curnin, Emma

    2016-06-01

    The 24-hour support for palliative patients is the gold standard of health care in Australia. However, in the state of Tasmania after-hours telephone support was spatially fragmented and inequitable. In 2014, hospice@HOME, a pilot programme introduced in Tasmania in that year, implemented a state-wide after-hours palliative care support service--1800HOSPICE--offering 24-hour support, 7 days a week for palliative patients, caregivers and the public. Six months of after-hours call logs in combination with additional patient data, were analysed to evaluate the use and wider implications of a state-wide after-hours palliative care support number. Family and caregivers mainly used the after-hours support to request changes to support services (25.1%), report changes in patients' overall condition (23.6%) and request acute medical assistance (16.2%). Through the use of the after-hours services by all individuals involved in the care, end-of-life patients were able to reduce ambulance contact and emergency department admission, and thereby increase their likelihood of dying at home (for patients whose preference was to die at home). Overall, 24-hour palliative care telephone support was found to be a valuable tool for all individuals involved in the care of end-of-life patients.

  10. Help is just a phone call away: after-hours support for palliative care patients wishing to die at home.

    PubMed

    Baird-Bower, Debbie; Roach, Julie; Andrews, Morven; Onslow, Fiona; Curnin, Emma

    2016-06-01

    The 24-hour support for palliative patients is the gold standard of health care in Australia. However, in the state of Tasmania after-hours telephone support was spatially fragmented and inequitable. In 2014, hospice@HOME, a pilot programme introduced in Tasmania in that year, implemented a state-wide after-hours palliative care support service--1800HOSPICE--offering 24-hour support, 7 days a week for palliative patients, caregivers and the public. Six months of after-hours call logs in combination with additional patient data, were analysed to evaluate the use and wider implications of a state-wide after-hours palliative care support number. Family and caregivers mainly used the after-hours support to request changes to support services (25.1%), report changes in patients' overall condition (23.6%) and request acute medical assistance (16.2%). Through the use of the after-hours services by all individuals involved in the care, end-of-life patients were able to reduce ambulance contact and emergency department admission, and thereby increase their likelihood of dying at home (for patients whose preference was to die at home). Overall, 24-hour palliative care telephone support was found to be a valuable tool for all individuals involved in the care of end-of-life patients. PMID:27349847

  11. Using a screening tool to improve timely referral of patients from acute oncology-haematology to palliative care services

    PubMed Central

    Begum, Akhtari

    2013-01-01

    This project was done at specialist cancer hospital in Qatar. At a haematology-oncology inpatient department most patients were not getting access to palliative care unless they were at the very end stages of life. Data collected from 2008-2011 showed significant numbers of patients were dying within one month of their transfer to palliative care. There was no standard measure to identify the prospective palliative care patients. A multidisciplinary team developed a Palliative care referral screening tool based on the National Cancer Care Network guideline. Retrospective medical record review done from January to April 2012 showed a mean of 68% of patients who scored more than five were not consulted, 32% of patients who scored more than seven were not transferred to palliative care and seven percent died without any referral. The team used various kinds of quality planning, analysis and improvement tools in the form of process mapping, value analysis, Fish Bone diagrams, stakeholders' analysis and communication, physician survey, “Pareto's principal” (80 / 20 rule, the law of vital few) and other data collection tools. The palliative care referral process was standardised by preparing and implementing an objective scoring tool based on international best practice. It changed the referral culture and helped manage the psychological barriers of patients, families and caregivers. Extensive orientation and education of all key stakeholders was implemented. Monthly auditing of patient records was carried out. The aim has been achieved, exceeded and sustained, and we reduced the percentage of patients who scored more than five without palliative consultation from a mean of 68% to 16% and those who scored more than seven without palliative care transfer from a mean of thirty two percent to three percent, after four months of the project's implementation. Standardising the referral process and creating an objective referral tool is needed to facilitate safe

  12. Music thanatology: prescriptive harp music as palliative care for the dying patient.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Lindsay; Caserta, Michael; Lund, Dale; Rossa, Shirley; Dowdy, Ann; Partenheimer, Andrea

    2006-01-01

    Music thanatology represents an emerging area in which the raw materials of music, usually harp and/or voice, assist and comfort the dying patient. During prescriptive "music vigils, " the clinician-musician carefully observes physiological changes, cues, and breathing patterns, thereby synchronizing the music to reflect or support the patient's physiology and overall condition. Using data collected from 65 patients, this study was designed to assess the effectiveness of prescriptive harp music on selected palliative care outcomes using a sample of de-identified data forms from past music vigils. Patients were administered a 25- to 95-minute intervention of prescriptive harp music. Data collected included vital signs and observational indicators before (Ti) and after (T2) the vigil. Patients were more likely to experience decreased levels of agitation and wakefulness while also breathing more slowly and deeply with less effort at the conclusion of the music vigil. Results from this study suggest that a prescriptive vigil conducted by a trained music thanatologist could provide an effective form of palliative care for dying patients.

  13. [Specifics of Analgesia in Palliative Care Patients at Home].

    PubMed

    Pautex, Sophie

    2015-02-25

    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.

  14. Use of Palliative Radiotherapy Among Patients With Metastatic Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Hayman, James A. Abrahamse, Paul H.; Lakhani, Indu; Earle, Craig C.; Katz, Steven J.

    2007-11-15

    Purpose: Radiotherapy (RT) is known to effectively palliate many symptoms of patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Anecdotally, RT is believed to be commonly used in this setting, but limited population-based data are available. The objective of this study was to examine the utilization patterns of palliative RT among elderly patients with Stage IV NSCLC and, in particular, to identify factors associated with its use. Methods and Materials: A retrospective population-based cohort study was performed using linked Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare data to identify 11,084 Medicare beneficiaries aged {>=}65 years who presented with Stage IV NSCLC in the 11 SEER regions between 1991 and 1996. The primary outcome was receipt of RT. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with receipt of RT. Results: A total of 58% of these patients received RT, with its use decreasing over time (p = 0.01). Increasing age was negatively associated with receipt of treatment (p <0.001), as was increasing comorbidities (p <0.001). Factors positively associated with the receipt of RT included income (p = 0.001), hospitalization (p <0.001), and treatment with chemotherapy (p <0.001). Although the use varied across the SEER regions (p = 0.001), gender, race/ethnicity, and distance to the nearest RT facility were not associated with treatment. Conclusions: Elderly patients with metastatic NSCLC frequently receive palliative RT, but its use varies, especially with age and receipt of chemotherapy. Additional research is needed to determine whether this variability reflects good quality care.

  15. Predictors of psychological distress in advanced cancer patients under palliative treatments.

    PubMed

    Diaz-Frutos, D; Baca-Garcia, E; García-Foncillas, J; López-Castroman, J

    2016-07-01

    This work aims to investigate the factors associated with psychological distress in advanced cancer patients under palliative treatment. We comprehensively assessed the demographic, psychosocial and health factors of 158 advanced cancer patients. Patients with high and low distress, according to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, were compared. A regression analysis was built to identify the best predictors of distress. Patients with high psychological distress (81%) were more likely to have lung cancer, suicidal ideation, hopelessness, low quality of life and poor body image than those without. In the multivariate model, only poor emotional functioning (OR = .89; 95% CI = .83-.95; p ≤ .001), hopelessness (OR = .86; 95% CI = .78-.94; p ≤ .001) and body image distortions (OR = .77; 95% CI = .68-.85; p = .005) were retained. High levels of hopelessness, impaired emotional functioning and body image distortions are the main factors associated with psychological distress in patients with advanced cancer. Potential interventions to modify these factors in palliative units are discussed. PMID:27271213

  16. Equity of use of specialist palliative care by age: cross-sectional study of lung cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Burt, Jenni; Plant, Hilary; Omar, Rumana; Raine, Rosalind

    2010-09-01

    The equitable provision of care is a core principle of the National Health Service. Previous research has suggested that older cancer patients may be less likely to use specialist palliative care, but such research has been limited by retrospective design and the failure to measure clinical need. The objective of this study was to examine the extent to which the use of specialist palliative care in lung cancer patients varies by age, after accounting for need. A cross-sectional survey of patients and their carers attending four hospital lung cancer clinics in London was conducted between June 2006 and April 2007. Two hundred and fifty-two patients and 137 carers participated in the study. Thirty-nine percent of participants received specialist palliative care. Metastatic disease, global quality of life and the clinic where treatment was provided were associated with use of specialist palliative care. Age, gender, deprivation, living alone, current or most recent line of treatment, number of co-morbidities and carer stress were not associated with receipt of such services. This suggests that, for patients within the specialist cancer care system, access to specialist palliative care is offered on the basis of need. PMID:20395355

  17. The Project ENABLE II Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Bakitas, Marie; Lyons, Kathleen Doyle; Hegel, Mark T.; Balan, Stefan; Brokaw, Frances C.; Seville, Janette; Hull, Jay G.; Li, Zhongze; Tosteson, Tor; Byock, Ira R.; Ahles, Tim A.

    2013-01-01

    Context There are few randomized controlled trials of the effectiveness of palliative care. Objective To determine the effect of a palliative care intervention on quality of life (QOL), symptom intensity, mood, and resource utilization. Design, Setting, and Participants Randomized controlled trial (November 2003-May 2008) of 322 patients with advanced cancer and an identified caregiver in a rural, NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center (the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, NH) and affiliated outreach clinics and Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center (White River Junction, VT). Intervention A multi-component, psycho-educational, palliative care intervention (Project ENABLE) conducted by an advanced practice nurse consisting of 4 weekly educational sessions and monthly follow-up until death or study completion. Main Outcome Measures (1) The Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Palliative (range: 0 to 184; higher scores indicate better QOL), (2) Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (range: 0 to 900; higher scores indicate greater symptom intensity), (3) Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (range: 0 to 60; higher scores indicate more depressive symptoms), completed at baseline, 1 month and every 3 months until death or study completion, (4) days in hospital, intensive care unit (ICU), and emergency department visits recorded in the medical record. Results 322 participants with gastrointestinal (41%), lung (36%), genitourinary (12%), and breast (10%) cancer were randomized. Estimated treatment effects (intervention minus usual care) for all subjects were 4.6 (P = .02) for QOL, −27.8 (P = .06) for symptom intensity, and −1.8 (P = .02) for depressed mood. Estimated average treatment effects in the sample of participants who died during the study were 8.6 (P = .02) for QOL, −24.2 (P = .24) for symptom intensity, and −2.7 (P = .03) for depressed mood. Days in hospital, intensive care unit, and emergency department visits were not different

  18. Development and Psychometric Assessment of a Spirituality Questionnaire for Indian Palliative Care Patients

    PubMed Central

    Bhatnagar, Sushma; Noble, Simon; Chaturvedi, Santosh K; Gielen, Joris

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. The patient dignity inventory: a novel way of measuring dignity-related distress in palliative care.

    PubMed

    Chochinov, Harvey Max; Hassard, Thomas; McClement, Susan; Hack, Thomas; Kristjanson, Linda J; Harlos, Mike; Sinclair, Shane; Murray, Alison

    2008-12-01

    Quality palliative care depends on a deep understanding of distress facing patients nearing death. Yet, many aspects of psychosocial, existential and spiritual distress are often overlooked. The aim of this study was to test a novel psychometric--the Patient Dignity Inventory (PDI)--designed to measure various sources of dignity-related distress among patients nearing the end of life. Using standard instrument development techniques, this study examined the face validity, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, factor structure and concurrent validity of the PDI. The 25-items of the PDI derive from a model of dignity in the terminally ill. To establish its basic psychometric properties, the PDI was administered to 253 patients receiving palliative care, along with other measures addressing issues identified within the Dignity Model in the Terminally Ill. Cronbach's coefficient alpha for the PDI was 0.93; the test-retest reliability was r = 0.85. Factor analysis resulted in a five-factor solution; factor labels include Symptom Distress, Existential Distress, Dependency, Peace of Mind, and Social Support, accounting for 58% of the overall variance. Evidence for concurrent validity was reported by way of significant associations between PDI factors and concurrent measures of distress. The PDI is a valid and reliable new instrument, which could assist clinicians to routinely detect end-of-life dignity-related distress. Identifying these sources of distress is a critical step toward understanding human suffering and should help clinicians deliver quality, dignity-conserving end-of-life care.

  20. Caring for patients with rabies in developing countries - the neglected importance of palliative care.

    PubMed

    Tarantola, Arnaud; Crabol, Yoann; Mahendra, Bangalore Jayakrishnappa; In, Sotheary; Barennes, Hubert; Bourhy, Hervé; Peng, Yiksing; Ly, Sowath; Buchy, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    Although limited publications address clinical management of symptomatic patients with rabies in intensive care units, the overwhelming majority of human rabies cases occur in the rural setting of developing countries where healthcare workers are few, lack training and drugs. Based on our experience, we suggest how clinicians in resource-limited settings can make best use of essential drugs to provide assistance to patients with rabies and their families, at no risk to themselves. Comprehensive and compassionate patient management of furious rabies should aim to alleviate thirst, anxiety and epileptic fits using infusions, diazepam or midazolam and antipyretic drugs via intravenous or intrarectal routes. Although the patient is dying, respiratory failure must be avoided especially if the family, after being informed, wish to take the patient home alive for funereal rites to be observed. Healthcare staff should be trained and clinical guidelines should be updated to include palliative care for rabies in endemic countries.

  1. Caring for patients with rabies in developing countries - the neglected importance of palliative care.

    PubMed

    Tarantola, Arnaud; Crabol, Yoann; Mahendra, Bangalore Jayakrishnappa; In, Sotheary; Barennes, Hubert; Bourhy, Hervé; Peng, Yiksing; Ly, Sowath; Buchy, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    Although limited publications address clinical management of symptomatic patients with rabies in intensive care units, the overwhelming majority of human rabies cases occur in the rural setting of developing countries where healthcare workers are few, lack training and drugs. Based on our experience, we suggest how clinicians in resource-limited settings can make best use of essential drugs to provide assistance to patients with rabies and their families, at no risk to themselves. Comprehensive and compassionate patient management of furious rabies should aim to alleviate thirst, anxiety and epileptic fits using infusions, diazepam or midazolam and antipyretic drugs via intravenous or intrarectal routes. Although the patient is dying, respiratory failure must be avoided especially if the family, after being informed, wish to take the patient home alive for funereal rites to be observed. Healthcare staff should be trained and clinical guidelines should be updated to include palliative care for rabies in endemic countries. PMID:26806229

  2. Palliative sedation.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Mary

    2011-12-01

    The focus of palliative care is to relieve human suffering; however, about 90% of patients with advanced cancer will experience severe pain. Intolerable human suffering may be defined in the healthcare setting as symptoms that cannot be tolerated or endured for any length of time. If the patient is unable to communicate, the family or identified decision maker for the patient may decide when symptoms cannot be endured any longer. All dimensions (i.e., physical, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual) of the symptom causing suffering must be evaluated.

  3. [EMOTIONAL MANAGEMENT AND CRITICAL THINKING IN THE AID RELATIONSHIP OF THE HOLISTIC CARE OF PALLIATIVE PATIENTS].

    PubMed

    De Blas Gómez, Irene; Rodríguez García, Marta

    2015-05-01

    To care for palliative patients is essential that healthcare professionals develop emotional competencies. This means acquiring the habit of self reflection and be emphatic with other people, in order to be able to identify the personal emotions of patients, family and team. Reflection involves a continuing effort to reason about aspects of professional practice, especially on issues as complex as suffering and death. Both reflective reasoning and emotional management are vital in an Aid Relationship. For nursing healthcare professionals, to care the emotional aspects means becoming aware of their own and others feelings, and get to understand and accept to handle them properly. Nursing actions involves many qualities of social competence, such as empathy, understanding, communication skills, honesty, flexibility and adaptability to the individual needs of people cared. In the context of palliative care patients and their families all these aspects are fundamental and are part of the same philosophy. Emotional education still remains a challenge in our profession both in the initial and continuing training.

  4. [EMOTIONAL MANAGEMENT AND CRITICAL THINKING IN THE AID RELATIONSHIP OF THE HOLISTIC CARE OF PALLIATIVE PATIENTS].

    PubMed

    De Blas Gómez, Irene; Rodríguez García, Marta

    2015-05-01

    To care for palliative patients is essential that healthcare professionals develop emotional competencies. This means acquiring the habit of self reflection and be emphatic with other people, in order to be able to identify the personal emotions of patients, family and team. Reflection involves a continuing effort to reason about aspects of professional practice, especially on issues as complex as suffering and death. Both reflective reasoning and emotional management are vital in an Aid Relationship. For nursing healthcare professionals, to care the emotional aspects means becoming aware of their own and others feelings, and get to understand and accept to handle them properly. Nursing actions involves many qualities of social competence, such as empathy, understanding, communication skills, honesty, flexibility and adaptability to the individual needs of people cared. In the context of palliative care patients and their families all these aspects are fundamental and are part of the same philosophy. Emotional education still remains a challenge in our profession both in the initial and continuing training. PMID:26540895

  5. Palliative care needs at different phases in the illness trajectory: a survey study in patients with cancer.

    PubMed

    Beernaert, K; Pardon, K; Van den Block, L; Devroey, D; De Laat, M; Geboes, K; Surmont, V; Deliens, L; Cohen, J

    2016-07-01

    Despite the growing consensus on the benefits of initiating palliative care early in the disease trajectory, it remains unclear at what point palliative care needs emerge. This study investigates quality of life and unmet palliative care needs at three phases in the cancer trajectory, curative, life-prolonging and most advanced (prognosis <6 months/no further disease-modifying treatment). We collected self-reported data from 620 patients with cancer in the University Hospital of Ghent, Belgium. They completed a questionnaire on quality of life (using the EORTC QLQ-C30) and unmet care needs within the domains of palliative care. We used European reference values of the EORTC QLQ-C30 to compare the mean scores with a norm group. The groups further on in the cancer trajectory reported statistically and clinically poorer functioning compared with earlier phases, also when controlled for the effects of sex, age or type of cancer. Higher symptom burdens for fatigue, pain, dyspnoea and appetite loss were found in groups further into the trajectory, p < .001. Patients in the curative phase experienced physical symptoms and had clinically worse functioning than a European reference group. This paper demonstrates the ongoing need for oncologists to address the broader palliative care needs of patients from diagnosis onwards.

  6. Readmissions in Cancer Patients After Receiving Inpatient Palliative Care in Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Hsiao-Ting; Chen, Chun-Ku; Lin, Ming-Hwai; Chou, Pesus; Chen, Tzeng-Ji; Hwang, Shinn-Jang

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Few studies have reported on readmissions among cancer patients receiving inpatient palliative care (IPC). This study investigated readmissions in cancer patients after their first discharge from IPC in Taiwan from 2002 to 2010. This study was a secondary data analysis using information from the National Health Insurance Database in Taiwan from 2002 to 2010. We included subjects ≥20 years old diagnosed with malignant neoplasms who were listed in the registry of catastrophic illness. Patients diagnosed with cancer before January 1, 2002 or who had ever been admitted to an inpatient hospice palliative care unit before the study period were excluded. Readmission was defined as hospital readmission at least once after discharge from first admission to IPC until mortality or the end of the study period. A total of 42,022 patients who met the inclusion criteria were identified. The majority of these patients were male (60.4%). The mean age of cancer diagnosis was 64.0 ± 14.4 years for men and 64.5 ± 14.7 years for women. The mean age at first hospice ward admission was 65.2 ± 14.2 years for men and 65.9 ± 14.9 years for women. During their first admission to IPC, 59.2% patients died, and the median stay of first IPC admission was 8.0 days. Among those discharged alive from their first admission to IPC, 64.9% were readmitted, and 19.4% of these patients were readmitted on the same day of discharge. From first IPC discharge until mortality, 54.8% of patients were readmitted once, 23.9% were readmitted twice, 9.9% were readmitted 3 times, and 11.5% were readmitted 4 or more times. Being male, having a higher insurance premium level, having a longer length of stay during first IPC admission, being admitted to a teaching hospital, or being admitted to a tertiary hospital increased the adjusted hazard ratio for readmission. We found that terminal cancer patients in Taiwan received relatively late referrals for first admission to IPC and

  7. Talc pleurodesis as surgical palliation of patients with malignant pleural effusion. Analysis of factors affecting survival.

    PubMed

    Lumachi, Franco; Mazza, Francesco; Ermani, Mario; Chiara, Giordano B; Basso, Stefano M M

    2012-11-01

    Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) is common in most patients with advanced cancer, especially in those with lung cancer, metastatic breast carcinoma and lymphoma. This complication usually leads patients to suffer from significant dyspnea, which may impair their mobility and reduce their quality of life. In patients with MPE, several interventions have been shown to be useful for palliation of the symptoms, including talc pleurodesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate prognostic factors for survival of patients with symptomatic MPE who underwent palliative video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) talc pleurodesis. Thirty-five patients with MPE underwent VATS, evacuation of the pleural fluid and talc pleurodesis with large-particle talc. There were 22 (62.9%) males and 13 (37.1%) females, with an overall median age of 69 years (range 42-81 years). The main causes of MPE were non-small cell lung carcinoma, breast or ovarian cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma. The age did not differ (p=0.88) between men (68.6±11.6 years) and women (68.0±8.7 years). The mean quantity of pleural effusion was 2005.7±1078.9 ml, while the overall survival was 11.2±8.9 months. We did not find any relationship between survival and gender (log-rank test, p=0.53) or underlying malignancy associated with MPE (p=0.89, 0.48 and 0.36 for secondary cancer, lung cancer and mesothelioma, respectively). Similarly, no correlation was found between survival and age of the patients (Cox's regression, p=0.44) or quantity of pleural effusion (p=0.88). Our results show that the prognosis of patients after talc pleurodesis is independent of age, gender, type of malignancy and amount of pleural effusion, thus, suggesting the utility of treating all patients with symptomatic MPE early.

  8. Individualized Comprehensive Lifestyle Intervention in Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy with Curative or Palliative Intent: Who Participates?

    PubMed Central

    Vassbakk-Brovold, Karianne; Lian, Henrik; Mjåland, Odd; Seiler, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Objective Knowledge about determinants of participation in lifestyle interventions in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, particularly with palliative intent, remains poor. The objective of the present study was to identify determinants of participating in a 12 month individualized, comprehensive lifestyle intervention, focusing on diet, physical activity, mental stress and smoking cessation, in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy with curative or palliative intent. The secondary objective was to identify participation determinants 4 months into the study. Methods Newly diagnosed cancer patients starting chemotherapy at the cancer center in Kristiansand/Norway (during a 16 month inclusion period) were screened. Demographic and medical data (age, sex, body mass index, education level, marital status, smoking status, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG), diagnosis, tumor stage and treatment intention) was analyzed for screened patients. Results 100 of 161 invited patients participated. There were more females (69 vs. 48%; P = 0.004), breast cancer patients (46 vs. 25%; P = 0.007), non-smokers (87 vs. 74%; P = 0.041), younger (mean age 60 vs. 67 yrs; P < 0.001) and fitter (82 vs. 64% with EGOC 0; P = 0.036) participants vs. non-participants included. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, age (Odds Ratio 0.94, 95% Confidence Interval 0.91, 0.97) and smoking (0.42, 0.18, 0.99) were negatively associated with participation. After 4 months, 63 participants were still participating. Cancer type, smoking and age increased the probability of dropping out. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that age was the only significant determinant of 4 month participation (0.95, 0.91, 0.99). Patients aged >70 years were less likely to participate at baseline and 4 months. Conclusion Individualized lifestyle interventions in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy appear to facilitate a high participation rate that declines with increasing

  9. Palliation in pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Kruse, E James

    2010-04-01

    Pancreatic cancer is rarely curable, and because of its location causes significant symptoms for patients in need of palliation. The common problems of incurable pancreatic cancer are biliary obstruction, duodenal obstruction, and pain. Approaches include surgical, endoscopic and radiologic interventions. This article discusses the palliative options and controversies related to these symptoms.

  10. 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

    PubMed Central

    Lal, Punita; Verma, Mranalini; Kumar, Gaurav; Shrivastava, Resham; Kumar, Shaleen

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Assessment of a Hospital Palliative Care Unit (HPCU) for Cancer Patients; A Conceptual Framework

    PubMed Central

    Rouhollahi, Mohammad Reza; Saghafinia, Masoud; Zandehdel, Kazem; Motlagh, Ali Ghanbari; Kazemian, Ali; Mohagheghi, Mohammad Ali; Tahmasebi, Mamak

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The first hospital palliative care unit (HPCU) in Iran (FARS-HPCU) has been established in 2008 in the Cancer Institute, which is the largest referral cancer center in the country. We attempted to assess the performance of the HPCU based on a comprehensive conceptual framework. The main aim of this study was to develop a conceptual framework for assessment of the HPCU performances through designing a value chain in line with the goals and the main processes (core and support). Materials and Methods: We collected data from a variety of sources, including international guidelines, international best practices, and expert opinions in the country and compared them with national policies and priorities. We also took into consideration the trend of the HPCU development in the Cancer Institute of Iran. Through benchmarking the gap area with the performance standards, some recommendations for better outcome are proposed. Results: The framework for performance assessment consisted of 154 process indicators (PIs), based on which the main stakeholders of the HPCU (including staff, patients, and families) offered their scoring. The outcome revealed the state of the processes as well as the gaps Conclusion: Despite a significant improvement in many processes and indicators, more development in the comprehensive and integrative aspects of FARS-HPCU performance is required. Consideration of all supportive and palliative requirements of the patients through interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches is recommended. PMID:26600701

  12. Evaluation of clinical pharmacy services offered for palliative care patients in Qatar.

    PubMed

    Wilby, Kyle John; Mohamad, Alaa Adil; AlYafei, Sumaya AlSaadi

    2014-09-01

    Palliative care is an emerging concept in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a political and economic union of Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Clinical pharmacy services have not yet been evaluated in this region. The objectives of this study were to create a baseline inventory of clinical pharmacy interventions in palliative care and to assess the perceived importance of interventions made. This was a prospective, single-center characterization study. Interventions were documented from September 30 to December 1, 2013. They were characterized into predetermined categories and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Physician acceptance rate and intervention rate per patient were calculated. Classification categories were sent to 10 practicing pharmacists in each of Qatar and Canada, who ranked the categories on the basis of perceived importance. A total of 96 interventions were documented, giving 3 interventions per patient and an acceptance rate of 81%. Discontinuing therapy (29%), initiating therapy (25%), and provision of education/counseling (13.5%) were most common. No differences were found between rankings from pharmacists in Qatar or Canada. Clinical pharmacy interventions are frequent, and those relating to alterations in drug therapy are most common. Interventions align with the perceived importance from pharmacists in both Qatar and Canada.

  13. Ventricular morphology is a determinant of diastolic performance in patients with single ventricle physiology undergoing stage 3 palliative surgery.

    PubMed

    Seckeler, Michael D; O'Leary, Edward; Anitha Jayakumar, K

    2015-04-01

    Patients with single ventricle anatomy undergo staged surgical palliation which results in pulmonary and systemic circulations in series with a single systemic pump. Single right ventricular morphology has been found to be an independent risk factor for worse survival. We sought to compare patients with single left (SLV) and single right (SRV) ventricular morphology to identify hemodynamic differences that may contribute to worse survival in patients with a single right ventricular. Single center, retrospective review of invasive hemodynamic data. All patients with single ventricle anatomy who underwent superior cavo-pulmonary anastomosis (Stage 2 palliation) and/or total cavo-pulmonary anastomosis (Stage 3 palliation) from August 1995 through May 2011 were identified. Patients were compared over time, and SLV and SRV patients were compared. Seventy-nine single ventricle patients (56 % SRV) underwent staged palliation and were analyzed. There was no difference in overall mortality (12 % SLV, 11 % SRV). There was no difference in hemodynamics at pre-Stage 2 catheterization between ventricular morphology, but SRV patients had higher ventricular end-diastolic pressure at pre-Stage 3 catheterization (7.6 vs. 6.4 mmHg, p = 0.026). End-diastolic pressure decreased after Stage 2 surgery for SLV patients, but not SRV patients. Intrinsic differences in morphology, function, and response to performing as the systemic ventricle between single right and left ventricles may lead to an elevated ventricular end-diastolic pressure. This could limit passive flow through the pulmonary circuit and coronary perfusion after Stage 3 palliation and potentially lead to poorer long-term performance for SRV patients.

  14. Impact of Palliative Care Consultation Service on Terminally Ill Cancer Patients

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Ching-Yi; Shen, Wen-Chi; Kao, Chen-Yi; Wang, Hung-Ming; Tang, Shu-Chuan; Chin, Tsu-Ling; Chi, Chuan-Chuan; Yang, Jin-Mei; Chang, Chih-Wen; Lai, Ying-Fen; Yeh, Ya-Chi; Hung, Yu-Shin; Chou, Wen-Chi

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The palliative care consultation service (PCCS) that has been enthusiastically promoted in Taiwan since 2005 was designed to provide comprehensive end-of-life care for terminally ill patients with qualified interdisciplinary specialists in acute care ward setting. This study aims to evaluate the impact of PCCS on terminally ill cancer patients. A total of 10,594 terminal cancer patients who were referred to PCCS from a single medical center in Taiwan between 2006 and 2014 were enrolled. The percentages of patients’ and their families’ disease awareness, do-not-resuscitate (DNR) designation, refusal and acceptance of palliative care among terminally ill cancer patients were analyzed retrospectively. At the beginning of PCCS, the percentages of disease awareness among patients and their family were increased from 25.4% to 37.9% (P = 0.007) and from 61.2% to 84.7% between 2006 and 2014 (P = 0.001), respectively. Patients’ disease awareness after PCCS referral between 2006 and 2014 was increased from 47.1% to 64.5% (P = 0.016). Family's awareness of diagnosis and prognosis after PCCS referral researched to a steady plateau, 94.1% to 97.8% in different year cohort (P = 0.34). The percentage of DNR designation rate at the beginning of PCCS (in 2006) was 15.5%, and the designation rate was increased annually and finally reached to 42.0% in 2014 (P = 0.004). The percentage of DNR consents after PCCS was also improved from 44.0% in 2006 up to 80.0% in 2014 (P = 0.005). PCCS refusal rate decreased gradually and dropped to 1.6% in 2014 (P = 0.005). The percentage of PCCS utilization was increased 5-fold during the 9-year period after the promotion of PCCS In the program of PCCS promotion, an increasing trend of PCCS utilization, better patients’ and their families’ awareness of diagnosis and prognosis, more consent to DNR, more patients were discharged with stable condition at the end of PCCS and a decrease refusal rate of end

  15. Palliative Medicine and Decision Science: The Critical Need for a Shared Agenda To Foster Informed Patient Choice in Serious Illness

    PubMed Central

    Kryworuchko, Jennifer; Matlock, Dan D.; Volandes, Angelo E.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Assisting patients and their families in complex decision making is a foundational skill in palliative care; however, palliative care clinicians and scientists have just begun to establish an evidence base for best practice in assisting patients and families in complex decision making. Decision scientists aim to understand and clarify the concepts and techniques of shared decision making (SDM), decision support, and informed patient choice in order to ensure that patient and family perspectives shape their health care experience. Patients with serious illness and their families are faced with myriad complex decisions over the course of illness and as death approaches. If patients lose capacity, then surrogate decision makers are cast into the decision-making role. The fields of palliative care and decision science have grown in parallel. There is much to be gained in advancing the practices of complex decision making in serious illness through increased collaboration. The purpose of this article is to use a case study to highlight the broad range of difficult decisions, issues, and opportunities imposed by a life-limiting illness in order to illustrate how collaboration and a joint research agenda between palliative care and decision science researchers, theorists, and clinicians might guide best practices for patients and their families. PMID:21895453

  16. Palliative medicine and decision science: the critical need for a shared agenda to foster informed patient choice in serious illness.

    PubMed

    Bakitas, Marie; Kryworuchko, Jennifer; Matlock, Dan D; Volandes, Angelo E

    2011-10-01

    Assisting patients and their families in complex decision making is a foundational skill in palliative care; however, palliative care clinicians and scientists have just begun to establish an evidence base for best practice in assisting patients and families in complex decision making. Decision scientists aim to understand and clarify the concepts and techniques of shared decision making (SDM), decision support, and informed patient choice in order to ensure that patient and family perspectives shape their health care experience. Patients with serious illness and their families are faced with myriad complex decisions over the course of illness and as death approaches. If patients lose capacity, then surrogate decision makers are cast into the decision-making role. The fields of palliative care and decision science have grown in parallel. There is much to be gained in advancing the practices of complex decision making in serious illness through increased collaboration. The purpose of this article is to use a case study to highlight the broad range of difficult decisions, issues, and opportunities imposed by a life-limiting illness in order to illustrate how collaboration and a joint research agenda between palliative care and decision science researchers, theorists, and clinicians might guide best practices for patients and their families. PMID:21895453

  17. A new approach to eliciting patients' preferences for palliative day care: the choice experiment method.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Hannah-Rose; Normand, Charles E; Higginson, Irene J; Goodwin, Danielle M

    2005-05-01

    Palliative day care (PDC) provides individualized care to meet patients' needs and preferences and has posed problems for economic evaluation. Current methods are limited in their ability to capture relevant outcomes. The choice experiment elicits preferences for multiple aspects of care rather than a single outcome. A choice experiment was undertaken at four centers in England. A random effects probit model was used. Interaction terms relating to patient and service characteristics were explored. Seventy-nine patients participated. All characteristics of PDC except bathing and hairdressing were significant (P < 0.001). Access to specialist therapies was three times as important as medical support and twice as important as staying all day. Interaction terms were not significant, except for age and preference for specialist therapies, although the sample may not have been adequate to detect differences. Choice experiments provided useful insights by quantifying preferences for services, providing an alternative to cost-effectiveness analysis. PMID:15904746

  18. Spiritual coping and anxiety in palliative care patients: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Gaudette, Holly; Jankowski, Katherine R B

    2013-01-01

    Patients often rely on spirituality to cope with anxiety, yet it is not known if spiritual coping actually helps patients deal with anxiety. The present study was designed, therefore, to examine this relationship. A series of patients who were referred to the palliative care team at New York University, Langone Medical Center (N = 44) were interviewed about their spiritual coping and anxiety. Anxiety was measured using the first three items of the GAD-7. Fourteen items, which were adapted from existing scales, were used to create the "Beliefs and Activities Spirituality Scale" (BASS), having two subscales: Activities (α = .79) and Beliefs (α = .82). Anxiety had a significant negative correlations with the total BASS (r = -.56), and the Activities (r = -.52) and Beliefs (r = -.42) subscales. The salubrious association of spiritual coping and anxiety remained for the BASS and the Activities subscale, after controlling for demographic variables. PMID:24070434

  19. Integrating Palliative Care into Primary Care.

    PubMed

    Gorman, Rosemary D

    2016-09-01

    Improved quality of life, care consistent with patient goals of care, and decreased health care spending are benefits of palliative care. Palliative care is appropriate for anyone with a serious illness. Advances in technology and pharmaceuticals have resulted in increasing numbers of seriously ill individuals, many with a high symptom burden. The numbers of individuals who could benefit from palliative care far outweighs the number of palliative care specialists. To integrate palliative care into primary care it is essential that resources are available to improve generalist palliative care skills, identify appropriate patients and refer complex patients to specialist palliative care providers.

  20. Palliative medicine in Britain.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Derek

    In Britain, Palliative Medicine was recognized as a subspecialty of Internal Medicine exactly 20 years after Cicely Saunders founded St Christopher's, at exactly the same time that government was at last recognizing the worth and the needs of general practice. Both had far-reaching effects and implications for patients, doctors, and the future of medicine. For Palliative Medicine it meant units wishing to train specialists going through a rigorous selection process; the development of an equally rigorous training program for the doctors who had already gained a higher qualification before starting Palliative Medicine, demonstrating the need for and benefits of palliative medicine to the sceptics in the profession and, now, continuing to recruit the staff for the steadily increasing number of new services. Today there are more Palliative Medicine consultants/specialists than there are oncologists and neurologists combined, with Hospital Palliative Care Teams in every major hospital and cancer center. With nine Chairs in Palliative Medicine, there is now a drive for research and professional education. The specialty faces major challenges, however, ranging from training to care for patients with non-malignant disease to enabling patients to die in the place of their choice-something that rarely happens today; from defining what is distinctive or unique about palliative medicine to clarifying the respective place of general practice and the specialty. Most would agree that the biggest challenge for the young, thriving specialty is how to share its principles with other doctors wherever they work. PMID:18051021

  1. Palliation of biliary and duodenal obstruction in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer: endoscopy or surgery?

    PubMed

    Maire, F; Sauvanet, A

    2013-06-01

    Patients with unresectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma often develop biliary and/or duodenal obstruction during the course of their disease. Jaundice, pruritis, nausea and vomiting impact negatively on the quality of life and chemotherapy must often be withheld until these symptoms are resolved. In the past, an open surgical palliative bypass was proposed, but the development of endoprosthetic stents has changed the management of these patients. The success rate for placement of duodenal and biliary stents is greater than 90% with low morbidity. Classical surgical bypass surgery includes biliary-digestive and gastro-jejunal anastomoses. Many studies have compared endoscopic and surgical treatment, and there is a clear advantage to endoscopic treatment in terms of quality of life and cost.

  2. The ethical and legal aspects of palliative sedation in severely brain-injured patients: a French perspective.

    PubMed

    Baumann, Antoine; Claudot, Frédérique; Audibert, Gérard; Mertes, Paul-Michel; Puybasset, Louis

    2011-02-08

    To fulfill their crucial duty of relieving suffering in their patients, physicians may have to administer palliative sedation when they implement treatment-limitation decisions such as the withdrawal of life-supporting interventions in patients with poor prognosis chronic severe brain injury. The issue of palliative sedation deserves particular attention in adults with serious brain injuries and in neonates with severe and irreversible brain lesions, who are unable to express pain or to state their wishes. In France, treatment limitation decisions for these patients are left to the physicians. Treatment-limitation decisions are made collegially, based on the presence of irreversible brain lesions responsible for chronic severe disorders of consciousness. Before these decisions are implemented, they are communicated to the relatives. Because the presence and severity of pain cannot be assessed in these patients, palliative analgesia and/or sedation should be administered. However, palliative sedation is a complex strategy that requires safeguards to prevent a drift toward hastening death or performing covert euthanasia. In addition to the law on patients' rights at the end of life passed in France on April 22, 2005, a recent revision of Article 37 of the French code of medical ethics both acknowledges that treatment-limitation decisions and palliative sedation may be required in patients with severe brain injuries and provides legal and ethical safeguards against a shift towards euthanasia. This legislation may hold value as a model for other countries where euthanasia is illegal and for countries such as Belgium and Netherlands where euthanasia is legal but not allowed in patients incapable of asking for euthanasia but in whom a treatment limitation decision has been made.

  3. The ethical and legal aspects of palliative sedation in severely brain-injured patients: a French perspective.

    PubMed

    Baumann, Antoine; Claudot, Frédérique; Audibert, Gérard; Mertes, Paul-Michel; Puybasset, Louis

    2011-01-01

    To fulfill their crucial duty of relieving suffering in their patients, physicians may have to administer palliative sedation when they implement treatment-limitation decisions such as the withdrawal of life-supporting interventions in patients with poor prognosis chronic severe brain injury. The issue of palliative sedation deserves particular attention in adults with serious brain injuries and in neonates with severe and irreversible brain lesions, who are unable to express pain or to state their wishes. In France, treatment limitation decisions for these patients are left to the physicians. Treatment-limitation decisions are made collegially, based on the presence of irreversible brain lesions responsible for chronic severe disorders of consciousness. Before these decisions are implemented, they are communicated to the relatives. Because the presence and severity of pain cannot be assessed in these patients, palliative analgesia and/or sedation should be administered. However, palliative sedation is a complex strategy that requires safeguards to prevent a drift toward hastening death or performing covert euthanasia. In addition to the law on patients' rights at the end of life passed in France on April 22, 2005, a recent revision of Article 37 of the French code of medical ethics both acknowledges that treatment-limitation decisions and palliative sedation may be required in patients with severe brain injuries and provides legal and ethical safeguards against a shift towards euthanasia. This legislation may hold value as a model for other countries where euthanasia is illegal and for countries such as Belgium and Netherlands where euthanasia is legal but not allowed in patients incapable of asking for euthanasia but in whom a treatment limitation decision has been made. PMID:21303504

  4. Societal costs of home and hospital end-of-life care for palliative care patients in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Yu, Mo; Guerriere, Denise N; Coyte, Peter C

    2015-11-01

    In Canada, health system restructuring has led to a greater focus on home-based palliative care as an alternative to institutionalised palliative care. However, little is known about the effect of this change on end-of-life care costs and the extent to which the financial burden of care has shifted from the acute care public sector to families. The purpose of this study was to assess the societal costs of end-of-life care associated with two places of death (hospital and home) using a prospective cohort design in a home-based palliative care programme. Societal cost includes all costs incurred during the course of palliative care irrespective of payer (e.g. health system, out-of-pocket, informal care-giving costs, etc.). Primary caregivers of terminal cancer patients were recruited from the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care in Toronto, Canada. Demographic, service utilisation, care-giving time, health and functional status, and death data were collected by telephone interviews with primary caregivers over the course of patients' palliative trajectory. Logistic regression was conducted to model an individual's propensity for home death. Total societal costs of end-of-life care and component costs were compared between home and hospital death using propensity score stratification. Costs were presented in 2012 Canadian dollars ($1.00 CDN = $1.00 USD). The estimated total societal cost of end-of-life care was $34,197.73 per patient over the entire palliative trajectory (4 months on average). Results showed no significant difference (P > 0.05) in total societal costs between home and hospital death patients. Higher hospitalisation costs for hospital death patients were replaced by higher unpaid caregiver time and outpatient service costs for home death patients. Thus, from a societal cost perspective, alternative sites of death, while not associated with a significant change in total societal cost of end-of-life care, resulted in changes in the distribution of

  5. Characteristics of terminal cancer patients who committed suicide during a home palliative care program.

    PubMed

    Filiberti, A; Ripamonti, C; Totis, A; Ventafridda, V; De Conno, F; Contiero, P; Tamburini, M

    2001-07-01

    Cancer patients may commit suicide at any stage of the disease and many risk factors of suicide have been described in the literature. To identify the possible vulnerability factors of suicide in five terminal cancer patients who committed suicide while they were cared for at home by well-trained palliative care teams, a psychological autopsy study was carried out by reviewing their medical records; their report of symptoms at the time of care; and with the caregivers', doctors', and nurses' recollection of events by means of a structured interview prepared ad hoc. We collected data regarding the physical, emotional, and social suffering of the patients, their personality profile, and their feelings with respect to the illness and disability. The interviews lasted for a mean of two hours and were performed from 2-8 years after the suicide events by the social worker at the Rehabilitation and Palliative Care Division. The interviews took place between June 1996 and January 1998. All the patients showed great concern about the lack of autonomy and independence, refused dependence on others and had fear/worry of losing their autonomy. Four patients presented functional and physical impairments, uncontrolled pain, awareness of being in the terminal stage, and mild to moderate depression. They had a feeling of hopelessness consequent to their clinical conditions, fear of suffering, and feeling of being a burden on others. They had a strong character and managerial professions. They had isolated themselves from others and they had previously talked about suicide. Before committing suicide, three patients had adverse physical/emotional consequences to the oncological treatments-they showed aggressiveness towards their family and one towards the home care physician. Multiple vulnerability factors were present simultaneously in all patients. However, the loss of, and the fear of losing, autonomy and their independence and of being a burden on others were the most relevant

  6. Spirituality and Palliative Care

    PubMed Central

    Broeckaert, Bert

    2011-01-01

    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

  7. A Comparative Study on Resilience, Perceived Social Support and Hopelessness Among Cancer Patients Treated with Curative and Palliative Care

    PubMed Central

    Somasundaram, Ravindran Ottilingam; Devamani, Kiran A

    2016-01-01

    Aim: Psychological distress is common among patients affected by cancer. In this study, we examined the relationship between resilience, social support, and hopelessness among cancer patients treated with curative and palliative care. Patients and Methods: Sixty cancer patients in the age range of 18–65 years were randomly selected and divided into two groups based on their treatment intent namely, curative care (n = 30) and palliative care (n = 30). Both groups were assessed by the following instruments: Bharathiar University Resilience Scale, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and Beck Hopelessness Scale. Results: Resilience was significantly associated with less hopelessness and higher levels of perceived social support. Conclusion: Cancer patients are found to be resilient, and the role of social support and hopelessness on promoting resilience cannot be ignored. PMID:27162423

  8. A population-based observational study on the factors associated with the completion of palliative chemotherapy among patients with oesophagogastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Groene, Oliver; Crosby, Tom; Hardwick, Richard Henry; Riley, Stuart; Greenaway, Kimberley; Cromwell, David

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Palliative chemotherapy is routinely given to patients diagnosed with locally advanced or metastatic oesophagogastric (O-G) cancer. We examine which patients with O-G cancer in England receive palliative chemotherapy, and identify factors associated with treatment completion. Design A prospective population-based observational study. Setting All English National Health Service (NHS) trusts diagnosing patients with O-G cancer. Participants Data were prospectively collected on patients diagnosed with invasive epithelial cancer of the oesophagus or stomach between 1 October 2007 and 30 June 2009 in English NHS hospitals, and those who had palliative treatment intent. Outcome measure We calculated the proportion of patients with different characteristics (eg, age, sex, stage at diagnosis, performance status) starting palliative chemotherapy. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify characteristics associated with non-completion of chemotherapy. Results There were 9768 patients in the study whose treatment intent was palliative. Among these, 2313 (24%) received palliative chemotherapy. It was received by 51% of patients aged under 55 years but only 9% of patients aged 75 years or over. Overall, 917 patients (53%) completed their treatment among the 1741 patients for whom information on treatment completion was recorded. Treatment completion ranged from 50–60% for patients with good performance status but was under 35% for patients aged 55 years or older with poor performance status. Treatment completion was not associated with site of cancer, pretreatment stage, sex, comorbidities or histology. Conclusions Completion rates of palliative chemotherapy in patients with O-G cancer are low and elderly patients with poor performance status are very unlikely to complete a palliative chemotherapy treatment. Clinicians and patients should consider this information when balancing potential (survival) benefits, toxicity of treatment and its effect on

  9. [Early diagnosis of metastatic spinal tumor is a key for effective palliative radiotherapy in patients with lung cancer].

    PubMed

    Isono, Hisayo; Kemmoku, Tomoko; Nakamura, Yusuke; Onose, Akira; Matsumoto, Yuka; Watanabe, Rinako; Haraguchi, Mizuha; Kasajima, Masashi; Takaya, Saho; Ishihara, Mikiko; Karigane, Daiki; Nagata, Hiroshi

    2011-12-01

    Patients with metastatic spinal tumor are the largest in number among the patients with bone tumor. It causes a severe bone pain, pathological fracture and spinal cord compression. Thus it harshly hampers patient's quality of life. We report 3 patients with lung cancer whose initial manifestation was metastatic spinal tumor. We treated the 3 patients with palliative radiotherapy and medication. Although the severe pain has improved on a numerical rating scale(NRS), but performance status(PS)and activity of daily living(ADL)of the 3 patients got worse because the disease was progressed and complicated. Generally, PS of cancer patients found by bone matastasis is low. However, it is difficult to take an effective treatment, which leads to ADL improvement. There are many choices for treating metastatic bone tumors including pain control, bisphosphonate administration, radiation therapy, strontium radiotherapy, bone cement, palliative surgery and orthotics. In addition, a development of molecular target drugs, such as Denosmab, is expected as future modality of palliative care. In conclusion, we should detect a bone metastasis in the patient with lung cancer as early as possible, and select an appropriate treatment in collaboration with each specialist for achieving the ADL and PS improvement. PMID:22189323

  10. Evaluation of an interprofessional practice placement in a UK in-patient palliative care unit.

    PubMed

    Dando, Nicholas; d'Avray, Lynda; Colman, Jane; Hoy, Andrew; Todd, Jennifer

    2012-03-01

    This paper reports on undergraduate students' evaluation of a new hospice-based interprofessional practice placement (IPP) that took place in the voluntary sector from 2008 to 2009. Ward-based interprofessional training has been successfully demonstrated in a range of clinical environments. However, the multidisciplinary setting within a hospice in-patient unit offered a new opportunity for interprofessional learning. The development and delivery of the IPP initiative is described, whereby multidisciplinary groups of 12 students provided hands-on care for a selected group of patients, under the supervision of trained health care professionals. The placement was positively evaluated and students reported an increased understanding of both their own role and that of other professionals in the team. The evaluation also suggests that additional learning opportunities were provided by the in-patient palliative care unit. The results of this evaluation suggest that the in-patient unit of a hospice caring for patients with life-limiting illness provides a suitable environment to demonstrate and learn about interprofessional practice.

  11. Prognostic value of parameters derived from white blood cell and differential counts in patients receiving palliative radiotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Tetsuo; Toya, Ryo; Matsuyama, Tomohiko; Semba, Akiko; Matsuyama, Keiya; Oya, Natsuo

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to identify white blood cell (WBC) parameters with high prognostic value for the survival of patients receiving palliative radiotherapy. The prognostic value of seven parameters derived from WBC and differential counts was retrospectively evaluated in patients who underwent palliative radiotherapy between October, 2010 and June, 2013. The analyzed parameters were the total WBC count, the absolute and relative lymphocyte count, the absolute and relative neutrophil count, and the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratios. Following univariate analysis, multivariate Cox regression analysis was performed to adjust for gender, age, disease type, previous chemotherapy, previous radiotherapy and the levels of albumin and lactate dehydrogenase. A total of 220 patients with a median survival of 4.7 months were identified. All seven parameters were found to be statistically significant predictors of survival on univariate Cox regression analysis (P<0.05). Of these parameters, the low relative lymphocyte and high relative neutrophil counts were consistent predictors of poor survival in patients who received chemotherapy within 1 month prior to blood sampling (n=68) and in patients who received steroid treatment at the time of sampling (n=49). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that the relative lymphocyte and neutrophil counts were independent predictors of survival in all 220 patients (P<0.05). In conclusion, relative lymphocyte and neutrophil counts were of high prognostic value for the survival of patients receiving palliative radiotherapy, even in those receiving medications that affect WBC and differential counts. PMID:27602221

  12. Prognostic value of parameters derived from white blood cell and differential counts in patients receiving palliative radiotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Tetsuo; Toya, Ryo; Matsuyama, Tomohiko; Semba, Akiko; Matsuyama, Keiya; Oya, Natsuo

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to identify white blood cell (WBC) parameters with high prognostic value for the survival of patients receiving palliative radiotherapy. The prognostic value of seven parameters derived from WBC and differential counts was retrospectively evaluated in patients who underwent palliative radiotherapy between October, 2010 and June, 2013. The analyzed parameters were the total WBC count, the absolute and relative lymphocyte count, the absolute and relative neutrophil count, and the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte and lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratios. Following univariate analysis, multivariate Cox regression analysis was performed to adjust for gender, age, disease type, previous chemotherapy, previous radiotherapy and the levels of albumin and lactate dehydrogenase. A total of 220 patients with a median survival of 4.7 months were identified. All seven parameters were found to be statistically significant predictors of survival on univariate Cox regression analysis (P<0.05). Of these parameters, the low relative lymphocyte and high relative neutrophil counts were consistent predictors of poor survival in patients who received chemotherapy within 1 month prior to blood sampling (n=68) and in patients who received steroid treatment at the time of sampling (n=49). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that the relative lymphocyte and neutrophil counts were independent predictors of survival in all 220 patients (P<0.05). In conclusion, relative lymphocyte and neutrophil counts were of high prognostic value for the survival of patients receiving palliative radiotherapy, even in those receiving medications that affect WBC and differential counts.

  13. Single institution experience with the Ladd’s procedure in patients with heterotaxy and stage I palliated single-ventricle

    PubMed Central

    Piggott, Kurt D; George, Grace; Fakioglu, Harun; Blanco, Carlos; Narasimhulu, Sukumar Saguna; Pourmoghadam, Kamal; Munroe, Hamish; Decampli, William

    2016-01-01

    AIM To investigate and describe our current institutional management protocol for single-ventricle patients who must undergo a Ladd’s procedure. METHODS We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients from January 2005 to March 2014 who were diagnosed with heterotaxy syndrome and an associated intestinal rotation anomaly who carried a cardiac diagnosis of functional single ventricle and were status post stage I palliation. A total of 8 patients with a history of stage I single-ventricle palliation underwent Ladd’s procedure during this time period. We reviewed each patients chart to determine if significant intraoperative or post-operative morbidity or mortality occurred. We also described our protocolized management of these patients in the cardiac intensive care unit, which included pre-operative labs, echocardiography, milrinone infusion, as well as protocolized fluid administration and anticoagulation regimines. We also reviewed the literature to determine the reported morbidity and mortality associated with the Ladd’s procedure in this particular cardiac physiology and if other institutions have reported protocolized care of these patients. RESULTS A total of 8 patients were identified to have heterotaxy with an intestinal rotation anomaly and single-ventricle heart disease that was status post single ventricle palliation. Six of these patients were palliated with a Blaylock-Taussig shunt, one of whom underwent a Norwood procedure. The two other patients were palliated with a stent, which was placed in the ductus arteriosus. These eight patients all underwent elective Ladd’s procedure at the time of gastrostomy tube placement. Per our protocol, all patients remained on aspirin prior to surgery and had no period where they were without anticoagulation. All patients remained on milrinone during and after the procedure and received fluid administration upon arrival to the cardiac intensive care unit to account for losses. All 8 patients experienced

  14. Single institution experience with the Ladd’s procedure in patients with heterotaxy and stage I palliated single-ventricle

    PubMed Central

    Piggott, Kurt D; George, Grace; Fakioglu, Harun; Blanco, Carlos; Narasimhulu, Sukumar Saguna; Pourmoghadam, Kamal; Munroe, Hamish; Decampli, William

    2016-01-01

    AIM To investigate and describe our current institutional management protocol for single-ventricle patients who must undergo a Ladd’s procedure. METHODS We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients from January 2005 to March 2014 who were diagnosed with heterotaxy syndrome and an associated intestinal rotation anomaly who carried a cardiac diagnosis of functional single ventricle and were status post stage I palliation. A total of 8 patients with a history of stage I single-ventricle palliation underwent Ladd’s procedure during this time period. We reviewed each patients chart to determine if significant intraoperative or post-operative morbidity or mortality occurred. We also described our protocolized management of these patients in the cardiac intensive care unit, which included pre-operative labs, echocardiography, milrinone infusion, as well as protocolized fluid administration and anticoagulation regimines. We also reviewed the literature to determine the reported morbidity and mortality associated with the Ladd’s procedure in this particular cardiac physiology and if other institutions have reported protocolized care of these patients. RESULTS A total of 8 patients were identified to have heterotaxy with an intestinal rotation anomaly and single-ventricle heart disease that was status post single ventricle palliation. Six of these patients were palliated with a Blaylock-Taussig shunt, one of whom underwent a Norwood procedure. The two other patients were palliated with a stent, which was placed in the ductus arteriosus. These eight patients all underwent elective Ladd’s procedure at the time of gastrostomy tube placement. Per our protocol, all patients remained on aspirin prior to surgery and had no period where they were without anticoagulation. All patients remained on milrinone during and after the procedure and received fluid administration upon arrival to the cardiac intensive care unit to account for losses. All 8 patients experienced

  15. Palliative peritoneal dialysis: Implementation of a home care programme for terminal patients treated with peritoneal dialysis (PD).

    PubMed

    Gorrin, Maite Rivera; Teruel-Briones, José Luis; Vion, Victor Burguera; Rexach, Lourdes; Quereda, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Terminal-stage patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) are often transferred to haemodialysis as they are unable to perform the dialysis technique themselves since their functional capacities are reduced. We present our experience with five patients on PD with a shortterm life-threatening condition, whose treatment was shared by primary care units and who were treated with a PD modality adapted to their circumstances, which we call Palliative Peritoneal Dialysis.

  16. Families’ Perspectives of Quality of Life in Pediatric Palliative Care Patients

    PubMed Central

    Gaab, Erin Mary

    2015-01-01

    Medical and academic institutions began prioritizing Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC) less than two decades ago. Although policies and institutions claim to improve the Quality of Life (QoL) of PPC patients and their families, family-defined QoL remains ambiguous. This research investigates the definitions of QoL for PPC patients according to their primary caregivers. We conducted qualitative, semi-structured focus groups of the primary caregivers of PPC patients. The transcripts were analysed for themes using inductive thematic analysis. Participants included primary caregivers of children currently receiving PPC from a healthcare institution in California. We identified several factors that primary caregivers considered components of QoL for their children. The ability to communicate and adapt or be accepted underpinned the concept of QoL for families. QoL for PPC patients was defined by primary caregivers as being able to communicate in a respectful, controlled, physically- and socially-comfortable environment. Attempts to improve QoL should focus not only on pain and symptom control, but also on enhancing opportunities for children to communicate and maintain a sense of dignity. PMID:27417355

  17. Significance of symptom clustering in palliative care of advanced cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Jaw-Shiun; Wu, Chih-Hsun; Chiu, Tai-Yuan; Chen, Ching-Yu

    2010-04-01

    Patients with advanced cancer often experience multiple concurrent symptoms. To explore this symptom clustering and its associated parameters, we prospectively surveyed 427 consecutive patients on admission to the Palliative Care Unit. There were 222 males (52.0%) and 205 females (48.0%), with a median age of 66 years (range: 27-93 years). The main tumor sites were lung (19.9%), liver (18.0%), and colorectum (11.0%). The median survival was 13 days (1-418 days). Symptoms were assessed using a face-valid Symptom Reporting Form. We identified five symptom clusters by exploratory factor analysis. Clusters were named "loss of energy," "poor intake," "autonomic dysfunction," "aerodigestive impairment," and "pain complex." We used nonhierarchical cluster analysis to divide the 394 patients with complete data into six groups. Each group was characterized by a particular pattern that was composed of different symptom clusters. Survival, functional performance, bone metastasis, and fluid accumulation were significantly associated with symptom clustering in six groups of patients. The severity of psychological distress also related to their physical deterioration. These data suggest that different underlying mechanisms associate with symptom clustering. Further elucidation of these processes may assist in symptom management. PMID:20226623

  18. Integration of Early Specialist Palliative Care in Cancer Care: Survey of Oncologists, Oncology Nurses, and Patients

    PubMed Central

    Salins, Naveen; Patra, Lipika; Usha Rani, MR; Lohitashva, SO; Rao, Raghavendra; Ramanjulu, Raghavendra; Vallath, Nandini

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Palliative care is usually delivered late in the course of illness trajectory. This precludes patients on active disease modifying treatment from receiving the benefit of palliative care intervention. A survey was conducted to know the opinion of oncologists, oncology nurses, and patients about the role of early specialist palliative care in cancer. Methods: A nonrandomized descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at a tertiary cancer care center in India. Thirty oncologists, sixty oncology nurses, and sixty patients were surveyed. Results: Improvement in symptom control was appreciated by oncologists, oncology nurses, and patients with respect to pain (Z = −4.10, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.84, P = 0.001), (Z = −6.20, P = 0.001); nausea and vomiting (Z = −3.75, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.3, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.1, P = 0.001); constipation (Z = −3.29, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.96, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.49, P = 0.001); breathlessness (Z = −3.57, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.03, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.99, P = 0.001); and restlessness (Z = −3.68, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.23, P = 0.001), (Z = −3.22, P = 0.001). Improvement in end-of-life care management was appreciated by oncologists and oncology nurses with respect to communication of prognosis (Z = −4.04, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.20, P = 0.001); discussion on limitation of life-sustaining treatment (Z = −3.68, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.53, P = 0.001); end-of-life symptom management (Z = −4.17, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.59, P = 0.001); perimortem care (Z = −3.86, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.80, P = 0.001); and bereavement support (Z = −3-80, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.95, P = 0.001). Improvement in health-related communication was appreciated by oncologists, oncology nurses, and patients with respect to communicating health related information in a sensitive manner (Z = −3.74, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.47, P = 0.001), (Z = −6.12, P = 0.001); conducting family meeting (Z = −3.12, P = 0.002), (Z = −4.60, P = 0

  19. Pretreatment neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and its dynamic changes are associated with the overall survival in advanced cancer patients undergoing palliative care

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Weiwei; Wu, Zhenyu; Li, Yintao; Jia, Huixun; Chen, Menglei; Gu, Xiaoli; Liu, Minghui; Zhang, Zhe; Wang, Peng; Cheng, Wenwu

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of pretreatment NLR and its dynamic changes responsive to palliative care in advanced cancer patients. The study was retrospectively assessed in 378 consecutive advanced cancer patients receiving palliative care, and in an extended follow-up study of 106 of those patients. The cutoff value of pretreatment NLR was determined to be 3.0. In the 378 advanced cancer patients, 89 had pretreatment NLR ≤ 3, and 289 had an NLR > 3. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that tumor stage, palliative care, albumin level, and pretreatment NLR (HR: 1.514, 95% CI: 1.125~2.038, P = 0.006) were independent prognostic indicators of OS. Moreover, in the follow-up cohort of 106 readmitted patients, 43 patients achieved a decreased NLR after palliative care, while the remaining 63 patients showed an increased NLR. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that an increase in NLR was significantly associated with a poor survival (HR: 2.506, 95% CI: 1.474~4.261, P = 0.001). In conclusion, pretreatment NLR and changes in NLR independently predicted OS in advanced cancer patients undergoing palliative care. Incorporating NLR into clinical practice may better inform the prognosis and therapy decisions of advanced cancer patients in palliative settings. PMID:27510632

  20. Palliative Care Doula: an innovative model.

    PubMed

    Lentz, Judy C

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. Effectiveness of the palliative care ‘Availability, Current issues and Anticipation’ (ACA) communication training programme for general practitioners on patient outcomes: A controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Blankenstein, Annette H; Schweitzer, Bart PM; Knol, Dirk L; van der Horst, Henriëtte E; Aaronson, Neil K; Deliens, Luc

    2014-01-01

    Background: Although communicating effectively with patients receiving palliative care can be difficult, it may contribute to maintaining or enhancing patients’ quality of life. Little is known about the effect of training general practitioners in palliative care–specific communication. We hypothesized that palliative care patients of general practitioners exposed to the ‘Availability, Current issues and Anticipation’ communication training programme would report better outcomes than patients of control general practitioners. Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of the Availability, Current issues and Anticipation training programme for general practitioners on patient-reported outcomes. Design: In a controlled trial, general practitioners followed the Availability, Current issues and Anticipation programme or were part of the control group. Patients receiving palliative care of participating general practitioners completed the Palliative Care Outcome Scale, the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 15 Palliative, the Rest & Peace Scale, the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire–III and the Availability, Current issues and Anticipation Scale, at baseline and 12 months follow-up. We analysed differences between groups using linear mixed models. Trial registration: ISRCTN56722368. Setting/participants: General practitioners who attended a 2-year Palliative Care Training Course in the Netherlands. Results: Questionnaire data were available for 145 patients (89 in intervention and 56 in control group). We found no significant differences over time between the intervention and control groups in any of the five outcome measures. Ceiling effects were observed for the Rest & Peace Scale, Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire–III and Availability, Current issues and Anticipation Scale. Conclusion: General practitioner participation in the Availability, Current issues and Anticipation training programme did not have

  2. Referring a patient and family to high-quality palliative care at the close of life: "We met a new personality... with this level of compassion and empathy".

    PubMed

    Teno, Joan M; Connor, Stephen R

    2009-02-11

    Palliative care services are increasingly available to primary care physicians for both expert consultations and services to seriously ill patients. The United States now has more than 1400 hospital-based palliative care teams and more than 4700 hospice programs. We use an illustrative case of a palliative care hospitalization and intervention for a middle-aged man with severe pain from spinal metastases to discuss 4 key questions that a primary care physician faces in caring for the seriously ill patient with difficult symptom management: (1) Should I refer a patient to a hospital-based palliative care team or to hospice services for difficult symptom management? (2) If the patient is referred to a hospital-based palliative care team, what should I, as the primary care physician, expect? (3) When should I refer to hospice services a patient initially referred to a hospital-based palliative care team? and (4) How can I choose a hospice program that will provide competent, coordinated, and compassionate patient- and family-centered care? Primary care physicians now may choose among hospice programs, and the programs may vary in their quality of care. Validated tools to measure patient and family perceptions of the quality of hospice care are now available but progress in defining and measuring the quality of hospice care is still needed before actionable information will be available to guide the choice of hospice programs for physicians and consumers.

  3. Palliative Care Teams' Cost-Saving Effect Is Larger For Cancer Patients With Higher Numbers Of Comorbidities.

    PubMed

    May, Peter; Garrido, Melissa M; Cassel, J Brian; Kelley, Amy S; Meier, Diane E; Normand, Charles; Stefanis, Lee; Smith, Thomas J; Morrison, R Sean

    2016-01-01

    Patients with multiple serious conditions account for a high proportion of health care spending. Such spending is projected to continue to grow substantially as a result of increased insurance eligibility, the ever-rising cost of care, the continued use of nonbeneficial high-intensity treatments at the end of life, and demographic changes. We evaluated the impact of palliative care consultation on hospital costs for adults with advanced cancer, excluding those with dementia. We found that compared to usual care, the receipt of a palliative care consultation within two days of admission was associated with 22 percent lower costs for patients with a comorbidity score of 2-3 and with 32 percent lower costs for those with a score of 4 or higher. Earlier consultation was also found to be systematically associated with a larger cost-saving effect for all subsamples defined by multimorbidity. Given ongoing workforce shortages, targeting early specialist palliative care to hospitalized patients with advanced cancer and higher numbers of serious concurrent conditions could improve care while complementing strategies to curb the growth of health spending.

  4. Palliative Care Teams' Cost-Saving Effect Is Larger For Cancer Patients With Higher Numbers Of Comorbidities.

    PubMed

    May, Peter; Garrido, Melissa M; Cassel, J Brian; Kelley, Amy S; Meier, Diane E; Normand, Charles; Stefanis, Lee; Smith, Thomas J; Morrison, R Sean

    2016-01-01

    Patients with multiple serious conditions account for a high proportion of health care spending. Such spending is projected to continue to grow substantially as a result of increased insurance eligibility, the ever-rising cost of care, the continued use of nonbeneficial high-intensity treatments at the end of life, and demographic changes. We evaluated the impact of palliative care consultation on hospital costs for adults with advanced cancer, excluding those with dementia. We found that compared to usual care, the receipt of a palliative care consultation within two days of admission was associated with 22 percent lower costs for patients with a comorbidity score of 2-3 and with 32 percent lower costs for those with a score of 4 or higher. Earlier consultation was also found to be systematically associated with a larger cost-saving effect for all subsamples defined by multimorbidity. Given ongoing workforce shortages, targeting early specialist palliative care to hospitalized patients with advanced cancer and higher numbers of serious concurrent conditions could improve care while complementing strategies to curb the growth of health spending. PMID:26733700

  5. Understanding the purpose of treatment and expectations in patients with inoperable lung cancer treated with palliative chemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Woźniak, Karolina; Krajnik, Małgorzata

    2015-01-01

    Aim of the study Informing cancer patients about various types of treatment and their adverse effects and communicating negative information is an important element of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Understanding the purpose of treatment and expectations, and socio-demographic factors in patients undergoing palliative chemotherapy because of lung cancer. Material and methods The study included 100 patients with lung cancer at the age of 40–80 years (mean 63.1) in the Oncology Center in Bydgoszcz in 2013–2014. The diagnostic survey method with the author's questionnaire was used. Results Forty-one percent of patients were convinced that the purpose of chemotherapy is to cure the disease. Both inhabitants of small towns (population below 50 thousand) and large villages (p = 0.09) were similarly convinced about the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Seventy-three percent of inhabitants of small towns and 79% of country dwellers (p = 0.005) thought that chemotherapy is aimed at improving the quality of life. Patients with very good economic conditions responded that chemotherapy is designed to improve the quality of life more often than those with good and bad economic conditions, 90%, 88% and 60%, respectively (p = 0.001). With the increase in population the number of people who claimed that palliative chemotherapy prolongs their life increased, 71%, 77% and 90%, respectively (p = 0.03). Conclusions The knowledge of patients with lung cancer about palliative chemotherapy is insufficient. Almost half of them do not understand the purpose of treatment and hope that chemotherapy will cure them of the disease. Most patients know that the aim of chemotherapy is to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life and prolong their life. Half of the patients want to obtain information on treatment and half of them about life expectancy. Almost half of the patients feel stress and anxiety towards chemotherapy. Most patients do not use the help of a psychologist and do

  6. Self-expandable metallic stents for palliation of patients with malignant gastric outlet obstruction caused by stomach cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Tae Oh; Kang, Dae Hwan; Kim, Gwang Ha; Heo, Jeong; Song, Geun Am; Cho, Mong; Kim, Dong Heon; Sim, Mun Sup

    2007-01-01

    AIM: To ascertain clinical outcome and complications of self-expandable metal stents for endoscopic palliation of patients with malignant obstruction of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. METHODS: A retrospective review was performed throughout August 2000 to June 2005 of 53 patients with gastric outlet obstruction caused by stomach cancer. All patients had symptomatic obstruction including nausea, vomiting, and decreased oral intake. All received self-expandable metallic stents. RESULTS: Stent implantation was successful in all 53 (100%) patients. Relief of obstructive symptoms was achieved in 43 (81.1%) patients. No immediate stent-related complications were noted. Seventeen patients had recurrent obstruction (tumor ingrowth in 14 patients, tumor overgrowth in 1 patient, and partial distal stent migration in 2 patients). The mean survival was 145 d. Median stent patency time was 187 d. CONCLUSION: Endoscopic placement of self-expandable metallic stents is a safe and effective treatment for the palliation of patients with inoperable malignant gastric outlet obstruction caused by stomach cancer. PMID:17352023

  7. In their own words: Patients and families define high-quality palliative care in the intensive care unit*

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Judith E.; Puntillo, Kathleen A.; Pronovost, Peter J.; Walker, Amy S.; McAdam, Jennifer L.; Ilaoa, Debra; Penrod, Joan

    2011-01-01

    Objective Although the majority of hospital deaths occur in the intensive care unit and virtually all critically ill patients and their families have palliative needs, we know little about how patients and families, the most important “stakeholders,” define high-quality intensive care unit palliative care. We conducted this study to obtain their views on important domains of this care. Design Qualitative study using focus groups facilitated by a single physician. Setting A 20-bed general intensive care unit in a 382-bed community hospital in Oklahoma; 24-bed medical–surgical intensive care unit in a 377-bed tertiary, university hospital in urban California; and eight-bed medical intensive care unit in a 311-bed Veterans’ Affairs hospital in a northeastern city. Patients Randomly-selected patients with intensive care unit length of stay ≥5 days in 2007 to 2008 who survived the intensive care unit, families of survivors, and families of patients who died in the intensive care unit. Interventions None. Measurements and Main Results Focus group facilitator used open-ended questions and scripted probes from a written guide. Three investigators independently coded meeting transcripts, achieving consensus on themes. From 48 subjects (15 patients, 33 family members) in nine focus groups across three sites, a shared definition of high-quality intensive care unit palliative care emerged: timely, clear, and compassionate communication by clinicians; clinical decision-making focused on patients’ preferences, goals, and values; patient care maintaining comfort, dignity, and personhood; and family care with open access and proximity to patients, interdisciplinary support in the intensive care unit, and bereavement care for families of patients who died. Participants also endorsed specific processes to operationalize the care they considered important. Conclusions Efforts to improve intensive care unit palliative care quality should focus on domains and processes that

  8. Clinical benefits of combined chemotherapy with S-1, oxaliplatin, and docetaxel in advanced gastric cancer patients with palliative surgery

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yan; Feng, Ye; Gao, Yongjian; Hou, Ruizhi

    2016-01-01

    Background and aim Advanced gastric cancer accounts for a substantial portion of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Surgical intervention is the curative therapeutic approach, but patients with advanced gastric cancer are not eligible for the radical resection. The present work aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of palliative surgery combined with S-1, oxaliplatin, and docetaxel chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with advanced gastric cancer. Method A total of 20 patients who underwent palliative resection of gastric cancer in China–Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University from 2010 to 2011 were evaluated. Days 20–30 postoperative, these patients started to receive chemotherapy of S-1 (40 mg/m2, oral intake twice a day) and intravenous infusion of oxaliplatin (135 mg/m2) and docetaxel (75 mg/m2). After three cycles of chemotherapy (21 days/cycle), patients were evaluated, and only those who responded toward the treatment continued to receive six to eight cycles of the treatment and were included in end point evaluation. Patients’ survival time and adverse reactions observed along the treatment were compared with those treated with FOLFOX. Results Out of 20 patients evaluated, there was one case of complete response, nine cases of partial response, six cases of stable disease, and four cases of progressive disease. The total efficacy (complete response + partial response) and clinical benefit rates were 50% and 80%, respectively. Of importance, the treatment achieved a significantly longer survival time compared to FOLFOX, despite the fact that both regimens shared common adverse reactions. The adverse reactions were gastrointestinal reaction, reduction in white blood cells, and peripheral neurotoxicity. All of them were mild, having no impact on the treatment. Conclusion Combination therapy of S-1, oxaliplatin, and docetaxel improves the survival of gastric cancer patients treated with palliative resection, with adverse reactions being

  9. Impact of a home-based social welfare program on care for palliative patients in the Basque Country (SAIATU Program)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background SAIATU is a program of specially trained in-home social assistance and companionship which, since February 2011, has provided support to end-of-life patients, enabling the delivery of better clinical care by healthcare professionals in Osakidetza (Basque Health Service), in Guipúzcoa (Autonomous Community of the Basque Country). In January 2012, a retrospective observational study was carried out, with the aim of describing the characteristics of the service and determining if the new social service and the associated socio-health co-ordination had produced any effect on the use of healthcare resources by end-of-life patients. The results of a comparison of a cohort of cases and controls demonstrated evidence that the program could reduce the use of hospital resources and promote the continuation of living at home, increasing the home-based activity of primary care professionals. The objective of this study is to analyse whether a program of social intervention in palliative care (SAIATU) results in a reduction in the consumption of healthcare resources and cost by end-of-life patients and promotes a shift towards a more community-based model of care. Method/design Comparative prospective cohort study, with randomised selection of patients, which will systematically measure patient characteristics and their consumption of resources in the last 30 days of life, with and without the intervention of a social support team trained to provide in-home end-of-life care. For a sample of approximately 150 patients, data regarding the consumption of public healthcare resources, SAIATU activity, home hospitalisation teams, and palliative care will be recorded. Such data will also include information dealing with the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients and attending carers, as well as particular characteristics of patient outcomes (Karnofsky Index), and of the outcomes of palliative care received (Palliative Outcome Scale). Ethical

  10. [Pain therapy in tumor patients and in palliative medicine. 2: Invasive measures].

    PubMed

    Hanekop, G G; Bautz, M T; Beck, D; Kettler, D; Ensink, F B

    1998-01-01

    Anesthesiological and neurosurgical methods in the treatment of cancer pain have to be considered as parts of a holistic approach. To treat cancer pain patients appropriately, an interdisciplinary setting is essential. In the eyes of experienced pain specialists as well as physicians in palliative medicine invasive procedures are only of minor importance. Their use has been steadily decreasing while neuromodulatory (e.g. intraspinal opioids) or stimulatory (e.g. TENS, DBS, SCS) methods gained wider acceptance. The only neurolytic procedure which still has some importance is the neurolysis of the celiac ganglion for alleviation of pain in the upper abdomen mostly due to pancreatic cancer. This approach seems to be highly effective and tends to be afflicted with only minor complications. Other neurolytic blocks have shown solely local and temporal efficacy. In their majority they are unprecise and often accompanied by severe complications. Therefore these procedures should be scheduled only after carefully weighing risk versus benefit. Where suitable, the use of neurolytics is replaced by radiofrequency thermocoagulation, to a lesser degree by cryoanalgesia. Both procedures normally do not yield better analgesia but do result in fewer complications. Physicians tend to treat pain as a completely somatic disorder, but chronic pain states are always bio-psycho-social in nature. In order to achieve an effective pain treatment all influencing variables have to be taken into account. Anesthesiological and neurosurgical procedures are only a part of the possible and necessary treatment options. Especially before using one of the invasive methods described here, it seems imperative to involve the patient in the process of decision making more closely than currently practiced. PMID:9703641

  11. A short radiotherapy course for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): effective palliation and patients' convenience.

    PubMed

    Plataniotis, G A; Kouvaris, J R; Dardoufas, C; Kouloulias, V; Theofanopoulou, M A; Vlahos, L

    2002-02-01

    In order to facilitate patients with symptomatic locally advanced NSCLC, especially those coming from remote areas we have employed two palliative RT schedules. The first (S1) is the well known from Medical Research Council (MRC) randomized studies 2 x 8.5 Gy one week apart and the second (S2) is a two-day RT schedule: three fractions of 4.25 Gy are given on the first day and two fractions of 4.25 Gy on the second day. The records of 92 patients were reviewed (48 for S1 and 44 for S2). Patients, disease characteristics and results were similar for both groups; rates of symptom disappearance were for S1 and S2, respectively: cough 24 and 20%, hemoptysis 60 and 67%, chest pain 57 and 64% and dyspnoea 55 and 45% The overall condition improved in 39 and 36%, respectively. The median palliation time in days was in S1 and S2, respectively: cough 70 and 66, haemoptysis 133 and 139, chest pain 68 and 62 and dyspnoea 74 and 69 days. The median survival was 25 weeks in both S1 and S2 groups (P=0.89 log-rank test). At 52 weeks (one year), ten (21%) and seven (16%) of the patients were alive in S1 and S2 groups, respectively. At 104 weeks, the corresponding figures were two (4%) and two (4.7%) for S1 and S2. Our results are in accordance to those reported in literature regarding the safety and efficacy of palliative hypofractionated radiotherapy schemes. Their use in selected patients could be cost-effective and convenient for patients especially those coming from remote areas.

  12. Palliative therapy using polyurethane-covered self-expandable metallic stents for malignant esophageal strictures: experiences in six patients.

    PubMed

    Kato, M; Saji, S; Kanematsu, M; Hoshi, H; Ishiguchi, T; Kunieda, K; Takao, H; Sugiyama, Y

    1996-12-01

    To evaluate the utility and limitations of palliative stenting with polyurethane-covered self-expandable metallic stents, 6 patients (3 males and 3 females ranging in age from 58-85 [mean 72.1] years) with malignant esophageal strictures were treated with these stents between April 1993 and October 1995. Three had esophageal carcinoma, two had gastric carcinoma and one had lung carcinoma. Song-type self-expandable metallic stents were inserted by intubation under local laryngeal anesthesia. A retriever was attached in 4 stents and an anti-reflux mechanism was attached in 2 stents placed over the esophagocardiac strictures. The stents were placed successfully in all patients, and no major complication related to intubation was encountered. All the stents fully expanded within 3 days after insertion. The grade of dysphagia was improved in 5 (83%) of the 6 patients. One stent was extracted using a retriever in one patient with no improvement. No reflux symptoms were observed in 2 patients whom received stents with an anti-reflux mechanism. No blockage of the stent due to food impaction or secondary stricture occurred in any patient during the observation period. One stent migrated into the stomach in one patient 27 days after insertion. Esophageal stenting with polyurethane-covered self-expandable metallic stents is a relatively safe and effective palliation for malignant esophageal strictures. PMID:9001352

  13. Barriers in Referring Neonatal Patients to Perinatal Palliative Care: A French Multicenter Survey

    PubMed Central

    Tosello, Barthélémy; Dany, Lionel; Bétrémieux, Pierre; Le Coz, Pierre; Auquier, Pascal; Gire, Catherine; Einaudi, Marie-Ange

    2015-01-01

    Background When an incurable fetal condition is detected, some women (or couples) would rather choose to continue with the pregnancy than opt for termination of pregnancy for medical reasons, which, in France, can be performed until full term. Such situations are frequently occurring and sometimes leading to the implementation of neonatal palliative care. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the practices of perinatal care french professionals in this context; to identify the potential obstacles that might interfere with the provision of an appropiate neonatal palliative care; and, from an opposite perspective, to determine the criteria that led, in some cases, to offer this type of care for prenatally diagnosed lethal abnormality. Methods We used an email survey sent to 434 maternal-fetal medicine specialists (MFMs) and fetal care pediatric specialists (FCPs) at 48 multidisciplinary centers for prenatal diagnosis (MCPD). Results Forty-two multidisciplinary centers for prenatal diagnosis (87.5%) took part. In total, 102 MFMs and 112 FCPs completed the survey, yielding response rate of 49.3%. One quarter of professionals (26.2%) estimated that over 20% of fetal pathologies presenting in MCPD could correspond to a diagnosis categorized as lethal (FCPs versus MFMs: 24% vs 17.2%, p = 0.04). The mean proportion of fetal abnormalities eligible for palliative care at birth was estimated at 19.30% (± 2.4) (FCPs versus MFMs: 23.4% vs 15.2%, p = 0.029). The degree of diagnostic certainty appears to be the most influencing factor (98.1%, n = 207) in the information provided to the pregnant woman with regard to potential neonatal palliative care. The vast majority of professionals, 92.5%, supported considering the practice of palliative care as a regular option to propose antenatally. Conclusions Our study reveals the clear need for training perinatal professionals in perinatal palliative care and for the standardization of practices in this field. PMID:25978417

  14. Referral to a specialist paediatric palliative care service in oncology patients.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Lorna K; Miller, Michael; McKinney, Patricia A; Parslow, Roger C; Feltbower, Richard G

    2011-04-01

    Cancer is the second most common cause of death in children and young people (0-19 years) accounting for 16.2% of deaths in England and Wales in 2005. Only 37.6% children and young people who died from cancer in Yorkshire were referred to Martin House Children's Hospice (MH) during the period 1990-2005. A significantly higher proportion with central nervous system tumours and a significantly lower than expected proportion with leukaemia or lymphoma were referred for palliative care. There is potential to increase the proportion of children and young people with cancer who are referred to specialist palliative care services.

  15. Palliative care: an evolving field in medicine.

    PubMed

    Eti, Serife

    2011-06-01

    Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems 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. This article discusses illness trajectories and prognostic estimates, prognostic tools, educating physicians and nurses in palliative care, research in palliative medicine, and palliative care in hospitals and the community. PMID:21628032

  16. Palliative Care

    MedlinePlus

    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 ...

  17. Co-creating possibilities for patients in palliative care to reach vital goals--a multiple case study of home-care nursing encounters.

    PubMed

    Bergdahl, Elisabeth; Benzein, Eva; Ternestedt, Britt-Marie; Elmberger, Eva; Andershed, Birgitta

    2013-12-01

    The patient's home is a common setting for palliative care. This means that we need to understand current palliative care philosophy and how its goals can be realized in home-care nursing encounters (HCNEs) between the nurse, patient and patient's relatives. The existing research on this topic describes both a negative and a positive perspective. There has, however, been a reliance on interview and descriptive methods in this context. The aim of this study was to explore planned HCNEs in palliative care. The design was a multiple case study based on observations. The analysis includes a descriptive and an explanation building phase. The results show that planned palliative HCNEs can be described as a process of co-creating possibilities for the patient to reach vital goals through shared knowledge in a warm and caring atmosphere, based on good caring relations. However, in some HCNEs, co-creation did not occur: Wishes and needs were discouraged or made impossible and vital goals were not reached for the patients or their relatives. Further research is needed to understand why. The co-creative process presented in this article can be seen as a concretization of the palliative care ideal of working with a person-centered approach.

  18. Impact of Palliative Care Consultation Service on Terminally Ill Cancer Patients: A 9-Year Observational Cohort Study in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Lu, Ching-Yi; Shen, Wen-Chi; Kao, Chen-Yi; Wang, Hung-Ming; Tang, Shu-Chuan; Chin, Tsu-Ling; Chi, Chuan-Chuan; Yang, Jin-Mei; Chang, Chih-Wen; Lai, Ying-Fen; Yeh, Ya-Chi; Hung, Yu-Shin; Chou, Wen-Chi

    2016-03-01

    The palliative care consultation service (PCCS) that has been enthusiastically promoted in Taiwan since 2005 was designed to provide comprehensive end-of-life care for terminally ill patients with qualified interdisciplinary specialists in acute care ward setting. This study aims to evaluate the impact of PCCS on terminally ill cancer patients.A total of 10,594 terminal cancer patients who were referred to PCCS from a single medical center in Taiwan between 2006 and 2014 were enrolled. The percentages of patients' and their families' disease awareness, do-not-resuscitate (DNR) designation, refusal and acceptance of palliative care among terminally ill cancer patients were analyzed retrospectively.At the beginning of PCCS, the percentages of disease awareness among patients and their family were increased from 25.4% to 37.9% (P = 0.007) and from 61.2% to 84.7% between 2006 and 2014 (P = 0.001), respectively. Patients' disease awareness after PCCS referral between 2006 and 2014 was increased from 47.1% to 64.5% (P = 0.016). Family's awareness of diagnosis and prognosis after PCCS referral researched to a steady plateau, 94.1% to 97.8% in different year cohort (P = 0.34). The percentage of DNR designation rate at the beginning of PCCS (in 2006) was 15.5%, and the designation rate was increased annually and finally reached to 42.0% in 2014 (P = 0.004). The percentage of DNR consents after PCCS was also improved from 44.0% in 2006 up to 80.0% in 2014 (P = 0.005). PCCS refusal rate decreased gradually and dropped to 1.6% in 2014 (P = 0.005). The percentage of PCCS utilization was increased 5-fold during the 9-year period after the promotion of PCCSIn the program of PCCS promotion, an increasing trend of PCCS utilization, better patients' and their families' awareness of diagnosis and prognosis, more consent to DNR, more patients were discharged with stable condition at the end of PCCS and a decrease refusal rate of end-of-life palliative care

  19. Readmissions in Cancer Patients After Receiving Inpatient Palliative Care in Taiwan: A 9-Year Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hsiao-Ting; Chen, Chun-Ku; Lin, Ming-Hwai; Chou, Pesus; Chen, Tzeng-Ji; Hwang, Shinn-Jang

    2016-02-01

    Few studies have reported on readmissions among cancer patients receiving inpatient palliative care (IPC). This study investigated readmissions in cancer patients after their first discharge from IPC in Taiwan from 2002 to 2010.This study was a secondary data analysis using information from the National Health Insurance Database in Taiwan from 2002 to 2010. We included subjects ≥20 years old diagnosed with malignant neoplasms who were listed in the registry of catastrophic illness. Patients diagnosed with cancer before January 1, 2002 or who had ever been admitted to an inpatient hospice palliative care unit before the study period were excluded. Readmission was defined as hospital readmission at least once after discharge from first admission to IPC until mortality or the end of the study period.A total of 42,022 patients who met the inclusion criteria were identified. The majority of these patients were male (60.4%). The mean age of cancer diagnosis was 64.0 ± 14.4 years for men and 64.5 ± 14.7 years for women. The mean age at first hospice ward admission was 65.2 ± 14.2 years for men and 65.9 ± 14.9 years for women. During their first admission to IPC, 59.2% patients died, and the median stay of first IPC admission was 8.0 days. Among those discharged alive from their first admission to IPC, 64.9% were readmitted, and 19.4% of these patients were readmitted on the same day of discharge. From first IPC discharge until mortality, 54.8% of patients were readmitted once, 23.9% were readmitted twice, 9.9% were readmitted 3 times, and 11.5% were readmitted 4 or more times. Being male, having a higher insurance premium level, having a longer length of stay during first IPC admission, being admitted to a teaching hospital, or being admitted to a tertiary hospital increased the adjusted hazard ratio for readmission.We found that terminal cancer patients in Taiwan received relatively late referrals for first admission to IPC and experienced a high

  20. A review of olanzapine as an antiemetic in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and in palliative care patients.

    PubMed

    Fonte, C; Fatigoni, S; Roila, F

    2015-08-01

    Olanzapine is an atypical antipsychotic agent that blocks multiple neuronal receptors involved in the nausea and vomiting pathways. It has therefore been studied for the prevention and treatment of chemotherapy-induced emesis and in patients in palliative care presenting nausea and vomiting refractory to standard antiemetics. Some studies have shown that olanzapine was not inferior to aprepitant in the prophylaxis of highly and moderately emetogenic chemotherapy and that it increased the rate of complete response when added to a combination of a 5-HT3 antagonist, aprepitant and dexamethasone. These studies present so many shortcomings, however, that they do not permit us to draw any firm conclusions. Oral olanzapine showed superior antiemetic efficacy to metoclopramide as rescue treatment to control breakthrough emesis induced by chemotherapy. However, an oral formulation is not appropriate because in patients with vomiting or severe nausea the mere ingestion of an oral drug could induce emesis. Finally, in palliative care olanzapine could control or reduce the intensity of nausea and vomiting refractory to standard antiemetics.

  1. Palliative Care for the Geriatric Anesthesiologist.

    PubMed

    Gustin, Allen N; Aslakson, Rebecca A

    2015-09-01

    Many seriously ill geriatric patients are at higher risk for perioperative morbidity and mortality, and incorporating proactive palliative care principles may be appropriate. Advanced care planning is a hallmark of palliative care in that it facilitates alignment of the goals of care between the patient and the health care team. When these goals conflict, perioperative dilemmas can occur. Anesthesiologists must overcome many cultural and religious barriers when managing the care of these patients. Palliative care is gaining ground in several perioperative populations where integration with certain patient groups has occurred. Geriatric anesthesiologists must be aware of how palliative care and hospice influence and enhance the care of elderly patients. PMID:26315640

  2. Outcome of Patients Treated With a Single-Fraction Dose of Palliative Radiation for Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, Tarita O.; Agrawal, Priya; Guitart, Joan; Rosen, Steven T.; Querfeld, Christiane; Kuzel, Timothy M.

    2013-03-01

    Purpose: Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a radiosensitive tumor. Presently, treatment with radiation is given in multiple fractions. The current literature lacks data that support single-fraction treatment for CTCL. This retrospective review assesses the clinical response in patients treated with a single fraction of radiation. Methods and Materials: This study reviewed the records of 58 patients with CTCL, primarily mycosis fungoides, treated with a single fraction of palliative radiation therapy (RT) between October 1991 and January 2011. Patient and tumor characteristics were reviewed. Response rates were compared using Fisher's exact test and multiple logistic regressions. Survival rates were determined using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cost-effectiveness analysis was performed to assess the cost of a single vs a multifractionated treatment regimen. Results: Two hundred seventy individual lesions were treated, with the majority (97%) treated with ≥700 cGy; mean follow-up was 41.3 months (range, 3-180 months). Response rate by lesion was assessed, with a complete response (CR) in 255 (94.4%) lesions, a partial response in 10 (3.7%) lesions, a partial response converted to a CR after a second treatment in 4 (1.5%) lesions, and no response in 1 (0.4%) lesion. The CR in lower extremity lesions was lower than in other sites (P=.0016). Lesions treated with photons had lower CR than those treated with electrons (P=.017). Patients with lesions exhibiting large cell transformation and tumor morphology had lower CR (P=.04 and P=.035, respectively). Immunophenotype did not impact response rate (P=.23). Overall survival was significantly lower for patients with Sézary syndrome (P=.0003) and erythroderma (P<.0001). The cost of multifractionated radiation was >200% higher than that for single-fraction radiation. Conclusions: A single fraction of 700 cGy-800 cGy provides excellent palliation for CTCL lesions and is cost effective and convenient for the patient.

  3. A Clinical Prediction Model to Assess Risk for Chemotherapy-Related Hospitalization in Patients Initiating Palliative Chemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, Gabriel A.; Kansagra, Ankit J.; Rao, Sowmya R.; Weitzman, James I.; Linden, Erica A.; Jacobson, Joseph O.

    2015-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Chemotherapy-related hospitalizations in patients with advanced cancer are common, distressing, and costly. Methods to identify patients at high risk of chemotherapy toxic effects will permit development of targeted strategies to prevent chemotherapy-related hospitalizations. OBJECTIVE To demonstrate the feasibility of using readily available clinical data to assess patient-specific risk of chemotherapy-related hospitalization. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Nested case-control study conducted from January 2003 through December 2011 at the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center, a community-based cancer center in north eastern Massachusetts. The parent cohort included 1579 consecutive patients with advanced solid-tumor cancer receiving palliative-intent chemotherapy. Case patients (n = 146) included all patients from the parent cohort who experienced a chemotherapy-related hospitalization. Controls (n = 292) were randomly selected from 1433 patients who did not experience a chemotherapy-related hospitalization. EXPOSURES Putative risk factors for chemotherapy-related hospitalization—including patient characteristics, treatment characteristics, and pretreatment laboratory values—were abstracted from medical records. Multivariable logistic regression was used to model the patient-specific risk of chemotherapy-related hospitalization. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Chemotherapy-related hospitalization, as adjudicated by the oncology clinical care team within a systematic quality-assessment program. RESULTS A total of 146 (9.2%) of 1579 patients from the parent cohort experienced a chemotherapy-related hospitalization. In multivariate regression, 7 variables were significantly associated with chemotherapy-related hospitalization: age, Charlson comorbidity score, creatinine clearance, calcium level, below-normal white blood cell and/or platelet count, polychemotherapy (vs monotherapy), and receipt of camptothecin chemotherapy. The median predicted risk of

  4. Dejection and self-assessment of quality of life in patients with lung cancer subjected to palliative care

    PubMed Central

    Farbicka, Paulina; Krajnik, Małgorzata

    2016-01-01

    Aim of the study To evaluate the intensity of dejection and self-assessment of quality of life in patients with lung cancer from the start of palliative care until death. Material and methods The study included 63 patients with lung cancer from the start of care until death in palliative medicine centers in Bydgoszcz in 2012–2013. The visual-analogue scale constituting part of the ESAS scale was used to assess dejection, while question number 30 of the EORTC QLQ-C30 was used for self-assessment of quality of life. Results “Moderate” and “very” intense dejection initially occurred in 19 (30%) and 24 (38%), and in the 2nd assessment in as many as 23 (36%) and 30 (48%) patients. Average quality of life deteriorated in this respect by 0.09 in the two-step scale (p = 0.005). Increase in the intensity of “moderate” dejection occurred between the 1st and 3rd assessment. Initially it occurred in 2 (9%) patients and in 14 (66%) during the 3rd assessment. In contrast, the levels of “very” severe dejection did not change significantly between the 1st and the 3rd assessment. The average quality of life deteriorated by 0.23 points (p = 0.004). A significant relationship was found only between analgesic treatment and quality of life (p < 0.0005). Other factors such as age, time from diagnosis to start of treatment, place of residence, sex, or financial condition did not affect the quality of life. Conclusions Self-assessment of the quality of life worsens with time. The intensity of dejection does not change in the last 3 weeks of life. In multivariate analysis, among the selected variables such as age, sex, place of residence, time from diagnosis to start of palliative care, financial condition, and type of painkillers used, only the latter has an impact on self-assessed quality of life. PMID:26843849

  5. Late-stage HIV/AIDS patients' and their familial caregivers' agreement on the palliative care outcome scale.

    PubMed

    Krug, Rachel; Karus, Daniel; Selwyn, Peter A; Raveis, Victoria H

    2010-01-01

    This study compares the self-assessments of 67 late-stage HIV/AIDS patients regarding their symptomatology, sense of self-worth, and several other aspects of their health-care situation, to assessments of that situation provided by their informal caregivers. As part of a dyadic study of care preferences, the patients and caregivers independently completed nearly identical versions of the Palliative Care Outcome Scale, a short 10-item measure of the patient's current health, social, and psychological status. The participants in the study were recruited from inpatient and outpatient services at an urban medical center. Substantial or moderate agreement, assessed by weighted kappa, was found between patient and caregiver assessments with regard to only four items assessing physical or emotional states of the patient (pain, other symptoms, anxiety, and life worthwhile). Fair or slight agreement was found for the six remaining items, including those assessing the patient's sense of self-worth, family/friends' anxiety, interactions with family/friends, and practical matters. Mean ratings of self-worth were significantly different for patients and caregivers. These findings underscore the clinical need to assess patient care outcomes directly, and they suggest the importance of facilitating more effective communication about relevant health issues among seriously ill patients, caregivers, and health-care providers.

  6. Palliative social work in the emergency department.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Robin

    2012-01-01

    Recognizing that seriously ill patients and their families utilize emergency departments (EDs) for distressing symptoms, changing goals of care, or at the end of life, palliative care and emergency medicine departments are partnering to enhance the care provided to patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families. A social work model for identifying patients with unmet palliative care needs in the ED is included to illustrate the process as well as specific psychosocial interventions that palliative social workers can provide in this environment. As increasing numbers of palliative and emergency medicine departments partner to both improve ED care for patients with life-threatening illness and initiate palliative care consults earlier in hospitalizations, palliative and ED social workers have an opportunity to join their physician and nurse colleagues who are making inroads in this important and growing area.

  7. Quality of life among patients receiving palliative care in South Africa and Uganda: a multi-centred study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Quality of life (QOL) is a core outcome of palliative care, yet in African settings there is a lack of evidence on patients' levels of QOL. We aimed to describe QOL among patients with incurable, progressive disease receiving palliative care in South Africa and Uganda, to compare QOL in cancer and HIV, to determine how domains of QOL correlate with overall QOL, and compare levels of QOL in this population with those in other studies using the same tool. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted using the Missoula Vitas Quality of Life Index (MVQOLI), a 26-item QOL questionnaire with five subscales (Function, Symptom, Interpersonal, Well being, Transcendent) covering physical, social, psychological and spiritual domains and one global QOL item. One item in each subscale assesses the subjective importance of the domain on a score from 1 (least important) to 5 (most important), used to weight the contribution of the subscale towards the Total QOL score. The tool was translated into 6 languages and administered to consecutively recruited patients at four facilities in South Africa and one in Uganda. Results 285 patients were recruited, with a mean age of 40.1; 197 (69.1%) were female. Patients' primary diagnoses were HIV (80.7%), cancer (17.9%) and other conditions (1.4%). The mean global QOL score was 2.81 (possible range 0 (worst) to 5 (best)); mean Total score 17.32 (possible range 0 to 30). Patients scored most poorly on Function (mean 0.21), followed by Well being (2.59), Symptoms (5.38), Transcendent (5.50), Interpersonal (9.53) (possible range for subscale scores -30 to 30). Most important to patients were: close relationships (mean 4.13), feeling at peace (4.12), sense of meaning in life (4.10), being active (3.84), physical comfort (2.58). Cancer patients were predominantly recruited at three of the sites; hence comparison with HIV-infected patients was restricted to these sites. HIV+ patients (n = 115) scored significantly worse than cancer

  8. Effects of a transitional palliative care model on patients with end-stage heart failure: a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Frances Kam Yuet; Ng, Alina Yee Man; Lam, Po-tin; Ng, Jeffrey Sheung Ching; Ng, Nancy Hiu Yim; Sham, Michael Mau Kwong

    2016-01-01

    Objective To examine the effects of home-based transitional palliative care for patients with end-stage heart failure (ESHF) after hospital discharge. Methods This was a randomised controlled trial conducted in three hospitals in Hong Kong. The recruited subjects were patients with ESHF who had been discharged home from hospitals and referred for palliative service, and who met the specified inclusion criteria. The interventions consisted of weekly home visits/telephone calls in the first 4 weeks then monthly follow-up, provided by a nurse case manager supported by a multidisciplinary team. The primary outcome measures were any readmission and count of readmissions within 4 and 12 weeks after index discharge, compared using χ2 tests and Poisson regression, respectively. Secondarily, change in symptoms over time between control and intervention groups were evaluated using generalised estimating equation analyses of data collected using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS). Results The intervention group (n=43) had a significantly lower readmission rate than the control group (n=41) at 12 weeks (intervention 33.6% vs control 61.0% χ2=6.8, p=0.009). The mean number (SE) of readmissions for the intervention and control groups was, respectively, 0.42 (0.10) and 1.10 (0.16) and the difference was significant (p=0.001). The relative risk (CI) for 12-week readmissions for the intervention group was 0.55 (0.35 to 0.88). There was no significant difference in readmissions between groups at 4 weeks. However, when compared with the control group, the intervention group experienced significantly higher clinical improvement in depression (45.9% vs 16.1%, p<0.05), dyspnoea (62.2% vs 29.0%, p<0.05) and total ESAS score (73.0% vs 41.4%, p<0.05) at 4 weeks. There were significant differences between groups in changes over time in quality of life (QOL) measured by McGill QOL (p<0.05) and chronic HF (p<0.01) questionnaires. Conclusions This study provides evidence

  9. Low dose reirradiation in combination with hyperthermia: a palliative treatment for patients with breast cancer recurring in previously irradiated areas.

    PubMed

    van der Zee, J; Treurniet-Donker, A D; The, S K; Helle, P A; Seldenrath, J J; Meerwaldt, J H; Wijnmaalen, A J; van den Berg, A P; van Rhoon, G C; Broekmeyer-Reurink, M P

    1988-12-01

    Ninety-seven patients with breast cancer recurring in a previously irradiated area (mean dose 44 Gy) were reirradiated in combination with hyperthermia and had evaluable tumor responses. In the reirradiation series, radiotherapy was given twice weekly in most patients, with a fraction size varying from 200 to 400 cGy, the total dose varying from 8 to 32 Gy. Hyperthermia was given following the radiotherapy fractions. The combined treatment resulted in 35% complete and 55% partial responses. Duration of response was median 4 months for partial response and 26 months for complete response, respectively. The median survival time for all patients was 12 months. Acute skin reaction was mild, with more than moderate erythema in only 14/97 patients. Thermal burns occurred in 44/97 patients, generally at sites where pain sensation was decreased, and therefore they did not cause much inconvenience. In the 19 patients who survived more than 2 years, no late radiation damage was observed. When patients who received a "high dose" (greater than 29 Gy and hyperthermia) were compared with those who received a "low dose" (less than 29 Gy and hyperthermia), a higher complete response rate was observed in the high dose group (58% vs. 24%), whereas no difference in acute toxicity was found. We conclude that reirradiation with 8 x 4 Gy in combination with hyperthermia twice weekly is a safe, effective and well tolerated method for palliative treatment of patients with breast cancer recurring in previously irradiated areas.

  10. Survival Prediction Score: A Simple but Age-Dependent Method Predicting Prognosis in Patients Undergoing Palliative Radiotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Dalhaug, Astrid; Pawinski, Adam; Haukland, Ellinor

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Validation of a Canadian three-tiered prognostic model (survival prediction score, SPS) in Norwegian cancer patients referred for palliative radiotherapy (PRT), and evaluation of age-dependent performance of the model. Patients and Methods. We analyzed all 579 PRT courses administered at a dedicated PRT facility between 20.06.07 and 31.12.2009. SPS was assigned as originally described, That is, by taking into consideration three variables: primary cancer type, site of metastases, and performance status. Results. Patients with poor prognosis (non-breast cancer, metastases other than bone, and Karnofsky performance status (KPS) ≤ 60) had median survival of 13 weeks. Those with intermediate prognosis (two of these parameters) survived for a median of 29 weeks, and patients with good prognosis for a median of 114 weeks, P < 0.001. While this model performed well in patients who were 60 years or older, it was less satisfactory in younger patients (no significant difference between the good and intermediate prognosis groups). Conclusion. SPS should mainly be used to predict survival of elderly cancer patients. However, even in this group accuracy is limited because the good prognosis group contained patients with short survival, while the poor prognosis group contained long-term survivors. Thus, improved models should be developed. PMID:25006508

  11. Palliative dental care- a boon for debilitating.

    PubMed

    Mulk, Bhavana Sujana; Chintamaneni, Raja Lakshmi; Mpv, Prabhat; Gummadapu, Sarat; Salvadhi, Shyam Sundar

    2014-06-01

    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

  12. Palliative Dental Care- A Boon for Debilitating

    PubMed Central

    Chintamaneni, Raja Lakshmi; Mpv, Prabhat; Gummadapu, Sarat; Salvadhi, Shyam Sundar

    2014-01-01

    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

  13. Outcome of patients admitted with acute coronary syndrome on palliative treatment: insights from the nationwide AMIS Plus Registry 1997–2014

    PubMed Central

    Erne, Paul; Radovanovic, Dragana; Seifert, Burkhardt; Bertel, Osmund; Urban, Philip

    2015-01-01

    Objective Compliance with guidelines is increasingly used to benchmark the quality of hospital care, however, very little is known on patients admitted with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and treated palliatively. This study aimed to evaluate the baseline characteristics and outcomes of these patients. Design Prospective cohort study. Setting Eighty-two Swiss hospitals enrolled patients from 1997 to 2014. Participants All patients with ACS enrolled in the AMIS Plus registry (n=45 091) were analysed according to three treatment groups: palliative treatment, defined as use of aspirin and analgesics only and no reperfusion; conservative treatment, defined as any treatment including antithrombotics or anticoagulants, heparins, P2Y12 inhibitors, GPIIb/IIIa but no pharmacological or mechanical reperfusion; and reperfusion treatment (thrombolysis and/or percutaneous coronary intervention during initial hospitalisation). The primary outcome measure was in-hospital mortality and the secondary measure was 1-year mortality. Results Of the patients, 1485 (3.3%) were palliatively treated, 11 119 (24.7%) were conservatively treated and 32 487 (72.0%) underwent reperfusion therapy. In 1997, 6% of all patients were treated palliatively and this continuously decreased to 2% in 2013. Baseline characteristics of palliative patients differed in comparison with conservatively treated and reperfusion patients in age, gender and comorbidities (all p<0.001). These patients had more in-hospital complications such as postadmission onset of cardiogenic shock (15.6% vs 5.2%; p<0.001), stroke (1.8% vs 0.8%; p=0.001) and a higher in-hospital mortality (25.8% vs 5.6%; p<0.001).The subgroup of patients followed 1 year after discharge (n=8316) had a higher rate of reinfarction (9.2% vs 3.4%; p=0.003) and mortality (14.0% vs 3.5%; p<0.001). Conclusions Patients with ACS treated palliatively were older, sicker, with more heart failure at admission and very high in-hospital mortality. While

  14. Quality of Life After Palliative Radiation Therapy for Patients With Painful Bone Metastases: Results of an International Study Validating the EORTC QLQ-BM22

    SciTech Connect

    Zeng Liang; Chow, Edward; Bedard, Gillian; Zhang, Liying; Fairchild, Alysa; Vassiliou, Vassilios; Alm El-Din, Mohamed A.; Jesus-Garcia, Reynaldo; Kumar, Aswin; Forges, Fabien; Tseng, Ling-Ming; Hou, Ming-Feng; Chie, Wei-Chu; Bottomley, Andrew

    2012-11-01

    Purpose: Radiation therapy (RT) is an effective method of palliating painful bone metastases and can improve function and reduce analgesic requirements. In advanced cancer patients, quality of life (QOL) is the primary outcome of interest over traditional endpoints such as survival. The purpose of our study was to compare bone metastasis-specific QOL scores among patients who responded differently to palliative RT. Methods and Materials: Patients receiving RT for bone metastases across 6 countries were prospectively enrolled from March 2010-January 2011 in a trial validating the QLQ-BM22 and completed the QLQ-BM22 and the core measure (QLQ-C30) at baseline and after 1 month. Pain scores and analgesic intake were recorded, and response to RT was determined according to the latest published guidelines. The Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric and Wilcoxon rank sum tests compared changes in QOL among response groups. A Bonferroni-adjusted P<.003 indicated statistical significance. Results: Of 79 patients who received palliative RT, 59 were assessable. Partial response, pain progression, and indeterminate response were observed in 22, 8, and 29 patients, respectively; there were no patients with a complete response. Patients across all groups had similar baseline QOL scores apart from physical functioning (patients who progressed had better initial functioning). One month after RT, patients who responded had significant improvements in 3 of 4 QLQ-BM22 domains (painful site, P<.0001; painful characteristic, P<.0001; and functional interference, P<.0001) and 3 QLQ-C30 domains (physical functioning, P=.0006; role functioning, P=.0026; and pain, P<.0001). Patients with progression in pain had significantly worse functional interference (P=.0007) and pain (P=.0019). Conclusions: Patients who report pain relief after palliative RT also have better QOL with respect to bone metastasis-specific issues. The QLQ-BM22 and QLQ-C30 are able to discriminate among patients with varying

  15. 'Palliative care': a contradiction in terms? A qualitative study of cancer patients with a Turkish or Moroccan background, their relatives and care providers

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Palliative cancer care aims to improve quality of life and ultimately quality of dying, while prolonging life is not an objective anymore when death nears. The question is, however, whether these perspectives on palliative care are congruent with the perspectives of immigrant families with a Turkish or Moroccan background. Methods A qualitative design was used as we were looking for the personal views of 'very ill' cancer patients with a Turkish or Moroccan background, their family members and their Dutch care providers. We interviewed 83 people, involved in 33 cases to obtain information about their views, values and norms on 'good care'. Results The main concerns about 'good care' expressed by Turkish and Moroccan families were: maximum treatment and curative care until the end of their lives, never having hope taken away, devoted care by their families, avoiding shameful situations, dying with a clear mind and being buried in their own country. Their views conflict, to some extent, with the dominant principles in palliative care, for example, the emphasis on quality of life and advanced care planning, which includes discussing diagnosis and prognosis with the patient. Conclusions Patients and their families with a Turkish or Moroccan background often have different ideas about 'good care' than their Dutch care providers. As many of them are aiming at cure until the end of life, they find 'good palliative care' a contradiction in terms. PMID:20831777

  16. Caring for Patients With Severe and Enduring Eating Disorders (SEED): Certification, Harm Reduction, Palliative Care, and the Question of Futility.

    PubMed

    Westmoreland, Patricia; Mehler, Phillip S

    2016-07-01

    Anorexia nervosa is a serious mental illness with a high mortality rate. The body image distortion inherent to this disorder and the impaired judgment and cognition due to malnutrition frequently result in patients refusing treatment. Treatment is most effective if patients are treated early in the course of their illness and undergo a full course of treatment. Involuntary treatment may therefore be both life-saving and critical to recovery. Between April 2012 and March 2016, 109 patients (5.2% of patients admitted to the Eating Recovery Center in Denver, CO) were certified, 39% of whom were transferred from the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health Medical Center. Of these 109 certified patients, 31% successfully completed treatment, and 42% returned for a further episode of care; 24% of the certifications were terminated as involuntary treatment was not found to be helpful. Conclusions supported by these data are that patients with anorexia nervosa who are the most medically ill often require involuntary treatment. In addition, although many patients who are certified successfully complete treatment, involuntary treatment is not helpful approximately 25% of the time. Many of the patients for whom certification is ineffective are those who suffer from a lifetime of illness that is severe and enduring. Patients with severe and enduring eating disorders (SEED) typically undergo cyclical weight restoration and weight loss. Many of these patients question the value of serial treatments, especially when they have few (if any) illness-free intervals. Patients, families, and treating physicians often wish to explore other models of care, including harm reduction and palliative care. In addition, patients with SEED may also contemplate whether a compassionate death would be better than an ongoing lifetime of suffering. In this review, we outline arguments for and against the concept of futility in SEED, and explore whether (or when) patients are competent to

  17. Caring for Patients With Severe and Enduring Eating Disorders (SEED): Certification, Harm Reduction, Palliative Care, and the Question of Futility.

    PubMed

    Westmoreland, Patricia; Mehler, Phillip S

    2016-07-01

    Anorexia nervosa is a serious mental illness with a high mortality rate. The body image distortion inherent to this disorder and the impaired judgment and cognition due to malnutrition frequently result in patients refusing treatment. Treatment is most effective if patients are treated early in the course of their illness and undergo a full course of treatment. Involuntary treatment may therefore be both life-saving and critical to recovery. Between April 2012 and March 2016, 109 patients (5.2% of patients admitted to the Eating Recovery Center in Denver, CO) were certified, 39% of whom were transferred from the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health Medical Center. Of these 109 certified patients, 31% successfully completed treatment, and 42% returned for a further episode of care; 24% of the certifications were terminated as involuntary treatment was not found to be helpful. Conclusions supported by these data are that patients with anorexia nervosa who are the most medically ill often require involuntary treatment. In addition, although many patients who are certified successfully complete treatment, involuntary treatment is not helpful approximately 25% of the time. Many of the patients for whom certification is ineffective are those who suffer from a lifetime of illness that is severe and enduring. Patients with severe and enduring eating disorders (SEED) typically undergo cyclical weight restoration and weight loss. Many of these patients question the value of serial treatments, especially when they have few (if any) illness-free intervals. Patients, families, and treating physicians often wish to explore other models of care, including harm reduction and palliative care. In addition, patients with SEED may also contemplate whether a compassionate death would be better than an ongoing lifetime of suffering. In this review, we outline arguments for and against the concept of futility in SEED, and explore whether (or when) patients are competent to

  18. Palliative care for patients with head and neck cancer: "I would like a quick return to a normal lifestyle".

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Nathan E; Genden, Eric; Morrison, R Sean

    2008-04-16

    Head and neck cancers constitute a diverse group of diseases including malignancies of the oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, sinuses, and skull base. Treatment of these cancers includes a combination of surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiation. Due to both the patterns of disease recurrence and the adverse effects of treatments, patients with head and neck cancer often have a complex and prolonged course of illness that is marked by periods of freedom from disease and symptoms interspersed with bouts of serious illness, debility, and numerous physical and psychological symptoms including pain, dysphagia, weight loss, disfigurement, depression, and xerostomia. Thus, management of this disease is best provided by an interdisciplinary team that includes individuals from the disciplines of otolaryngology, palliative care, radiation oncology, oncology, nutrition, speech, and physical and occupational therapy. Using the case of Mr K, we describe the symptoms encountered by patients with head and neck cancer and suggest options for management. We discuss the psychological aspects that affect these patients, including issues such as changes in body image, quality of life, anxiety, and guilt. Finally, we discuss the importance of the interdisciplinary team in the care of these patients and outline the roles of each team member. By providing comprehensive care to patients with malignancies of the head and neck, clinicians can increase the likelihood that patients and their families will be able to obtain the best possible outcomes and quality of life. PMID:18413876

  19. The medical necessity for medicinal cannabis: prospective, observational study evaluating the treatment in cancer patients on supportive or palliative care.

    PubMed

    Bar-Sela, Gil; Vorobeichik, Marina; Drawsheh, Saher; Omer, Anat; Goldberg, Victoria; Muller, Ella

    2013-01-01

    Background. Cancer patients using cannabis report better influence from the plant extract than from synthetic products. However, almost all the research conducted to date has been performed with synthetic products. We followed patients with a medicinal cannabis license to evaluate the advantages and side effects of using cannabis by cancer patients. Methods. The study included two interviews based on questionnaires regarding symptoms and side effects, the first held on the day the license was issued and the second 6-8 weeks later. Cancer symptoms and cannabis side effects were documented on scales from 0 to 4 following the CTCAE. The distress thermometer was used also. Results. Of the 211 patients who had a first interview, only 131 had the second interview, 25 of whom stopped treatment after less than a week. All cancer or anticancer treatment-related symptoms showed significant improvement (P < 0.001). No significant side effects except for memory lessening in patients with prolonged cannabis use (P = 0.002) were noted. Conclusion. The positive effects of cannabis on various cancer-related symptoms are tempered by reliance on self-reporting for many of the variables. Although studies with a control group are missing, the improvement in symptoms should push the use of cannabis in palliative treatment of oncology patients.

  20. The Practice of Continuous Palliative Sedation in Long-Term Care for Frail Patients with Existential Suffering.

    PubMed

    van Deijck, Rogier H P D; Hasselaar, Jeroen G J; Krijnsen, Petrus J Cc; Gloudemans, Amadea J M; Verhagen, Stans C A H H V M; Vissers, Kris C P; Koopmans, Raymond T C M

    2015-01-01

    Some guidelines and recommendations identify existential suffering as a potential refractory symptom for which continuous palliative sedation (CPS) can be administered under certain conditions. However, there has been little research on the characteristics of patients with existential suffering treated with CPS and the degree to which the preconditions are fulfilled. The aim of this study was to provide insight into this specific indication for CPS. Questionnaires were sent to nursing home physicians in The Netherlands, who described 314 patients. Existential suffering was a refractory symptom in 83 of the patients. For most of the patients with refractory existential suffering, other refractory symptoms were also reported, and life expectancy was seven days or less; informed consent for initiating CPS had been obtained in all cases. Consultation and intermittent sedation before the start of CPS were far less frequently reported than one would expect based on the guidelines. Multivariate analysis showed that being male, having previously requested euthanasia, having a nervous system disease, or having an other diagnosis were positively correlated with the administration of CPS for existential suffering. We conclude that more attention should be paid to the suggested preconditions and to the presence of existential suffering in male patients or patients with a nervous system disease. PMID:26514019

  1. Working with a palliative care team.

    PubMed

    Wiebe, Lauren A; Von Roenn, Jamie H

    2010-01-01

    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.

  2. Impact of intense systemic therapy and improved survival on the use of palliative radiotherapy in patients with bone metastases from prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Nieder, Carsten; Haukland, Ellinor; Mannsåker, Bård; Norum, Jan

    2016-01-01

    More effective drugs may reduce the requirement for palliative external beam radiotherapy for bony target volumes; however, living with metastases for prolonged periods of time may result in more frequent episodes of bone pain or serious skeletal-related events. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate how recent advances in systemic therapy impact radiotherapy utilization. A retrospective analysis of a comprehensive regional database was performed. All oncology care in this region was provided by only one center, assuring complete data. Patients that had succumbed between June 1, 2004 and June 1, 2015 were included. For all 236 patients, the median age at diagnosis of bone metastases was 75 years and median overall survival was 20 months. More intense systemic therapy was associated with a significantly longer survival time. Only 69 patients (29%) did not receive palliative radiotherapy for bony target volumes, whilst 1 course was given to 101 patients (43%), 2 courses to 34 patients (14%) and >2 courses to 32 patients (14%). Radiotherapy was used more frequently in younger patients, those with spinal cord compressions or pathological fractures, and those treated with intense and long-standing systemic therapy. Radiotherapy utilization increased with survival time. For 100 poor-prognosis patients that succumbed within 12 months, 57 courses of palliative radiotherapy were administered, whilst 100 patients that survived for 12–24 months were administered 114 courses (24–36 months, 148 courses). In conclusion, the use of palliative radiotherapy did not decrease when more effective systemic therapy was administered. However, provided that only 5% of patients received radionuclide treatment, additional studies in other populations are required. PMID:27698881

  3. Impact of intense systemic therapy and improved survival on the use of palliative radiotherapy in patients with bone metastases from prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Nieder, Carsten; Haukland, Ellinor; Mannsåker, Bård; Norum, Jan

    2016-01-01

    More effective drugs may reduce the requirement for palliative external beam radiotherapy for bony target volumes; however, living with metastases for prolonged periods of time may result in more frequent episodes of bone pain or serious skeletal-related events. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate how recent advances in systemic therapy impact radiotherapy utilization. A retrospective analysis of a comprehensive regional database was performed. All oncology care in this region was provided by only one center, assuring complete data. Patients that had succumbed between June 1, 2004 and June 1, 2015 were included. For all 236 patients, the median age at diagnosis of bone metastases was 75 years and median overall survival was 20 months. More intense systemic therapy was associated with a significantly longer survival time. Only 69 patients (29%) did not receive palliative radiotherapy for bony target volumes, whilst 1 course was given to 101 patients (43%), 2 courses to 34 patients (14%) and >2 courses to 32 patients (14%). Radiotherapy was used more frequently in younger patients, those with spinal cord compressions or pathological fractures, and those treated with intense and long-standing systemic therapy. Radiotherapy utilization increased with survival time. For 100 poor-prognosis patients that succumbed within 12 months, 57 courses of palliative radiotherapy were administered, whilst 100 patients that survived for 12–24 months were administered 114 courses (24–36 months, 148 courses). In conclusion, the use of palliative radiotherapy did not decrease when more effective systemic therapy was administered. However, provided that only 5% of patients received radionuclide treatment, additional studies in other populations are required.

  4. Palliative medicine review: prognostication.

    PubMed

    Glare, Paul A; Sinclair, Christian T

    2008-01-01

    Prognostication, along with diagnosis and treatment, is a traditional core clinical skill of the physician. Many patients and families receiving palliative care want information about life expectancy to help plan realistically for their futures. Although underappreciated, prognosis is, or at least should be, part of every clinical decision. Despite this crucial role, expertise in the art and science of prognostication diminished during the twentieth century, due largely to the ascendancy of accurate diagnostic tests and effective therapies. Consequently, "Doctor, how long do I have?" is a question most physicians find unprepared to answer effectively. As we focus on palliative care in the twenty-first century, prognostication will need to be restored as a core clinical proficiency. The discipline of palliative medicine can provide leadership in this direction. This paper begins by discussing a framework for understanding prognosis and how its different domains might be applied to all patients with life limiting illness, although the main focus of the paper is predicting survival in patients with cancer. Examples of prognostic tools are provided, although the subjective assessment of prognosis remains important in the terminally ill. Other issues addressed include: the importance of prognostication in terms of clinical decision-making, discharge planning, and care planning; the impact of prognosis on hospice referrals and patient/family satisfaction; and physicians' willingness to prognosticate. PMID:18370898

  5. Palliative care in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    PubMed

    Lilly, Evan J; Senderovich, Helen

    2016-10-01

    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.

  6. Palliative care in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    PubMed

    Lilly, Evan J; Senderovich, Helen

    2016-10-01

    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. PMID:27481751

  7. How Radiation Oncologists Evaluate and Incorporate Life Expectancy Estimates Into the Treatment of Palliative Cancer Patients: A Survey-Based Study

    SciTech Connect

    Tseng, Yolanda D.; Krishnan, Monica S.; Sullivan, Adam J.; Jones, Joshua A.; Chow, Edward; Balboni, Tracy A.

    2013-11-01

    Purpose: We surveyed how radiation oncologists think about and incorporate a palliative cancer patient’s life expectancy (LE) into their treatment recommendations. Methods and Materials: A 41-item survey was e-mailed to 113 radiation oncology attending physicians and residents at radiation oncology centers within the Boston area. Physicians estimated how frequently they assessed the LE of their palliative cancer patients and rated the importance of 18 factors in formulating LE estimates. For 3 common palliative case scenarios, physicians estimated LE and reported whether they had an LE threshold below which they would modify their treatment recommendation. LE estimates were considered accurate when within the 95% confidence interval of median survival estimates from an established prognostic model. Results: Among 92 respondents (81%), the majority were male (62%), from an academic practice (75%), and an attending physician (70%). Physicians reported assessing LE in 91% of their evaluations and most frequently rated performance status (92%), overall metastatic burden (90%), presence of central nervous system metastases (75%), and primary cancer site (73%) as “very important” in assessing LE. Across the 3 cases, most (88%-97%) had LE thresholds that would alter treatment recommendations. Overall, physicians’ LE estimates were 22% accurate with 67% over the range predicted by the prognostic model. Conclusions: Physicians often incorporate LE estimates into palliative cancer care and identify important prognostic factors. Most have LE thresholds that guide their treatment recommendations. However, physicians overestimated patient survival times in most cases. Future studies focused on improving LE assessment are needed.

  8. [Specialised out-patient palliative care (SAPV) in Bavaria: efficiency, structural and process-related effects and rural care].

    PubMed

    Schneider, W; Eichner, E; Thoms, U; Stadelbacher, S; Kopitzsch, F

    2015-03-01

    Empirical indications show that specialised out-patient palliative care (SAPV), introduced in Germany in 2007, allows critically ill and dying patients to pass away within their own home even under complex symptoms. SAPV avoids emergency and hospital interferences, and the patient's wish to stay at home until the very end can be respected in most cases. The performance of SAPV is not solely focused on medical and patient-care aspects. It includes consulting and coordination work and also psycho-social support both of patients and family members. Within this framework, different active factors could be identified that are essential for high-quality care. Furthermore, the results show that the general ambulant care commodities on site determine the need, the extent and even the efficiency of SAPV. At the same time, SAPV changes also the respective care environment: it changes the roles of previous care providers and offers new resources, though not all existing resources (e. g., hospice services) are taken into account.

  9. [Palliative care for patients with advanced dementia: Evidence-based practice replaced by values-based practice].

    PubMed

    Kunz, R

    2003-10-01

    For the treatment of patients with advanced dementia, we could not find any evidence based guidelines to help in decision making. Individual values and expected quality of life must be the leading goals of any intervention. Symptom control and relieving suffering are core values of palliative care, but the recognition of discomfort needs qualified assessment skills. Pain assessment with common tools like the VAS fails in patients with cognitive impairment and inability to communicate; instruments like Doloplus and ECPA can be helpful to assess behavioral changes as expression of pain. The treatment of acute and chronic pain in advanced dementia is still not sufficient and needs improvement. Oral feeding in advanced dementia becomes more and more difficult. No randomized controlled study has found evidence that tube feeding will reduce the risk of aspiration or prolong life expectancy. Eating may be the only meaningful activity that remains for the patient; artificial feeding cannot serve the same function. All final complications, like pneumonia, call for a decision making process. Those who care for and care about these patients must make decisions. The feelings of the family have to be considered, but the probable will of the patient, his dignity and quality of life must not be overridden.

  10. From one side to the other: what is essential? Perception of oncology patients and their caregivers in the beginning of oncology treatment and in palliative care

    PubMed Central

    Munhoz, Bruna Antenussi; Paiva, Henrique Soares; Abdalla, Beatrice Martinez Zugaib; Zaremba, Guilherme; Rodrigues, Andressa Macedo Paiva; Carretti, Mayra Ribeiro; Monteiro, Camila Ribeiro de Arruda; Zara, Aline; Silva, Jussara Oliveira; Assis, Widner Baptista; Auresco, Luciana Campi; Pereira, Leonardo Lopes; del Giglio, Adriana Braz; Lepori, Ana Claudia de Oliveira; Trufelli, Damila Cristina; del Giglio, Auro

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the perception of oncology patients and their caregivers upon diagnosis and beginning of the therapy and during palliative care. Methods A cross-sectional study at the oncology and palliative care outpatients clinics of the Faculdade de Medicina do ABC . Clinical and demographic data from patients and their caregivers were collected and questionnaires regarding the elements considered important in relation to the treatment were applied. Results We enrolled 32 patients and 23 caregivers that were initiating treatment at the oncology outpatient clinic, as well as 20 patients and 20 caregivers at the palliative care clinic. Regarding the patients treated at the oncology clinic, the issues considered most important were a physician available to discuss the disease and answer questions (84%), trust in the physician (81%), and a physician with accessible language (81%). For their caregivers, the following issues were considered extremely important: trust in the medical team that treats the patients (96%), and the same medical team taking care of their relatives (87%). As to patients treated at the palliative care clinic, trust in the physician (83%), to be with people considered important to them (78%), and to be treated preserving their dignity (72%) were considered extremely important. For their caregivers, to receive adequate information about the disease and the treatment’s risks and benefits (84%), and sincere communication of information about the disease (79%) were considered extremely relevant. Conclusion Confidence through good communication and consistency in care were fundamental values to achieve satisfaction among caregivers and patients with cancer during all the course of disease development. PMID:25628202

  11. Esophagogastrectomy. A safe, widely applicable, and expeditious form of palliation for patients with carcinoma of the esophagus and cardia.

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, F H; Gibb, S P; Watkins, E

    1983-01-01

    Of 262 patients with carcinoma of the esophagus or cardia seen at the Lahey Clinic between January 1970 and January 1983, 209 (79.8%) underwent surgical exploration. This report is confined to the 167 operations performed in the division of the senior author. Half of the tumors involved the esophagogastric junction with nearly equal numbers being located in the lower and upper halves of the thoracic esophagus and a relatively small number involving the cervical esophagus. The majority were adenocarcinomas of which 20 developed in a Barrett esophagus. Three of the squamous cell cancers developed in an achalasic esophagus. Of the resected tumors, 94 were classified as Stage III, 18 as Stage II, and 37 as Stage I. Esophagogastrectomy with esophagogastrostomy is the procedure of choice regardless of the level of the lesion. Of the 167 patients, 149 (89.2%) underwent resection with two deaths within 30 days of operation for a hospital mortality rate of 1.3%. There were 22 major complications (14.9%), which prolonged the hospital stay, and 14 minor complications (9.5%). Satisfactory palliation of dysphagia was achieved in 82.7% of the patients. The overall adjusted survival rate at 5 years was 21.7% +/- 7.5% (SEM) with a median survival time of 17.3 months. The 5-year adjusted survival rate according to stage was 43.4% for patients with Stage I lesions, 23.6% for Stage II lesions, and 12.8% for Stage III lesions (p = 0.0004). A multivariate analysis of risk factors involved in survival disclosed that neither age, sex, site of tumor, duration of symptoms, or cell type influenced survival, but stage of the disease had a profound effect. It is concluded that long-term survival of patients with carcinoma of the esophagus or cardia will probably not improve until early diagnosis is possible and that esophagogastrectomy by conventional techniques should be the treatment of choice until other forms of therapy prove superior to it both in terms of palliation and long

  12. Rational use and effectiveness of morphine in the palliative care of cancer patients at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Kamuhabwa, A; Ezekiel, D

    2009-10-01

    Morphine and other opioids is the mainstay of cancer pain management. However, considerable fears surrounding their use present barriers to pain control. The aim of this study was to assess the rational use and effectiveness of morphine for management of pain in the palliative care of cancer patients at Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) in Tanzania. A total of 100 cancer patients who were receiving morphine therapy at the ORCI were interviewed to get information on morphine use. In addition, information on the prescribed doses of morphine was obtained from medical records of 200 patients who have used morphine from September 2005 to April 2006. Both outpatients and inpatients with advanced cancer who were receiving morphine for palliative care were involved. Seven (7) palliative caregivers, including two doctors, two nurses, a pharmacist, a pharmaceutical technician and a social worker were also interviewed. Of the 100 interviewees, 37% were aware of morphine. The level of education and duration of therapy had an impact on the awareness. The results also showed that oral morphine solution was the most common route (96%) of administration. Fifty-seven percent of the patients described the doses of morphine given to be effective in relieving their pain. Although most patients (79%) experienced morphine-induced side effects, the majority (93%) were continuing with the therapy. There were no indication of irrational use of morphine and morphine-induced side effects were well managed. The majority of patients and caregivers had positive attitude towards the use of morphine. In conclusion, the study revealed that the use of morphine is acceptable among a large proportion of patients receiving palliative care and that the majority of them find the doses given effective to relieve their pain.

  13. Palliative resection of a primary tumor in patients with unresectable colorectal cancer: could resection type improve survival?

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Hyun Seok; Kim, Chang Hyun; Lee, Soo Young; Kim, Hyeong Rok; Kim, Young Jin

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of extended resection of primary tumor on survival outcome in unresectable colorectal cancer (UCRC). Methods A retrospective analysis was conducted for 190 patients undergoing palliative surgery for UCRC between 1998 and 2007 at a single institution. Variables including demographics, histopathological characteristics of tumors, surgical procedures, and course of the disease were examined. Results Kaplan-Meier survival curve indicated a significant increase in survival times in patients undergoing extended resection of the primary tumor (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that extra-abdominal metastasis (P = 0.03), minimal resection of the primary tumor (P = 0.034), and the absence of multimodality adjuvant therapy (P < 0.001) were significantly associated poor survival outcome. The histological characteristics were significantly associated with survival times. Patients with well to moderate differentiation tumors that were extensively resected had significantly increased survival time (P < 0.001), while those with poor differentiation tumors that were extensively resected did not have increase survival time (P = 0.786). Conclusion Extended resection of primary tumors significantly improved overall survival compared to minimal resection, especially in well to moderately differentiated tumors (survival time: extended resection, 27.8 ± 2.80 months; minimal resection, 16.5 ± 2.19 months; P = 0.002). PMID:27757394

  14. Working together. An interdisciplinary approach to dying patients in a palliative care unit.

    PubMed

    Minetti, Aurora

    2011-12-01

    Multiprofessional teams have become in recent years one of the distinguishing features of services, where professionals with different competences work together. The core of our interest is addressed to the équipe of a palliative care ward; in particular, to that series of working activities that consists of communicative acts, as équipe meetings, for instance. Our research focuses on the analysis of the process by which the development of knowledge in multiprofessional practice is built to establish more information on recurrent patterns in the interaction and connect them to the specific context that these are shaped by. In this sense we will underline how components of knowing are shared among team members in constructing medical prognosis and we will analyse the connection among language processes, cognitive activities and social structures. More specifically, we will study the role of language and the context in the definition of linguistic acts in cognitive activities and in hierarchies involved in decision-making processes by exploring and pointing out how it is organised and structured. In particular through the study of talk-in-interaction where interchange of information is realised, we will emphasise how, in the multiprofessional équipe meeting, the realisation of practices and the knowledge useful to collaborative management of ward working life are established. To reach this aim, we adopted an ethnographic approach connected to the analysis of the situated interaction. PMID:21947801

  15. Working together. An interdisciplinary approach to dying patients in a palliative care unit.

    PubMed

    Minetti, Aurora

    2011-12-01

    Multiprofessional teams have become in recent years one of the distinguishing features of services, where professionals with different competences work together. The core of our interest is addressed to the équipe of a palliative care ward; in particular, to that series of working activities that consists of communicative acts, as équipe meetings, for instance. Our research focuses on the analysis of the process by which the development of knowledge in multiprofessional practice is built to establish more information on recurrent patterns in the interaction and connect them to the specific context that these are shaped by. In this sense we will underline how components of knowing are shared among team members in constructing medical prognosis and we will analyse the connection among language processes, cognitive activities and social structures. More specifically, we will study the role of language and the context in the definition of linguistic acts in cognitive activities and in hierarchies involved in decision-making processes by exploring and pointing out how it is organised and structured. In particular through the study of talk-in-interaction where interchange of information is realised, we will emphasise how, in the multiprofessional équipe meeting, the realisation of practices and the knowledge useful to collaborative management of ward working life are established. To reach this aim, we adopted an ethnographic approach connected to the analysis of the situated interaction.

  16. What is palliative care?

    MedlinePlus

    Comfort care; End of life - palliative care; Hospice - palliative care ... Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. But palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is ...

  17. Patients' Preferences for Information About the Benefits and Risks of Second-Line Palliative Chemotherapy and Their Oncologist's Awareness of These Preferences.

    PubMed

    Oostendorp, Linda J M; Ottevanger, Petronella B; van de Wouw, Agnes J; Honkoop, Aafke H; Los, Maartje; van der Graaf, Winette T A; Stalmeier, Peep F M

    2016-09-01

    Communication about palliative treatment options requires a balance between providing patients with sufficient information and not providing unwanted information. Surveys have indicated that many patients with advanced cancer express a wish to receive detailed information. In this prospective multicenter study, the information desire of patients with advanced breast or colorectal cancer was further investigated by offering treatment-related information to patients using a decision aid (DA). In addition, this study explored oncologists' awareness of their patients' information desire. Seventy-seven patients with advanced breast or colorectal cancer facing the decision whether to start second-line palliative chemotherapy were offered a DA by a nurse. This DA contained information on adverse events, tumor response, and survival. The nurse asked the patient whether each information item was desired. Ninety-five percent of patients chose to receive information on adverse events, 91 % chose to receive information on tumor response, and 74 % chose to receive information on survival. Oncologists' judgment of patients' information desire was 100, 97, and 81 %, respectively. For all three information items together, oncologists correctly judged the information desire of 62 % of patients. This study confirms that many patients with advanced cancer wish to receive detailed information on the benefits and risks of palliative treatment options when the information is actually available. Oncologists were adequately aware of this high information desire, but had some difficulty judging the information desire of individual patients. A stepped approach to giving information ("preview, ask, tell, ask") may help to better meet patients' information needs.

  18. The current situation in education and training of health-care professionals across Africa to optimise the delivery of palliative care for cancer patients

    PubMed Central

    Rawlinson, FM; Gwyther, L; Kiyange, F; Luyirika, E; Meiring, M; Downing, J

    2014-01-01

    The need for palliative care education remains vital to contribute to the quality of life of patients, both adults and children, with cancer in Africa. The number of patients with cancer continues to rise, and with them the burden of palliative care needs. Palliative care has been present in Africa for nearly four decades, and a number of services are developing in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. However, the needs of cancer patients remain a challenge. Education and training initiatives have developed throughout this time, using a combination of educational methods, including, more recently, e-learning initiatives. The role of international and national organisations in supporting education has been pivotal in developing models of education and training that are robust, sustainable, and affordable. Developing a material for education and professional development needs to continue in close collaboration with that already in production in order to optimise available resources. Seeking ways to evaluate programmes in terms of their impact on patient care remains an important part of programme delivery. This article reviews the current situation. PMID:25624873

  19. Progestin-releasing intrauterine device insertion plus palliative radiotherapy in frail, elderly uterine cancer patients unfit for radical treatment

    PubMed Central

    MACCHIA, GABRIELLA; DEODATO, FRANCESCO; CILLA, SAVINO; LEGGE, FRANCESCO; CARONE, VITO; CHIANTERA, VITO; VALENTINI, VINCENZO; MORGANTI, ALESSIO GIUSEPPE; FERRANDINA, GABRIELLA

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the combination of levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (LNG-IUD) insertion and palliative radiotherapy (RT) as a potential approach for treating frail, elderly endometrial cancer (EC) patients considered unfit for curative oncological treatments. The inclusion criteria were an age of ≥65 years, pathological confirmation of a uterine neoplasm, a Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) value of ≥4 and the presence of vaginal bleeding. Patients underwent intrauterine insertion of an LNG-IUD, and thereafter, received a total dose of 30 Gy at 3 Gy per fraction, over 10 days. The clinical target volume (CTV) was defined as the uterus and disease-involved tissues in the pelvis plus a 1-cm margin. The planning target volume was obtained by adding a 1-cm isotropic margin to the CTV. A total of 9 patients with EC (median age, 85 years; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≥2, ≥88.8%; obesity, 55.5%; median CCI, 5) received an LNG-IUD plus RT. An early complete resolution of bleeding was documented in 8 patients (88.8%), while the remaining patient experienced a marked improvement. The median duration of bleeding control was 18 months, while the 2-year actuarial rate of bleeding-free survival was 53.3% (median follow-up time, 20 months; range, 9–60 months). No LNG-IUD- or severe RT-related complications were documented. Overall, a high rate of bleeding remission, durable bleeding-free survival in face of the easy intrauterine insertion of an LNG-IUD and a negligible toxicity profile of the complete treatment were documented in this study, indicating a requirement for further investigation in a larger series. PMID:27123133

  20. Need for palliative care for neurological diseases.

    PubMed

    Provinciali, Leandro; Carlini, Giulia; Tarquini, Daniela; Defanti, Carlo Alberto; Veronese, Simone; Pucci, Eugenio

    2016-10-01

    The new concept of palliative care supports the idea of palliation as an early approach to patients affected by disabling and life-limiting disease which focuses on the patient's quality of life along the entire course of disease. This model moves beyond the traditional concept of palliation as an approach restricted to the final stage of disease and widens the fields of intervention. There is a growing awareness of the importance of palliative care not only in oncological diseases but also in many other branches of medicine, and it appears particularly evident in the approach to many of the most frequent neurological diseases that are chronic, incurable and autonomy-impairing illnesses. The definition and implementation of palliative goals and procedures in neurology must take into account the specific features of these conditions in terms of the complexity and variability of symptoms, clinical course, disability and prognosis. The realization of an effective palliative approach to neurological diseases requires specific skills and expertise to adapt the concept of palliation to the peculiarities of these diseases; this approach should be realized through the cooperation of different services and the action of a multidisciplinary team in which the neurologist should play a central role to identify and face the patient's needs. In this view, it is paramount for the neurologist to be trained in these issues to promote the integration of palliative care in the care of neurological patients.

  1. Need for palliative care for neurological diseases.

    PubMed

    Provinciali, Leandro; Carlini, Giulia; Tarquini, Daniela; Defanti, Carlo Alberto; Veronese, Simone; Pucci, Eugenio

    2016-10-01

    The new concept of palliative care supports the idea of palliation as an early approach to patients affected by disabling and life-limiting disease which focuses on the patient's quality of life along the entire course of disease. This model moves beyond the traditional concept of palliation as an approach restricted to the final stage of disease and widens the fields of intervention. There is a growing awareness of the importance of palliative care not only in oncological diseases but also in many other branches of medicine, and it appears particularly evident in the approach to many of the most frequent neurological diseases that are chronic, incurable and autonomy-impairing illnesses. The definition and implementation of palliative goals and procedures in neurology must take into account the specific features of these conditions in terms of the complexity and variability of symptoms, clinical course, disability and prognosis. The realization of an effective palliative approach to neurological diseases requires specific skills and expertise to adapt the concept of palliation to the peculiarities of these diseases; this approach should be realized through the cooperation of different services and the action of a multidisciplinary team in which the neurologist should play a central role to identify and face the patient's needs. In this view, it is paramount for the neurologist to be trained in these issues to promote the integration of palliative care in the care of neurological patients. PMID:27299428

  2. Renal palliative care.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Lewis M; Moss, Alvin H; Weisbord, Steven D; Germain, Michael J

    2006-08-01

    Patients with chronic kidney disease have a shortened life expectancy and carry a high symptom burden. Clinicians need sophisticated expertise in pain and symptom management and skills in communication to meet the many needs of this population. This article reviews the literature and discusses prognosis, ethical and legal considerations, symptoms, treatment, and end-of-life issues. The field of nephrology is shifting from an exclusive focus on increasing survival to one that provides greater attention to quality of life. There is an opportunity to integrate many of the advances of palliative medicine into the comprehensive treatment of these patients.

  3. Turkish healthcare professionals' views on palliative care.

    PubMed

    Turgay, Gulay; Kav, Sultan

    2012-01-01

    The concept of modern palliative care has been disseminating slowly in Turkey and has recently been included in the National Cancer Control Program. The aim of this study was to explore healthcare professionals' knowledge and views of palliative care. It was conducted at three hospitals with a sample of 369 healthcare professionals working in adult clinics. Data were collected via open-ended questions and 16 statements from healthcare professionals on their views of palliative care. Most respondents stated that there was a lack of in-service/continuing education in palliative care, and more than half said they had not received any education in palliative care. A majority stated that the meaning and goal of palliative care is "improving the quality of life of a patient who is in the terminal stage." Lack of awareness of palliative care and a lack of educational resources in that field are the most frequently reported barriers to the development of palliative care in Turkey. Palliative care should be included in curricula for healthcare professionals and in-service education programs should be established. PMID:23413762

  4. Growing Pains: Palliative Care Making Gains

    Cancer.gov

    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.

  5. An exploratory pilot study of palliative medicine compared to anesthesia-pain consultation for pain in patients with cancer.

    PubMed

    Pachman, Deirdre R; Swetz, Keith M; Mauck, William D; Pingree, Matthew J; Hoelzer, Bryan C; Haugland, Anita J; Novotny, Paul J; Sloan, Jeff A; Moynihan, Timothy J; Rho, Richard H

    2011-01-01

    Oncologists often manage cancer-associated symptoms including pain. When symptoms are severe, anesthesia-pain medicine (APM) and/or palliative medicine (PM) can effectively treat symptoms. Nevertheless, symptom management may be suboptimal, leading to diminished quality of life (QOL). We assessed the value of PM vs. APM consultation in cancer patients referred for pain management alone. Patients referred to an APM-based Cancer Pain Clinic (CPC) over an 8-month period were evaluated by PM or APM based on the first available appointment. Symptoms and QOL were assessed by the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory and Linear Analog Self-Assessment at baseline and 4-6 weeks after initial encounter. Data were analyzed on an available-case basis. Sixty-two patients (37 PM, 25 APM) completed the initial survey, with 48 patients (31 PM, 17 APM) completing followup. Mean pain score improved from 7.97 to 5.47 in the PM group (P < 0.0001) and from 7.1 to 4.5 (P = 0.29) in the APM group. The PM group demonstrated a clinically significant improvement in 8/19 symptoms vs. 3/19 in the APM group and in 3/5 QOL parameters in the PM group vs. 1/5 in the APM group. Our small sample size weakens our power and ability to detect significant differences between the groups. Only one follow-up symptom-assessment point was obtained. PM consultation is as effective as APM in improving cancer pain but may be more effective with symptom management and improving QOL. PMID:21702403

  6. Palliative Vitamin C Application in Patients with Radiotherapy-Resistant Bone Metastases: A Retrospective Study.

    PubMed

    Günes-Bayir, Ayse; Kiziltan, Huriye Senay

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to observe effects of ascorbic acid application on pain, performance status, and survival time in cancer patients. A retrospective cohort of 39 patients with bone metastases treated with radiotherapy was identified. All patients were radiotherapy-resistant. Fifteen patients who received chemotherapy, and 15 patients who received an infusion of 2.5 g ascorbic acid were included in the study. Nine control patients were treated with neither chemotherapy nor vitamin C. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status Scale and Visual Analog Scale were used to determine performance status and pain assessments. Survival time and rate in patients were defined. Statistical analyses were performed to compare the results of groups. Performance status was increased in 4 patients of vitamin C group and 1 patient of chemotherapy group, whereas performance status in control group was decreased. A median reduction of 50% in pain was observed among the patients in the vitamin C group. Median survival time was 10 mo in patients receiving ascorbic acid, whereas the chemotherapy and control groups had a median survival of 2 mo. Intravenous vitamin C application seems to reduce pain in patients in comparison to other patients who did not receive it. Patient performance status and survival rate were increased using vitamin C.

  7. Palliation of Dysphagia in Carcinoma Esophagus.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishnaiah, Vishnu Prasad Nelamangala; Malage, Somanath; Sreenath, G S; Kotlapati, Sudhakar; Cyriac, Sunu

    2016-01-01

    Esophageal carcinoma has a special place in gastrointestinal carcinomas because it contains two main types, namely, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Carcinoma esophagus patients require some form of palliation because of locally advanced stage or distant metastasis, where it cannot be subjected to curable treatment with surgery and chemoradiation. Many modalities of palliation of dysphagia are available, but the procedure with least morbidity, mortality, and long-term palliation of dysphagia needs to be chosen for the patient. This study aims to discuss the recent trends in palliation of dysphagia with promising results and the most suitable therapy for palliation of dysphagia in a given patient. A total of 64 articles that were published between years 2005 and 2015 on various modes of palliation of dysphagia in carcinoma esophagus were studied, which were mainly randomized and prospective studies. Through this study, we conclude that stents are the first choice of therapy for palliation, which is safe and cost-effective, and they can be combined with either radiotherapy or chemotherapy for long-term palliation of dysphagia with good quality of life. Radiotherapy can be used as a second-line treatment modality. PMID:27279758

  8. Palliation of Dysphagia in Carcinoma Esophagus

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnaiah, Vishnu Prasad Nelamangala; Malage, Somanath; Sreenath, G.S.; Kotlapati, Sudhakar; Cyriac, Sunu

    2016-01-01

    Esophageal carcinoma has a special place in gastrointestinal carcinomas because it contains two main types, namely, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Carcinoma esophagus patients require some form of palliation because of locally advanced stage or distant metastasis, where it cannot be subjected to curable treatment with surgery and chemoradiation. Many modalities of palliation of dysphagia are available, but the procedure with least morbidity, mortality, and long-term palliation of dysphagia needs to be chosen for the patient. This study aims to discuss the recent trends in palliation of dysphagia with promising results and the most suitable therapy for palliation of dysphagia in a given patient. A total of 64 articles that were published between years 2005 and 2015 on various modes of palliation of dysphagia in carcinoma esophagus were studied, which were mainly randomized and prospective studies. Through this study, we conclude that stents are the first choice of therapy for palliation, which is safe and cost-effective, and they can be combined with either radiotherapy or chemotherapy for long-term palliation of dysphagia with good quality of life. Radiotherapy can be used as a second-line treatment modality. PMID:27279758

  9. Intravenous paracetamol infusion: Superior pain management and earlier discharge from hospital in patients undergoing palliative head-neck cancer surgery

    PubMed Central

    Majumdar, Saikat; Das, Anjan; Kundu, Ratul; Mukherjee, Dipankar; Hazra, Bimal; Mitra, Tapobrata

    2014-01-01

    Background: Paracetamol; a cyclooxygenase inhibitor; acts through the central nervous system as well as serotoninergic system as a nonopioid analgesic. A prospective, double-blinded, and randomized-controlled study was carried out to compare the efficacy of preoperative 1g intravenous (iv) paracetamol with placebo in providing postoperative analgesia in head-neck cancer surgery. Materials and Methods: From 2008 February to 2009 December, 80 patients for palliative head-neck cancer surgery were randomly divided into (F) and (P) Group receiving ivplacebo and iv paracetamol, respectively, 5 min before induction. Everybody received fentanyl before induction and IM diclofenac for pain relief at8 hourly for 24 h after surgery. Visual analogue scale (VAS) and amount of fentanyl were measured for postoperative pain assessment (24 h). Results and Statistical analysis: The mean VAS score in 1st, 2nd postoperative hour, and fentanyl requirement was less and the need for rescue analgesic was delayed in ivparacetamol group which were all statistically significant. Paracetamol group had a shorter surgical intensive care unit (SICU) and hospital stay which was also statistically significant. Conclusion: The study demonstrates the effectiveness of ivparacetamol as preemptive analgesic in the postoperative pain control after head-neck cancer surgery and earlier discharge from hospital. PMID:25276627

  10. Palliative Treatment of Esophageal Cancer.

    PubMed

    Ahmad; Goosenberg; Frucht; Coia

    1994-07-01

    Palliative interventions for advanced esophageal cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, chemoradiation, endoscopic procedures, and combinations of the above. Palliative esophagectomy or bypass procedures are difficult to justify in these patients because their life expectancy is so short. Palliative external beam radiation to doses of 50 to 60 Gy is successful in 50% to 70% of patients. The addition of brachytherapy may improve these results. One third to one half of patients treated with radiation develop benign or maglinant stricture. Although response rates to combination chemotherapy are only 50% at best, the majority of patients do have improvement of dysphagia. These regimens are commonly used as part of a multidisciplinary approach with radiation andøor surgery, rather than as a sole modality of treatment. Chemoradiation regimens results in better survival than treatment with radiation alone, and provide palliation of dysphagia in up to 90% of patients. Although acute toxicity of chemoradiation is more severe than radiation alone, this is of limited duration. Chemoradiation may be the treatment of choice for the majority of patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer. Endoscopic techniques are available that provide palliation of dysphagia. The most commonly used technique is esophageal dilatation, either alone or before performing other palliative procedures such as laser therapy or stent placement. The most significant limitation of dilatation alone is that palliation is short-lived and most patients require repeat dilatations. Esophageal stents offer a high degree of palliation, but procedure-related morbidity and mortality rates are not insignificant. Expandable metal stents are associated with few complications but tumor ingrowth through the metallic mesh is frequent. Conventional plastic stents are not affected by tumor ingrowth but can migrate. Endoscopic laser therapy also provides symptoms relief and complication rates are

  11. Karnofsky Performance Status and Lactate Dehydrogenase Predict the Benefit of Palliative Whole-Brain Irradiation in Patients With Advanced Intra- and Extracranial Metastases From Malignant Melanoma

    SciTech Connect

    Partl, Richard; Richtig, Erika; Avian, Alexander; Berghold, Andrea; Kapp, Karin S.

    2013-03-01

    Purpose: To determine prognostic factors that allow the selection of melanoma patients with advanced intra- and extracerebral metastatic disease for palliative whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) or best supportive care. Methods and Materials: This was a retrospective study of 87 patients who underwent palliative WBRT between 1988 and 2009 for progressive or multiple cerebral metastases at presentation. Uni- and multivariate analysis took into account the following patient- and tumor-associated factors: gender and age, Karnofsky performance status (KPS), neurologic symptoms, serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level, number of intracranial metastases, previous resection or stereotactic radiosurgery of brain metastases, number of extracranial metastasis sites, and local recurrences as well as regional lymph node metastases at the time of WBRT. Results: In univariate analysis, KPS, LDH, number of intracranial metastases, and neurologic symptoms had a significant influence on overall survival. In multivariate survival analysis, KPS and LDH remained as significant prognostic factors, with hazard ratios of 3.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6-6.5) and 2.8 (95% CI 1.6-4.9), respectively. Patients with KPS ≥70 and LDH ≤240 U/L had a median survival of 191 days; patients with KPS ≥70 and LDH >240 U/L, 96 days; patients with KPS <70 and LDH ≤240 U/L, 47 days; and patients with KPS <70 and LDH >240 U/L, only 34 days. Conclusions: Karnofsky performance status and serum LDH values indicate whether patients with advanced intra- and extracranial tumor manifestations are candidates for palliative WBRT or best supportive care.

  12. Peptic ulcer disease and other complications in patients receiving dexamethasone palliation for brain metastasis

    SciTech Connect

    Penzner, R.D.; Lipsett, J.A.

    1982-11-01

    A retrospective analysis was done of 106 patients who received radiation therapy for brain metastasis. Dexamethasone therapy was instituted in 97 patients. Peptic ulcer disease developed in 5 of 89 patients (5.6 percent) who received a dosage of at least 12 mg a day, but did not occur in patients who received a lower dose or in those who did not receive steroids. The interval between institution of dexamethasone therapy and the development of peptic ulcer disease ranged from three to nine weeks. Two patients had perforated ulcers, one of whom required surgical resection. Peptic ulcer disease contributed to the general deterioration and death of three of the five patients. Overall, in 14 of the 89 patients (15.7 percent) a complication of steroid therapy developed in the form of peptic ulcer disease, steroid myopathy or diabetes mellitus (or a combination of these).

  13. Psychometric Properties of a Generic, Patient-Centred Palliative Care Outcome Measure of Symptom Burden for People with Progressive Long Term Neurological Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Wei; Crosby, Vincent; Wilcock, Andrew; Burman, Rachael; Silber, Eli; Hepgul, Nilay; Chaudhuri, K Ray; Higginson, Irene J.

    2016-01-01

    Background There is no standard palliative care outcome measure for people with progressive long term neurological conditions (LTNC). This study aims to determine the psychometric properties of a new 8-item palliative care outcome scale of symptom burden (IPOS Neuro-S8) in this population. Data and Methods Data were merged from a Phase II palliative care intervention study in multiple sclerosis (MS) and a longitudinal observational study in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). The IPOS Neuro-S8 was assessed for its data quality, score distribution, ceiling and floor effects, reliability, factor structure, convergent and discriminant validity, concurrent validity with generic (Palliative care Outcome Scale) and condition specific measures (Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale; Non-motor Symptoms Questionnaire; Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire), responsiveness and minimally clinically important difference. Results Of the 134 participants, MS patients had a mean Extended Disability Status Scale score 7.8 (SD = 1.0), patients with an IPD, MSA or PSP were in Hoehn & Yahr stage 3–5. The IPOS Neuro-S8 had high data quality (2% missing), mean score 8 (SD = 5; range 0–32), no ceiling effects, borderline floor effects, good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.7) and moderate test-retest reliability (intraclass coefficient = 0.6). The results supported a moderately correlated two-factor structure (Pearson’s r = 0.5). It was moderately correlated with generic and condition specific measures (Pearson’s r: 0.5–0.6). There was some evidence for discriminant validity in IPD, MSA and PSP (p = 0.020), and for good responsiveness and longitudinal construct validity. Conclusions IPOS Neuro-S8 shows acceptable to promising psychometric properties in common forms of progressive LTNCs. Future work needs to confirm these findings with larger samples and its usefulness in wider disease groups. PMID

  14. Palliative therapy for pancreatic/biliary cancer.

    PubMed

    House, Michael G; Choti, Michael A

    2005-04-01

    Palliative treatment for unresectable periampullary cancer is directed at three major symptoms: obstructive jaundice, duodenal obstruction, and cancer-related pain. In most cases, the pattern of symptoms at the time of diagnosis in the context of the patient's medical condition and projected survival influence the decision to perform an operative versus a non operative palliative procedure. Despite improvements in preoperative imaging and laparoscopic staging of patients with periampullary cancer and hilar cholangiocarcinoma, surgical exploration is the only modality that can definitively rule out resectability and the potential for curative resection in some patients with nonmetastatic cancer. Furthermore, only surgical management achieves successful palliation of obstructive symptoms and cancer-related pain as a single procedure during exploration. To take advantage of the long-term advantages afforded by surgical palliation,operative procedures must be performed with acceptable morbidity. The average postoperative length of hospital stay for patients who undergo surgical palliation is less than 15 days, even in those who develop minor complications. The average survival of patients who receive surgical palliation alone for nonmetastatic, unresectable pancreatic cancer is approximately 8 months. As with all treatment planning, palliative therapy for pancreatic and biliary cancer should be planned using a multidisciplinary approach, including input from the surgeon, gastroenterologist, radiologist,and medical and radiation oncologist. In this way, quality of life can be optimized in most patients with these diseases.

  15. Palliative patients cared for at home by PAMINO-trained and other GPs – health-related quality of life as measured by QLQ-C15-PAL and POS

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background To maintain patients’ quality of life is one of the major goals in palliative home care provided by general practitioners (GPs). GPs need adequate training to care for palliative patients. The paper seeks to evaluate whether a specific training in Germany (PAMINO) has any improving impact on the care of palliative patients and their health-related quality of life. Methods From September 2007 until June 2009, GPs and their palliative care patients with cancer participated in a study to evaluate palliative courses for GPs offered by a regional palliative care initiative (PAMINO). For a period of six months at most or until death, patients were asked monthly to judge their quality of life on the Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 15 Palliative (QLQ-C15-PAL) of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and on the Palliative Care Outcome Scale (POS). The ‘Overall quality of life’ scale of the QLQ-C15-PAL takes values between 0 and 100 with higher values indicating a higher quality of life. The POS sum scale takes values between 0 and 40 with higher values indicating worse care outcomes. Patients cared for by PAMINO-trained GPs and patients cared for by other GPs (control group) are compared using t-tests for differences in group means. Results One hundred patients participated in the study; 96 patients filled out the questionnaires at least once. On the QLQ-C15-PAL, mean quality of life of the patient groups of PAMINO-trained and other GPs were 37.7 (SD = 25.5) and 39.4 (SD = 26.3) (p = .76), respectively. On the POS, respective mean values of 13.6 (SD = 5.8) and 12.0 (SD = 6.5) (p = .26) were given. Patients cared for by a PAMINO-trained GP did not report better quality of life and care outcomes than patients cared for by other general practitioners. Conclusions Patients cared for by PAMINO-trained and other GPs in our study did not report differences in quality of life. Quality of life and care

  16. [Specialized palliative home care: An interprofessional network].

    PubMed

    Alt-Epping, Bernd; Nauck, F

    2015-04-01

    Specialized palliative home care ("Spezialisierte Ambulante Palliativversorgung", SAPV) denotes an intensified, multi-professional support system at home for patients suffering from complex symptoms and needs associated with severe and advanced illness. In 2007, a change in legislation guaranteed SAPV to any patient (covered by public health insurance) in need of specialized palliative care. Despite further specifications by federal institutions, SAPV has been transferred into German clinical practice in a very regionally diverse manner. This contribution describes the legislative and conceptual framework of SAPV, the financial and clinical aspects, and its future perspectives for the comprehensive palliative care of patients with complex demands.

  17. Symptoms and Quality of Life in Cancer Patients With Brain Metastases Following Palliative Radiotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Jennifer; Hird, Amanda; Zhang Liying; Tsao, May; Sinclair, Emily; Barnes, Elizabeth; Danjoux, Cyril; Chow, Edward

    2009-11-15

    Purpose: To examine prospectively patient self-rated symptoms and quality of life (QOL) indicators in patients with brain metastases following whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT). Methods and Materials: Consecutive patients with brain metastases referred for WBRT were approached for this study. Patients were asked to rate their symptoms and QOL using the Spitzer Quality of Life Index questionnaire. Follow-up was at 1, 2, and 3 months following WBRT. Linear regression analysis was used to determine the change in symptom severity over time. Results: Between August 2005 to October 2007, 129 patients with brain metastases were enrolled. The majority of patients (88%) received 20 Gy in five fractions. Median age was 64 years, and median Karnofsky Performance Status at baseline was 70. The most commonly experienced symptoms at baseline were headaches, weakness, balance problems, and fatigue. Thirty-five percent of patients rated neurological functional (NF) status as 1, indicating moderate neurological symptoms and need for assistance. Forty-three percent of patients had stable or decreased fatigue, and 47% had a stable or improved NF status over time (p = 0.0040). Although certain QOL domains improved over time, all other QOL domains and symptom items did not change significantly following WBRT. Conclusion: WBRT may have contributed to symptom stabilization in our study. An alternative goal of WBRT may be the prevention of symptom progression and QOL deterioration. Further research is required to select the most appropriate group of patients with brain metastases who would benefit most from WBRT.

  18. Exploring comprehensibility and manageability in palliative home care: an interview study of dying cancer patients' informal carers.

    PubMed

    Milberg, Anna; Strang, Peter

    2004-09-01

    The presence of an informal carer is often a prerequisite for successful palliative home care, and the staff's ability to support informal carers' coping in such situations is important. Recent research has revealed that it is possible to achieve positive psychological states in palliative care despite the burdening situation. As there is a lack of theory-based coping studies, the aim of this study was to describe, within the context of palliative home care, two concepts in Antonovsky's theory of Sense of Coherence: comprehensibility (a perception that the challenge is understood) and manageability (a perception that the resources to cope are available). Tape-recorded semi-structured interviews with 19 informal carers during ongoing palliative home care were transcribed and analysed with a qualitative hermeneutic approach. Elements that facilitated comprehensibility included open information, symbolic information, basic life assumptions and previous knowledge. These were important for creating a congruent inner reality (as opposed to chaos). Resources contributing to manageability dealt with power, support, competence and accessibility, which on a more abstract level resulted in a feeling of togetherness (as opposed to isolation). The findings are discussed in relation to the complexity of communication between staff and carers within palliative care. PMID:15334529

  19. Does referral to specialist paediatric palliative care services reduce hospital admissions in oncology patients at the end of life?

    PubMed Central

    Fraser, L K; van Laar, M; Miller, M; Aldridge, J; McKinney, P A; Parslow, R C; Feltbower, R G

    2013-01-01

    Background: Despite advances in the treatment of childhood cancer, some children continue to die from their disease. This study aimed to assess the impact of specialist paediatric palliative care services (SPPCSs) on the number of hospital admissions in children who subsequently died from cancer in Yorkshire, UK. Methods: An extract of patients aged 0–19 years from the Yorkshire Specialist Register of Cancer in Children and Young People (YSRCCYP) diagnosed from 1990 to 2009 were linked to inpatient hospital episodes data and a SPPCS database. Deaths were included if they occurred before 31 August 2011. Differences in hospital admission patterns were assessed using negative binomial regression and presented as incidence rate ratios (IRRs). Results: Of 2508 children on the YSRCCYP, 657 (26%) had died by the censoring date. A total of 211 children had been referred to the local SPPCS, of whom 182 (86%) had subsequently died. Referral to SPPCS was associated with a significant reduction in the rate of planned hospital admissions (IRR=0.60, 95% CI 0.43–0.85). Central nervous system tumours showed significant decreases for all planned and emergency admissions compared with all other diagnostic groups. Conclusion: Referral to SPPCS significantly reduced the number of planned hospital admissions for children and young people with cancer before their death, which are often integral to paediatric oncology treatment regimens. Overall, our findings show that SPPCS have a role in reducing hospital admissions during end of life care of paediatric cancer patients with potential personal, social and economic benefits. PMID:23449361

  20. Palliative medicine and medical oncology.

    PubMed

    Maltoni, M; Amadori, D

    2001-04-01

    Traditionally, medical oncology and palliative care have been considered two distinct and separate disciplines, both as regards treatment objectives and delivery times. Palliative care in terminal stages, aimed exclusively at evaluating and improving quality of life, followed antitumor therapies, which concentrated solely on quantitative results (cure, prolongation of life, tumoral mass shrinkage). Over the years, more modern concepts have developed on the subject. Medical oncology, dealing with the skills and strategic co-ordination of oncologic interventions from primary prevention to terminal phases, should also include assessment and treatment of patients' subjective needs. Anticancer therapies should be evaluated in terms of both the quantitative and qualititative impact on patients' lives. Hence, the traditional view of palliative care has to be modified: it constitutes a philosophical and methodological approach to be adopted from the early phases of illness. It is not the evident cultural necessity of integrating medical oncology with palliative medicine that may be a matter of argument, but rather the organizational models needed to put this combined care into practice: should continuous care be guaranteed by a single figure, the medical oncologist, or rather by an interdisciplinary providers' team, including full-time doctors well-equipped for palliative care? In this paper the needs of cancer patients and the part that a complete oncologist should play to deal with such difficult and far-reaching problems are firstly described. Then, as mild provocation, data and critical considerations on the ever increasing needs of palliative care, the present shortcomings in quality of life and pain assessment and management by medical oncologists, and the uncertain efficacy of interventional programmes to change clinical practice are described. Finally, a model of therapeutic continuity is presented. which in our view is realistic and feasible: an Oncologic

  1. Palliative Care in Rural Minnesota: Findings from Stratis Health's Minnesota Rural Palliative Care Initiative.

    PubMed

    McKinley, Deb; Shearer, Janelle; Weng, Karla

    2016-01-01

    Palliative care, which involves managing symptoms, controlling pain and addressing stress caused by a chronic or terminal illness, has been shown to keep patients out of the hospital and allow them to stay home and live more comfortably with their illness. Typically, it is provided by an interdisciplinary team led by a physician trained in palliative medicine. Rural areas have not always had access to such specialists. Yet, today, rural health care organizations are finding ways to create palliative care programs that meet the needs of their chronically ill and aging populations. This article describes a six-year initiative led by Stratis Health to advance palliative care in rural Minnesota. It highlights the work of FirstLight Health System in Mora and describes Stratis Health's Rural Palliative Care Measurement Pilot Project, an effort to develop and test measures for evaluating rural palliative care programs.

  2. Undergraduate medical education in palliative medicine: the first step in promoting palliative care in Lebanon.

    PubMed

    Naccache, Nicole; Abou Zeid, Hicham; Nasser Ayoub, Eliane; Antakly, Marie-Claire

    2008-01-01

    Effective delivery of high-quality palliative care requires effective interprofessional team working by skilled healthcare professionals. Palliative care is therefore highly suitable for sowing the seeds of interprofessional team working in early professional undergraduate medical education. Integrating palliative medicine in undergraduate medical education curricula seems to be a must. In this review, we present as an example the Palliative and End-of-Life Care Curriculum (PEOLC) used in Canada for undergraduate medical education and underline the need for such a national curriculum in Lebanon. One must keep in mind that medical education does not stop at the end of the medical school, ongoing learning needs exist. Continuous medical education in palliative care should also be emphasized; the overall goal is promoting palliative medicine. Respecting and protecting human dignity is the right of every patient. PMID:19534074

  3. Palliative and hospice care in gynecologic cancer: a review.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Acevedo, Micael; Lowery, William J; Lowery, Ashlei W; Lee, Paula S; Havrilesky, Laura J

    2013-10-01

    Despite the increasing availability of palliative care, oncology providers often misunderstand and underutilize these resources. The goals of palliative care are relief of suffering and provision of the best possible quality of life for both the patient and her family, regardless of where she is in the natural history of her disease. Lack of understanding and awareness of the services provided by palliative care physicians underlie barriers to referral. Oncologic providers spend a significant amount of time palliating the symptoms of cancer and its treatment; involvement of specialty palliative care providers can assist in managing the complex patient. Patients with gynecologic malignancies remain an ideal population for palliative care intervention. This review of the literature explores the current state of palliative care in the treatment of gynecologic cancers and its implications for the quality and cost of this treatment.

  4. Hearing Loss in Palliative Care

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Nelia; Wallhagen, Margaret L.

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. Impact of biliary stent-related events in patients diagnosed with advanced pancreatobiliary tumours receiving palliative chemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Lamarca, Angela; Rigby, Christina; McNamara, Mairéad G; Hubner, Richard A; Valle, Juan W

    2016-01-01

    AIM: To determine the impact (morbidity/mortality) of biliary stent-related events (SRE) (cholangitis or stent obstruction) in chemotherapy-treated pancreatico-biliary patients. METHODS: All consecutive patients with advanced pancreatobiliary cancer and a biliary stent in-situ prior to starting palliative chemotherapy were identified retrospectively from local electronic case-note records (Jan 13 to Jan 15). The primary end-point was SRE rate and the time-to-SRE (defined as time from first stenting before chemotherapy to date of SRE). Progression-free survival and overall survival were measured from the time of starting chemotherapy. Kaplan-Meier, Cox and Fine-Gray regression (univariate and multivariable) analyses were employed, as appropriate. For the analysis of time-to-SRE, death was considered as a competing event. RESULTS: Ninety-six out of 693 screened patients were eligible; 89% had a metal stent (the remainder were plastic). The median time of follow-up was 9.6 mo (range 2.2 to 26.4). Forty-one patients (43%) developed a SRE during follow-up [cholangitis (39%), stent obstruction (29%), both (32%)]. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the SRE group and no-SRE groups. Recorded SRE-consequences were: none (37%), chemotherapy delay (24%), discontinuation (17%) and death (22%). The median time-to-SRE was 4.4 mo (95%CI: 3.6-5.5). Patients with severe comorbidities (P < 0.001) and patients with ≥ 2 baseline stents/biliary procedures [HR = 2.3 (95%CI: 1.2-4.44), P = 0.010] had a shorter time-to-SRE on multivariable analysis. Stage was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (P = 0.029) in the multivariable analysis adjusted for primary tumour site, performance status and development of SRE (SRE group vs no-SRE group). CONCLUSION: SREs are common and impact on patient’s morbidity. Our results highlight the need for prospective studies exploring the role of prophylactic strategies to prevent/delay SREs. PMID

  6. Intensify, resuscitate or palliate: decision making in the critically ill patient with haematological malignancy.

    PubMed

    Hill, Quentin A

    2010-01-01

    The survival prospects of critically ill patients with haematological malignancy (HM) are reviewed, as are the variables which might influence decisions about the limitation of life sustaining therapies (LLST). Approximately 40% of patients with HM admitted to ICU survive to hospital discharge and a broad admission policy is warranted. Short term survival is predicted by the severity of the underlying physiological disturbance rather than cancer specific characteristics, although the prognostic importance of neutropenia and prior stem cell transplantation remains to be clarified. Survival to hospital discharge in cancer patients following cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is only 6-8%. Poor performance status and progressive deterioration despite ICU support appear to predict worse outcome. Patients should be provided with realistic information in order to make an informed decision about CPR. Decisions about LLST must be individualised. Consideration should be given to the patient's wishes and prognosis, the immediate clinical circumstances and their potential reversibility. PMID:19913962

  7. Palliative sedation versus euthanasia: an ethical assessment.

    PubMed

    ten Have, Henk; Welie, Jos V M

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this article was to review the ethical debate concerning palliative sedation. Although recent guidelines articulate the differences between palliative sedation and euthanasia, the ethical controversies remain. The dominant view is that euthanasia and palliative sedation are morally distinct practices. However, ambiguous moral experiences and considerable practice variation call this view into question. When heterogeneous sedative practices are all labeled as palliative sedation, there is the risk that palliative sedation is expanded to include practices that are actually intended to bring about the patients' death. This troublesome expansion is fostered by an expansive use of the concept of intention such that this decisive ethical concept is no longer restricted to signify the aim in guiding the action. In this article, it is argued that intention should be used in a restricted way. The significance of intention is related to other ethical parameters to demarcate the practice of palliative sedation: terminality, refractory symptoms, proportionality, and separation from other end-of-life decisions. These additional parameters, although not without ethical and practical problems, together formulate a framework to ethically distinguish a more narrowly defined practice of palliative sedation from practices that are tantamount to euthanasia. Finally, the article raises the question as to what impact palliative sedation might have on the practice of palliative care itself. The increasing interest in palliative sedation may reemphasize characteristics of health care that initially encouraged the emergence of palliative care in the first place: the focus on therapy rather than care, the physical dimension rather than the whole person, the individual rather than the community, and the primacy of intervention rather than receptiveness and presence.

  8. The experience of palliative patients and their families of a family meeting utilised as an instrument for spiritual and psychosocial care: A qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background This study explores the experience of palliative patients and their family members of a family meeting model, utilised as an instrument for the provision of spiritual and psychosocial care. In doing so the study embraces a broad understanding of spirituality which may or may not include formal religious practice and a concept of psychosocial care that includes: social and emotional well-being, communication, self esteem, mental health and adaptation to illness. The meeting of spiritual and psychosocial needs is considered to be an important aspect of palliative care. Methods This qualitative study, philosophically underpinned by hermeneutic phenomenology, investigates the participatory experience of palliative care patients and their significant family members of such a family meeting. People registered with two large metropolitan palliative care services, who met selection criteria, were referred by medical staff. Twelve of the 66 referred took part in family meetings which also included significant others invited by the patient. A total of 36 family members participated. The number of participants of individual family meetings ranged from two to eleven. After the family meeting every participant was invited to take part in an individual in-depth interview about their experience of the meeting. Forty seven interviews were conducted. These were audio recorded and transcribed. Results Data analysis, utilising Ricoeur's theory of interpretation, revealed seven main themes: personal experience of the meeting, personal outcomes, observation of others' experience, observation of experience and outcomes for the family unit, meeting facilitation, how it could have been different and general applicability of the family meeting. Throughout these themes were numerous references to aspects of the web of relationships which describe the concept of spirituality as it is defined for the purpose of this study. Conclusions The findings indicate the potential of the type

  9. Home Inotropes and Other Palliative Care.

    PubMed

    Ginwalla, Mahazarin

    2016-07-01

    Heart failure is a leading case of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and patients with advanced heart failure have limited options without any available cure. These options mainly include cardiac transplantation or mechanical circulatory support device implantation. Chronic home inotropes are an option in these patients for a variety of indications. This report discusses the use of chronic home inotropes in palliated heart failure patients and reviews the role of palliative care management in end-stage heart failure. PMID:27371519

  10. Nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine as first-line palliative chemotherapy in a patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 2

    PubMed Central

    MARTÍN, ANDRÉS J. MUÑOZ; ALFONSO, PILAR GARCÍA; RUPÉREZ, ANA B.; JIMÉNEZ, MIGUEL MARTÍN

    2016-01-01

    Metastatic pancreatic cancer (PC) has been associated with a considerably poor prognosis. Due to its toxicity, first-line combination chemotherapy is limited to patients with a good performance status (PS). Previously nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine has been demonstrated to improve the overall survival rate in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer with a good PS. The present study reports a case of a patient with metastatic PC with a poor PS (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 2) and a complex set of comorbidities treated with nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine as a first-line palliative therapy. Adjusted doses of nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine reached a favourable clinical, radiological and biochemical response in the present patient, which increased the quality of life for the patient. Eventually, the patient succumbed to acute cholangitis. Based on the results of the present study, nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine appears to be a favourable treatment as first-line palliative chemotherapy for patients with metastatic PC, comorbidities and poor PS. PMID:27347207

  11. Esophagus Cancer: Palliative Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... your doctor about cancer of the esophagus? Palliative therapy for cancer of the esophagus Palliative therapy is ... therapy Electrocoagulation Laser ablation Argon plasma coagulation Radiation therapy External-beam radiation can often help relieve some ...

  12. Palliative care in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Krongyuth, Panit; Campbell, Cathy L; Silpasuwan, Pimpan

    2014-12-01

    In Thailand, several barriers exist that prevent people with life-limiting illnesses from accessing good-quality palliative care, namely: lack of palliative care providers; lack of training and education for the palliative care workforce; and issues with availability and distribution of opioids. Without palliative care, people suffer needlessly during the last months of their life. This paper gives an analysis of these issues and provides recommendations for clinical practice, research and health policy that may help to alleviate these issues.

  13. On the palliative care unit.

    PubMed

    Selwyn, Peter A

    2016-06-01

    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 PMID:27270255

  14. What's the Plan? Needing Assistance with Plan of Care Is Associated with In-Hospital Death for ICU Patients Referred for Palliative Care Consultation.

    PubMed

    Kiyota, Ayano; Bell, Christina L; Masaki, Kamal; Fischberg, Daniel J

    2016-08-01

    To inform earlier identification of intensive care unit (ICU) patients needing palliative care, we examined factors associated with in-hospital death among ICU patients (N=260) receiving palliative care consultations at a 542-bed tertiary care hospital (2005-2009). High pre-consultation length of stay (LOS, ≥7 days) (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=5.0, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=2.5-9.9, P<.01) and consultations for assistance with plan of care (aOR=11.6, 95% CI=5.6-23.9, P<.01) were independently associated with in-hospital death. Patients with both consultation for plan of care and high pre-consult LOS had the highest odds of in-hospital death (aOR=36.3, 95% CI=14.9-88.5, P<.001), followed by patients with consultation for plan of care and shorter pre-consult LOS (aOR=9.8, 95% CI=4.3-22.1, P<.001), and patients with long pre-consult LOS but no consultation for plan of care (aOR=4.7, 95% CI=1.8-12.4, P=.002). Our findings suggest that ICU patients who require assistance with plan of care need to be identified early to optimize end-of-life care and avoid in-hospital death.

  15. What's the Plan? Needing Assistance with Plan of Care Is Associated with In-Hospital Death for ICU Patients Referred for Palliative Care Consultation

    PubMed Central

    Kiyota, Ayano; Bell, Christina L; Masaki, Kamal

    2016-01-01

    To inform earlier identification of intensive care unit (ICU) patients needing palliative care, we examined factors associated with in-hospital death among ICU patients (N=260) receiving palliative care consultations at a 542-bed tertiary care hospital (2005–2009). High pre-consultation length of stay (LOS, ≥7 days) (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=5.0, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=2.5–9.9, P<.01) and consultations for assistance with plan of care (aOR=11.6, 95% CI=5.6–23.9, P<.01) were independently associated with in-hospital death. Patients with both consultation for plan of care and high pre-consult LOS had the highest odds of in-hospital death (aOR=36.3, 95% CI=14.9–88.5, P<.001), followed by patients with consultation for plan of care and shorter pre-consult LOS (aOR=9.8, 95% CI=4.3–22.1, P<.001), and patients with long pre-consult LOS but no consultation for plan of care (aOR=4.7, 95% CI=1.8–12.4, P=.002). Our findings suggest that ICU patients who require assistance with plan of care need to be identified early to optimize end-of-life care and avoid in-hospital death. PMID:27563500

  16. [The university hospital palliative care team's approach to the transfer of end-stage cancer patients from hospital care to home medical care].

    PubMed

    Yoshino, Kazuho; Nishiumi, Noboru; Kushino, Nobuhisa; Tsukada, Michiko; Douzono, Sachiko; Saito, Yuki; Yagame, Mitsunori; Tokuda, Yutaka

    2009-12-01

    The palliative care team's roles are to provide a symptom relief to cancer patients, help them accept their medical conditions, and offer advice regarding the selection of appropriate medical treatments to suit their needs. Seeking the comfort of their homes, patients prefer a home care of superior medical care provided at hospitals. In 2008, 25 of the end-stage cancer patients at hospitals were expressed their desires to have a home medical care, and 10 of them were allowed to do so. We considered the following contributing factors that a patient should have for a smooth transition from hospital care to home medical care: (1) life expectancy of more than 2 months, (2) no progressive breathing difficulties experienced daily, (3) good awareness of medical condition among patients and families, (4) living with someone who has a good understanding of the condition, (5) availability of an appropriate hospital in case of a sudden change in medical requirements, and (6) good collaboration between emergency care hospitals, home physicians, and visiting nurses. To treat the end-stage cancer patients at home, there is a need for information sharing and a joint training of physicians specialized in cancer therapy, palliative care teams, home physicians, and visiting nurses. This would ensure a sustainable "face-to-face collaboration" in community health care.

  17. What's the Plan? Needing Assistance with Plan of Care Is Associated with In-Hospital Death for ICU Patients Referred for Palliative Care Consultation.

    PubMed

    Kiyota, Ayano; Bell, Christina L; Masaki, Kamal; Fischberg, Daniel J

    2016-08-01

    To inform earlier identification of intensive care unit (ICU) patients needing palliative care, we examined factors associated with in-hospital death among ICU patients (N=260) receiving palliative care consultations at a 542-bed tertiary care hospital (2005-2009). High pre-consultation length of stay (LOS, ≥7 days) (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=5.0, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=2.5-9.9, P<.01) and consultations for assistance with plan of care (aOR=11.6, 95% CI=5.6-23.9, P<.01) were independently associated with in-hospital death. Patients with both consultation for plan of care and high pre-consult LOS had the highest odds of in-hospital death (aOR=36.3, 95% CI=14.9-88.5, P<.001), followed by patients with consultation for plan of care and shorter pre-consult LOS (aOR=9.8, 95% CI=4.3-22.1, P<.001), and patients with long pre-consult LOS but no consultation for plan of care (aOR=4.7, 95% CI=1.8-12.4, P=.002). Our findings suggest that ICU patients who require assistance with plan of care need to be identified early to optimize end-of-life care and avoid in-hospital death. PMID:27563500

  18. Variations in the quality and costs of end-of-life care, preferences and palliative outcomes for cancer patients by place of death: the QUALYCARE study

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Emerging trends and new policies suggest that more cancer patients might die at home in the future. However, not all have equal chances of achieving this. Furthermore, there is lack of evidence to support that those who die at home experience better care and a better death than those who die as inpatients. The QUALYCARE study aims to examine variations in the quality and costs of end-of-life care, preferences and palliative outcomes associated with dying at home or in an institution for cancer patients. Methods/Design Mortality followback survey (with a nested case-control study of home vs. hospital deaths) conducted with bereaved relatives of cancer patients in four Primary Care Trusts in London. Potential participants are identified from death registrations and approached by the Office for National Statistics in complete confidence. Data are collected via a postal questionnaire to identify the informal and formal care received in the three months before death and the associated costs, relatives' satisfaction with care, and palliative outcomes for the patients and their relatives. A well-established questionnaire to measure relatives' views on the care integrates four brief and robust tools - the Client Service Receipt Inventory, the Palliative Outcome Scale, the EQ-5 D and the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief. Further questions assess patients and relatives' preferences for place of death. The survey aims to include 500 bereaved relatives (140 who experienced a home death, 205 a hospital death, 115 a hospice death and 40 a nursing home death). Bivariate and multivariate analyses will explore differences in place of death and place of end-of-life care, in preferences for place of death, patients' palliative outcomes and relatives' bereavement outcomes, in relation to place of death. Factors influencing death at home and the costs of end-of-life care by place of death will be identified. Discussion Collecting data on end-of-life care retrospectively from

  19. [Treatment of psychic symptoms of a cancer patient in a palliative care].

    PubMed

    Idman, Irja

    2013-01-01

    Approximately a third of cancer patients suffer from psychic symptoms recognizable by tested indicators during their illness. The most typical symptom picture is a mixed one consisting of anxiety and depression associated with changes in activity level (fatigue, over-alertness) and sleeping disturbances. According to a recent meta-analysis, some mood disorder fulfilling the DSM or ICD criteria can be diagnosed in approx. 30 to 40% of hospitalized cancer patients. The interpretation as mood disorder included all diagnoses of depression, anxiety disorders as well as mood problems of the adjustment disorder level.

  20. Early Versus Delayed Initiation of Concurrent Palliative Oncology Care: Patient Outcomes in the ENABLE III Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Bakitas, Marie A.; Tosteson, Tor D.; Li, Zhigang; Lyons, Kathleen D.; Hull, Jay G.; Li, Zhongze; Dionne-Odom, J. Nicholas; Frost, Jennifer; Dragnev, Konstantin H.; Hegel, Mark T.; Azuero, Andres; Ahles, Tim A.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Randomized controlled trials have supported integrated oncology and palliative care (PC); however, optimal timing has not been evaluated. We investigated the effect of early versus delayed PC on quality of life (QOL), symptom impact, mood, 1-year survival, and resource use. Patients and Methods Between October 2010 and March 2013, 207 patients with advanced cancer at a National Cancer Institute cancer center, a Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and community outreach clinics were randomly assigned to receive an in-person PC consultation, structured PC telehealth nurse coaching sessions (once per week for six sessions), and monthly follow-up either early after enrollment or 3 months later. Outcomes were QOL, symptom impact, mood, 1-year survival, and resource use (hospital/intensive care unit days, emergency room visits, chemotherapy in last 14 days, and death location). Results Overall patient-reported outcomes were not statistically significant after enrollment (QOL, P = .34; symptom impact, P = .09; mood, P = .33) or before death (QOL, P = .73; symptom impact, P = .30; mood, P = .82). Kaplan-Meier 1-year survival rates were 63% in the early group and 48% in the delayed group (difference, 15%; P = .038). Relative rates of early to delayed decedents' resource use were similar for hospital days (0.73; 95% CI, 0.41 to 1.27; P = .26), intensive care unit days (0.68; 95% CI, 0.23 to 2.02; P = .49), emergency room visits (0.73; 95% CI, 0.45 to 1.19; P = .21), chemotherapy in last 14 days (1.57; 95% CI, 0.37 to 6.7; P = .27), and home death (27 [54%] v 28 [47%]; P = .60). Conclusion Early-entry participants' patient-reported outcomes and resource use were not statistically different; however, their survival 1-year after enrollment was improved compared with those who began 3 months later. Understanding the complex mechanisms whereby PC may improve survival remains an important research priority. PMID:25800768

  1. Community Pharmacists' Attitudes Toward Palliative Care: An Australian Nationwide Survey

    PubMed Central

    Hewitt, Lauren Y.; Tuffin, Penelope H.R.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Background: Pharmacists are among the most accessible health care professionals in the community, yet are often not involved in community palliative care teams. Objective: We investigated community pharmacists' attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and knowledge about palliative care as a first step towards determining how best to facilitate the inclusion of community pharmacists on the palliative care team. Method: A cross-sectional descriptive survey design was used. Subjects: Community pharmacists around Australia were invited to participate; 250 completed surveys were returned. Measurements: A survey was constructed to measure pharmacists' knowledge and experience, emotions and beliefs about palliative care. Results: Pharmacists were generally positive about providing services and supports for palliative care patients, yet they also reported negative beliefs and emotions about palliative care. In addition, pharmacists had good knowledge of some aspects of palliative care, but misconceptions about other aspects. Pharmacists' beliefs and knowledge about palliative care predicted—and therefore underpinned—a positive attitude towards palliative care and the provision of services and supports for palliative care patients. Conclusion: The results provide evidence that pharmacists need training and support to facilitate their involvement in providing services and supports for palliative care patients, and highlight areas that training and support initiatives should focus on. PMID:24147876

  2. Palliative Care for Latino Patients and Their Families: “Whenever We Prayed, She Wept”

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Alexander K.; Sudore, Rebecca L.; Pérez-Stable, Eliseo J.

    2009-01-01

    Latinos account for 15% of the US population, a proportion projected to grow to 30% by the year 2050. Although there is tremendous diversity within this community, commonalities of language, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors unite Latinos, making them more similar than different. For non-Latino and non-Spanish-speaking clinicians, communication barriers and cultural misunderstandings can impede the care of dying Latino patients and their families. We present the case of a young, pregnant, Spanish-speaking woman from Guatemala diagnosed with a fatal leukemia. As illustrated by this case, Latino immigrants face a number of external challenges to optimal end-of-life care: (1) geographic distance as well as political and economic realities often separate patients from their valued families; (2) undocumented immigrants are frequently uninsured, and fear of deportation may create a barrier to accessing health services; (3) language and literacy barriers; and (4) concerns about discrimination. Other Latino issues that may be more pronounced in end-of-life settings include cultural themes and religious and spiritual influences. We recommend that professional interpreters must be used for discussions about goals of care with Spanish-speaking patients and families, or when negotiating conflict between the patient, family, and the health care team. Concrete suggestions are provided for clinicians in working with interpreters, eliciting culturally-based attitudes and beliefs, and implementing universal strategies for clear health communication. PMID:19278947

  3. Palliative care for Latino patients and their families: whenever we prayed, she wept.

    PubMed

    Smith, Alexander K; Sudore, Rebecca L; Pérez-Stable, Eliseo J

    2009-03-11

    Latinos account for 15% of the US population, a proportion projected to grow to 30% by the year 2050. Although there is tremendous diversity within this community, commonalities of language, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors unite Latinos, making them more similar than different. Differences by national origin, although important, are attenuated when immigrants come to the United States, dominated by an English-language, Anglo-centric culture. For non-Latino and non-Spanish-speaking clinicians, communication barriers and cultural misunderstandings can impede the care of dying Latino patients and their families. We present the case of a young, pregnant, Spanish-speaking woman from Central America diagnosed with a fatal leukemia. As illustrated by this case, Latino immigrants face a number of external challenges to optimal end-of-life care: (1) geographic distance as well as political and economic realities often separate patients from their valued families; (2) undocumented immigrants are frequently uninsured and fear of deportation may create a barrier to accessing health services; (3) language and literacy barriers; and (4) concerns about discrimination. Other Latino issues that may be more pronounced in end-of-life settings include cultural themes and religious and spiritual influences. We recommend that professional interpreters must be used for discussions about goals of care with Spanish-speaking patients and families or when negotiating conflict between the patient, family, and the health care team. Concrete suggestions are provided for clinicians in working with interpreters, eliciting culturally based attitudes and beliefs, and implementing universal strategies for clear health communication.

  4. [Early Integration of Palliative Care into Standard Oncology Care -  Benefits, Limitations, Barriers and Types of Palliative Care].

    PubMed

    Sochor, M; Sláma, O; Loučka, M

    2015-01-01

    Patients with advanced cancer experience a significant number of physical symptoms and psychological distress, which worsen their quality of life (QOL). Palliative care is oriented to prevent and relieve suffering and promote QOL of patients with advanced cancer. In oncology, the role of palliative care is traditionally perceived to be the treatment after the antineoplastic therapy is finished. A concept of early integration of palliative care into standard oncology practice has been recently introduced. There is a lot of data supporting this concept of parallel application of both oncology care and palliative care. Early palliative care has been shown to provide benefits in QOL, mood, symptoms, health care utilization and survival. In this review, we summarize published data about benefits and difficulties of early palliative care. We also discuss the model of general and specialized palliative care integrated into oncological practice, their differences and consequences.

  5. [Palliative care for glioblastoma].

    PubMed

    Dieudonné, Nathalie; De Micheli, Rita; Hottinger, Andreas

    2016-04-27

    Patients with glioblastoma have a limited life expectancy and an impaired quality of life and they should be offered palliative care soon after the diagnosis is established. Still, only a quarter of patients aged over 65 return home or medical institution after completing treatments. Home care must be promoted by coordinating assistance and care, combining disciplines such as physiotherapy and ergotherapy, medical and nursing care and psychosocial support. Patients are at risk of mood, personality and behavioural disorders. Limited awareness of these troubles and their physical limitations alter their capacity of rehabilitation and social relationships. Isolation of relatives, exhaustion and misunderstandings should be prevented. The therapeutic goals should be discussed and determined upstream to anticipate difficulties and questions concerning end of life. PMID:27281945

  6. Medical use of marijuana in palliative care.

    PubMed

    Johannigman, Suzanne; Eschiti, Valerie

    2013-08-01

    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. PMID:23899972

  7. The challenges of uncertainty and interprofessional collaboration in palliative care for non-cancer patients in the community: A systematic review of views from patients, carers and health-care professionals

    PubMed Central

    Murtagh, Fliss EM

    2014-01-01

    Background: Primary care has the potential to play significant roles in providing effective palliative care for non-cancer patients. Aim: To identify, critically appraise and synthesise the existing evidence on views on the provision of palliative care for non-cancer patients by primary care providers and reveal any gaps in the evidence. Design: Standard systematic review and narrative synthesis. Data sources: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Applied Social Science Abstract and the Cochrane library were searched in 2012. Reference searching, hand searching, expert consultations and grey literature searches complemented these. Papers with the views of patients/carers or professionals on primary palliative care provision to non-cancer patients in the community were included. The amended Hawker’s criteria were used for quality assessment of included studies. Results: A total of 30 studies were included and represent the views of 719 patients, 605 carers and over 400 professionals. In all, 27 studies are from the United Kingdom. Patients and carers expect primary care physicians to provide compassionate care, have appropriate knowledge and play central roles in providing care. The roles of professionals are unclear to patients, carers and professionals themselves. Uncertainty of illness trajectory and lack of collaboration between health-care professionals were identified as barriers to effective care. Conclusions: Effective interprofessional work to deal with uncertainty and maintain coordinated care is needed for better palliative care provision to non-cancer patients in the community. Research into and development of a best model for effective interdisciplinary work are needed. PMID:24821710

  8. Palliative Care in Iran: Moving Toward the Development of Palliative Care for Cancer.

    PubMed

    Rassouli, Maryam; Sajjadi, Moosa

    2016-04-01

    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.

  9. Music therapy in palliative care.

    PubMed Central

    Munro, S.; Mount, B.

    1978-01-01

    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

  10. The Use of the Chuang's Prognostic Scale to Predict the Survival of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients Receiving Palliative Systemic Anticancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Alsirafy, Samy A; Zaki, Omar; Sakr, Amr Y; Farag, Dina E; El-Sherief, Wessam A; Mohammed, Abha A

    2016-01-01

    Background: With the increasing number of agents active against cancer, advanced cancer patients including metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients may continue receiving palliative systemic anticancer therapy (PSAT) near the end-of-life. Validated palliative prognostic models, such as the Chuang's prognostic scale (CPS), may be helpful in identifying mCRC patients with limited survival who are unlikely to benefit from PSAT. Aim: To test the ability of the CPS to predict the survival of mCRC under treatment with PSAT. Methods: CPS was prospectively assessed in 36 mCRC patients who were receiving PSAT. The scale is based on eight items: ascites, edema, cognitive impairment, liver and lung metastases, performance status, tiredness, and weight loss. The total CPS score ranges from 0 to 8.5 with the higher score indicating worse prognosis. Results: Patients were divided into two groups using a CPS cutoff score of 5, Group 1 with a CPS score ≤5 and Group 2 with a CPS score >5. Using this cutoff value, 3-month mortality was predicted with a positive predictive value of 71%, a negative predictive value of 77%, a sensitivity of 67%, a specificity of 81% and an overall accuracy of 75%. Group 1 patients had a longer median survival of 149 days (95% confidence interval [CI]: 82-216) in comparison to Group 2 patients who had a median survival of 61 days (95% CI: 35-87). The difference in survival was statistically significant (P = 0.01). Conclusion: CPS may be useful in identifying mCRC patients with limited survival who are unlikely to benefit from PSAT. PMID:27559261

  11. [Palliative treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma].

    PubMed

    Guglielmi, A; De Manzoni, G; Girlanda, R; Frameglia, M; Cordiano, C

    1997-01-01

    Carcinoma of the pancreas is the fourth leading cause of cancer related death in Western Countries. The 5-year survival for resectable tumors is 15-25%, while patients with unresectable neoplasms survive a median of 7 months. Only 30% of carcinomas of the head of pancreas and 10% of the body and tail are resectable for cure. Therefore, palliation of symptoms, namely obstructive jaundice, duodenal obstruction and pain, involve 80-90% of cases. Jaundice is frequent in tumors of the head. Palliative biliary decompression can be achieved by non surgical methods-endoscopically placed endoprostheses or percutaneous biliary drainage- or surgically. The former are indicated in patients with metastatic disease, high operative risk and short life expectancy. Surgical palliation which includes choledocho-duodenostomy, cholecystoduodenostomy, cholecystojejunostomy, hepato or choledocho-jejunostomy offers the advantage of providing a simple procedure that can treat or prevent all of the major symptoms: jaundice, duodenal obstruction and pain. Mechanical obstruction of the duodenum occurs in about 30% of cases in association with jaundice at the time of presentation and in 13-21% of patients previously subjected to biliary bypass after 8 months. Actual obstruction can be relieved by gastro-jejunostomy. Significant controversy remains concerning the role of prophylactic gastro-jejunostomy in patients requiring biliary diversion without signs of duodenal obstruction. Pain, which sooner or later affects the majority of patients, can be relieved by splanchnicectomy, either surgically or percutaneously.

  12. Harnessing complex emergent metaphors for effective communication in palliative care: a multimodal perceptual analysis of hospice patients' reports of transcendence experiences.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Bruce L; Lloyd, Linda S

    2014-05-01

    Terminally ill patients can have unexpected, enigmatic, and profound cognitive shifts that significantly alter their perception of themselves, thereby eliminating their fear of death and dying. However, there are no systematic studies into these remarkable yet ineffable transcendence experiences. They therefore remain easily overlooked or viewed as isolated anomalies and therefore excluded from quality-of-life patient considerations. We use a multimodal methodology for identifying the prevalence and thematic properties of complex emergent metaphors patients use to report these experiences. Although previous research has pioneered the importance of understanding conventional or primary metaphors at the end of life, our findings indicate the considerable potential of more complex metaphors for reducing barriers to effective communication in palliative care.

  13. Surgical palliation of advanced pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Bahra, M; Jacob, D

    2008-01-01

    In about 80% of patients with pancreatic cancer surgical resection is not feasible at the time of diagnosis. Therefore, palliative treatment plays a key role in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The defined goals of palliative treatment are: reduction of symptoms, reduction of in-hospital stays, and an adequate control of pain. In patients with nonresectable pancreatic carcinoma the leading goal of palliative strategies should be the control of biliary and duodenal obstructions such as jaundice-associated pruritus or sustained nausea and vomiting due to gastric outlet obstruction. Although the role of endoscopy for palliation has been increasing, operative palliation is still indicated in selected cases. Obstructive jaundice is found in approximately 70% of patients suffering from carcinoma of the pancreatic head at diagnosis and has to be eliminated to avoid progressive liver dysfunction and liver failure. In up to 50% of patients with pancreatic cancer, clinical symptoms such as nausea and vomiting occur. For the treatment of malignant biliary obstructions in patients with pancreatic carcinoma, endoscopic biliary drainage is the option of first choice. In case of persistent stent-problems such as occlusion or recurrent cholangitis, a hepaticojejunostomy should be considered. The role of a prophylactic gastroenterostomy is still under discussion. In patients with combined biliary and gastric obstruction a combined bypass should be performed to avoid a second operation. The significance of laparoscopic biliary bypass is not yet clear. A surgical, minimally invasive approach for treating bile duct obstruction is not the standard nowadays. The role of surgical pain relief is mostly negligible today. Computed tomography (CT)- or EUS-guided celiac plexus neurolysis has replaced surgical intervention today. The significance of palliative resections is currently a controversial topic. However, beyond controlled randomized studies, a palliative pancreaticoduodenectomy

  14. Top 10 things palliative care clinicians wished everyone knew about palliative care.

    PubMed

    Strand, Jacob J; Kamdar, Mihir M; Carey, Elise C

    2013-08-01

    With a focus on improving quality of life for patients, palliative care is a rapidly growing medical subspecialty focusing on the care of patients with serious illness. Basic symptom management, discussions of prognostic understanding, and eliciting treatment goals are essential pieces in the practice of nearly all physicians. Nonetheless, many complex patients with a serious, life-threatening illness benefit from consultation with palliative care specialists, who are trained and experienced in complex symptom management and challenging communication interactions, including medical decision making and aligning goals of care. This article discusses the changing role of modern palliative care, addresses common misconceptions, and presents an argument for early integration of palliative care in the treatment of patients dealing with serious illness. PMID:23910412

  15. Palliative care and neurology: time for a paradigm shift.

    PubMed

    Boersma, Isabel; Miyasaki, Janis; Kutner, Jean; Kluger, Benzi

    2014-08-01

    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.

  16. Palliative Care in Lung Cancer.

    PubMed

    Shinde, Arvind M; Dashti, Azadeh

    2016-01-01

    Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide and is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the USA. Symptom burden in patients with advanced lung cancer is very high and has a negative impact on their quality of life (QOL). Palliative care with its focus on the management of symptoms and addressing physical, psychosocial, spiritual, and existential suffering, as well as medically appropriate goal setting and open communication with patients and families, significantly adds to the quality of care received by advanced lung cancer patients. The Provisional Clinical Opinion (PCO) of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) as well as the National Cancer Care Network's (NCCN) clinical practice guidelines recommends early integration of palliative care into routine cancer care. In this chapter, we will provide an overview of palliative care in lung cancer and will examine the evidence and recommendations with regard to a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to symptom management, as well as discussions of goals of care, advance care planning, and care preferences. PMID:27535397

  17. Identifying patients with advanced chronic conditions for a progressive palliative care approach: a cross-sectional study of prognostic indicators related to end-of-life trajectories

    PubMed Central

    Amblàs-Novellas, J; Murray, S A; Espaulella, J; Martinez-Muñoz, M; Blay, C; Gómez-Batiste, X

    2016-01-01

    Objectives 2 innovative concepts have lately been developed to radically improve the care of patients with advanced chronic conditions (PACC): early identification of palliative care (PC) needs and the 3 end-of-life trajectories in chronic illnesses (acute, intermittent and gradual dwindling). It is not clear (1) what indicators work best for this early identification and (2) if specific clinical indicators exist for each of these trajectories. The objectives of this study are to explore these 2 issues. Setting 3 primary care services, an acute care hospital, an intermediate care centre and 4 nursing homes in a mixed urban–rural district in Barcelona, Spain. Participants 782 patients (61.5% women) with a positive NECPAL CCOMS-ICO test, indicating they might benefit from a PC approach. Outcome measures The characteristics and distribution of the indicators of the NECPAL CCOMS-ICO tool are analysed with respect to the 3 trajectories and have been arranged by domain (functional, nutritional and cognitive status, emotional problems, geriatric syndromes, social vulnerability and others) and according to their static (severity) and dynamic (progression) properties. Results The common indicators associated with early end-of-life identification are functional (44.3%) and nutritional (30.7%) progression, emotional distress (21.9%) and geriatric syndromes (15.7% delirium, 11.2% falls). The rest of the indicators showed differences in the associations per illness trajectories (p<0.05). 48.2% of the total cohort was identified as advanced frailty patients with no advanced disease criteria. Conclusions Dynamic indicators are present in the 3 trajectories and are especially useful to identify PACC for a progressive PC approach purpose. Most of the other indicators are typically associated with a specific trajectory. These findings can help clinicians improve the identification of patients for a palliative approach. PMID:27645556

  18. Radiological image-guided placement of covered Niti-S stent for palliation of dysphagia in patients with cervical esophageal cancer.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Takeshi; Tanabe, Masahiro; Shimizu, Kensaku; Iida, Etsushi; Matsunaga, Naofumi

    2013-06-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of covered Niti-S stent placement under multidetector CT and fluoroscopy guidance for the palliation of dysphagia in patients with cervical esophageal cancer. Under radiological imaging guidance using axial and sagittal CT scans, and fluoroscopy, Niti-S esophageal stents were placed in ten consecutive patients with complete obstruction caused by cervical esophageal cancer (9 men and 1 woman; age range = 54-79 years; mean age = 68.1 years) between February 2010 and December 2011. The procedure time and technical success rate were evaluated. Swallowing improvement was assessed by the following items: ability to eat and/or swallow (graded as follows: 3 = ability to eat normal diet, 2 = ability to eat semisolids, 1 = ability to swallow liquids, 0 = complete obstruction). Procedural and post-procedural complications were also evaluated. Survival (mean ± SD) was examined. The mean (±SD) procedure time was 40 ± 19 min (range = 21-69 min). Stent placement was technically successful in all patients; inadequate stent deployment did not occur in any case. Ability to eat and/or swallow was improved and scored 2.4 (score 3 in 5 cases, score 2 in 4 cases, score 1 in 1 case, and score 0 in no case) after stent placement. No major or post-procedural complications were encountered. The mean survival time was 131 ± 77 days (range = 31-259 days). Niti-S stents appeared to be a safe and effective device for the palliation of dysphagia caused by advanced cervical esophageal cancer. Multidetector CT and fluoroscopy image guidance helped the operators accurately place the stents in the cervical esophagus.

  19. [Care networks, mobile palliative and supportive teams. What benefits are there for patients, natural caregivers and general practitioners in patient homes?].

    PubMed

    Hubault, Philippe; Chataigner, Bernard; Diquero, Vincent; Cesbron, Jean-Yves; Pommateau, Romuald; Cotinat, Jean-Paul; Guitard, Véronique; Mathien, Laurence; Thetas, Elisabeth

    2009-06-20

    Civil society at large and all caregivers, whether at home or within institutions, are involved in palliative care However, procedures may vary considerably, excluding a single approach. So as to best adapt their responses, the authors recorded everyone's expectations. Such a participatory methodology is, sine 1990, behind the establishment of local networks providing assistance, support and training to physicians non-specialized in palliative care (general practitioners, specialists, students or residents facing specific aspects of this medical management, as well as other health and social workers).

  20. Smartphone applications in palliative homecare.

    PubMed

    Dhiliwal, Sunil R; Salins, Naveen

    2015-01-01

    Smartphone applications in healthcare delivery are a novel concept and is rapidly gaining ground in all fields of medicine. The modes of e-communications such as e-mail, short message service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS) and WhatsApp in palliative care provides a means for quick tele-consultation, information sharing, cuts the waiting time and facilitates initiation of the treatment at the earliest. It also forms a means of communication with local general practitioner and local health care provider such that continuity of the care is maintained. It also minimizes needless transport of the patient to hospital, prevents needless hospitalization and investigations and minimizes cost and logistics involved in the care process. The two case studies provided highlights the use of smartphone application like WhatsApp in palliative care practice and demonstrates its utility.

  1. Palliative care situation in Palestinian Authority.

    PubMed

    Shawawra, Mousa; Khleif, Amal Dweib

    2011-04-01

    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

  2. Palliative Care in Musculoskeletal Oncology.

    PubMed

    Gulia, Ashish; Byregowda, Suman; Panda, Pankaj Kumar

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. Palliative Care in Musculoskeletal Oncology

    PubMed Central

    Gulia, Ashish; Byregowda, Suman; Panda, Pankaj Kumar

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. Validation of EORTC and CALGB prognostic models in surgical patients submitted to diagnostic, palliative or curative surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma

    PubMed Central

    Guerrera, Francesco; Roffinella, Matteo; Olivetti, Stefania; Costardi, Lorena; Oliaro, Alberto; Filosso, Pier Luigi; Lausi, Paolo Olivo; Ruffini, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Background To assess the trend of our surgical patients affected by malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and submitted to diagnostic/palliative or curative surgical procedures and to validate the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) prognostic score in our patient population. Methods This is a cohort study of patients submitted to surgery for MPM from January 2007 to December 2013. Primary outcome was overall survival (OS). Univariate and multivariate-adjusted comparisons by EORTC prognostic score for OS were accomplished using Cox method. Adjusted models included the following clinical variables: kind of procedure, smoking habit, asbestos exposure, Charlson’s Comorbidity Index (CCI), clinical tumor stage, adjuvant chemotherapy, dyspnoea, chest pain and haematological variables according to the score features. Nomenclature of the surgical procedures matches the International Association for the Study Lung Cancer (IASLC)/International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMIG). Results One-hundred sixty-six consecutive cases were collected: the median age at surgery was 73 years and 123 patients (75%) had a history of asbestos exposure. Ninty patients (54%) were submitted to a palliative/diagnostic thoracoscopy, 30 to pleurectomy/decortication (P/D), and 6 to extra-pleural pneumonectomy (EPP). Clinical TNM stages were as follows: 99 (60%) stage I–II, 34 (20%) stage III and 33 (20%) stage IV. The median follow-up (FU) was 19 months [interquartile range (IQR), 9–31 months] and the FU-completeness was 98%. By the end of the study 130 patients died (78%). One- and 3-year OS was 60% and 36%, respectively. Patients submitted to EPP and P/D showed a better survival (P=0.013). Multivariable model showed an independent prognostic value of EORTC score (HR =2.86, P<0.001). Conclusions In selected patients, aggressive surgical approaches, although not radical, may still be beneficial. The EORTC prognostic index proved to be an independent prognostic

  5. Engaging Terminally Ill Patients in End of Life Talk: How Experienced Palliative Medicine Doctors Navigate the Dilemma of Promoting Discussions about Dying

    PubMed Central

    Parry, Ruth; Land, Victoria; Faull, Christina; Feathers, Luke; Seymour, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Objective To examine how palliative medicine doctors engage patients in end-of-life (hereon, EoL) talk. To examine whether the practice of “eliciting and responding to cues”, which has been widely advocated in the EoL care literature, promotes EoL talk. Design Conversation analysis of video- and audio-recorded consultations. Participants Unselected terminally ill patients and their companions in consultation with experienced palliative medicine doctors. Setting Outpatient clinic, day therapy clinic, and inpatient unit of a single English hospice. Results Doctors most commonly promoted EoL talk through open elaboration solicitations; these created opportunities for patients to introduce–then later further articulate–EoL considerations in such a way that doctors did not overtly ask about EoL matters. Importantly, the wording of elaboration solicitations avoided assuming that patients had EoL concerns. If a patient responded to open elaboration solicitations without introducing EoL considerations, doctors sometimes pursued EoL talk by switching to a less participatory and more presumptive type of solicitation, which suggested the patient might have EoL concerns. These more overt solicitations were used only later in consultations, which indicates that doctors give precedence to patients volunteering EoL considerations, and offer them opportunities to take the lead in initiating EoL talk. There is evidence that doctors treat elaboration of patients’ talk as a resource for engaging them in EoL conversations. However, there are limitations associated with labelling that talk as “cues” as is common in EoL communication contexts. We examine these limitations and propose “possible EoL considerations” as a descriptively more accurate term. Conclusions Through communicating–via open elaboration solicitations–in ways that create opportunities for patients to volunteer EoL considerations, doctors navigate a core dilemma in promoting EoL talk: giving

  6. Validation of EORTC and CALGB prognostic models in surgical patients submitted to diagnostic, palliative or curative surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma

    PubMed Central

    Guerrera, Francesco; Roffinella, Matteo; Olivetti, Stefania; Costardi, Lorena; Oliaro, Alberto; Filosso, Pier Luigi; Lausi, Paolo Olivo; Ruffini, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Background To assess the trend of our surgical patients affected by malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and submitted to diagnostic/palliative or curative surgical procedures and to validate the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) prognostic score in our patient population. Methods This is a cohort study of patients submitted to surgery for MPM from January 2007 to December 2013. Primary outcome was overall survival (OS). Univariate and multivariate-adjusted comparisons by EORTC prognostic score for OS were accomplished using Cox method. Adjusted models included the following clinical variables: kind of procedure, smoking habit, asbestos exposure, Charlson’s Comorbidity Index (CCI), clinical tumor stage, adjuvant chemotherapy, dyspnoea, chest pain and haematological variables according to the score features. Nomenclature of the surgical procedures matches the International Association for the Study Lung Cancer (IASLC)/International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMIG). Results One-hundred sixty-six consecutive cases were collected: the median age at surgery was 73 years and 123 patients (75%) had a history of asbestos exposure. Ninty patients (54%) were submitted to a palliative/diagnostic thoracoscopy, 30 to pleurectomy/decortication (P/D), and 6 to extra-pleural pneumonectomy (EPP). Clinical TNM stages were as follows: 99 (60%) stage I–II, 34 (20%) stage III and 33 (20%) stage IV. The median follow-up (FU) was 19 months [interquartile range (IQR), 9–31 months] and the FU-completeness was 98%. By the end of the study 130 patients died (78%). One- and 3-year OS was 60% and 36%, respectively. Patients submitted to EPP and P/D showed a better survival (P=0.013). Multivariable model showed an independent prognostic value of EORTC score (HR =2.86, P<0.001). Conclusions In selected patients, aggressive surgical approaches, although not radical, may still be beneficial. The EORTC prognostic index proved to be an independent prognostic

  7. Endoscopic palliation of malignant biliary strictures

    PubMed Central

    Salgado, Sanjay M; Gaidhane, Monica; Kahaleh, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Malignant biliary strictures often present late after the window for curative resection has elapsed. In such patients, the goal of therapy is typically focused on palliation. While historically, palliative measures were performed surgically, the advent of endoscopic intervention offers minimally invasive options to provide relief of symptoms, improve quality of life, and in some cases, increase survival of these patients. Some of these therapies, such as endoscopic biliary decompression, have become mainstays of treatment for decades, whereas newer modalities, including radiofrequency ablation, and photodynamic therapy offer additional options for patients with incurable biliary malignancies. PMID:26989459

  8. What palliative care–related problems do patients with drug-resistant or drug-susceptible tuberculosis experience on admission to hospital? A cross-sectional self-report study

    PubMed Central

    Harding, Richard; Defilippi, Kath; Cameron, David

    2016-01-01

    Background: The new World Health Organization’s ‘End TB’ strategy specifies palliative care within its strategic pillars. Limited data on patient-reported problems are available to inform an effective care response. Aim: We aimed to (1) identify most burdensome problems, (2) compare intensity of problems for drug-susceptible and drug-resistant tuberculosis and (3) identify predictors of problem identifiers. Design: Cross-sectional self-report quantitative study. Setting/participants: Self-report palliative care problems (physical, psychological, social and spiritual) were collected among patients on admission to a general district hospital with tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis wards in South Africa. Results: Totally, 114 patients were recruited. The items with worst score responses were worry (60.5%), pain (42.1%), help and advice to plan for the future (35.1%), symptoms (29.0%) and ability to share feelings (25.1%). In ordinal logistic regression, age was predictive of a higher (worse) score for total Palliative Outcome Scale total score (0.058, 95% confidence interval = 0.0018–0.099, p = 0.005) and Factor 2 (interpersonal wellbeing: 0.038, 95% confidence interval = 0.003–0.073, p = 0.031). Interestingly, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis was predictive of lower (better) score for both total Palliative Outcome Scale score and Factor 1 (physical and psychological wellbeing). Weight, human immunodeficiency virus status and prior treatment were not significantly associated with any of the three. Conclusion: Currently, patients with drug-susceptible tuberculosis are only admitted to hospital with complications, explaining their worse scores. The high burden of physical and psychosocial problems experienced by our sample provides strong evidence of the need for palliative care alongside potentially curative options. PMID:27468913

  9. Pediatric palliative care.

    PubMed

    Moody, Karen; Siegel, Linda; Scharbach, Kathryn; Cunningham, Leslie; Cantor, Rabbi Mollie

    2011-06-01

    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.

  10. The role of palliative care in trauma.

    PubMed

    Owens, Darrell

    2012-01-01

    Trauma remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Despite the aggressive and heroic nature of trauma care, including trauma surgery, 10% to 20% of patients admitted to trauma intensive care units die. As the population continues to age, it is predicted that by 2050, approximately 40% of those experiencing traumatic injury will be older than 65 years. For multiple reasons, people in this age group who experience trauma are at greater risk for death. Palliative care is the specialty of health care that provides care for patients with serious, life-threatening, or life-limiting illness or injury, regardless of the stage of disease or treatment. The goal of palliative care is to reduce or alleviate suffering through expert pain and symptom management, as well as assistance with decision making. The integration of palliative and trauma care can assist and support patients and families through stressful, often life-changing times, regardless of the final outcome.

  11. Incorporating the Arts and Humanities in Palliative Medicine Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marchand, Lucille R.

    2006-01-01

    The arts and humanities allow the teaching of palliative medicine to come alive by exploring what is often regarded as the most frightening outcome of the illness experience--death and dying. Palliative medicine focuses on the relief of suffering, but how can suffering be understood if the story of the patient is not told through prose, poetry,…

  12. Pediatric End-of-Life Issues and Palliative Care

    PubMed Central

    Michelson, Kelly Nicole; Steinhorn, David M.

    2007-01-01

    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

  13. Response to "The Evidence Behind Integrating Palliative Care Into Oncology Practice"
.

    PubMed

    2016-10-01

    I am writing in response to "The Evidence Behind Integrating Palliative Care Into Oncology Practice" (Dailey, 2016). I have 16 years of oncology experience and work at the University Health Systems in San Antonio, Texas. Our facility's palliative care program holds the Advanced Certification awarded by the Joint Commission, and we have dedicated inpatient beds for palliative care patients. PMID:27668363

  14. Palliative care in India: Situation assessment and future scope.

    PubMed

    Kar, S S; Subitha, L; Iswarya, S

    2015-01-01

    Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, assessment and treatment of pain, and other problems - physical, psychosocial, and spiritual. It is estimated that in India the total number of people who need palliative care is likely to be 5.4 million people a year. Though palliative care services have been in existence for many years, India ranks at the bottom of the Quality of Death index in overall score. However there has been steady progress in the past few years through community-owned palliative care services. One of the key objectives of the National Programme for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke is to establish and develop capacity for palliative and rehabilitative care. Community models for the provision of home-based palliative care is possible by involving community caregivers and volunteers supervised by nurses trained in palliative care. Training of medical officers and health care professionals, and sensitization of the public through awareness campaigns are vital to improve the scope and coverage of palliative care. Process of translating palliative care plan into action requires strong leadership, competent management, political support and integration across all levels of care.

  15. How Can We Improve Outcomes for Patients and Families Under Palliative Care? Implementing Clinical Audit for Quality Improvement in Resource Limited Settings

    PubMed Central

    Selman, Lucy; Harding, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Palliative care in India has made enormous advances in providing better care for patients and families living with progressive disease, and many clinical services are well placed to begin quality improvement initiatives, including clinical audit. Clinical audit is recognized globally to be essential in all healthcare, as a way of monitoring and improving quality of care. However, it is not common in developing country settings, including India. Clinical audit is a cyclical activity involving: identification of areas of care in need of improvement, through data collection and analysis utilizing an appropriate questionnaire; setting measurable quality of care targets in specific areas; designing and implementing service improvement strategies; and then re-evaluating quality of care to assess progress towards meeting the targets. Outcome measurement is an important component of clinical audit that has additional advantages; for example, establishing an evidence base for the effectiveness of services. In resource limited contexts, outcome measurement in clinical audit is particularly important as it enables service development to be evidence-based and ensures resources are allocated effectively. Key success factors in conducting clinical audit are identified (shared ownership, training, managerial support, inclusion of all members of staff and a positive approach). The choice of outcome measurement tool is discussed, including the need for a culturally appropriate and validated measure which is brief and simple enough to incorporate into clinical practice and reflects the holistic nature of palliative care. Support for clinical audit is needed at a national level, and development and validation of an outcome measurement tool in the Indian context is a crucial next step. PMID:20859465

  16. 'Good palliative care' orders.

    PubMed

    Maddocks, I

    1993-01-01

    A Select Committee of the Parliament of South Australia, considering revisions to legislation governing care of the dying, did not support allowing doctors to assist suicide. They recommended that no liability attach to the provision of reasonable palliative care which happens to shorten life. The Committee affirmed the suggestion that positive open orders to provide 'good palliative care' should replace 'do not resuscitate' orders. PMID:7506978

  17. Treating Palliative Care Patients with Pain with the Body Tambura: A Prospective Case Study at St. Joseph's Hospice for Dying destitute in Dindigul South India

    PubMed Central

    Dietrich, Cordula; Teut, M; Samwel, Kakuko Lopoyetum; Narayanasamy, S; Rathapillil, T; Thathews, G

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. Benefits of Early Versus Delayed Palliative Care to Informal Family Caregivers of Patients With Advanced Cancer: Outcomes From the ENABLE III Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Dionne-Odom, J. Nicholas; Azuero, Andres; Lyons, Kathleen D.; Hull, Jay G.; Tosteson, Tor; Li, Zhigang; Li, Zhongze; Frost, Jennifer; Dragnev, Konstantin H.; Akyar, Imatullah; Hegel, Mark T.; Bakitas, Marie A.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To determine the effect of early versus delayed initiation of a palliative care intervention for family caregivers (CGs) of patients with advanced cancer. Patients and Methods Between October 2010 and March 2013, CGs of patients with advanced cancer were randomly assigned to receive three structured weekly telephone coaching sessions, monthly follow-up, and a bereavement call either early after enrollment or 3 months later. CGs of patients with advanced cancer were recruited from a National Cancer Institute cancer center, a Veterans Administration Medical Center, and two community outreach clinics. Outcomes were quality of life (QOL), depression, and burden (objective, stress, and demand). Results A total of 122 CGs (early, n = 61; delayed, n = 61) of 207 patients participated; average age was 60 years, and most were female (78.7%) and white (92.6%). Between-group differences in depression scores from enrollment to 3 months (before delayed group started intervention) favored the early group (mean difference, −3.4; SE, 1.5; d = −.32; P = .02). There were no differences in QOL (mean difference, −2; SE, 2.3; d = −.13; P = .39) or burden (objective: mean difference, 0.3; SE, .7; d = .09; P = .64; stress: mean difference, −.5; SE, .5; d = −.2; P = .29; demand: mean difference, 0; SE, .7; d = −.01; P = .97). In decedents' CGs, a terminal decline analysis indicated between-group differences favoring the early group for depression (mean difference, −3.8; SE, 1.5; d = −.39; P = .02) and stress burden (mean difference, −1.1; SE, .4; d = −.44; P = .01) but not for QOL (mean difference, −4.9; SE, 2.6; d = −.3; P = .07), objective burden (mean difference, −.6; SE, .6; d = −.18; P = .27), or demand burden (mean difference, −.7; SE, .6; d = −.23; P = .22). Conclusion Early-group CGs had lower depression scores at 3 months and lower depression and stress burden in the terminal decline analysis. Palliative care for CGs should be initiated

  19. Physician Factors Associated with Outpatient Palliative Care Referral

    PubMed Central

    Ahluwalia, Sangeeta C.; Fried, Terri R.

    2010-01-01

    Background Outpatient palliative care can provide significant benefits to seriously ill patients, but several barriers to appropriate referrals remain. No study has examined the physician factors associated with referral to outpatient palliative care. Objective To determine physician factors, with a focus on physician beliefs, associated with referral to palliative care. Design Cross-sectional study of 170 primary care physicians at Kaiser Permanente (KP), a large nonprofit health maintenance organization (HMO), using a self-administered questionnaire. Results Of the 145 respondents, 100 (70%) reported referring any patients to the palliative care program in the prior year, with a median of 3 referrals (interquartile range 2, 6). Factors associated with referral included working at KP between 10 and 20 years as compared to <10 years [Odds ratio [OR] 6.29 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.38, 28.6)] and having personal experience with palliative care [OR 2.13 (95% CI 0.95, 4.976)]. None of the beliefs scales was associated with referral. Conclusions Physician characteristics other than their beliefs about palliative care played a significant role in determining referral. Palliative care programs should aim to increase their visibility in the outpatient setting to increase referrals by primary care physicians. Tools that help physicians identify seriously ill patients who could benefit from palliative care may also serve to increase appropriate referrals. PMID:19460830

  20. [Seeds of palliative care: nurses' discourse order].

    PubMed

    da Silva, Karen Schein; Kruse, Maria Henriqueta Luce

    2009-06-01

    Palliative care is becoming a professional knowledge and performance field by means of the proposal of another "regimen of truths". Such fact can be observed in the broadening of palliative care services and in the increase of publications on the subject. This study aims at learning the discourses on palliative care that the nurses have conveyed in the nursing publications. For such purpose we approached the Cultural Studies, especially those inspired on Michel Foucault in order to analyze articles published in two national nursing periodicals from 1999 to 2007. Among the statements, we point out those that see the hospital as a site where the patient is divested of his individuality and identity and those that mention such care as capable of providing the family and the patient with the best quality of life possible during the death process.

  1. Optimisation of the continuum of supportive and palliative care for patients with breast cancer in low-income and middle-income countries: executive summary of the Breast Health Global Initiative, 2014.

    PubMed

    Distelhorst, Sandra R; Cleary, James F; Ganz, Patricia A; Bese, Nuran; Camacho-Rodriguez, Rolando; Cardoso, Fatima; Ddungu, Henry; Gralow, Julie R; Yip, Cheng-Har; Anderson, Benjamin O

    2015-03-01

    Supportive care and palliative care are now recognised as critical components of global cancer control programmes. Many aspects of supportive and palliative care services are already available in some low-income and middle-income countries. Full integration of supportive and palliative care into breast cancer programmes requires a systematic, resource-stratified approach. The Breast Health Global Initiative convened three expert panels to develop resource allocation recommendations for supportive and palliative care programmes in low-income and middle-income countries. Each panel focused on a specific phase of breast cancer care: during treatment, after treatment with curative intent (survivorship), and after diagnosis with metastatic disease. The panel consensus statements were published in October, 2013. This Executive Summary combines the three panels' recommendations into a single comprehensive document covering breast cancer care from diagnosis through curative treatment into survivorship, and metastatic disease and end-of-life care. The recommendations cover physical symptom management, pain management, monitoring and documentation, psychosocial and spiritual aspects of care, health professional education, and patient, family, and caregiver education.

  2. Optimisation of the continuum of supportive and palliative care for patients with breast cancer in low-income and middle-income countries: executive summary of the Breast Health Global Initiative, 2014.

    PubMed

    Distelhorst, Sandra R; Cleary, James F; Ganz, Patricia A; Bese, Nuran; Camacho-Rodriguez, Rolando; Cardoso, Fatima; Ddungu, Henry; Gralow, Julie R; Yip, Cheng-Har; Anderson, Benjamin O

    2015-03-01

    Supportive care and palliative care are now recognised as critical components of global cancer control programmes. Many aspects of supportive and palliative care services are already available in some low-income and middle-income countries. Full integration of supportive and palliative care into breast cancer programmes requires a systematic, resource-stratified approach. The Breast Health Global Initiative convened three expert panels to develop resource allocation recommendations for supportive and palliative care programmes in low-income and middle-income countries. Each panel focused on a specific phase of breast cancer care: during treatment, after treatment with curative intent (survivorship), and after diagnosis with metastatic disease. The panel consensus statements were published in October, 2013. This Executive Summary combines the three panels' recommendations into a single comprehensive document covering breast cancer care from diagnosis through curative treatment into survivorship, and metastatic disease and end-of-life care. The recommendations cover physical symptom management, pain management, monitoring and documentation, psychosocial and spiritual aspects of care, health professional education, and patient, family, and caregiver education. PMID:25752564

  3. Two-Stage Phase I Dose-Escalation Study of Intratumoral Reovirus Type 3 Dearing and Palliative Radiotherapy in Patients with Advanced Cancers

    PubMed Central

    Harrington, Kevin J.; Karapanagiotou, Eleni M.; Roulstone, Victoria; Twigger, Katie R.; White, Christine L.; Vidal, Laura; Beirne, Debbie; Prestwich, Robin; Newbold, Kate; Ahmed, Merina; Thway, Khin; Nutting, Christopher M.; Coffey, Matt; Harris, Dean; Vile, Richard G.; Pandha, Hardev S.; DeBono, Johann S.; Melcher, Alan A.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To determine the safety and feasibility of combining intratumoral reovirus and radiotherapy in patients with advanced cancer and to assess viral biodistribution, reoviral replication in tumors, and antiviral immune responses. Experimental Design Patients with measurable disease amenable to palliative radiotherapy were enrolled. In the first stage, patients received radiotherapy (20 Gy in five fractions) plus two intratumoral injections of RT3D at doses between 1 × 108 and 1 × 1010 TCID50. In the second stage, the radiotherapy dose was increased (36 Gy in 12 fractions) and patients received two, four, or six doses of RT3D at 1 × 1010 TCID50. End points were safety, viral replication, immunogenicity, and antitumoral activity. Results Twenty-three patients with various solid tumors were treated. Dose-limiting toxicity was not seen. The most common toxicities were grade 2 (or lower) pyrexia, influenza-like symptoms, vomiting, asymptomatic lymphopenia, and neutropenia. There was no exacerbation of the acute radiation reaction. Reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) studies of blood, urine, stool, and sputum were negative for viral shedding. In the low-dose (20 Gy in five fractions) radiation group, two of seven evaluable patients had a partial response and five had stable disease. In the high-dose (36 Gy in 12 fractions) radiation group, five of seven evaluable patients had partial response and two stable disease. Conclusions The combination of intratumoral RT3D and radiotherapy was well tolerated. The favorable toxicity profile and lack of vector shedding means that this combination should be evaluated in newly diagnosed patients receiving radiotherapy with curative intent. PMID:20484020

  4. Palliative social media.

    PubMed

    Taubert, Mark; Watts, Gareth; Boland, Jason; Radbruch, Lukas

    2014-03-01

    The uses of social media have become ubiquitous in contemporary society at an astonishingly fast-paced rate. The internet and in particular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are now part of most people's vocabulary and are starting to replace many face-to-face interactions. The online world, in particular, is alive with discussions, comments and anecdotes about the topics of illness, disease, hospitals, death and dying. The topic of death and dying had in the not too distant past been seen as taboo, but willingness and need to talk openly about it appears to be on the increase. In parallel to this, many public awareness campaigns are highlighting society's need to be more prepared for dying and death. This will have a significant impact on the way terminally ill patients and their families approach the last years, months and weeks of their lives and how they might expect palliative health and social care professionals working with them through these difficult periods to interact with them. We pay particular attention to the areas of digital posterity creation and memorialisation within the wider holistic context of end-of-life care. PMID:24644766

  5. The benefits of expanded physician assistant practice in hospice and palliative medicine.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Nathan A; Nix, Harvey

    2016-09-01

    Patients with advanced or terminal illness, especially racial and ethnic minorities, would benefit from greater access to hospice and palliative care. Expanding the PA role in these areas would help fill gaps in both access and patients' understanding of what hospice and palliative care can offer. This article describes why hospice and palliative care are needed, what PAs can and do offer hospice and palliative care delivery, and what challenges should be overcome to expand PA practice in hospice and palliative care. The article also reviews the legislative outlook for PA practice in hospice care. PMID:27575903

  6. Opportunities to maximize value with integrated palliative care

    PubMed Central

    Bergman, Jonathan; Laviana, Aaron A

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. Research Priorities in Geriatric Palliative Care: Policy Initiatives

    PubMed Central

    Unroe, Kathleen T.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Coordinated palliative care matched to patient needs improves quality of care for vulnerable patients with serious illness and reduces costly use of hospitals and emergency departments. Unfortunately, there is a disconnect in translating geriatric palliative care models and principles into policy and widespread practice. Gaps in policy-relevant research are addressed, including implementation strategies to scale up existing care models, the role of palliative care and geriatrics in health care payment reform efforts, development of quality measures for complex patients, strategies to address workforce shortages, and an approach to hospice reform. PMID:24147877

  8. [Red blood transfusion in palliative care situation].

    PubMed

    Velter, C; Montheil, V; Alexandre, J; Vinant, P; Goldwasser, F

    2016-09-01

    Anemia is frequent in oncology. We debate the decision-making process of erythrocyte transfusion in palliative care situation from a case report. A patient with a prostatic metastatic cancer was in palliative situation with asthenia and coronary symptom. We analyze, in this particular case that does not describe reality of normal practice, the decision-making process of erythrocyte transfusion. These transfusions were based, in this case, on the evaluation of oncology prognosis, the short-term vital threats, life project and clinical safety of the transfusion. The patient has received 5 erythrocyte transfusions in 4 months until a multidisciplinary meeting decided to stop transfusion because of poor prognostic situation and bad tolerance of the act. This patient could be a collegial model used to measure the reasonable nature of prescription depending on the purpose and the goal of the patient but does not allow generalization. Although there is low risk of erythrocyte shortage, it seems important to train doctors to reduce abusive transfusion and define transfusion thresholds. Different levels of erythrocyte transfusion security would raise the issue of management of several stocks. Erythrocyte transfusion in palliative care can be considered subject to prognostic information and the palliative aim of the transfusions, multidisciplinary decision-making, during short hospitalizations and with evaluation of the act and consequences for the patient. PMID:27562520

  9. Integrating palliative care into the trajectory of cancer care.

    PubMed

    Hui, David; Bruera, Eduardo

    2016-03-01

    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, illness understanding, 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 also discuss how health-care systems and institutions need to tailor integration based on their resources, size, and the level of primary palliative care available.

  10. Integrating palliative care into the trajectory of cancer care

    PubMed Central

    Hui, David; Bruera, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Policy analysis: palliative care in Ireland.

    PubMed

    May, Peter; Hynes, Geralyn; McCallion, Philip; Payne, Sheila; Larkin, Philip; McCarron, Mary

    2014-03-01

    Palliative care for patients with advanced illness is a subject of growing importance in health services, policy and research. In 2001 Ireland became one of the first nations to publish a dedicated national palliative care policy. This paper uses the 'policy analysis triangle' as a framework to examine what the policy entailed, where the key ideas originated, why the policy process was activated, who were the key actors, and what were the main consequences. Although palliative care provision expanded following publication, priorities that were unaddressed or not fully embraced on the national policy agenda are identified. The factors underlying areas of non-fulfilment of policy are then discussed. In particular, the analysis highlights that policy initiatives in a relatively new field of healthcare face a trade-off between ambition and feasibility. Key policy goals could not be realised given the large resource commitments required; the competition for resources from other, better-established healthcare sectors; and challenges in expanding workforce and capacity. Additionally, the inherently cross-sectoral nature of palliative care complicated the co-ordination of support for the policy. Policy initiatives in emerging fields such as palliative care should address carefully feasibility and support in their conception and implementation. PMID:23932413

  12. Teaching small groups in palliative care.

    PubMed

    Macauley, Robert; Billings, J Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Small group learning (i.e., tutorial, seminar, or small problem-solving class) is uniquely suited to transformative change as the ultimate goal of education, and especially appropriate for use in teaching about palliative care. The small group can be a fertile environment for both individual and communal development on both personal and professional levels by recognizing the unique needs of small group facilitation, and developing necessary faculty skills, and by modeling thoughtful preparation, reflective execution, and perceptive feedback. The small group learning approach focuses on learning facilitation and enhancing students' communications skills, which are vital to providing effective, patient-centered palliative care.

  13. Is whole gland salvage cryotherapy effective as palliative treatment of haematuria in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer? Results of a preliminary case series

    PubMed Central

    Mucciardi, Giuseppe; Galì, Alessandro; Pappalardo, Rosa; Lembo, Francesco; Anastasi, Giuseppina; Butticè, Salvatore; Ascenti, Giorgio; Lugnani, Franco

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: Locally advanced prostate cancer may cause several complications such as haematuria, bladder outlet obstruction, and renal failure due to the ureteral obstruction. Various treatments have been suggested, including radiotherapy, antifibrinolytics, bladder irrigation with alum solution, transurethral surgery and angioembolization, none of which have proven effectiveness. In the last years cryoablation has become a valid therapeutic option for prostate cancer. In our experience we used this ‘new’ technique as haemostatic therapy. Methods: We selected four patients with gross haematuria affected by locally advanced hormone refractory prostate cancer, who had already been treated with primary radiotherapy. We used third-generation cryotherapy: under ultrasonographic guidance, we inserted six cryoprobes, two in each of the vascular pedicles reaching at least −60°C, and three thermometers. We then induced two freeze–thaw cycles. Results: After the operation the haematuria stopped in all patients and at 9-month follow up we observed a mean of four red cells (range three to five) in the urinary sediment with no evidence of bacteriuria. Prostate volume, prostate-specific antigen and postmicturition residue were significantly reduced. Qmax improved significantly too. Conclusion: Our experience has given us good results with minimal intra- and postoperative complications. We think that haemostatic cryotherapy as a palliative approach for locally advanced prostate cancer could represent a valid treatment option and more consideration could be given to its use. PMID:26425138

  14. Palliative care: Progress, needs, and challenges

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Palliative care is increasingly available and the importance of its role increasingly recognized. International work toward making palliative care a basic human right underscores the growing need to ensure comfort and pain relief for the terminally ill. The organizational structures in place for providing such care vary greatly within and across countries; even definition of the term is not uniform. The World Health Organization (WHO) definition includes the statement that palliative care "... intends neither to hasten nor postpone death...", thus illustrating varying socio-cultural perceptions. In addition to cultural differences, other challenges include clinical, economic, and varying institutionalized systems and practices in patient care. This is a commentary on http://www.ijhpr.org/content/1/1/9/ PMID:22913461

  15. Distress, Stress and Solidarity in Palliative Care.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    deMontigny, Johanne

    1993-01-01

    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)

  16. Palliative Therapy for Gallbladder Cancer

    MedlinePlus

    ... based on the extent of gallbladder cancer Palliative therapy for gallbladder cancer Palliative therapy is treatment given to help control or reduce ... to advance quickly, doctors try to use palliative therapies that are less likely to affect a person’s ...

  17. Integrating palliative care with usual care of diabetic foot wounds.

    PubMed

    Dunning, Trisha

    2016-01-01

    Palliative care is a philosophy and a system for deciding care and can be used alone or integrated with usual chronic disease care. Palliative care encompasses end-of-life care. Palliative care aims to enhance quality of life, optimize function and manage symptoms including early in the course of chronic diseases. The purposes of this article are to outline palliative care and discuss how it can be integrated with usual care of diabetic foot wounds. Many people with diabetes who have foot wounds also have other comorbidities and diabetes complications such as cardiovascular and renal disease and depression, which affect medicine and other treatment choices, functional status, surgical risk and quality of life. Two broad of diabetic foot disease exist: those likely to heal but who could still benefit from integrated palliative care such as managing pain and those where healing is unlikely where palliation can be the primary focus. People with diabetes can die suddenly, although the life course is usually long with periods of stable and unstable disease. Many health professionals are reluctant to discuss palliative care or suggest people to document their end-of-life care preferences. If such preferences are not documented, the person might not achieve their desired death or place of death and health professionals and families can be confronted with difficult decisions. Palliative care can be integrated with usual foot care and is associated with improved function, better quality of life and greater patient and family satisfaction.

  18. Are family medicine residents adequately trained to deliver palliative care?

    PubMed Central

    Mahtani, Ramona; Kurahashi, Allison M.; Buchman, Sandy; Webster, Fiona; Husain, Amna; Goldman, Russell

    2015-01-01

    Objective To explore educational factors that influence family medicine residents’ (FMRs’) intentions to offer palliative care and palliative care home visits to patients. Design Qualitative descriptive study. Setting A Canadian, urban, specialized palliative care centre. Participants First-year (n = 9) and second-year (n = 6) FMRs. Methods Semistructured interviews were conducted with FMRs following a 4-week palliative care rotation. Questions focused on participant experiences during the rotation and perceptions about their roles as family physicians in the delivery of palliative care and home visits. Participant responses were analyzed to summarize and interpret patterns related to their educational experience during their rotation. Main findings Four interrelated themes were identified that described this experience: foundational skill development owing to training in a specialized setting; additional need for education and support; unaddressed gaps in pragmatic skills; and uncertainty about family physicians’ role in palliative care. Conclusion Residents described experiences that both supported and inadvertently discouraged them from considering future engagement in palliative care. Reassuringly, residents were also able to underscore opportunities for improvement in palliative care education. PMID:27035008

  19. What Makes a Good Palliative Care Physician? A Qualitative Study about the Patient’s Expectations and Needs when Being Admitted to a Palliative Care Unit

    PubMed Central

    Masel, Eva K; Kitta, Anna; Huber, Patrick; Rumpold, Tamara; Unseld, Matthias; Schur, Sophie; Porpaczy, Edit; Watzke, Herbert H

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. Contradictions and dialectics in the palliative dialogue: enhancing the palliative dialogue by dialectical principles.

    PubMed

    Samson, Tali; Shvartzman, Pesach

    2014-11-01

    The application of required communication skills in the palliative dialogue necessitates a significant transition from the paternalistic medical approach to the holistic psychosocial approach that focuses on the patient and views the individual as a whole entity. Understanding the evolution of a therapeutic relationship in terms of entrance into the relationship, development, maintenance, and leave taking as well as the adoption of dialectical ideas gives palliative caregivers flexibility in the dialogue with patients and families. Accepting the principles of dialectics, in which the existence of contradictions is seen as an inherent part of a reality that is undergoing constant change, gives the caregiver the flexibility to interpret dichotomic thoughts and emotions as a dialectic failure and, in accordance, to move toward a synthesis of the ideas of living and dying. This approach provides caregivers the means to promote the palliative dialogue, implement varied communication skills to clarify the patient's goals, and implement a therapeutic plan to realize them.

  1. New dimensions in palliative care: a palliative approach to neurodegenerative diseases and final illness in older people.

    PubMed

    Kristjanson, Linda J; Toye, Christine; Dawson, Sky

    2003-09-15

    A palliative care approach has much to offer people in the advanced stages of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as elderly people dying from diseases other than cancer. Palliative care can be part of the treatment repertoire of any health worker, supported by intermittent consultation or referral to specialist palliative care services (eg, for management of neuropathic pain). A palliative care approach encourages a focus on pain and symptom management, and prompts more open communication about end-of-life issues. This approach recruits as necessary the expertise of specialists and multidisciplinary teams to encourage a flexible, responsive service. Home carers and healthcare providers require education to ensure a palliative approach that meets the physical, psychological, spiritual and social challenges facing patients and their families, and enhances dignity and quality of life.

  2. Palliative Care Psychiatry: Update on an Emerging Dimension of Psychiatric Practice

    PubMed Central

    Fairman, Nathan

    2013-01-01

    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

  3. Why palliative care?

    PubMed

    Nyman, K

    1994-07-01

    And so there we have it in a nutshell--palliative care is about caring. Caring for those who are dying and for those who look after them and then grieve their loss. Palliative care has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of neglect and bad management which, until recently, had been the lot of the dying. Perhaps this new specialty may become a guiding beacon leading a profession, somewhat bewitched and side tracked by its own scientific cleverness, back to the road of caring. I sincerely hope that as the specialty gains recognition it does not lose its present identify and fine sense of purpose.

  4. Center to Advance Palliative Care palliative care clinical care and customer satisfaction metrics consensus recommendations.

    PubMed

    Weissman, David E; Morrison, R Sean; Meier, Diane E

    2010-02-01

    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. PMID:19922199

  5. Enhancing family physician capacity to deliver quality palliative home care

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Denise; Howell, Doris; Brazil, Kevin; Howard, Michelle; Taniguchi, Alan

    2008-01-01

    ABSTRACT PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED Family physicians face innumerable challenges to delivering quality palliative home care to meet the complex needs of end-of-life patients and their families. OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM To implement a model of shared care to enhance family physicians’ ability to deliver quality palliative home care, particularly in a community-based setting. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Family physicians in 3 group practices (N = 21) in Ontario’s Niagara West region collaborated with an interprofessional palliative care team (including a palliative care advanced practice nurse, a palliative medicine physician, a bereavement counselor, a psychosocial-spiritual advisor, and a case manager) in a shared-care partnership to provide comprehensive palliative home care. Key features of the program included systematic and timely identification of end-of-life patients, needs assessments, symptom and psychosocial support interventions, regular communication between team members, and coordinated care guided by outcome-based assessment in the home. In addition, educational initiatives were provided to enhance family physicians’ knowledge and skills. CONCLUSION Because of the program, participants reported improved communication, effective interprofessional collaboration, and the capacity to deliver palliative home care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to end-of-life patients in the community. PMID:19074714

  6. Perceptions of Palliative Care Among Hematologic Malignancy Specialists: A Mixed-Methods Study

    PubMed Central

    LeBlanc, Thomas W.; O'Donnell, Jonathan D.; Crowley-Matoka, Megan; Rabow, Michael W.; Smith, Cardinale B.; White, Douglas B.; Tiver, Greer A.; Arnold, Robert M.; Schenker, Yael

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Patients with hematologic malignancies are less likely to receive specialist palliative care services than patients with solid tumors. Reasons for this difference are poorly understood. Methods: This was a multisite, mixed-methods study to understand and contrast perceptions of palliative care among hematologic and solid tumor oncologists using surveys assessing referral practices and in-depth semistructured interviews exploring views of palliative care. We compared referral patterns using standard statistical methods. We analyzed qualitative interview data using constant comparative methods to explore reasons for observed differences. Results: Among 66 interviewees, 23 oncologists cared exclusively for patients with hematologic malignancies; 43 treated only patients with solid tumors. Seven (30%) of 23 hematologic oncologists reported never referring to palliative care; all solid tumor oncologists had previously referred. In qualitative analyses, most hematologic oncologists viewed palliative care as end-of-life care, whereas most solid tumor oncologists viewed palliative care as a subspecialty that could assist with complex patient cases. Solid tumor oncologists emphasized practical barriers to palliative care referral, such as appointment availability and reimbursement issues. Hematologic oncologists emphasized philosophic concerns about palliative care referrals, including different treatment goals, responsiveness to chemotherapy, and preference for controlling even palliative aspects of patient care. Conclusion: Most hematologic oncologists view palliative care as end-of-life care, whereas solid tumor oncologists more often view palliative care as a subspecialty for comanaging patients with complex cases. Efforts to integrate palliative care into hematologic malignancy practices will require solutions that address unique barriers to palliative care referral experienced by hematologic malignancy specialists. PMID:25784580

  7. Meditation and palliative care.

    PubMed

    Van Tilburg, E

    1991-01-01

    Embert Van Tilburg, a specialist in palliative care, shares his insights about the total care of those who are terminally ill due to cancer or AIDS, or of the many elderly who are "dying in the slow lane" in so many of our chronic care institutions.

  8. [The palliative treatment plan as basis for informed decisions in palliative or emergency care].

    PubMed

    Lederer, Wolfgang; Feichtner, Angelika; Medicus, Elisabeth

    2011-11-01

    Acute vital crisis in end-of-life situations may result in a person being hospitalized and thus, expelled from his intimate environment, which aggravates the continuity of care. This entails a heavy burden for patients and necessitates an emergency medical services (EMS) call without recognizable benefit in many cases. Crisis episodes frequently mark the beginning of the dying process. Advance care planning or end-of-life care in elderly patients can help prevent such situations and ensure high contentment of patients, families and caregivers. Frequently, the question arises whether the burden arising from further hospitalization or from certain medical treatment options is reasonably balanced by the potential benefits of the steps taken. In such comprehensive care settings a custom-tailored palliative treatment plan may serve as an instrument for advance care planning. A palliative treatment plan set up by a physician together with a caregiver helps ensure that acute problems can be solved quickly and satisfactorily in the patient's customary surroundings. If EMS assistance is still needed, the emergency physician has written information on the patient's situation and can act quickly to meet the patient's immediate needs. This also means that EMS personnel must be properly trained in providing palliative care. In this way the palliative treatment plan can help caregivers continue to care for patients in their intimate surroundings.

  9. Ideals and compromises in palliative care.

    PubMed

    Philip, Jennifer A M; Komesaroff, Paul

    2006-12-01

    This qualitative study explores the concept of ideal palliative care as it broadens its field of application from terminal care to include people earlier in the course of an illness. Focus groups were held with palliative care professionals from community, inpatient, and hospital consultancy services to examine this issue. Palliative care professionals have clear views of what constitutes ideal care that include: establishing a relationship, setting goals, communication, acceptance, advocacy, flexibility, symptom relief, and recognising the identity of each person. There was agreement upon the nature of obstacles that prevented ideal care being achieved including obstacles created by families, other health professionals, administrative structures, and conflicts between the aims of care for a particular patient. Finally each clinician has a well-developed set of personal views of the acceptable limits to practice, although these views vary widely. The clusters of ideas emerging in this study describe three objects of different ontologic status. The elements of ideal care are conceptual in nature, highlighting the aspirations for workers. The obstacles reflect the real world that palliative care professionals must negotiate each day, giving rise to a form of care that was good enough. The acceptable standards and their limits is the degree to which staff will or will not accept the compromises in care raised by the real world of practice, reflecting the ethical stance of the workers. The pursuit of ideal care may be motivated by a complex mix of aspirations, real-world practicalities and fulfilment for both patients and staff.

  10. A palliative care initiative in Dokuz Eylul University Hospital.

    PubMed

    Mutafoglu, Kamer

    2011-04-01

    Turkey is among the countries with only "capacity building activity" in terms of palliative care development according to the mapping levels reported by the International Observatory on End of Life Care (http://www.eolc-observatory.net/global/pdf/world_map.pdf). Palliative care units are lacking even in major hospitals. Although some medical oncologists and pain specialists have been providing pain control and symptom relief to some extend, all these interventions remain a fragmented approach to care since there are no palliative care programs. Establishing palliative care services should be a priority in the development of comprehensive cancer care, particularly in a country where more than 60% of the cancer patients present with advanced stage disease. Like all the other university hospitals in the country, palliative care services have not been established so far in Dokuz Eylul University Hospital for several reasons although almost all the modern cancer treatment modalities have been provided to cancer patients. A group of health professionals have recently started a palliative care initiative in the hospital with an aim to raise awareness and to implement basic palliative care interventions to the current cancer care. This paper aims to tell the story of how this initiative get started and which step were taken so far.

  11. Vietnam: integrating palliative care into HIV/AIDS and cancer care.

    PubMed

    Krakauer, Eric L; Ngoc, Nguyen Thi Minh; Green, Kimberly; Van Kham, Le; Khue, Luong Ngoc

    2007-05-01

    Vietnam is struggling to meet the growing need for both disease-modifying and palliative care for people with life-threatening chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS and cancer. Recently, Vietnam initiated rapid development of a national palliative care program for HIV/AIDS and cancer patients that builds on existing palliative care programs and experience and integrates palliative care into standard HIV/AIDS and cancer care. National palliative care guidelines have been issued by the Ministry of Health based on a rapid situation analysis. Plans now call for review and revision of opioid laws and regulations to increase availability of opioids for medical use, training in palliative care for clinicians throughout the country, and development of palliative care programs both in the community and in inpatient referral centers. PMID:17482051

  12. Palliative Care as a Standard of Care in Pediatric Oncology.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  13. [Palliative care: an example of Comparative Effectiveness Research?].

    PubMed

    Schmacke, Norbert

    2012-01-01

    Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) seeks to establish treatment objectives and concepts striving to achieve patient relevant progress in therapy on the basis of published evidence. Using the example of palliative medicine and palliative care, respectively, it will be demonstrated that these two are under-researched areas of care. In addition, it will become clear that the success of this interdisciplinary treatment concept for the seriously ill must be weighed in the light of traditional clinical research - far beyond the cancer diagnosis. The current distinction between curative and palliative research and care urgently needs to be reconsidered.

  14. A critical analysis of test-retest reliability in instrument validation studies of cancer patients under palliative care: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Patient-reported outcome validation needs to achieve validity and reliability standards. Among reliability analysis parameters, test-retest reliability is an important psychometric property. Retested patients must be in a clinically stable condition. This is particularly problematic in palliative care (PC) settings because advanced cancer patients are prone to a faster rate of clinical deterioration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the methods by which multi-symptom and health-related qualities of life (HRQoL) based on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) have been validated in oncological PC settings with regards to test-retest reliability. Methods A systematic search of PubMed (1966 to June 2013), EMBASE (1980 to June 2013), PsychInfo (1806 to June 2013), CINAHL (1980 to June 2013), and SCIELO (1998 to June 2013), and specific PRO databases was performed. Studies were included if they described a set of validation studies. Studies were included if they described a set of validation studies for an instrument developed to measure multi-symptom or multidimensional HRQoL in advanced cancer patients under PC. The COSMIN checklist was used to rate the methodological quality of the study designs. Results We identified 89 validation studies from 746 potentially relevant articles. From those 89 articles, 31 measured test-retest reliability and were included in this review. Upon critical analysis of the overall quality of the criteria used to determine the test-retest reliability, 6 (19.4%), 17 (54.8%), and 8 (25.8%) of these articles were rated as good, fair, or poor, respectively, and no article was classified as excellent. Multi-symptom instruments were retested over a shortened interval when compared to the HRQoL instruments (median values 24 hours and 168 hours, respectively; p = 0.001). Validation studies that included objective confirmation of clinical stability in their design yielded better results for the test-retest analysis with regard to both

  15. Prevention of urinary tract infections in palliative radiation for vertebral metastasis and spinal compression: A pilot study in 71 patients

    SciTech Connect

    Manas, Ana . E-mail: amanas.hdoc@salud.madrid.org; Glaria, Luis; Pena, Carmen; Sotoca, Amalia; Lanzos, Eduardo; Fernandez, Castalia; Riviere, Marc

    2006-03-01

    Purpose: To assess the impact of bladder instillations of hyaluronic acid (HA) on the prevalence of urinary tract infection (UTI) in patients receiving emergency radiotherapy for metastatic spinal cord compression. Methods and Materials: Patients were recruited consecutively at one center and assigned to usual care (UC) (n = 34, mean age 62.2 years) or UC with once-weekly HA instillation (UC + HA) (Cystistat: 40 mg in 50 mL phosphate-buffered saline) (n = 37; mean age, 63.1 years). All patients had an indwelling catheter and received radiotherapy. UTI status was assessed at baseline and during hospitalization. Results: At baseline, patient groups were comparable, except for the prevalence of UTI at baseline, which was 11.8% and 0% in the UC and UC + HA patients, respectively (p = 0.0477). During hospitalization, 76.5% (vs. 11.8% at baseline, p < 0.0001) of the UC patients had a UTI compared with 13.5% (vs. 0% at baseline, p = 0.0541) of the UC + HA patients (p < 0.0001). Both groups were hospitalized for similar periods (19.8 days [UC] vs. 18.5 days, p = 0.4769) and received equivalent radiotherapy sessions (4.6 [UC] vs. 5.8 sessions, p = 0.2368). Conclusions: Patients receiving UC + HA had a 5.7-fold decrease in UTI prevalence over the hospitalization period compared to UC patients, suggesting that bladder instillations of HA effectively prevent UTI in patients with indwelling catheters receiving radiotherapy for nerve compression.

  16. Community pharmacists: a forgotten resource for palliative care.

    PubMed

    Tait, Paul Anthony; Gray, John; Hakendorf, Paul; Morris, Bel; Currow, David Christopher; Rowett, Debra S

    2013-12-01

    Timely access to medicines within the community is important for palliative patients where their preferred place of care is the home environment. The objective of this observational study is to establish baseline data to quantify the issue of poor access to medicines for symptom control in the last few days of life. The list of 13 medicines was generated from medicine use within a metropolitan palliative care unit. A survey was designed to determine which of these 13 medicines community pharmacies stock, the expiry date of this stock, awareness of palliative care patients by community pharmacists and basic demographic characteristics of the community pharmacies. Surveys were distributed, by post, to all community pharmacies in South Australia. The response rate was 23.7%, and was representative of all socioeconomic areas. Each pharmacy stocked a median of 3 medicines (range 0-12) with 1 in 8 pharmacies having none of the 13 medicines listed in the survey. When the data was combined to identify the range of medicines from all pharmacies within a geographical postcode region, the median number of medicines increased to 5 medicines per postcode. Just over 1 in 5 pharmacies reported learning about the palliative status of a patient through another health practitioner. Community pharmacies remain an underused resource to support timely access to medicines for community-based palliative patients. Palliative care services and government agencies can develop new strategies for better access to medicines that will benefit community patients and their carers. PMID:24950524

  17. Chemotherapy at end-of-life: an integration of oncology and palliative team.

    PubMed

    Chan, Wing-lok; Lam, Ka-on; Siu, Wai-kwan; Yuen, Kwok-keung

    2016-03-01

    Palliative chemotherapy is increasingly used in cancer patients near end of life. With the development of newer anticancer agents which have less side effects and higher expected efficacy, the decision on palliative chemotherapy in patients near end of life is complex. This article illustrates how oncologist and palliative care physicians can work together effectively. This article also gives an overview about the risks of palliative chemotherapy near end of life, patients' and physicians' perspectives in choosing the aggressive treatment and describes what an oncologist should do when facing this challenging situation.

  18. The Quality Imperative for Palliative Care

    PubMed Central

    Kamal, Arif H.; Hanson, Laura C.; Casarett, David J.; Dy, Sydney M.; Pantilat, Steven Z.; Lupu, Dale; Abernethy, Amy P.

    2015-01-01

    Palliative medicine must prioritize the routine assessment of the quality of clinical care we provide. This includes regular assessment, analysis, and reporting of data on quality. Assessment of quality informs opportunities for improvement and demonstrates to our peers and ourselves the value of our efforts. In fact, continuous messaging of the value of palliative care services is needed to sustain our discipline; this requires regularly evaluating the quality of our care. As the reimbursement mechanisms for health care in the United States shift from fee-for-service to fee-for-value models, palliative care will be expected to report robust data on quality of care. We must move beyond demonstrating to our constituents (including patients and referrers), “here is what we do,” and increase the focus on “this is how well we do it” and “let’s see how we can do it better.” It is incumbent on palliative care professionals to lead these efforts. This involves developing standardized methods to collect data without adding additional burden, comparing and sharing our experiences to promote discipline-wide quality assessment and improvement initiatives, and demonstrating our intentions for quality improvement on the clinical frontline. PMID:25057987

  19. Predictive modeling of the virtual Hemi-Fontan operation for second stage single ventricle palliation: two patient-specific cases.

    PubMed

    Kung, Ethan; Baretta, Alessia; Baker, Catriona; Arbia, Gregory; Biglino, Giovanni; Corsini, Chiara; Schievano, Silvia; Vignon-Clementel, Irene E; Dubini, Gabriele; Pennati, Giancarlo; Taylor, Andrew; Dorfman, Adam; Hlavacek, Anthony M; Marsden, Alison L; Hsia, Tain-Yen; Migliavacca, Francesco

    2013-01-18

    Single ventricle hearts are congenital cardiovascular defects in which the heart has only one functional pumping chamber. The treatment for these conditions typically requires a three-staged operative process where Stage 1 is typically achieved by a shunt between the systemic and pulmonary arteries, and Stage 2 by connecting the superior venous return to the pulmonary circulation. Surgically, the Stage 2 circulation can be achieved through a procedure called the Hemi-Fontan, which reconstructs the right atrium and pulmonary artery to allow for an enlarged confluence with the superior vena cava. Based on pre-operative data obtained from two patients prior to Stage 2 surgery, we developed two patient-specific multi-scale computational models, each including the 3D geometrical model of the surgical junction constructed from magnetic resonance imaging, and a closed-loop systemic lumped-parameter network derived from clinical measurements. "Virtual" Hemi-Fontan surgery was performed on the 3D model with guidance from clinical surgeons, and a corresponding multi-scale simulation predicts the patient's post-operative hemodynamic and physiologic conditions. For each patient, a post-operative active scenario with an increase in the heart rate (HR) and a decrease in the pulmonary and systemic vascular resistance (PVR and SVR) was also performed. Results between the baseline and this "active" state were compared to evaluate the hemodynamic and physiologic implications of changing conditions. Simulation results revealed a characteristic swirling vortex in the Hemi-Fontan in both patients, with flow hugging the wall along the SVC to Hemi-Fontan confluence. One patient model had higher levels of swirling, recirculation, and flow stagnation. However, in both models, the power loss within the surgical junction was less than 13% of the total power loss in the pulmonary circulation, and less than 2% of the total ventricular power. This implies little impact of the surgical junction

  20. Neuromuscular blockers—a means of palliation?

    PubMed Central

    Hawryluck, L

    2002-01-01

    As we die, our respiratory pattern is altered and we seem to gasp and struggle for each breath. Such gasping is commonly seen as a clear sign of dyspnoea and suffering by families and loved ones, however, it is unclear whether it is perceived at all by the dying person. Narcotics and sedatives do not seem to affect these gasping respirations. In this issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics, we are asked to consider whether the last gasp of a dying patient could be or, perhaps, even should be avoided by administering neuromuscular blockers to palliate dying patients. For many reasons, such as our current failure to alleviate pain and distress, stories of inadequate analgesia and sedation in critically ill paralysed patients and the inability to know the intent—whether to palliate or to euthanise—it would seem that administering neuromuscular blockers should not be ethically permissible. PMID:12042402

  1. Palliative Radiofrequency Ablation for Recurrent Prostate Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Jindal, Gaurav; Friedman, Marc; Locklin, Julia Wood, Bradford J.

    2006-06-15

    Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive local therapy for cancer. Its efficacy is now becoming well documented in many different organs, including liver, kidney, and lung. The goal of RFA is typically complete eradication of a tumor in lieu of an invasive surgical procedure. However, RFA can also play an important role in the palliative care of cancer patients. Tumors which are surgically unresectable and incompatible for complete ablation present the opportunity for RFA to be used in a new paradigm. Cancer pain runs the gamut from minor discomfort relieved with mild pain medication to unrelenting suffering for the patient, poorly controlled by conventional means. RFA is a tool which can potentially palliate intractable cancer pain. We present here a case in which RFA provided pain relief in a patient with metastatic prostate cancer with pain uncontrolled by conventional methods.

  2. Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion does not correlate with right ventricular ejection fraction in patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome after Fontan palliation.

    PubMed

    Avitabile, Catherine M; Whitehead, Kevin; Fogel, Mark; Mercer-Rosa, Laura

    2014-10-01

    Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) reflects longitudinal myocardial shortening, the main component of right ventricular (RV) contraction in normal hearts. To date, TAPSE has not been extensively studied in patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and systemic RVs after Fontan palliation. This retrospective study investigated HLHS patients after Fontan with cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) performed between 1 January 2010 and 1 August 2012 and transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) performed within 6 months of CMR. The maximal apical displacement of the lateral tricuspid valve annulus was measured on CMR (using four-chamber cine images) and on TTE (using two-dimensional apical views). To create TTE-TAPSE z-scores, published reference data were used. Intra- and interobserver variability was tested with analysis of variance. Inter-technique agreement of TTE and CMR was tested with Bland-Altman analysis. In this study, 30 CMRs and TTEs from 29 patients were analyzed. The age at CMR was 14.1 ± 7.1 years, performed 11.9 ± 7.8 years after Fontan. For CMR-TAPSE, the intraclass correlation coefficients for inter- and intraobserver variability were 0.89 and 0.91, respectively. The TAPSE measurements were 0.57 ± 0.2 cm on CMR and 0.70 ± 0.2 cm on TTE (TTE-TAPSE z score, -8.7 ± 1.0). The mean difference in TAPSE between CMR and TTE was -0.13 cm [95 % confidence interval (CI) -0.21 to -0.05], with 95 % limits of agreement (-0.55 to 0.29 cm). The study showed no association between CMR-TAPSE and RVEF (R = 0.08; p = 0.67). In patients with HLHS after Fontan, TAPSE is reproducible on CMR and TTE, with good agreement between the two imaging methods. Diminished TAPSE suggests impaired longitudinal shortening in the systemic RV. However, TAPSE is not a surrogate for RVEF in this study population.

  3. Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion does not correlate with right ventricular ejection fraction in patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome after Fontan palliation.

    PubMed

    Avitabile, Catherine M; Whitehead, Kevin; Fogel, Mark; Mercer-Rosa, Laura

    2014-10-01

    Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) reflects longitudinal myocardial shortening, the main component of right ventricular (RV) contraction in normal hearts. To date, TAPSE has not been extensively studied in patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and systemic RVs after Fontan palliation. This retrospective study investigated HLHS patients after Fontan with cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) performed between 1 January 2010 and 1 August 2012 and transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) performed within 6 months of CMR. The maximal apical displacement of the lateral tricuspid valve annulus was measured on CMR (using four-chamber cine images) and on TTE (using two-dimensional apical views). To create TTE-TAPSE z-scores, published reference data were used. Intra- and interobserver variability was tested with analysis of variance. Inter-technique agreement of TTE and CMR was tested with Bland-Altman analysis. In this study, 30 CMRs and TTEs from 29 patients were analyzed. The age at CMR was 14.1 ± 7.1 years, performed 11.9 ± 7.8 years after Fontan. For CMR-TAPSE, the intraclass correlation coefficients for inter- and intraobserver variability were 0.89 and 0.91, respectively. The TAPSE measurements were 0.57 ± 0.2 cm on CMR and 0.70 ± 0.2 cm on TTE (TTE-TAPSE z score, -8.7 ± 1.0). The mean difference in TAPSE between CMR and TTE was -0.13 cm [95 % confidence interval (CI) -0.21 to -0.05], with 95 % limits of agreement (-0.55 to 0.29 cm). The study showed no association between CMR-TAPSE and RVEF (R = 0.08; p = 0.67). In patients with HLHS after Fontan, TAPSE is reproducible on CMR and TTE, with good agreement between the two imaging methods. Diminished TAPSE suggests impaired longitudinal shortening in the systemic RV. However, TAPSE is not a surrogate for RVEF in this study population. PMID:24840648

  4. [Palliative care needs in advanced chronic illness].

    PubMed

    Tripodoro, Vilma A; Rynkiewicz, María C; Llanos, Victoria; Padova, Susana; De Lellis, Silvina; De Simone, Gustavo

    2016-01-01

    About 75% of population will die from one or more chronic progressive diseases. From this projection WHO urged countries to devise strategies for strengthening palliative treatment as part of comprehensive care. In Catalonia, Spain, direct measurement of the prevalence of these patients with NECPAL CCOMS-ICO© tool was 1.5% of the population. This tool is an indicative, not dichotomous, quali-quantitative multifactorial evaluation to be completed by the treating physician. In Argentina there is no information on these patients. Our goal was to explore and characterize the proportion of chronically ill patients in palliative care needs, by NECPAL CCOMS-ICO© tool, in an accessible population of the City of Buenos Aires. General hospitals of the Health Region 2 (Piñero, álvarez and Santojanni) and its program areas were surveyed. In Health Region 1, we surveyed the Udaondo gastroenterology hospital. A total of 53 physicians (704 patients) were interviewed. It was identified that 29.5% of these patients were affected by advanced chronic diseases; 72.1% of them were NECPAL positive, younger (median 64) than in others studies, and more than 98% presented high levels of comorbidity. Palliative care demand (31.4%) and needs (52.7%) were recorded. Specific indicators of fragility, progression, severity and kind of chronic disease were described. The main finding was to identify, with an instrument not based on mortality that, in Buenos Aires City, 1 in 3 patients with chronic diseases could die in the next year and had palliative care needs. PMID:27295702

  5. “Not the ‘Grim Reaper Service’”: An Assessment of Provider Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions Regarding Palliative Care Referral Barriers in Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Kavalieratos, Dio; Mitchell, Emma M.; Carey, Timothy S.; Dev, Sandesh; Biddle, Andrea K.; Reeve, Bryce B.; Abernethy, Amy P.; Weinberger, Morris

    2014-01-01

    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

  6. Early palliative care and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer: potential mechanisms of prolonged survival.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Kelly E; Greer, Joseph A; Khatib, Jude; Temel, Jennifer S; Pirl, William F

    2013-02-01

    Patients with advanced cancer experience a significant burden of physical symptoms and psychological distress at the end of life, and many elect to receive aggressive cancer-directed therapy. The goal of palliative care is to relieve suffering and promote quality of life (QOL) for patients and families. Traditionally, both the public and medical community have conceptualized the need for patients to make a choice between pursuing curative therapy or receiving palliative care. However, practice guidelines from the World Health Organization and leadership from the oncology and palliative care communities advocate a different model of palliative care that is introduced from the point of diagnosis of life-threatening illness. Early palliative care has been shown to provide benefits in QOL, mood, and health care utilization. Additionally, preliminary research has suggested that in contrast to fears about palliative care hastening death, referral to palliative care earlier in the course of illness may have the potential to lengthen survival, particularly in patients with advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer. This review summarizes the literature on potential survival benefits of palliative care and presents a model of how early integrated palliative care could potentially influence survival in patients with advanced cancer. PMID:23355404

  7. Insomnia among patients with advanced disease during admission in a Palliative Care Unit: a prospective observational study on its frequency and association with psychological, physical and environmental factors

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The aims of this study were: 1) to assess the frequency of insomnia among patients during admission in a Palliative Care Unit (PCU); 2) to study the association between emotional distress and insomnia, taking physical, environmental and other psychological factors into account. Methods Prospective observational study including patients consecutively admitted to a PCU during eight months, excluding those with severe cognitive problems or too low performance status. Insomnia was assessed by asking a single question and by using the Sleep Disturbance Scale (SDS), and emotional distress using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Physical, environmental and other psychological factors potentially interfering with sleep quality were evaluated. Association between insomnia and the factors evaluated was studied using univariate and multivariate regression analyses. Results 61 patients were included (mean age 71.5 years; 95% with oncological disease); 38 (62%) answered “yes” to the insomnia single question and 29 (47%) showed moderate to severe insomnia according to the SDS. 65% showed clinically significant emotional distress and 79% had nocturnal rumination. The physical symptoms most often mentioned as interfering with sleep quality were pain (69%) and dyspnoea (36%). 77% reported at least one environmental disturbance. In the univariate analysis, answering “yes” to the insomnia single question was significantly associated with higher HADS score, anxiety, nocturnal rumination, clear knowledge of the diagnosis, higher performance status and dyspnoea; moderate to severe insomnia was significantly associated with nocturnal rumination, higher performance status, environmental disturbances and daytime sleepiness. In the multivariate regression analysis, answering “yes” to the single question was associated with dyspnoea (OR 7.2 [1.65-31.27]; p = 0.009), nocturnal rumination (OR 5.5 [1.05-28.49]; p = 0.04) and higher performance

  8. Exploring the leadership role of the clinical nurse specialist on an inpatient palliative care consulting team.

    PubMed

    Stilos, Kalli; Daines, Pat

    2013-03-01

    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.

  9. [Use of music in palliative care].

    PubMed

    Skrbina, Dijana; Simunović, Dubravka; Santek, Vjerocka; Njegovan-Zvonarević, Tatjana

    2011-12-01

    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

  10. [Use of music in palliative care].

    PubMed

    Skrbina, Dijana; Simunović, Dubravka; Santek, Vjerocka; Njegovan-Zvonarević, Tatjana

    2011-12-01

    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

  11. Reflections on Palliative Care from the Jewish and Islamic Tradition

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Michael; Baddarni, Kassim; Bar-Sela, Gil

    2012-01-01

    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

  12. Family as the primary caregiver: palliative care in the Golan Heights.

    PubMed

    Richman, Elon; Ringel, Amit; Kreniske, Jonah Susser; Safadi, Wajdi

    2015-01-01

    Palliative care is recognised by the WHO as an essential component of care for the seriously ill. Geographically isolated and historically underserved communities, particularly from ethnic minority groups, face obstacles in obtaining adequate palliative care. This case involves the care of a 26-year-old Druze man suffering from a terminal cancer in his Golan Heights village. Local physicians were able to train the patient's father in a palliative care capacity. In the effort of capacity building, the physician and palliative care team also aided the aggrieved family in the process of coping. Robust support networks, both at state and community levels, facilitated the care provided. In showcasing the role of the national and local safety net in activating and building community resources to address a dearth of palliative care services in disadvantaged regions, this case models a potentially effective community-based approach to palliative care for patients from underserved populations. PMID:25858919

  13. [Development of a specialised paediatric palliative home care service].

    PubMed

    Kuhlen, M; Balzer, S; Richter, U; Fritsche-Kansy, M; Friedland, C; Borkhardt, A; Janssen, G

    2009-01-01

    In Germany annually 1,500-3,000 children die from life-limiting diseases. Symptoms and course of disease differ considerably depending on the character of the underlying disease. Due to the desire of the children and their families to spend the end of life at home a paediatric palliative home care service was founded at the university children's hospital of Duesseldorf. In the last 20 years a specialised paediatric palliative team evolved from an unstructured voluntary activity. Prospective aims are an area-wide professional supply of all paediatric palliative patients and the improvement of the cooperation with the resident paediatrician and paediatric palliative nursing services. Furthermore the establishment of networks as well as a proper communication among the professionals is inalienable.

  14. Developing Successful Models of Cancer Palliative Care Services

    PubMed Central

    Bakitas, Marie; Bishop, Margaret Firer; Caron, Paula; Stephens, Lisa

    2010-01-01

    Objectives This article describes successful institutionally-based programs for providing high quality palliative care to people with cancer and their family members. Challenges and opportunities for program development are also described. Data Sources Published literature from 2000 to present describing concurrent oncology palliative care clinical trials, standards and guidelines were reviewed. Conclusion Clinical trials have demonstrated feasibility and positive outcomes and formed the basis for consensus guidelines that support concurrent oncology palliative care models. Implications for nursing practice Oncology nurses should advocate for all patients with advanced cancer and their families to have access to concurrent oncology palliative oncology care from the time of diagnosis with a life-limiting cancer. PMID:20971407

  15. Dutch perspectives on palliative care in the Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Cohen-Almagor, Raphael

    2002-01-01

    This study reports data gathered via extensive interviews with some of the leading authorities on the euthanasia policy that were conducted in the Netherlands. They were asked: It has been argued that the policy and practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands is the result of undeveloped palliative care. What do you think? I also mentioned the fact that there are only a few hospices in the Netherlands. The responses were different and contradictory. Many interviewees agreed with the statement. Almost all of those agreeing with it said that only during the late 1990s were people beginning to admit that there was a need to improve palliative care. Some interviewees insisted that doctors first need to explore other options for helping the patient prior to choosing the course of euthanasia. Other interviewees thought that palliative care is well developed in the Netherlands and that euthanasia has actually paved the way for calling more attention to palliative care. PMID:12479156

  16. Utility and Potential of Bedside Ultrasound in Palliative Care

    PubMed Central

    Dhamija, Ekta; Thulkar, Sanjay; Bhatnagar, Sushma

    2015-01-01

    Bedside ultrasound is an important tool in modern palliative care practice. It can be utilized for rapid diagnostic evaluation or as an image guidance to perform invasive therapeutic procedures. With advent of portable ultrasound machines, it can also be used in community or home care settings, apart from palliative care wards. Major applications of bedside ultrasound include drainage of malignant pleural effusions and ascites, nerve blocks, venous access, evaluation of urinary obstruction, deep vein thrombosis and abscesses. Bedside ultrasound leads to better clinical decision-making as well as more accurate and faster invasive therapeutic procedures. It also enhances patient comfort and reduces cost burden. However, use of bedside ultrasound is still not widespread among palliative care givers, owing to initial cost, lack of basic training in ultrasound and apprehensions about its use. A team approach involving radiologists is important to develop integration of bedside ultrasound in palliative care. PMID:26009664

  17. Successful palliative approach with high-intensity focused ultrasound in a patient with metastatic anaplastic pancreatic carcinoma: a case report

    PubMed Central

    Ungaro, Antonio; Orsi, Franco; Casadio, Chiara; Galdy, Salvatore; Spada, Francesca; Cella, Chiara Alessandra; Tonno, Clementina Di; Bonomo, Guido; Vigna, Paolo Della; Murgioni, Sabina; Frezza, Anna Maria; Fazio, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    We report a case of a 74-year-old man with a metastatic anaplastic pancreatic carcinoma (APC). After an early tumour progression on first-line chemotherapy with cisplatin and gemcitabine, even though it was badly tolerated, he was treated with a combination of systemic modified FOLFIRI and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) on the pancreatic mass. A tumour showing partial response with a clinical benefit was obtained. HIFU was preferred to radiotherapy because of its shorter course and minimal side effects, in order to improve the patient’s clinical conditions. The patient is currently on chemotherapy, asymptomatic with a good performance status. In referral centres, with specific expertise, HIFU could be safely and successfully combined with systemic chemotherapy for treatment of metastatic pancreatic carcinoma. PMID:27170835

  18. [Resistance from caregivers and doctors to a transfer to palliative care].

    PubMed

    Azémard, Alain

    2014-04-01

    Doctors' and caregivers' knowledge, acquired experience and representation of death might favour or delay a patient's transfer to a palliative care unit. The mobile palliative care team, witnessing resistance to a transfer, is in a position to respond thanks to the multidisciplinary nature of the team and the trust established between the different players in the patient's care. PMID:24881246

  19. Integrating Speech-Language Pathology Services in Palliative End-of-Life Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pollens, Robin D.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  20. Training Physicians in Palliative Care.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muir, J. Cameron; Krammer, Lisa M.; von Gunten, Charles F.

    1999-01-01

    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)

  1. [Importance of Anesthesiologists in the Work of a Palliative Care Team].

    PubMed

    Hozumi, Jun; Sumitani, Masahiko

    2016-03-01

    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.

  2. Current status of surgical palliation of periampullary carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Lillemoe, K D; Sauter, P K; Pitt, H A; Yeo, C J; Cameron, J L

    1993-01-01

    In recent years, the use of nonoperative palliation for unresectable periampullary carcinoma has increased markedly, in part, because of the high morbidity and mortality rates after surgical palliation. The current analysis was undertaken to determine whether or not decreases in morbidity and mortality rates, recently observed after resection of periampullary carcinoma, are now being seen in the surgical palliation of unresectable periampullary carcinoma. During a 54 month period, 118 consecutive patients underwent surgical exploration with the finding of unresectable periampullary adenocarcinoma. Jaundice was the most common complaint at admission, being present in 73 percent of the patients. Abdominal or back pain, or both, was present in 71 percent of the patients and weight loss was observed in 61 percent of the patients. The most commonly performed procedure was combined biliary bypass and gastrojejunostomy, being performed upon 75 percent of the patients. A gastrojejunostomy was performed upon 107 of 118 patients (91 percent). The hospital mortality rate was 2.5 percent. Postoperative complications occurred in 37 percent of the patients but were seldom life-threatening. Wound infection was the most frequent postoperative complication (10 percent), followed by cholangitis (8 percent) and delayed gastric emptying (8 percent). During the late follow-up period, only 4 percent of the patients had gastric outlet obstruction, and only 2 percent had recurrent jaundice. The mean survival time postoperatively was 7.7 months. These results demonstrate that patients with unresectable periampullary carcinoma can undergo surgical palliation with minimal perioperative mortality, acceptable morbidity and good long term palliation. We conclude that surgical palliation is the treatment of choice for carefully selected patients with unresectable periampullary carcinoma.

  3. Surgical palliative treatment in bilio-pancreatic malignancy.

    PubMed

    Gouma, D J; van Geenen, R; van Gulik, T; de Wit, L T; Obertop, H

    1999-01-01

    Most patients with bilio-pancreatic malignancy are no candidate for curative resection and will need palliative treatment. Palliation in these patients is focussed on relief symptoms such as obstructive jaundice, duodenal obstruction and pain. It has been suggested that non surgical treatment (stenting) is the optimal palliation for patients with short survival and surgical bypass for those surviving more than 6 months. Unfortunately valid criteria for estimating survival are not available except for metastases. A prognostic score chart to predict survival probabilities for 3,6 and 9 months after diagnosis has been developed. The use of this prognostic score chart may help clinicians to select optimal palliative treatment for individual patients. Surgical biliary drainage can be performed by a simple cholecystoenterostomy; a choledochoduodenostomy or a choledocho/hepaticojejunostomy with Roux-Y jejunal limb reconstruction. The present data available in the literature do not give sufficient guidance to make a well deliberated selection between the different types of bypass surgery but choledochojejunostomy is generally preferred. Gastroentero-stomy is performed routinely during the biliary bypass procedure in our institution because gastric outlet obstruction has been described between 9-21% of the patients who underwent only a surgical biliary bypass but there is still controversy. Recently it was also suggested that there is an indication to perform palliative resections. No results are available to justify resections as a debulking procedure.

  4. [NURSING ETHICS ISSUES IN PALLIATIVE CARE].

    PubMed

    González-Serna, José María; de Llanos Peña, Francisco

    2014-09-01

    The aim of this paper is to describe the essential anthropological categories of terminal illness and the main attitudes of nurses for their care and the ethical criteria for indication and application of palliative therapies. We conclude that ethical attitudes of care in palliative care nursing are based in anthropological categories of dying process; the access granted to nurse by the patient and family within their privacy generates a relational context where communication can be made more effective and thus facilitate the coping existential, spiritual and psychosocial in illness and the process of diagnostic and prognostic information. The qualitative and quantitative clinical information provided by the nursing professional to multidisciplinary team on the evaluation of the effectiveness of care outcomes and therapies in the context of terminal illness assistance allows establishing a plan of treatment appropriate ethically.

  5. Palliative Endoscopic Therapy of Esophageal Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Rabenstein, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Summary Background This is a review of endoscopic therapy in the setting of palliative management of patients suffering from esophageal cancer (EC). Unfortunately, many cases of EC present in a stage of disease in which curative therapy is not possible. The maintenance of quality of life includes the ability to swallow and of oral feeding, pain control, and the prevention of bleeding. Methods A review of the current literature was performed. Results Many endoscopic methods are available for the management of dysphagia, of which dilation, endoluminal tumor destruction, stenting, and brachytherapy are the most common. Conclusion Surgical palliation should be avoided as much as possible since the alternatives show at least the same efficacy and have fewer complications. PMID:26989392

  6. Surgical palliation of gastric outlet obstruction in advanced malignancy

    PubMed Central

    Potz, Brittany A; Miner, Thomas J

    2016-01-01

    Gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) is a common problem associated with advanced malignancies of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Palliative treatment of patients’ symptoms who present with GOO is an important aspect of their care. Surgical palliation of malignancy is defined as a procedure performed with the intention of relieving symptoms caused by an advanced malignancy or improving quality of life. Palliative treatment for GOO includes operative (open and laparoscopic gastrojejunostomy) and non-operative (endoscopic stenting) options. The performance status and medical condition of the patient, the extent of the cancer, the patients prognosis, the availability of a curative procedure, the natural history of symptoms of the disease (primary and secondary), the durability of the procedure, and the quality of life and life expectancy of the patient should always be considered when choosing treatment for any patient with advanced malignancy. Gastrojejunostomy appears to be associated with better long term symptom relief while stenting appears to be associated with lower immediate procedure related morbidity.

  7. Victoria BGY palliative care model--a new model for the 1990s.

    PubMed

    Downing, G M; Braithwaite, D L; Wilde, J M

    1993-01-01

    If, as palliative care practitioners, we ensure that distressing symptoms such as pain, vomiting, dyspnea, confusion, and pre-death restlessness are fully controlled (note "fully"), then most people are deeply appreciative and continue to live until they die, confident that whatever happens, their worth, desires, and comfort are secure. Credibility (Latin, fides dignus) is remaining true and reliable to what was agreed. Patients registering with palliative care generally desire comfort, which can only occur when palliative care physicians and programs are capable and willing to apply all three types of palliation discussed here--the BGY model. PMID:7510798

  8. In the sandbox: palliative care and hematologic malignancies.

    PubMed

    LeBlanc, Thomas W

    2014-02-01

    Palliative care specialists have had little involvement in the care of patients with hematologic malignancies. The reasons for this are not clear, because these patients certainly face a significant symptom burden, and many hematologic malignancies are either incurable or carry poor prognoses. For example, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in patients over age 60 has a 5-year survival of less than 10%, akin to pancreatic cancer. Although most oncologists would agree with involving palliative care specialists in the case of advanced pancreatic cancer, few seem to consider this in the context of AML. Why should AML be any different?

  9. Palliative interventional and surgical therapy for unresectable pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Assfalg, Volker; Hüser, Norbert; Michalski, Christoph; Gillen, Sonja; Kleeff, Jorg; Friess, Helmut

    2011-02-14

    Palliative treatment concepts are considered in patients with non-curatively resectable and/or metastasized pancreatic cancer. However, patients without metastases, but presented with marginally resectable or locally non-resectable tumors should not be treated by a palliative therapeutic approach. These patients should be enrolled in neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy trials because a potentially curative resection can be achieved in approximately one-third of them after finishing treatment and restaging. Within the scope of best possible palliative care, resection of the primary cancer together with excision of metastases represents a therapeutic option to be contemplated in selected cases. Comprehensive palliative therapy is based on treatment of bile duct or duodenal obstruction for certain locally unresectable or metastasized advanced pancreatic cancer. However, endoscopic or percutaneous stenting procedures and surgical bypass provide safe and highly effective therapeutic alternatives. In case of operative drainage of the biliary tract (biliodigestive anastomosis), the prophylactic creation of a gastro-intestinal bypass (double bypass) is recommended. The decision to perform a surgical versus an endoscopic procedure for palliation depends to a great extent on the tumor stage and the estimated prognosis, and should be determined by an interdisciplinary team for each patient individually.

  10. [Unresectable pancreatic cancer--palliative interventional and surgical treatment].

    PubMed

    Hüser, N; Assfalg, V; Michalski, C W; Gillen, S; Kleeff, J; Friess, H

    2010-12-01

    In most cases pancreatic cancer appears in a non-curatively resectable stage at time the diagnosis is made. Thus, palliative treatment concepts come to the fore in these patients. Patients without metastases, but presenting with marginally resectable or locally non-resectable tumours should not be treated in a palliative therapeutic scheme. These patients should be enrolled in neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy trials. After finishing treatment and restaging, a potentially curative resection can be achieved in approximately one-third of these patients. Within the scope of the best possible palliative care, excision of metastases together with resection of the primary cancer represents a therapeutic option to be contemplated in selected cases. For distinct locally unresectable or metastasised advanced pancreatic cancer, treatment of bile duct or duodenal obstruction is an essential part of the comprehensive palliative therapy. However, both endoscopic / percutaneous stenting procedures and surgical bypass makeshifts constitute safe and highly effective therapeutic alternatives in this context. In the case of operative drainage of the biliary tract the prophylactic creation of a gastro-intestinal bypass (double bypass) is recommended. The decision on a surgical versus an endoscopic procedure for palliation depends considerably on the tumour stage and the estimated prognosis and has to be determined interdisciplinary and individually in each case.

  11. Safety and Palliative Efficacy of Single-Dose 8-Gy Reirradiation for Painful Local Failure in Patients With Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Previously Treated With Radical Chemoradiation Therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Topkan, Erkan; Yildirim, Berna Akkus; Guler, Ozan Cem; Parlak, Cem; Pehlivan, Berrin; Selek, Ugur

    2015-03-15

    Purpose: To investigate the safety and efficacy of single-dose 8-Gy palliative chest reirradiation (CRI) in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (M-NSCLC) patients with painful thoracic failures (TF) within the previous radiation portal. Patients and Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of 78 M-NSCLC patients who received single-dose 8-Gy CRI for painful TF after concurrent chemoradiation therapy to a total radiation dose of 52 to 66 Gy between 2007 and 2012. Primary endpoints included significant pain relief (SPR) defined as a ≥2 point decrement in the Visual Analogue Scale for Pain inventory (VAS-P), time to pain relief, and duration of pain control. Secondary objectives were survival and prognostic factors. Results: Treatment was well tolerated, with only 5.1% grade 3 pneumonitis and 1.3% grade 2 esophagitis. Pre-CRI median and post-CRI minimum VAS-P were 7 and 3 (P<.001), respectively. SPR was noted in 67 (85.9%) patients, and only 3 (3.9%) scored progressive pain. Median time to lowest VAS-P and duration of pain control were 27 days and 6.1 months, respectively. Median overall survival (OS) was 7.7 months, and the 1-year OS rate was 26.5%. On multivariate analyses, lower Eastern Cooperative Oncology group score (1-2; P<.001), absence of anemia (P=.001), and fewer metastatic sites (1-2; P<.001) were found to be associated with longer OS. Conclusions: Single-dose 8-Gy CRI provides safe, effective, and durable pain palliation for TF in radically irradiated M-NSCLC patients. Because of its convenience, lower cost, and higher comfort, the present protocol can be considered an appropriate option for patients with limited life spans.

  12. Underutilization of palliative care services in the liver transplant population

    PubMed Central

    Kathpalia, Priya; Smith, Alexander; Lai, Jennifer C

    2016-01-01

    AIM To evaluate use of palliative care services in patients with end-stage liver disease who do not have access to liver transplant. METHODS Evaluated were end-stage liver disease patients who were removed from the liver transplant wait-list or died prior to transplant at a single transplant center over a 2-year period. Those who were removed due to noncompliance or ultimately transplanted elsewhere were excluded from this study. Patient characteristics associated with palliative care consultation were assessed using logistic regression analysis. RESULTS Six hundred and eighty-three patients were listed for liver transplant in 2013-2014 with 107 (16%) dying (n = 62) or removed for clinical decompensation prior to liver transplant (n = 45): Median age was 58 years, and the majority were male (66%), Caucasian (53%), had Child C cirrhosis (61%) or hepatocellular carcinoma (52%). The palliative care team was consulted in only 18 of the 107 patients (17%) who died or were removed, 89% of which occurred as inpatients. Half of these consultations occurred within 72 h of death. In univariable analysis, patients of younger age, white race, and higher end-stage liver disease scores at time of listing and delisting were more likely to receive palliative care services. Only younger age [Odds ratio (OR) = 0.92; P = 0.02] and Caucasian race (OR = 4.90; P = 0.02) were still associated with integration of palliative care services through multivariable analysis. CONCLUSION Palliative care services are grossly underutilized in older, non-white patients with cirrhosis on the liver transplant wait-list. We encourage early integration of these services into clinical decision-making in the transplant population, with further studies aimed at understanding barriers to consultation. PMID:27683638

  13. Underutilization of palliative care services in the liver transplant population

    PubMed Central

    Kathpalia, Priya; Smith, Alexander; Lai, Jennifer C

    2016-01-01

    AIM To evaluate use of palliative care services in patients with end-stage liver disease who do not have access to liver transplant. METHODS Evaluated were end-stage liver disease patients who were removed from the liver transplant wait-list or died prior to transplant at a single transplant center over a 2-year period. Those who were removed due to noncompliance or ultimately transplanted elsewhere were excluded from this study. Patient characteristics associated with palliative care consultation were assessed using logistic regression analysis. RESULTS Six hundred and eighty-three patients were listed for liver transplant in 2013-2014 with 107 (16%) dying (n = 62) or removed for clinical decompensation prior to liver transplant (n = 45): Median age was 58 years, and the majority were male (66%), Caucasian (53%), had Child C cirrhosis (61%) or hepatocellular carcinoma (52%). The palliative care team was consulted in only 18 of the 107 patients (17%) who died or were removed, 89% of which occurred as inpatients. Half of these consultations occurred within 72 h of death. In univariable analysis, patients of younger age, white race, and higher end-stage liver disease scores at time of listing and delisting were more likely to receive palliative care services. Only younger age [Odds ratio (OR) = 0.92; P = 0.02] and Caucasian race (OR = 4.90; P = 0.02) were still associated with integration of palliative care services through multivariable analysis. CONCLUSION Palliative care services are grossly underutilized in older, non-white patients with cirrhosis on the liver transplant wait-list. We encourage early integration of these services into clinical decision-making in the transplant population, with further studies aimed at understanding barriers to consultation.

  14. Palliative Procedures in Lung Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Masuda, Emi; Sista, Akhilesh K.; Pua, Bradley B.; Madoff, David C.

    2013-01-01

    Palliative care aims to optimize comfort and function when cure is not possible. Image-guided interventions for palliative treatment of lung cancer is aimed at local control of advanced disease in the affected lung, adjacent mediastinal structures, or distant metastatic sites. These procedures include endovascular therapy for superior vena cava syndrome, bronchial artery embolization for hemoptysis associated with lung cancer, and ablation of osseous metastasis. Pathophysiology, clinical presentation, indications of these palliative treatments, procedural techniques, complications, and possible future interventions are discussed in this article. PMID:24436537

  15. The importance of measuring customer satisfaction in palliative care.

    PubMed

    Turriziani, Adriana; Attanasio, Gennaro; Scarcella, Francesco; Sangalli, Luisa; Scopa, Anna; Genualdo, Alessandra; Quici, Stefano; Nazzicone, Giulia; Ricciotti, Maria Adelaide; La Commare, Francesco

    2016-03-01

    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.

  16. [Palliative locoregional therapy for hilar cholangiocarcinoma: photodynamic therapy and brachytherapy].

    PubMed

    Dumoulin, F L; Horst, E; Sauerbruch, T; Gerhardt, T

    2007-08-01

    In hilar cholangiocarcinoma, only 20-30% of the patients are candidates for curative surgical resection, leaving the majority with merely palliative treatment options. Since the natural history of hilar cholangiocarcinoma is dominated by local complications rather than metastatic disease, local palliative treatment seems a reasonable option. Here, endoluminal photodynamic therapy has emerged as a promising treatment with several prospective observational studies and 2 prospective randomised studies published which included nearly 200 patients. With low complication rate and morbidity, PDT achieves an increased median survival as well as an increased quality of life even in patients with reduced performance status. Radiotherapy is an alternative local treatment option applied as brachytherapy, external beam radiotherapy or combined modality treatment. To date, however, sufficient data from controlled clinical trials are lacking, thus palliative radiotherapy has to be considered an experimental treatment option.

  17. [Current status of palliative care in medical oncology].

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Tsubasa; Ohta, Syuji; Seki, Nobuhiko; Eguchi, Kenji

    2010-06-01

    A team approach is efficient in palliative care for cancer patients. People suffered from cancer have a right to receive high-quality palliative care earlier in cancer treatment. In Japan the National Act for Strategy against Cancer was enacted in 2007. Systematic educational programs supported by the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare has been conducted for medical staffs, home care staffs, local pharmacists, care managers etc. at core institutes in each district. Pain control is still major target for cancer palliative medicine. Recently various types of opioids can be used routinely in daily clinical setting for Japanese cancer patients. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may also effective in some patients but further study for proving scientific evidence in CAM should be warranted. Tailor-maid pain control will be established in the near future with molecular based pharmacogenomics.

  18. The importance of measuring customer satisfaction in palliative care.

    PubMed

    Turriziani, Adriana; Attanasio, Gennaro; Scarcella, Francesco; Sangalli, Luisa; Scopa, Anna; Genualdo, Alessandra; Quici, Stefano; Nazzicone, Giulia; Ricciotti, Maria Adelaide; La Commare, Francesco

    2016-03-01

    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. PMID:26837318

  19. An Ecological Understanding of Caregiver Experiences in Palliative Care.

    PubMed

    Chandran, Devyani; Corbin, J Hope; Shillam, Casey

    2016-01-01

    Palliative care is specialized health care to improve quality of life for patients with serious illness and their families through prevention and relief of suffering. A Palliative Care Institute was held in western Washington to capture community voices about diverse needs, strengths, and opportunities for improvement of palliative care. Researchers employed qualitative methods to obtain thematic data, provide real-time analysis, and engage in a multivoting technique to reflect stakeholder interest in individual themes and prioritize larger group interests. Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems framework was used to explore caregiver experiences. Within the microsystem, caregivers reported difficulties in interactions with medical providers as a key challenge. Within the mesosysytem, interactions between patients and medical providers and the impact on caregivers were explored. Within the exosystem, caregivers reported lack of control over the schedules of personal care staff. Macrosystem influences included impact of local culture on the development of palliative care services. Chronosystem influences include de-medicalization of childbirth and its impact on perceptions of palliative care. Implications include the need for social workers to be proactive in fostering trust and effective communication between care providers and caregivers, and the demand for health care provider training in communication with patients and families. PMID:27143579

  20. Interventions geared towards strengthening the health system of Namibia through the integration of palliative care.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Rachel; Luyirika, Emmanuel Bk; Namisango, Eve; Kiyange, Fatia

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. Interventions geared towards strengthening the health system of Namibia through the integration of palliative care

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Rachel; Luyirika, Emmanuel BK; Namisango, Eve; Kiyange, Fatia

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Sexuality and Life-Threatening Illness: Implications for Social Work and Palliative Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cagle, John G.; Bolte, Sage

    2009-01-01

    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…

  3. When Hospice Fails: The Limits of Palliative Care.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Logue, Barbara J.

    1994-01-01

    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 autonomy and…

  4. Organization position statements and the stance of "studied neutrality" on euthanasia in palliative care.

    PubMed

    Johnstone, Megan-Jane

    2012-12-01

    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.

  5. Development of a palliative education assessment tool for medical student education.

    PubMed

    Meekin, S A; Klein, J E; Fleischman, A R; Fins, J J

    2000-10-01

    Studies assessing palliative care education in U.S. medical schools reveal that little attention is paid to this topic. Although core competencies have been defined, few schools have implemented effective means to incorporate formal palliative care education into undergraduate curricula. To promote reform, each school needs to conduct a thorough assessment to identify palliative care content throughout the four-year curriculum. The authors developed an innovative assessment instrument to facilitate curricular mapping of palliative care education. The Palliative Education Assessment Tool (PEAT) comprises seven palliative care domains: palliative medicine, pain, neuropsychologic symptoms, other symptoms, ethics and the law, patient/family/nonclinical caregiver perspectives on end-of-life care, and clinical communication skills. Each domain details specific curricular objectives of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Designed as a flexible self-assessment tool, PEAT helps determine the existence of palliative care education, which usually is found in various formats throughout a medical school's curriculum and thus sometimes "hidden." PEAT enables educators to describe a specific, multidimensional aspect of the curriculum and use the information for strategic planning, educational reform, and evaluation. The curricular reform implications of such an instrument are broader than palliative care assessment. A modified version of PEAT can be used to assess systematically other topics that are taught in various formats in the curriculum and to develop collaborative approaches to fulfilling the educational objectives of those topics. PMID:11031142

  6. Negotiating the equivocality of palliative care: a grounded theory of team communicative processes in inpatient medicine.

    PubMed

    Ledford, Christy J W; Canzona, Mollie Rose; Cafferty, Lauren A; Kalish, Virginia B

    2016-01-01

    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.

  7. Center to Advance Palliative Care

    MedlinePlus

    ... Take me to the Registry Registry Jobs For Job Seekers CAPC posts positions for palliative care professionals ... field. Browse the listings , and please contact the job poster directly for further information. Browse Jobs For ...

  8. The cultivation of prognostic awareness through the provision of early palliative care in the ambulatory setting: a communication guide.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Vicki A; Jacobsen, Juliet; Greer, Joseph A; Pirl, William F; Temel, Jennifer S; Back, Anthony L

    2013-08-01

    Early, integrated palliative care delivered in the ambulatory setting has been associated with improved quality of life, lower rates of depression, and even prolonged survival. We outline an expert practice that provides a step-wise approach to cultivating prognostic awareness in patients cared for by a palliative care clinician early in the course of the patient's disease. This approach can be used by both novice and more experienced palliative care clinicians. PMID:23786425

  9. Association synchrone d'un cancer du sein bilatéral et d'une tumeur stromale gastro-intestinale: à propos d'un rare cas

    PubMed Central

    Afif, Mohammed; Ouziane, Imane; Kouhen, Fadila; Khalil, Jihane; Elomrani, Fedwa; Elkacemi, Hanan; Kebdani, Tayeb; Errihani, Hassan; Benjaafar, Noureddine

    2015-01-01

    Les tumeurs stromales gastro-intestinales sont les tumeurs mésenchymateuses les plus fréquentes, pourtant, leur association avec les tumeurs du sein sont rares, seulement quelques cas cliniques sont rapportés dans la littérature. Nous rapportons l'observation d'une jeune femme de 41 ans, suivie à l'institut national d'oncologie de Rabat, pour un carcinome canalaire du sein, bilatéral, chez qui le bilan d'extension a objectivé une tumeur stromale de type gastro-intestinale aux dépens de l'estomac. Nous décrivons à travers cette observation les aspects épidémiologiques, cliniques, et les particularités de la prise en charge de cette association rare. PMID:26090003

  10. Palliative Home Care: A Designer’s Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Bhatnagar, Tigmanshu

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26009683

  11. Palliative care and use of animal-assisted therapy.

    PubMed

    Engelman, Suzanne R

    2013-01-01

    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.

  12. Long-Term Palliative Effect of Stenting in Gastric Outlet Obstruction Due to Transarterial Chemoembolization with Yttrium-90 in a Patient with Metastatic Neuroendocrine Tumor

    PubMed Central

    Caglar, Erkan; Doğusoy, Gulen; Kabasakal, Levent; Dobrucali, Ahmet

    2016-01-01

    Internal radioembolization with yttrium-90 is a promising treatment method, predominantly for liver tumors. However, the shifting of yttrium-90-loaded spherules into the arteries and veins that supply the duodenum and stomach, leading to ulceration, hemorrhage, perforation, and outlet obstruction of these organs, is one of the major undesirable consequences of this technique. We report a case of gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) due to antropyloric stenosis with ulceration, edema, and inflammation following transarterial yttrium-90 treatment for a metastatic neuroendocrine tumor in a 58-year-old man. Stenting was used for palliation in this case. GOO improved after stenting and recovery of oral intake was permanent after stent removal. PMID:27353368

  13. Raising the standard: palliative care in nursing homes.

    PubMed

    Meier, Diane E; Lim, Betty; Carlson, Melissa D A

    2010-01-01

    More than two-thirds of long-stay nursing home residents suffer from dementia. This illness has a variable and unpredictable course that renders it a poor fit for the six-month life-expectancy requirement of the Medicare hospice benefit. Palliative care-a form of treatment that strives to match care to patient goals, relieve pain, and improve quality of life for people with chronic or life-threatening illnesses-should be the standard of practice for all elderly dementia patients in nursing homes, regardless of prognosis. Similar principles could apply to other long-term residents with underlying chronic diseases who would benefit from palliative care. Indeed, we would argue that the growing acceptance of the culture-change movement centered on elder-directed goals in nursing homes is promising evidence of the goodness-of-fit of palliative care principles in the long-term care setting.

  14. Palliative care in urgent need of recognition and development in general practice: the example of Germany

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Specialist palliative care is being increasingly recognised and developed to improve end-of-life care in many developed countries. However, only a small proportion of the total number of patients with incurable, progressive diseases actually has direct contact with specialist palliative care practitioners. Using the German situation as an example, the main purpose of this paper is to argue that the emphasis on specialist palliative care services without a similar encouragement of primary palliative care will deliver a constrained service. Discussion For the vast majority of people with incurable, progressive diseases, good palliative care delivered by General Practitioners and community nurses, with access to specialist support when needed, is the optimal response. In Germany, specialist palliative care in the community was established in the 2007 health care reforms. However actual and potential delivery of palliative care by general practitioners and community based nurses has been sorely neglected. The time-consuming care of palliative patients and their families is currently far from accurately reflected in German, indeed most European primary care payment systems. However, it is not just a question of adequate financial compensation but also of the recognition of the fundamental value of this intense form of holistic family medicine. Summary It is imperative palliative care carried out by community nurses and general practitioners is better recognised by health professionals, health insurers, government and the scientific community as a central part of the delivery of health care for people in the last phase of life. Health systems should be arranged so that this critical role of general practice and primary care is intentionally fostered. Palliative care carried out by generalists needs an identity at an academic and practical level, developing in concert with specialist palliative care. PMID:20843334

  15. Pulmonary medicine and palliative care.

    PubMed

    Tucakovic, M; Bascom, R; Bascom, P B

    2001-04-01

    Gynaecological malignancies affect the respiratory system both directly and indirectly. Malignant pleural effusion is a poor prognostic factor: management options include repeated thoracentesis, chemical pleurodesis, symptomatic relief of dyspnoea with oxygen and morphine, and external drainage. Parenchymal metastases are typically multifocal and respond to chemotherapy, with a limited role for pulmonary metastatectomy. Pulmonary tumour embolism is frequently associated with lymphangitic carcinomatosis, and is most common in choriocarcinoma. Thromboembolic disease, associated with the hypercoagulable state of cancer, is treated with anticoagulation. Inferior vena cava filter placement is indicated when anticoagulation cannot be given, or when emboli recur despite adequate anticoagulation. Palliative care has a major role for respiratory symptoms of gynaecological malignancies. Treatable causes of dyspnoea include bronchospasm, fluid overload and retained secretions. Opiates are effective at relieving dyspnoea associated with effusions, metatases, and lymphangitic tumour spread. Non-pharmacological therapies include energy conservation, home redesign, and dyspnoea relief strategies, including pursed lip breathing, relaxation, oxygen, circulation of air with a fan, and attention to spiritual suffering. Identification and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux, sinusitis, and asthma can improve many patients' coughs. Chest wall pain responds to local radiotherapy, nerve blocks or systemic analgesia. Case examples illustrate ways to address quality of life issues. PMID:11358403

  16. Review of palliative sedation and its distinction from euthanasia and lethal injection.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Michael P

    2012-01-01

    Palliative sedation evolved from within the practice of palliative medicine and has become adopted by other areas of medicine, such as within intensive care practice. Clinician's usually come across this practice for dying patients who are foregoing or having life support terminated. A number of intolerable and intractable symptom burdens can occur during the end of life period that may require the use of palliative sedation. Furthermore, when patients receive palliative sedation, the continued use of hydration and nutrition becomes an issue of consideration and there are contentious bioethical issues involved in using or withholding these life-sustaining provisions. A general understanding of biomedical ethics helps prevent abuse in the practice of palliative sedation. Various sedative drugs can be employed in the provision of palliative sedation that can produce any desired effect, from light sedation to complete unconsciousness. Although there are some similarities in the pharmacotherapy of palliative sedation, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, and lethal injection, there is a difference in how the drugs are administered with each practice. There are some published guidelines about how palliative sedation should be practiced, but currently there is not any universally accepted standard of practice.

  17. Threading the cloak: palliative care education for care providers of adolescents and young adults with cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wiener, Lori; Weaver, Meaghann Shaw; Bell, Cynthia J; Sansom-Daly, Ursula M

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. Integration of Palliative Care in End-Stage Liver Disease and Liver Transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Curry, Michael; Buss, Mary; Chittenden, Eva

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Background: Patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) have a life-limiting illness that causes multiple distressing symptoms and negatively affects quality of life (QOL). This population traditionally has not had much attention within the palliative care community. Discussion: This article provides an evidence-based review of palliative care issues that patients with ESLD and those awaiting liver transplant face, including approaches to prognosis, symptom management, advance care planning, and end-of-life care. Conclusion: Tremendous opportunity exists to integrate palliative medicine into the care of these patients. PMID:25390468

  19. Using cannabinoids in pain and palliative care.

    PubMed

    Peat, Sue

    2010-10-01

    Interest in the use of cannabinoids in a clinical setting is gradually increasing, particularly in patients where more conventional treatments have failed. They have been reported as offering perceived benefits in a wide range of conditions, but the major interest at present is centred on their place in pain management and in the palliation of symptoms secondary to terminal cancer and neurological disease. The potential benefits include symptomatic relief for patients suffering from intractable neuropathic pain, anorexia, anxiety and muscle spasm. There is clear consensus that cannibinoids should not be used as a first-line monotherapy, but should be considered as valuable adjuvants to more commonly indicated therapeutic options in the management of palliative care patients. Scientific evidence documenting the benefits of the canibinoids nabilone and sativex is accumulating, but needs to be evaluated carefully in the light of the paucity of available data. Both drugs are usually used under the guidance of specialist units. Nabilone and Sativex are now controlled drugs, and are frequently used outside of their licensed indication (control of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting) and hence particular care needs to be taken in evaluating the rational for their use. Sativex has been recently licenced for use in the management of patients with multiple sclerosis. PMID:20972379

  20. Distribution and sharing of palliative care costs in rural areas of Canada.

    PubMed

    Dumont, Serge; Jacobs, Philip; Turcotte, Véronique; Turcotte, Stéphane; Johnston, Grace

    2014-01-01

    Few data are available on the costs occurring during the palliative phase of care and on the sharing of these costs in rural areas. This study aimed to evaluate the costs related to all resources used by rural palliative care patients and to examine how these costs were shared between the public healthcare system (PHCS), patients' families, and not-for-profit organizations (NFPOs). A prospective longitudinal study was undertaken of 82 palliative care patients and their main informal caregivers in rural areas of four Canadian provinces. Telephone interviews were completed at two-week intervals. The mean total cost per patient for a six-month participation in a palliative care program was CA$31,678 +/- 1,160. A large part of this cost was attributable to inpatient hospital stays and was assumed by the PHCS. The patient's family contributed less than a quarter of the mean total cost per patient, and this was mainly attributable to caregiving time.

  1. Palliative care. Some organisational considerations.

    PubMed

    Welshman, A

    2005-01-01

    Managing pain effectively is one of the biggest challenges in medicine, let alone when dealing with the dying patient and his family. For palliative care specialists this is a daily challenge. However, ''To cure when possible, to give comfort always'' is an empty credo if physicians don't use every weapon in the medical arsenal to relieve the suffering caused by chronic pain. It's of course the opioids: morphine, heroin, their synthetic derivatives and other narcotics, a class of medications that conjure up visions of drug addiction and narcotic squads. To say that opioids are stigmatised by such allusions is putting it mildly. An unhealthy proportion of doctors and patients alike are afraid to have anything to do with them, even in when facing their final stages of life. This is particularly so in the Mediterranean society. It is here in Italy that an effort must be made to educate both physicians and the general public, an arduous task to change a long standing belief which requires a quick cultural turn around. Those who refuse opioids because they are afraid of addiction, and the doctors who refuse to prescribe them out of fear or pure unwillingness to address an apprehensive attitude on behalf of his patient, need to be better informed. Most misconceptions about opioids have to do with terminology, because words like ''morphine, addiction, dependency'' and ''tolerance'' mean entirely different things in popular and medical parlance. Add to this the perceptions and attitudes the patient can have with this terminology which then can have a profound effect on the success or failure of a pain control programme. In fact, most people think that medication such as morphine are only for people who are dying and as a consequence is synonymous with death itself. Is this why Italian physicians are not prescribing morphine even though great efforts have been made recently by the Health Ministry to facilitate prescribing laws and costs? It is worthy of serious

  2. Overcoming the Obstacles in Promoting Hospice Palliative Care--Sharing Experiences of the Taiwan Changhua Christian Hospital.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Pei-Yu

    2015-01-01

    Hospice palliative care for terminal patients is necessary, yet challenges are on the way worldwide. This study demonstrated that hospice palliative care has been quickly developed in Taiwan due to the support of the National Health Insurance system, the promotion by civil societies and religious groups, patient's legal right for DNR, easier access to pain killers through medical prescription, and well-planned hospice staff training programs. This paper introduces how hospice consultation is provided by a comprehensive hospice palliative team at Changhua Christian Hospital to establish trust and cooperation with the medical team, and to improve hospice-palliative care referral and utilization rates.

  3. [Palliation of dyspnea in malignant disease].

    PubMed

    de la Fuente Fonnest, I; Hjortshøj, K M; Strömgren, L A

    1999-01-18

    Dyspnea is a symptom experienced by more than half of all cancer patients in their terminal illness, and it is thus a severe problem for patients, relatives, and professionals. Dyspnea in a cancer patient may have a non-malignant origin that may be treated causally. If dyspnea is caused directly by the malignant disease, antineoplastic treatment needs to be considered. In case this is not feasible, one must seek to modify the manifestations of illness. When this is not possible, one must relieve the patient's experience of dyspnea. To this end there are a number of possibilities, pharmacological as well as non-pharmacological. Opioids given systemically cause respiratory depression. Unfortunately, this has given rise to an overly cautious attitude when facing the terminal patient with dyspnea. However, other treatment modalities are often exhausted and opioids, if indicated in combination with anxiolytics, do have a palliative effect on dyspnea.

  4. Treating nausea and vomiting in palliative care: a review

    PubMed Central

    Glare, Paul; Miller, Jeanna; Nikolova, Tanya; Tickoo, Roma

    2011-01-01

    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

  5. Palliative laparoscopic hepatico- and gastrojejunostomy for advanced pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Gentileschi, Paolo; Kini, Subhash; Gagner, Michel

    2002-01-01

    Only 10% to 20% of pancreatic tumors are resectable at the time of diagnosis. Patients with advanced disease have a median survival of 4.9 months. Palliation is often required for biliary or duodenal obstruction, or both, and for pain. Optimal palliation should guarantee the shortest possible hospital stay and as long a survival as possible with a good quality of life. In recent years, treatment options for palliation of biliary and duodenal obstruction due to pancreatic cancer have broadened. Endoscopic and percutaneous biliary stenting have been shown to be successful tools for safe palliation of high-risk patients. Nevertheless, fit patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer benefit from surgery, which allows long-lasting biliary and gastric drainage. While laparoscopic cholecystojejunostomy and gastroenterostomy in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer have been widely reported, laparoscopic hepatico-jejunostomy has been rarely described. In this article, we describe our technique of laparoscopic hepatico-jejunostomy and gastrojejunostomy. We also discuss current evidence on the indications for these procedures in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.

  6. Palliative care team visits. Qualitative study through participant observation

    PubMed Central

    Bueno Pernias, Maria José; Hueso Montoro, César; Guardia Mancilla, Plácido; Montoya Juárez, Rafael; García Caro, Maria Paz

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. Palliative care: a challenge for orthopaedic nursing care.

    PubMed

    Watters, Carol L; Harvey, Carol V; Meehan, Anita J; Schoenly, Lorry

    2005-01-01

    Patients who face chronic, incurable, or life-ending musculoskeletal conditions often receive inadequate care either due to a lack of caregiver awareness or inattention to maintaining the highest quality at the end of life. Palliative care focuses on the comprehensive physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and existential needs of patients with life-threatening or debilitating illness. Orthopaedic nurses and all nurses in general are challenged to incorporate palliative care principles into care planned with patients and families facing end-of-life issues. This article addresses the leadership role the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) has taken to develop a consensus document which endorses the Last Acts Precepts of Palliative Care and affirms the need for palliative care with patients who experience life-threatening illness. A case study is used to illustrate the opportunity a multidisciplinary team has to center care on the individual, while remaining sensitive to the holistic needs of the patient for self-determination at the end of life.

  8. Modelling the landscape of palliative care for people with dementia: a European mixed methods study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Palliative care for people with dementia is often sub-optimal. This is partly because of the challenging nature of dementia itself, and partly because of system failings that are particularly salient in primary care and community services. There is a need to systematize palliative care for people with dementia, to clarify where changes in practice could be made. To develop a model of palliative care for people with dementia that captures commonalities and differences across Europe, a technology development approach was adopted, using mixed methods including 1) critical synthesis of the research literature and policy documents, 2) interviews with national experts in policy, service organisation, service delivery, patient and carer interests, and research in palliative care, and 3) nominal groups of researchers tasked with synthesising data and modelling palliative care. Discussion A generic model of palliative care, into which quality indicators can be embedded. The proposed model includes features deemed important for the systematisation of palliative care for people with dementia. These are: the division of labour amongst practitioners of different disciplines; the structure and function of care planning; the management of rising risk and increasing complexity; boundaries between disease-modifying treatment and palliative care and between palliative and end-of-life care; and the process of bereavement. Summary The co-design approach to developing a generic model of palliative care for people with dementia has placed the person needing palliative care within a landscape of services and professional disciplines. This model will be explored further in the intervention phase of the IMPACT project. PMID:23937891

  9. Palliative care - fluid, food, and digestion

    MedlinePlus

    ... Palliative Medicine . Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2013:chap 29. Levine SK, Shega JW. How should medications be initiated ... Palliative Medicine . Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2013:chap 26. Levine SK, Shega JW. What interventions are effective for ...

  10. A palliative care specific spiritual assessment: how this story evolved.

    PubMed

    Galchutt, Paul

    2013-01-01

    This article reflects a project to create, refine, and use a palliative care specific spiritual assessment, with the intent to implement its use for both an inpatient Palliative Consult Service (PCS) and a Spiritual Health Service (SHS) team. Extensive meetings with these services to confirm a shared understanding of the use of this spiritual assessment to facilitate communication with PCS through consistent language about the patient's story, suffering, spirit, and sense-making. Following a pilot phase of using this palliative care spiritual assessment, five presentations were shared with the SHS team to explore using this assessment. Although the SHS team decided not to use its content, these presentations spurred dialogue toward what was to become a SHS standardized documentation process, eventually called data, intervention, outcome, plan (DIOP).

  11. Diet and Nutrition in Cancer Survivorship and Palliative Care

    PubMed Central

    Bazzan, Anthony J.; Newberg, Andrew B.; Cho, William C.; Monti, Daniel A.

    2013-01-01

    The primary goal of palliative cancer care is typically to relieve suffering and improve quality of life. Most approaches to diet in this setting have focused only on eating as many calories as possible to avoid cachexia. However, as the concept of palliative care has evolved to include all aspects of cancer survivorship and not just end of life care, there is an increasing need to thoughtfully consider diet and nutrition approaches that can impact not only quality of life but overall health outcomes and perhaps even positively affect cancer recurrence and progression. In this regard, there has been a recent emphasis in the literature on nutrition and cancer as an important factor in both quality of life and in the pathophysiology of cancer. Hence, the primary purpose of this paper is to review the current data on diet and nutrition as it pertains to a wide range of cancer patients in the palliative care setting. PMID:24288570

  12. Palliative care for Muslims and issues before death.

    PubMed

    Gatrad, A R; Sheikh, A

    2002-11-01

    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.

  13. Regional anesthesia for an upper extremity amputation for palliative care in a patient with end-stage osteosarcoma complicated by a large anterior mediastinal mass

    PubMed Central

    Hakim, Mumin; Burrier, Candice; Bhalla, Tarun; Raman, Vidya T; Martin, David P; Dairo, Olamide; Mayerson, Joel L; Tobias, Joseph D

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. Palliative Care in the Emergency Department

    PubMed Central

    Mierendorf, Susanne M; Gidvani, Vinita

    2014-01-01

    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

  15. Renal supportive care and palliative care: revision and proposal in kidney replacement therapy.

    PubMed

    Leiva-Santos, Juan P; Sánchez-Hernández, Rosa; García-Llana, Helena; Fernández-Reyes, M José; Heras-Benito, Manuel; Molina-Ordas, Álvaro; Rodríguez, Astrid; Álvarez-Ude, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Patients with chronic kidney disease may receive sustained renal supportive care and renal palliative care (RPC) starting with the diagnosis of the disease, throughout the various stages of renal replacement therapy (RRT), the cessation of the RRT, and in the decision of whether to provide conservative treatment or non-initiation of RRT. This article reviews the literature on the development of renal palliative care and proposed RPC models. We describe the progression of disease in organ failure, which is very different from other areas of palliative care (PC). We describe important components of resident nephrology training in PC. We discuss the management of pain and symptom control, as well as communication skills and other psychological and ethical aspects in the renal patient. We conclude that in chronic renal patients, a palliative care approach can provide a positive impact on the quality of life of patients and their families, as well as optimizing the complex treatment of the renal patient.

  16. Method for palliation of pain in human bone cancer using therapeutic tin-117m compositions

    DOEpatents

    Srivastava, Suresh C.; Meinken, George E.; Mausner, Leonard F.; Atkins, Harold L.

    1998-12-29

    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.

  17. Method for palliation of pain in human bone cancer using therapeutic tin-117m compositions

    DOEpatents

    Srivastava, S.C.; Meinken, G.E.; Mausner, L.F.; Atkins, H.L.

    1998-12-29

    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.

  18. Developing targets for public health initiatives to improve palliative care

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Palliative Care is an approach that improves quality of life for patients and their families facing the problems associated with incurable life-threatening illness. In many countries, due to the rapidly ageing population, increasingly more people are suffering from serious chronic disease towards the end of life, making further development in palliative care a major public health challenge. The aim of this study was to develop the first targets for public health initiatives to improve palliative care in Germany. Methods Based on the findings from pilot studies (qualitative interviews and surveys with different stakeholders in the health care system), we conducted a modified Delphi study with two rounds of questionnaires with experts in public health and palliative care. In the first round, the experts commented on the findings from the pilot studies. The answers were evaluated descriptively and with qualitative content analysis, resulting in the formulation of 25 targets. These were presented to the experts in the second Delphi round to assess each of them separately with regard to its importance and current implementation (7-point answer scales) and in relation to the other targets (defining the five most important of the 25 targets). Results Six most relevant targets for public health initiatives to improve palliative care in Germany were worked out: Supporting palliative care as a basic attitude for the care of people in the last phase of life; coordinating healthcare for people in the last phase of life; establishing cooperation among health professions and disciplines; establishing education in palliative care for all professional groups with contact to people in the last phase of life; reviewing the evidence of palliative care measures; offering support to family members who are caring for someone in the last phase of life. Conclusions To systematically develop palliative care, it makes sense to define fields of action with individual targets. For

  19. The use of weblogs within palliative care: a systematic literature review.

    PubMed

    Ngwenya, Nothando B; Mills, Stella

    2014-03-01

    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.

  20. [Palliative care: accompanying persons at the end of life].

    PubMed

    Espinar Cid, Victoria

    2012-01-01

    The philosophy, the essence and the therapeutic goals of palliative care help the health professionals offer the patients a high quality assistance on their last stage of life. With both, a human and scientific view, it's possible to deal with the relief of suffer on all dimensions. PMID:22548665

  1. The Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes towards the Palliative Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ayed, Ahmad; Sayej, Sumaya; Harazneh, Lubna; Fashafsheh, Imad; Eqtait, Faeda

    2015-01-01

    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…

  2. [Palliative care: accompanying persons at the end of life].

    PubMed

    Espinar Cid, Victoria

    2012-01-01

    The philosophy, the essence and the therapeutic goals of palliative care help the health professionals offer the patients a high quality assistance on their last stage of life. With both, a human and scientific view, it's possible to deal with the relief of suffer on all dimensions.

  3. Volunteer activity in specialist paediatric palliative care: a national survey

    PubMed Central

    Burbeck, Rachel; Low, Joe; Sampson, Elizabeth L; Scott, Rosalind; Bravery, Ruth; Candy, Bridget

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. Palliative Care Training and Research: The Development in Europe and the Bologna Experience

    PubMed Central

    Bolognesi, Deborah; Brighi, Nicole; Muciarelli, Pier-Angelo; Biasco, Guido

    2013-01-01

    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

  5. Rawlsian Justice and Palliative Care.

    PubMed

    Knight, Carl; Albertsen, Andreas

    2015-10-01

    Palliative care serves both as an integrated part of treatment and as a last effort to care for those we cannot cure. The extent to which palliative care should be provided and our reasons for doing so have been curiously overlooked in the debate about distributive justice in health and healthcare. We argue that one prominent approach, the Rawlsian approach developed by Norman Daniels, is unable to provide such reasons and such care. This is because of a central feature in Daniels' account, namely that care should be provided to restore people's opportunities. Daniels' view is both unable to provide pain relief to those who need it as a supplement to treatment and, without justice-based reasons to provide palliative care to those whose opportunities cannot be restored. We conclude that this makes Daniels' framework much less attractive.

  6. Audio-visual communication and its use in palliative care.

    PubMed

    Coyle, Nessa; Khojainova, Natalia; Francavilla, John M; Gonzales, Gilbert R

    2002-02-01

    The technology of telemedicine has been used for over 20 years, involving different areas of medicine, providing medical care for the geographically isolated patients, and uniting geographically isolated clinicians. Today audio-visual technology may be useful in palliative care for the patients lacking access to medical services due to the medical condition rather than geographic isolation. We report results of a three-month trial of using audio-visual communications as a complementary tool in care for a complex palliative care patient. Benefits of this system to the patient included 1) a daily limited physical examination, 2) screening for a need for a clinical visit or admission, 3) lip reading by the deaf patient, 4) satisfaction by the patient and the caregivers with this form of communication as a complement to telephone communication. A brief overview of the historical prospective on telemedicine and a listing of applied telemedicine programs are provided.

  7. Palliative practice in Indian health.

    PubMed

    Domer, Timothy; Kaur, Judith S

    2008-01-01

    Palliative care and end-of-life services are poorly available yet critically needed among AI/AN people. Anumber of formal programs are in place that can serve asmodels for future programs. Formal training in palliative care for IHS providers was started in 2001 and continues on annual basis. The involvement of groups such as the NCI should help propel these efforts forward more quickly. It is essential that all of these efforts bring services that are both culturally relevant and sensitive to people who often face desperate situations with limited resources, options and hope. To paraphrase Robert Frost, the journey has started but we have miles to go before we sleep.

  8. Modern Palliative Radiation Treatment: Do Complexity and Workload Contribute to Medical Errors?

    SciTech Connect

    D'Souza, Neil; Holden, Lori; Robson, Sheila; Mah, Kathy; Di Prospero, Lisa; Wong, C. Shun; Chow, Edward; Spayne, Jacqueline

    2012-09-01

    Purpose: To examine whether treatment workload and complexity associated with palliative radiation therapy contribute to medical errors. Methods and Materials: In the setting of a large academic health sciences center, patient scheduling and record and verification systems were used to identify patients starting radiation therapy. All records of radiation treatment courses delivered during a 3-month period were retrieved and divided into radical and palliative intent. 'Same day consultation, planning and treatment' was used as a proxy for workload and 'previous treatment' and 'multiple sites' as surrogates for complexity. In addition, all planning and treatment discrepancies (errors and 'near-misses') recorded during the same time frame were reviewed and analyzed. Results: There were 365 new patients treated with 485 courses of palliative radiation therapy. Of those patients, 128 (35%) were same-day consultation, simulation, and treatment patients; 166 (45%) patients had previous treatment; and 94 (26%) patients had treatment to multiple sites. Four near-misses and 4 errors occurred during the audit period, giving an error per course rate of 0.82%. In comparison, there were 10 near-misses and 5 errors associated with 1100 courses of radical treatment during the audit period. This translated into an error rate of 0.45% per course. An association was found between workload and complexity and increased palliative therapy error rates. Conclusions: Increased complexity and workload may have an impact on palliative radiation treatment discrepancies. This information may help guide the necessary recommendations for process improvement for patients who require palliative radiation therapy.

  9. Towards a standardized method of developing quality indicators for palliative care: protocol of the Quality indicators for Palliative Care (Q-PAC) study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In recent years, there have been several studies, using a wide variety of methods, aimed at developing quality indicators for palliative care. In this Quality Indicators for Palliative Care study (Q-PAC study) we have applied a scientifically rigorous method to develop a comprehensive and valid quality indicator set which can contribute to a standardized method for use in other countries. Methods and design Firstly, an extensive literature review identified existing international quality indicators and relevant themes for measuring quality in palliative care. Secondly, the most relevant of these were selected by an expert panel. Thirdly, those prioritized by the experts were scored by a second multidisciplinary expert panel for usability and relevance, in keeping with the RAND/UCLA-method, combining evidence with consensus among stakeholders. This panel included carers and policymakers as well as patients and next-of-kin. Fourthly, the draft set was tested and evaluated in practice for usability and feasibility; the indicators were then translated into questionnaires presented to patients, next-of-kin and care providers. To encourage the acceptance and use of the indicators, stakeholders, including national palliative care organizations, were involved throughout the whole project. Conclusion Our indicator development trajectory resulted in a set of quality indicators applicable to all patients in all palliative care settings. The set includes patient and relative perspectives and includes outcome, process and structure indicators. Our method can contribute internationally to a more standardized and rigorous approach to developing quality indicators for palliative care. PMID:23394401

  10. Factors affecting recruitment to an observational multicentre palliative care study

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Patrick C; Gwilliam, Bridget; Keeley, Vaughan; Todd, Chris; Kelly, Laura C; Barclay, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To identify those factors which adversely affected recruitment to a large multicentre palliative care study. Methods Patient accrual to a multicentre, observational, palliative care study was monitored at three critical junctures in the research process. (1) Eligibility—did the patient fulfil the study entry criteria? (2) Accessibility—was it possible to access the patient to be able to inform them about the study? (3) Consent—did the patient agree to participate in the study? The reasons why patients were ineligible, inaccessible or refused consent were recorded. Results 12 412 consecutive referrals to participating clinical services were screened for study inclusion of whom 5394 (43%) were deemed to be ineligible. Of the remaining patients 4617/7018 (66%) were inaccessible to the research team. The most common reasons being precipitous death, ‘gatekeeping’ by clinical staff or rapid discharge. Of the 2410 patients who were visited by the research team and asked to participate in the study 1378 (57%) declined. Overall 8.2% (1018/12 412) of patients screened participated in the study. There were significant differences in recruitment patterns between hospice inpatient units, hospital support and community palliative care teams. Conclusions Systematic monitoring and analysis of patient flows through the clinical trial accrual process provided valuable insights about the reasons for failure to recruit patients to a clinical trial and may help to improve recruitment in future studies. PMID:24644750

  11. Acceptance of dying: a discourse analysis of palliative care literature.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Camilla

    2012-07-01

    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. PMID:22513246

  12. A day in the life: a case series of acute care palliative medicine--the Cleveland model.

    PubMed

    Lagman, Ruth; Walsh, Declan; Heintz, Jessica; Legrand, Susan B; Davis, Mellar P

    2008-01-01

    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.

  13. The role of palliative care in population management and accountable care organizations.

    PubMed

    Smith, Grant; Bernacki, Rachelle; Block, Susan D

    2015-06-01

    By 2021, health care spending is projected to grow to 19.6% of the GDP, likely crowding out spending in other areas. The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) attempts to curb health care spending by incentivizing high-value care through the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which assume financial risk for patient outcomes. With this financial risk, health systems creating ACOs will be motivated to pursue innovative care models that maximize the value of care. Palliative care, as an emerging field with a growing evidence base, is positioned to improve value in ACOs by increasing high-quality care and decreasing costs for the sickest patients. ACO leaders may find palliative care input valuable in optimizing high-quality patient-centered care in the accountable care environment; however, palliative care clinicians will need to adopt new models that extrapolate their direct patient care skills to population management strategies. We propose that palliative care specialists take on responsibilities for working with ACO leaders to broaden their mission for systemwide palliative care for appropriate patients by prospectively identifying patients with a high risk of death, high symptom burden, and/or significant psychosocial dysfunction, and developing targeted, "triggered" interventions to enhance patient-centered, goal-consistent, coordinated care. Developing these new population management competencies is a critical role for palliative care teams in the ACO environment.

  14. Oncologists’ Perspectives on Concurrent Palliative Care in an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

    PubMed Central

    Bakitas, Marie; Lyons, Kathleen Doyle; Hegel, Mark T.; Ahles, Tim

    2013-01-01

    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

  15. Palliative Radiotherapy with or without Additional Care by a Multidisciplinary Palliative Care Team: A Retrospective Comparison

    PubMed Central

    Dalhaug, Astrid; Pawinski, Adam; Aandahl, Gro; Haukland, Ellinor; Engljähringer, Kirsten

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. To analyze pattern of care and survival after palliative radiotherapy (RT) in patients managed exclusively by regular oncology staff or a multidisciplinary palliative care team (MPCT) in addition. Methods. Retrospective analysis of 522 RT courses. Comparison of Two Groups: MPCT versus none. Results. We analyzed 140 RT courses (27%) with MPCT care and 382 without it. The following statistically significant differences were observed: 33% of female patients had MPCT care versus only 23% of male patients and 37% of patients <65 years had MPCT care versus only 22% of older patients. MPCT patients were more likely to have poor performance status and liver metastases. In the MPCT group steroid and opioid use was significantly more common. Dose-fractionation regimens were similar. Median survival was significantly shorter in the MPCT group, 3.9 versus 6.9 months. In multivariate analysis, MPCT care was not associated with survival. Adjusted for confounders, MPCT care reduced the likelihood of incomplete RT by 33%, P > 0.05. Conclusions. Patterns of referral and care differed, for example, regarding age and medication use. It seems possible that MPCT care reduces likelihood of incomplete RT. Therefore, the impact of MPCT care on symptom control should be investigated and objective referral criteria should be developed. PMID:25006507

  16. Palliative Care Improves Survival, Quality of Life in Advanced Lung Cancer | Division of Cancer Prevention

    Cancer.gov

    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. |

  17. ‘The ICECAP-SCM tells you more about what I’m going through’: A think-aloud study measuring quality of life among patients receiving supportive and palliative care

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Cara; Kinghorn, Philip; Orlando, Rosanna; Armour, Kathy; Perry, Rachel; Jones, Louise; Coast, Joanna

    2016-01-01

    Background: The ICECAP-Supportive Care Measure is a self-complete questionnaire developed to aid economic evaluation of supportive care interventions. Aim: To determine the feasibility of completing ICECAP–Supportive Care Measure alongside EQ-5D-5L and ICECAP-A (generic measures used in economic evaluation) among patients receiving hospice care, close persons and healthcare professionals. Design: Participants were asked to ‘think aloud’ while completing ICECAP-Supportive Care Measure and two other generic measures used in economic evaluation, EQ-5D-5L and ICECAP-A, and then participate in a semi-structured interview. From verbatim transcripts, five raters identified the frequency of errors in comprehension, retrieval, judgement and response. Qualitative data were analysed using constant comparison. Setting/participants: Eligible patients were identified from one UK hospice by a research nurse. Close persons and healthcare professionals were identified by the patient. In all, 72 semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients (n = 33), close persons (n = 22) and healthcare professionals (n = 17). Results: Patients and close persons reported that the ICECAP-Supportive Care Measure was most appropriate for measuring their quality of life. It appeared more meaningful, easier to complete and had fewest errors (3.9% among patients, 4.5% among close persons) compared to EQ-5D-5L (9.7% among patients, 5.5% among close persons). Healthcare professionals acknowledged the value of the ICECAP-Supportive Care Measure but had fewer errors in completing the EQ-5D-5L (3.5% versus 6.7%). They found it easier to complete because it focuses on observable health states. Conclusions: The ICECAP-Supportive Care Measure is feasible to use and perceived as appropriate for evaluating palliative care interventions. Healthcare professionals with limited knowledge of the patient who act as proxy completers may find the measure difficult to complete. PMID:26819326

  18. Integration of palliative care in the context of rapid response: a report from the Improving Palliative Care in the ICU advisory board.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-02-01

    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.

  19. Palliative care in end-stage kidney disease.

    PubMed

    Fassett, Robert G; Robertson, Iain K; Mace, Rose; Youl, Loren; Challenor, Sarah; Bull, Rosalind

    2011-01-01

    Patients with end-stage kidney disease have significantly increased morbidity and mortality. While greater attention has been focused on advanced care planning, end-of-life decisions, conservative therapy and withdrawal from dialysis these must be supported by adequate palliative care incorporating symptom control. With the increase in the elderly, with their inherent comorbidities, accepted onto dialysis, patients, their nephrologists, families and multidisciplinary teams, are often faced with end-of-life decisions and the provision of palliative care. While dialysis may offer a better quality and quantity of life compared with conservative management, this may not always be the case; hence the patient is entitled to be well-informed of all options and potential outcomes before embarking on such therapy. They should be assured of adequate symptom control and palliative care whichever option is selected. No randomized controlled trials have been conducted in this area and only a small number of observational studies provide guidance; thus predicting which patients will have poor outcomes is problematic. Those undertaking dialysis may benefit from being fully aware of their choices between active and conservative treatment should their functional status seriously deteriorate and this should be shared with caregivers. This clarifies treatment pathways and reduces the ambiguity surrounding decision making. If conservative therapy or withdrawal from dialysis is chosen, each should be supported by palliative care. The objective of this review is to summarize published studies and evidence-based guidelines, core curricula, position statements, standards and tools in palliative care in end-stage kidney disease. PMID:21175971

  20. Palliative care and prehospital emergency medicine: analysis of a case series.

    PubMed

    Carron, Pierre-Nicolas; Dami, Fabrice; Diawara, Fatoumata; Hurst, Samia; Hugli, Olivier

    2014-11-01

    Palliative care, which is intended to keep patients at home as long as possible, is increasingly proposed for patients who live at home, with their family, or in retirement homes. Although their condition is expected to have a lethal evolution, the patients-or more often their families or entourages-are sometimes confronted with sudden situations of respiratory distress, convulsions, hemorrhage, coma, anxiety, or pain. Prehospital emergency services are therefore often confronted with palliative care situations, situations in which medical teams are not skilled and therefore frequently feel awkward.We conducted a retrospective study about cases of palliative care situations that were managed by prehospital emergency physicians (EPs) over a period of 8 months in 2012, in the urban region of Lausanne in the State of Vaud, Switzerland.The prehospital EPs managed 1586 prehospital emergencies during the study period. We report 4 situations of respiratory distress or neurological disorders in advanced cancer patients, highlighting end-of-life and palliative care situations that may be encountered by prehospital emergency services.The similarity of the cases, the reasons leading to the involvement of prehospital EPs, and the ethical dilemma illustrated by these situations are discussed. These situations highlight the need for more formal education in palliative care for EPs and prehospital emergency teams, and the need to fully communicate the planning and implementation of palliative care with patients and patients' family members.

  1. [Development and prospects of hospice palliative care in Taiwan].

    PubMed

    Chao, Co-Shi Chantal

    2009-02-01

    Hospice palliative care is an approach to healthcare that integrates high technology and highly humanized care. Service, education, and policymaking are the three critical areas of focus in the development of this specialty of care. Under hospice palliative care, holistic, high quality services covering in-patient care, homecare, and shared care are provided for terminally ill patients and their families. Healthcare team members must be taught not only knowledge but also skills and attitudes that reflect their responsibilities and level of competence. General public education is important also. Regulations and relevant policies have been implemented by Department of Health (DOH) since 1995. The Natural Death Act was legislated in 2000. Members of Healthcare team concerned regarding the proper development of hospice palliative care in Taiwan have organized to, "do the right things and do things right." The future vision of hospice palliative care embraces: 1. Expanding services to other life threatening illness such as terminal liver, renal, respiratory and heart diseases; 2. Securing appropriate DOH supervision and funds; 3. Developing a care model appropriate to the needs of Taiwan's culture; 4. Expanding the limits of service models; 5. Integrating services and enhancing expertise among those charged with delivering services, conducting research, and education; 6. Integration into the long term care system and enhancing quality. PMID:19221994

  2. Palliative care for the terminally ill in America: the consideration of QALYs, costs, and ethical issues.

    PubMed

    Yang, Y Tony; Mahon, Margaret M

    2012-11-01

    The drive for cost-effective use of medical interventions has advantages, but can also be challenging in the context of end-of-life palliative treatments. A quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) provides a common currency to assess the extent of the benefits gained from a variety of interventions in terms of health-related quality of life and survival for the patient. However, since it is in the nature of end-of-life palliative care that the benefits it brings to its patients are of short duration, it fares poorly under a policy of QALY-maximization. Nevertheless, we argue that the goals of palliative care and QALY are not incompatible, and optimal integration of palliative care into the calculation of QALY may reveal a mechanism to modify considerations of how optimal quality of life can be achieved, even in the face of terminal illness. The use of QALYs in resource allocation means that palliative care will always compete with alternative uses of the same money. More research should be conducted to evaluate choices between palliative care and more aggressive therapies for the terminally ill. However, current limited data show that investing in palliative care makes more sense not only ethically, but also financially. PMID:22071573

  3. Smell and taste in palliative care: a systematic analysis of literature.

    PubMed

    Heckel, Maria; Stiel, Stephanie; Ostgathe, Christoph

    2015-02-01

    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.

  4. Caring for dying children: assessing the needs of the pediatric palliative care nurse.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Darla

    2009-01-01

    Pediatric palliative nursing care, both stressful and rewarding, requires coping skills, confidence, and other attributes for successful patient care and nursing practice. Through a thorough literature review, clinical workshops, direct observations in pediatric palliative care settings, and personal nursing experience in the neonatal intensive care, pediatric intensive care, and oncology wards, this author confirmed the necessity for studies to clarify the needs of dying pediatric patients and their families, as well as the needs of nurses who provide their care. This article briefly reviews the history and current status of pediatric palliative care, describes the experiences of nurses caring for dying children, explores the impact of providing palliative care on the hospital staff, and seeks to discover possible interventions by the advanced practice nurse to influence more positive patient care and nursing staff job satisfaction and retention.

  5. The use of palliative care to promote autonomy in decision making.

    PubMed

    Zalonis, Ruth; Slota, Margaret

    2014-12-01

    This article explores barriers to informed decision making in health care, and it proposes palliative care as one means of responding to the challenge of a widespread lack of autonomy in decision making. Through an exploration of research in the fields of autonomy and palliative care, the advantages of informed decision making and advance care planning by patients with advanced illness are discussed, and the implications for clinical practice and patient outcomes are described. Continuity, collaboration, and communication have a synergistic effect on autonomy. The expectation that the palliative care team will be in constant communication with the attending physician, nurses, and other specialists also promotes autonomous decision making. Patients who receive palliative care may have multiple advantages, including increased survival, improved quality of life, and opportunities for the exercise of autonomy.

  6. Development and evaluation of the feasibility and effects on staff, patients, and families of a new tool, the Psychosocial Assessment and Communication Evaluation (PACE), to improve communication and palliative care in intensive care and during clinical uncertainty

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background There are widespread concerns about communication and support for patients and families, especially when they face clinical uncertainty, a situation most marked in intensive care units (ICUs). Therefore, we aimed to develop and evaluate an interventional tool to improve communication and palliative care, using the ICU as an example of where this is difficult. Methods Our design was a phase I-II study following the Medical Research Council Guidance for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions and the (Methods of Researching End-of-life Care (MORECare) statement. In two ICUs, with over 1900 admissions annually, phase I modeled a new intervention comprising implementation training and an assessment tool. We conducted a literature review, qualitative interviews, and focus groups with 40 staff and 13 family members. This resulted in the new tool, the Psychosocial Assessment and Communication Evaluation (PACE). Phase II evaluated the feasibility and effects of PACE, using observation, record audit, and surveys of staff and family members. Qualitative data were analyzed using the framework approach. The statistical tests used on quantitative data were t-tests (for normally distributed characteristics), the χ2 or Fisher’s exact test (for non-normally distributed characteristics) and the Mann–Whitney U-test (for experience assessments) to compare the characteristics and experience for cases with and without PACE recorded. Results PACE provides individualized assessments of all patients entering the ICU. It is completed within 24 to 48 hours of admission, and covers five aspects (key relationships, social details and needs, patient preferences, communication and information status, and other concerns), followed by recording of an ongoing communication evaluation. Implementation is supported by a training program with specialist palliative care. A post-implementation survey of 95 ICU staff found that 89% rated PACE assessment as very or

  7. Intimate Partner Violence in an Outpatient Palliative Care Setting

    PubMed Central

    Wygant, Carmella; Bruera, Eduardo; Hui, David

    2013-01-01

    Although a few studies have evaluated intimate partner violence (IPV) in the oncology setting, to our knowledge no studies exist of IPV among palliative care patients. IPV may be exacerbated at the end of life because patients and their caregivers often experience significant stressors associated with physical, emotional, social, and financial burdens. We discuss IPV in the palliative care setting using the example of a patient with advanced cancer who experienced IPV. A better understanding and awareness of IPV at the end of life could help clinicians support and counsel patients and ameliorate the suffering caused by this “unspoken” trauma. We further discuss 1) the prevalence and indicators of IPV, 2) how to initiate conversations about IPV, 3) the resources available to clinicians, and 4) various management strategies. PMID:23948161

  8. Pain Management and Symptom-Oriented Drug Therapy in Palliative Care

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Carsten; Lang, Ute; Bükki, Johannes; Sittl, Reinhard; Ostgathe, Christoph

    2011-01-01

    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

  9. [The present and future of community/home-based palliative care in Taiwan].

    PubMed

    Ueng, Ruey-Shiuan; Hsu, Su-Hsuan; Shih, Chih-Yuan; Huang, Sheng-Jean

    2015-04-01

    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. PMID:25854944

  10. The role and organisation of community palliative specialist nursing teams in rural England.

    PubMed

    Leadbeater, Maria; Staton, Wendy

    2014-11-01

    This article describes a study that used a qualitative approach, purposive sampling and semi-structured telephone interviews conducted with specialist palliative care nurses from six rural community teams in England. The study investigated how services were organised and the issues of delivering specialist palliative nursing care in a rural area. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings showed many similarities in that the majority of patients in rural areas were not accessing hospice services and there was a greater reliance on care at home. However, the challenges in delivering care ranged from managing patient expectations, geographical distance, lack of technology to support remote working and education for the specialist palliative care teams. The study makes specific recommendations for rural community specialist palliative care teams.

  11. Attachment Theory and Spirituality: Two Threads Converging in Palliative Care?

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Jakob; Frick, Eckhard; Petersen, Yvonne; Mauer, Christine

    2013-01-01

    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

  12. Moral differences in deep continuous palliative sedation and euthanasia.

    PubMed

    Juth, Niklas; Lindblad, Anna; Lynöe, Niels; Sjöstrand, Manne; Helgesson, Gert

    2013-06-01

    In palliative care there is much debate about which end of life treatment strategies are legitimate and which are not. Some writers argue that there is an important moral dividing-line between palliative sedation and euthanasia, making the first acceptable and the latter not. We have questioned this. In a recent article, Lars Johan Materstvedt has argued that we are wrong on two accounts: first, that we fail to account properly for the moral difference between continuous deep palliative sedation at the end of life and euthanasia, and, second, that we fail to account properly for the difference between permanent loss of consciousness and death. Regarding the first objection, we argue that Materstvedt misses the point: we agree that there is a difference in terms of intentions between continuous deep palliative sedation and euthanasia, but we question whether this conceptual difference makes up for a moral difference. Materstvedt fails to show that it does. Regarding the second objection, we argue that if nothing else is at stake than the value of the patient's life, permanent unconsciousness and death are morally indifferent.

  13. Reality of evidence-based practice in palliative care

    PubMed Central

    Visser, Claire; Hadley, Gina; Wee, Bee

    2015-01-01

    There has been a paradigm shift in medicine away from tradition, anecdote and theoretical reasoning from the basic sciences towards evidence-based medicine (EBM). In palliative care however, statistically significant benefits may be marginal and may not be related to clinical meaningfulness. The typical treatment vs. placebo comparison necessitated by ‘gold standard’ randomised controlled trials (RCTs) is not necessarily applicable. The complex multimorbidity of end of life care involves considerations of the patient’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. In addition, the field of palliative care covers a heterogeneous group of chronic and incurable diseases no longer limited to cancer. Adequate sample sizes can be difficult to achieve, reducing the power of studies and high attrition rates can result in inadequate follow up periods. This review uses examples of the management of cancer-related fatigue and death rattle (noisy breathing) to demonstrate the current state of EBM in palliative care. The future of EBM in palliative care needs to be as diverse as the patients who ultimately derive benefit. Non-RCT methodologies of equivalent quality, validity and size conducted by collaborative research networks using a ‘mixed methods approach’ are likely to pose the correct clinical questions and derive evidence-based yet clinically relevant outcomes. PMID:26487964

  14. Geritalk: communication skills training for geriatric and palliative medicine fellows.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Amy S; Back, Anthony L; Arnold, Robert M; Goldberg, Gabrielle R; Lim, Betty B; Litrivis, Evgenia; Smith, Cardinale B; O'Neill, Lynn B

    2012-02-01

    Expert communication is essential to high-quality care for older patients with serious illness. Although the importance of communication skills is widely recognized, formal curricula for teaching communication skills to geriatric and palliative medicine fellows is often inadequate or unavailable. The current study drew upon the educational principles and format of an evidence-based, interactive teaching method to develop an intensive communication skills training course designed specifically to address the common communication challenges that geriatric and palliative medicine fellows face. The 2-day retreat, held away from the hospital environment, included large-group overview presentations, small-group communication skills practice, and development of future skills practice commitment. Faculty received in-depth training in small-group facilitation techniques before the course. Geriatric and palliative medicine fellows were recruited to participate in the course and 100% (n = 18) enrolled. Overall satisfaction with the course was very high (mean 4.8 on a 5-point scale). After the course, fellows reported an increase in self-assessed preparedness for specific communication challenges (mean increase 1.4 on 5-point scale, P < .001). Two months after the course, fellows reported a high level of sustained skills practice (mean 4.3 on 5-point scale). In sum, the intensive communication skills program, customized for the specific needs of geriatric and palliative medicine fellows, improved fellows' self-assessed preparedness for challenging communication tasks and provided a model for ongoing deliberate practice of communication skills.

  15. Attachment theory and spirituality: two threads converging in palliative care?

    PubMed

    Loetz, Cécile; Müller, Jakob; Frick, Eckhard; Petersen, Yvonne; Hvidt, Niels Christian; Mauer, Christine

    2013-01-01

    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.

  16. [Hospice palliative care is a universal value and the essence of nursing].

    PubMed

    Chao, Co-Shi Chantal

    2015-04-01

    This article uses four examples to illustrate the recent rise of hospice palliative care as a universal value. These examples include the story of Dame Cecily Saunders, the pioneer of the palliative care movement in the U.K.; the national healthcare plan currently promoted by United States' President Obama; a survey on the topic of quality of death in 40 countries conducted by the Lien Foundation (Singapore); and the story of the Hospice Movement in Taiwan. This article further describes how hospice palliative care has changed the healthcare culture and presents the World Health Organization's definition of palliative care and the implications of this definition. Additionally, this article identifies the common palliative-care mistakes that have been made by the general public and by healthcare workers. Healthcare professionals must acquire essential relevant knowledge and skills in order to ensure that hospice palliative care addresses the needs of terminally ill patients adequately. Finally, the author describes a novel approach to instilling proper palliative-care concepts and practices that is entitled Life, Peace, Care, and Honor (LPCH or the "3344" concept). PMID:25854942

  17. Effectiveness of eHealth Interventions and Information Needs in Palliative Care: A Systematic Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Ganzinger, Matthias; Perez-Lu, Jose; Knaup, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Background One of the key components in palliative care is communication. eHealth technologies can be an effective way to support communications among participants in the process of palliative care. However, it is unclear to what extent information technology has been established in this field. Objective Our goal was to systematically identify studies and analyze the effectiveness of eHealth interventions in palliative care and the information needs of people involved in the palliative care process. Methods We conducted a systematic literature search using PubMed, Embase, and LILACS according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We collected and analyzed quantitative and qualitative data regarding effectiveness of eHealth interventions and users’ information needs in palliative care. Results Our search returned a total of 240 articles, 17 of which met our inclusion criteria. We found no randomized controlled trial studying the effects of eHealth interventions in palliative care. Studies tended to be observational, noncontrolled studies, and a few quasi-experimental studies. Overall there was great heterogeneity in the types of interventions and outcome assessments; some studies reported some improvement on quality of care, documentation effort, cost, and communications. The most frequently reported information need concerned pain management. Conclusions There is limited evidence around the effectiveness of eHealth interventions for palliative care patients, caregivers, and health care professionals. Focused research on information needs and high-quality clinical trials to assess their effectiveness are needed. PMID:24610324

  18. Palliative care for Parkinson's disease: has the time come?

    PubMed

    Miyasaki, Janis M; Kluger, Benzi

    2015-05-01

    Although Parkinson's disease (PD) is traditionally viewed as a movement disorder which affects quality of life, recent literature has revealed an increased mortality, a high burden of difficult-to-manage non-motor symptoms (e.g., pain, fatigue), high caregiver distress, and a high utilization of medical services especially in the last year of life. Current medical systems have yet to adequately respond to this mounting evidence through the adoption of palliative care practices and through the provision of palliative care services to both PD patients and to affected families. This holistic, interdisciplinary approach to practice would enhance care delivery, identify and address unmet needs, and avoid interventions and hospitalizations especially in the last months of life. As we approach an era of increased life expectancy, increasing comorbidities among patients, and escalating healthcare costs, physicians must be proactive in focusing on quality of life, reducing medical interventions, and respecting patient autonomy.

  19. Hybrid Palliation for Ductal-Dependent Systemic Circulation.

    PubMed

    Evans, William N; Galindo, Alvaro; Rothman, Abraham; Ciccolo, Michael L; Carrillo, Sergio A; Acherman, Ruben J; Mayman, Gary A; Cass, Kathleen A; Kip, Katrinka T; Luna, Carlos F; Ludwick, Joseph M; Rollins, Robert C; Castillo, William J; Alexander, John A; Restrepo, Humberto

    2016-06-01

    We reviewed our hybrid palliation experience for 91 neonates, with ductal-dependent systemic circulation, born between August 2007 and October 2015. For analysis, we stratified the 91 patients by a risk factor (RF) score and divided them into three groups: (1) high-risk two-functional ventricles (2V) median RF score of 3 (N = 20); (2) low-risk one-functional ventricle (1V) RF score 0-1 (N = 32); and (3) high-risk 1V RF score ≥2 (N = 39). Midterm survival (median 4 years) by group was: (1) 95 %, (2) 91 %, and (3) 15 %, (p = 0.001). In conclusion, hybrid palliation was associated with excellent midterm results for high-risk 2V and low-risk 1V patients with ductal-dependent systemic circulation. In contrast, high-risk 1V patients had significantly worse outcomes.

  20. Palliative practice in Indian health.

    PubMed

    Domer, Timothy; Kaur, Judith S

    2008-01-01

    Palliative care and end-of-life services are poorly available yet critically needed among AI/AN people. Anumber of formal programs are in place that can serve asmodels for future programs. Formal training in palliative care for IHS providers was started in 2001 and continues on annual basis. The involvement of groups such as the NCI should help propel these efforts forward more quickly. It is essential that all of these efforts bring services that are both culturally relevant and sensitive to people who often face desperate situations with limited resources, options and hope. To paraphrase Robert Frost, the journey has started but we have miles to go before we sleep. PMID:18642617

  1. Palliative care from a medical informatics perspective in Chile, Germany, and Peru.

    PubMed

    Capurro, Daniel; Ganzinger, Matthias; Pérez-Lu, José E

    2013-01-01

    This work explores a) the use of e-health systems in the context of palliative care and b) the information needs of patients, care givers and healthcare professionals in palliative care. To achieve this we conducted a systematic literature review and interviewed health professionals in Germany, Peru, and Chile. All countries have in common that specific e-health systems are rarely used in this context and the presence of a gradient of available care between rural and urban areas.

  2. Surgical palliation of gastric outlet obstruction in advanced malignancy.

    PubMed

    Potz, Brittany A; Miner, Thomas J

    2016-08-27

    Gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) is a common problem associated with advanced malignancies of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Palliative treatment of patients' symptoms who present with GOO is an important aspect of their care. Surgical palliation of malignancy is defined as a procedure performed with the intention of relieving symptoms caused by an advanced malignancy or improving quality of life. Palliative treatment for GOO includes operative (open and laparoscopic gastrojejunostomy) and non-operative (endoscopic stenting) options. The performance status and medical condition of the patient, the extent of the cancer, the patients prognosis, the availability of a curative procedure, the natural history of symptoms of the disease (primary and secondary), the durability of the procedure, and the quality of life and life expectancy of the patient should always be considered when choosing treatment for any patient with advanced malignancy. Gastrojejunostomy appears to be associated with better long term symptom relief while stenting appears to be associated with lower immediate procedure related morbidity. PMID:27648158

  3. Colorectal Stenting: An Effective Therapy for Preoperative and Palliative Treatment

    SciTech Connect

    Jost, Rahel S. Jost, Res; Schoch, Erich; Brunner, Brigit; Decurtins, Marco; Zollikofer, Christoph L.

    2007-06-15

    Purpose. To demonstrate the effectiveness of preoperative and palliative colorectal stent placement in acute colonic obstruction. Methods. Sixty-seven consecutive patients (mean age 67.3 years, range 25-93 years) with clinical and radiological signs of colonic obstruction were treated: 45 (67%) preoperatively and 22 (33%) with a palliative intent. In 59 patients (88%) the obstruction was malignant, while in 8 (12%) it was benign. A total of 73 enteric Wallstents were implanted under combined fluoroscopic/endoscopic guidance. Results. Forty-five patients were treated preoperatively with a technical success rate of 84%, a clinical success rate of 83%, and a complication rate of 16%. Of the 38 patients who were successfully stented preoperatively, 36 (95%) underwent surgery 2-22 days (mean 7.2 days) after stent insertion. The improved general condition and adequate bowel cleansing allowed single-stage tumor resection and primary end-to-end anastomosis without complications in 31 cases (86% of all operations), while only 5 patients had colostomies. Stent placement was used as the final palliative treatment in 22 patients. The technical success rate was 95%, the clinical success rate 72%, and the complication rate relatively high at 67%, caused by reocclusion in most cases. After noninvasive secondary interventions (e.g., tube placement, second stenting, balloon dilatation) the secondary patency of stents was 71% and mean reported survival time after stent insertion was 92 days (range 10-285 days). Conclusion. Preoperative stent placement in acute colonic obstruction is minimally invasive and allows an elective one-stage surgery in most cases. Stent placement also proved a valuable alternative to avoid colostomy in palliation.

  4. Paediatric Palliative Care: Theory to Practice

    PubMed Central

    Muckaden, Maryann; Dighe, Manjiri; Balaji, PD; Dhiliwal, Sunil; Tilve, Prajakta; Jadhav, Sunita; Goswami, Savita

    2011-01-01

    Paediatric palliative care is a holistic approach aimed at addressing the complex issues related to the care of children and families facing chronic life limiting illnesses. The needs of children are unique and often quite different from those of adults receiving palliative care. This review article outlines some of the salient features of paediatric palliative care which are relevant to all professionals caring for children with life limiting illnesses in their practice. PMID:21811373

  5. Malignant biliary obstruction: From palliation to treatment.

    PubMed

    Boulay, Brian R; Birg, Aleksandr

    2016-06-15

    Malignant obstruction of the bile duct from cholangiocarcinoma, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, or other tumors is a common problem which may cause debilitating symptoms and increase the risk of subsequent surgery. The optimal treatment - including the decision whether to treat prior to resection - depends on the type of malignancy, as well as the stage of disease. Preoperative biliary drainage is generally discouraged due to the risk of infectious complications, though some situations may benefit. Patients who require neoadjuvant therapy will require decompression for the prolonged period until attempted surgical cure. For pancreatic cancer patients, self-expanding metallic stents are superior to plastic stents for achieving lasting decompression without stent occlusion. For cholangiocarcinoma patients, treatment with percutaneous methods or nasobiliary drainage may be superior to endoscopic stent placement, with less risk of infectious complications or failure. For patients of either malignancy who have advanced disease with palliative goals only, the choice of stent for endoscopic decompression depends on estimated survival, with plastic stents favored for survival of < 4 mo. New endoscopic techniques may actually extend stent patency and patient survival for these patients by achieving local control of the obstructing tumor. Both photodynamic therapy and radiofrequency ablation may play a role in extending survival of patients with malignant biliary obstruction.

  6. Malignant biliary obstruction: From palliation to treatment.

    PubMed

    Boulay, Brian R; Birg, Aleksandr

    2016-06-15

    Malignant obstruction of the bile duct from cholangiocarcinoma, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, or other tumors is a common problem which may cause debilitating symptoms and increase the risk of subsequent surgery. The optimal treatment - including the decision whether to treat prior to resection - depends on the type of malignancy, as well as the stage of disease. Preoperative biliary drainage is generally discouraged due to the risk of infectious complications, though some situations may benefit. Patients who require neoadjuvant therapy will require decompression for the prolonged period until attempted surgical cure. For pancreatic cancer patients, self-expanding metallic stents are superior to plastic stents for achieving lasting decompression without stent occlusion. For cholangiocarcinoma patients, treatment with percutaneous methods or nasobiliary drainage may be superior to endoscopic stent placement, with less risk of infectious complications or failure. For patients of either malignancy who have advanced disease with palliative goals only, the choice of stent for endoscopic decompression depends on estimated survival, with plastic stents favored for survival of < 4 mo. New endoscopic techniques may actually extend stent patency and patient survival for these patients by achieving local control of the obstructing tumor. Both photodynamic therapy and radiofrequency ablation may play a role in extending survival of patients with malignant biliary obstruction. PMID:27326319

  7. The global state of palliative care-progress and challenges in cancer care.

    PubMed

    Reville, Barbara; Foxwell, Anessa M

    2014-07-01

    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. PMID:25841689

  8. Understanding the challenges of palliative care in everyday clinical practice: an example from a COPD action research project.

    PubMed

    Hynes, Geralyn; Kavanagh, Fiona; Hogan, Christine; Ryan, Kitty; Rogers, Linda; Brosnan, Jenny; Coghlan, David

    2015-09-01

    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. PMID:25514830

  9. Hospice and palliation in the English-speaking Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Macpherson, Cheryl Cox; Chiochankitmun, Nina; Akpinar-Elci, Muge

    2014-07-01

    This article presents empirical data on the limited availability of hospice and palliative care to the 6 million people of the English-speaking Caribbean. Ten of the 13 nations therein responded to a survey and reported employing a total of 6 hospice or palliative specialists, and having a total of 15 related facilities. The evolving socioeconomic and cultural context in these nations bears on the availability of such care, and on the willingness to report, assess, and prioritize pain, and to prescribe opiates for pain. Socioeconomics and culture also impinge on what medications and modalities of care are routinely available for pain or other conditions and can challenge professionalism, empathy, and responsiveness to patients' unrelieved pain. Although all respondents report having a protocol for pain management, hospice, or end-of-life care, their annual medical use of opiates is well below the global mean. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), which monitors such use, encourages Caribbean and other low- and middle-income countries to increase their use of opiates to treat pain, and to overcome both unfounded fears of addiction and overly restrictive interpretation of related laws and regulations. Contextual considerations like those described here are important to the success of policies and capacity-building programs aiming to increase access to hospice and palliation, and perhaps to improving other aspects of health and healthcare. Exploring and responding to the realities of socioeconomic and cultural conditions will enhance public and policy dialogue and improve the design of interventions to increase access to palliative and hospice care. Improving access to palliative and hospice care in the Caribbean demonstrates beneficence and helps to fulfill human rights conventions.

  10. Experience in Strategic Networking to Promote Palliative Care in a Clinical Academic Setting in India

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Shoba; Tarey, SD; Barathi, B; Mary, Thiophin Regina; Mathew, Lovely; Daniel, Sudha Pauline

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Combined biliary and duodenal stenting for palliation of pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Profili, S; Feo, C F; Meloni, G B; Strusi, G; Cossu, M L; Canalis, G C

    2003-10-01

    The aim of this case report was to evaluate the usefulness of combined biliary and duodenal stenting in the palliation of pancreatic cancer. We report a series of 4 consecutive patients (2 men and 2 women, mean age 58.5 years, range 38-77 years) who underwent combined biliary and duodenal stenting in our department between March 2000 and April 2001. All patients had cancer of the head of the pancreas causing stricture of the common bile duct and second portion of the duodenum. Biliary and duodenal stents were successfully positioned, with relief of symptoms in all cases. No early complications were observed, except for a transient increase in serum lipase and amylase in one case. Mean follow-up was 7.5 months (range 5-14 months). One patient presenting recurrence of vomiting after 4 months because of tumour overgrowth at the distal edge of the prosthesis was successfully treated by insertion of a partially overlapping second coaxial stent. Combined biliary and duodenal stenting for the palliation of pancreatic cancer was performed safely and successfully. Stents allowed effective re-canalization of the biliary tract and duodenum, relieving both jaundice and vomiting. This procedure should be considered as an alternative to palliative surgery, especially in critically ill patients.

  12. Surgical palliation of gastric outlet obstruction in advanced malignancy

    PubMed Central

    Potz, Brittany A; Miner, Thomas J

    2016-01-01

    Gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) is a common problem associated with advanced malignancies of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Palliative treatment of patients’ symptoms who present with GOO is an important aspect of their care. Surgical palliation of malignancy is defined as a procedure performed with the intention of relieving symptoms caused by an advanced malignancy or improving quality of life. Palliative treatment for GOO includes operative (open and laparoscopic gastrojejunostomy) and non-operative (endoscopic stenting) options. The performance status and medical condition of the patient, the extent of the cancer, the patients prognosis, the availability of a curative procedure, the natural history of symptoms of the disease (primary and secondary), the durability of the procedure, and the quality of life and life expectancy of the patient should always be considered when choosing treatment for any patient with advanced malignancy. Gastrojejunostomy appears to be associated with better long term symptom relief while stenting appears to be associated with lower immediate procedure related morbidity. PMID:27648158

  13. 'Busyness' and the preclusion of quality palliative district nursing care.

    PubMed

    Nagington, Maurice; Luker, Karen; Walshe, Catherine

    2013-12-01

    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.

  14. Effectiveness of palliative care for non-small cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Li, Huiqin; Li, Jianing

    2016-01-01

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Despite increases in the survival rate for various types of cancer over the past several decades, lung cancer remains an overwhelmingly lethal disease and the majority of patients succumb to the disease in a short period of time. A number of treatment options are available depending on the stage of lung cancer. The present review focused on palliative care and is associated with stage IIIB and IV of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Stage IIIB disease is not amenable to curative treatment and for stage IV disease, treatment is palliative in nature, with a focus on increasing survival time, controlling symptoms and improving or maintaining quality of life. Palliative treatment options include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and supportive care. The present review examines the important aspects of palliative therapy with regard to NSCLC.

  15. Palliative care communication curriculum: what can students learn from an unfolding case?

    PubMed

    Goldsmith, Joy; Wittenberg-Lyles, Elaine; Shaunfield, Sara; Sanchez-Reilly, Sandra

    2011-06-01

    Limited attention to palliative care communication training is offered to medical students. In this work, we pursued unfolding case responses and what they indicated about student tendencies to use palliative care communication as well as what medical students can learn from their own reflective practice about palliative care. Findings showed an overwhelming trend for students to avoid palliative care communication or inclusion of topics including advance directives, place of care, family support, and dying. Instead, students relied heavily on the SPIKES protocol, communication that was strategically vague and ambiguous, and discussions that centered on specialty care and referral. In reflecting on their own case study responses, students noted an absence of direct communication about prognosis, no coordination of care, late hospice entry, and patient pain resulting from communication inefficacies. Future research should focus on the development of formal and adaptive curriculum structures to address these communication needs.

  16. Palliative care communication curriculum: what can students learn from an unfolding case?

    PubMed

    Goldsmith, Joy; Wittenberg-Lyles, Elaine; Shaunfield, Sara; Sanchez-Reilly, Sandra

    2011-06-01

    Limited attention to palliative care communication training is offered to medical students. In this work, we pursued unfolding case responses and what they indicated about student tendencies to use palliative care communication as well as what medical students can learn from their own reflective practice about palliative care. Findings showed an overwhelming trend for students to avoid palliative care communication or inclusion of topics including advance directives, place of care, family support, and dying. Instead, students relied heavily on the SPIKES protocol, communication that was strategically vague and ambiguous, and discussions that centered on specialty care and referral. In reflecting on their own case study responses, students noted an absence of direct communication about prognosis, no coordination of care, late hospice entry, and patient pain resulting from communication inefficacies. Future research should focus on the development of formal and adaptive curriculum structures to address these communication needs. PMID:21071434

  17. [Palliative care network, from coordination towards the integration of players].

    PubMed

    Prudent, Joëlle

    2015-11-01

    The ageing of the population and increase in progressive chronic pathologies constitute a major challenge for society. In parallel, the array of care systems and the partitioning between the different players pose organisational and conceptual difficulties. In the face of this, a palliative care network can seize the opportunity to develop its missions to improve the care pathway for patients and make it easier for them to remain at home.

  18. The role of radiation therapy in the palliation of gastrointestinal malignancies.

    PubMed

    Howell, David D

    2006-03-01

    Radiation therapy can provide significant palliation in many patients who have unresectable, metastatic, or incurable malignancies of the gastrointestinal tract and is a modality that can be used in many clinical situations. In considering radiation therapy, the radiation oncologist should be mindful of the actual expectation of palliation, the potential degree of relief of symptoms, and the time involved for the patient and those involved in his or her care and transport. When a course of radiation is planned, the dose per fraction, total number of fractions, and total dose delivered should all be taken into account. The use of concurrent systemic chemotherapy needs to be reviewed with respect to chances for augmentation of palliation as well as morbidity. Although long-term disease control is often not achieved, there are reasonable expectations for control of symptoms of bleeding and pain. The side effects associated with radiation are generally well tolerated and, if they occur, usually can be controlled with conservative measures. Significant late effects, although uncommon, are generally a function of the volume of the organ treated, the total dose used, and whether systemic therapy is used in conjunction with radiation. When considering the options for palliation in these situations, multidisciplinary collaboration among all those involved in a patient's care, surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, primary care provider, and palliative care specialist, is ideal to address each situation in each patient, for whom there may be a variety of options for palliative treatment. Generally, combinations of interventions are needed to optimize the palliation of a patient's various problems. The goal of providing relief to the patient in the least amount of time with the least amount of morbidity and the greatest expectation for durability of response is paramount.

  19. Palliative transhepatic biliary drainage and enteral nutrition.

    PubMed

    Lerch, M M; Moser, C; Stallmach, A; von Blohn, G; Zeitz, M

    1999-12-01

    Simultaneous intestinal and biliary obstruction is a rare but agonizing complication of metastatic abdominal cancer. Although endoscopic procedures exist that relieve jaundice or restore enteral nutrition, they can be impossible to perform for technical or anatomical reasons. We propose a palliative approach for these patients that includes transcutaneous common bile duct drainage, progressive dilation of the transhepatic channel over 1 wk, and, finally, insertion of a permanent silicon catheter that drains bile into the duodenum and is combined with an enteral feeding line. We report three patients whose metastatic abdominal tumors had led to simultaneous jaundice and gastric outlet obstruction, neither of which could be treated endoscopically. In all patients, the transcutaneous bile drainage catheter combined with the enteral feeding line was inserted and tumor symptoms resolved rapidly. As a result, the patients chose to return to home care with enteral nutrition and pain medication. The creation of a transhepatic access for simultaneous enteral bile drainage and nutrition is a technically simple procedure that causes little discomfort to a terminally ill patient. It relieves the symptoms of tumor obstruction, and the option of enteral nutrition and medication can obviate the need for intravenous infusions.

  20. [Palliative Medicine as a New Career Path for Anesthesiologists: Preface and Comments].

    PubMed

    Kawamata, Mikito

    2016-03-01

    The aim of Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists is to provide safe and comfortable medical care through biological management in emergency and intensive care using pain management and palliative medical care to deal with disease and surgery. Thus, in addition to the fields of intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, anesthesiologists have been expected to play an important role in the field of palliative medicine. Recently, anesthesiologists have been becoming professors and heads in the field of palliative medicine at many university hospitals in Japan. This is because anesthesiologists can provide care for the patient to prevent pain and various distress symptoms they would experience. Palliative care is provided by a team of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who work together with the primary care physician and referred specialists to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage of a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment. Palliative care is also appropriate for patients from the point of diagnosing a serious illness--not just for the end of life. Anesthesiologists should show more leadership in the field of such palliative medicine in Japan. PMID:27097500

  1. Improving the evidence base in palliative care to inform practice and policy: thinking outside the box.

    PubMed

    Aoun, Samar M; Nekolaichuk, Cheryl

    2014-12-01

    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. PMID:24727305

  2. Integration of legal aspects and human rights approach in palliative care delivery-the Nyeri Hospice model.

    PubMed

    Musyoki, David; Gichohi, Sarafina; Ritho, Johnson; Ali, Zipporah; Kinyanjui, Asaph; Muinga, Esther

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27563351

  3. Integration of legal aspects and human rights approach in palliative care delivery—the Nyeri Hospice model

    PubMed Central

    Musyoki, David; Gichohi, Sarafina; Ritho, Johnson; Ali, Zipporah; Kinyanjui, Asaph; Muinga, Esther

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27563351

  4. Palliative treatment in "peri"-pancreatic carcinoma: stenting or surgical therapy?

    PubMed

    van Heek, N T; van Geenen, R C I; Busch, O R C; Gouma, D J

    2002-01-01

    Mostly, patients with peri-pancreatic cancer (including pancreatic, ampullary and distal bile duct tumors) are diagnosed in a stage in which curative resection is not possible. The median survival rate of patients with non resectable peri-pancreatic cancer varies between 6 and 12 months. During this period palliative treatment is necessary, which should focus on major symptoms as obstructive jaundice, duodenal obstruction and pain. Controversy exists about how to provide optimal palliative treatment. Both surgical and non surgical palliative procedures relief obstructive jaundice. From early retrospective and prospective randomized studies it is known that in the early phase after treatment, more complications are found after surgical palliation, whereas in the late phase more complications are seen after endoscopic palliation. Because more recent studies clearly showed improved results after surgical palliation, current recommendations probably should be that patients with a suspected poor short-term survival (< 6 months) should be offered non surgical palliative therapy and those with a longer life expectancy may best be treated with bypass surgery. Unfortunately, valid criteria for estimating the remaining survival time are not available, except for the presence of metastases. The use of a prognostic score chart might assist in estimating the prognosis. Literature does not give sufficient information to make a well deliberated (evidence based) selection between the different types of surgical bypasses, but a choledochojejunostomy is generally preferred. After stenting, a correlation is found between survival and the development of duodenal obstruction, and between 9% and 21% of the patients who underwent a surgical biliary bypass without a prophylactic gastric bypass, will develop gastric outlet obstruction. Therefore, in patients with a relatively good prognosis it is recommended to perform routinely a double--biliary and gastric--bypass. Pain is a frequent

  5. Good enough death: autonomy and choice in Australian palliative care.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Beverley

    2004-03-01

    This paper draws upon Australian fieldwork to trace the changing notions of a good death held by hospice and palliative care practitioners. Palliative care practitioners search for an ideology to inform their practice within the context of a complex society for which there is no one good death. Social demographics, the multicultural nature of society and institutional constraints frame the experience of dying in complex ways, while contemporary social responses to dying reflect the uncertainties held by many Australians. Despite the fragmentation evident within contemporary Australian society, the hospice movement in Australia and in other Western contexts has sought to reintroduce a ritual for dying. The good death ideology of the original hospice movement proposed a manner of dying in which open communication and acceptance of death were actively encouraged. The hospice model of a good death, however, has become increasingly inappropriate in the current climate of patient autonomy and consumer choice. The practice of palliative care, a holistic form of care for dying people, which follows the individualistic ethic of choice, has emerged from and replaced the original hospice movement. Consequently, the good death of the original hospice movement has been abandoned in favour of a philosophy of a 'good enough' death. However, what may appear a compromise informed by ethical practice masks a return to routine medical practices and a hierarchy of care which prioritises the physical management of symptoms. It appears that while palliative care practitioners may often fail in their facilitation of a good death for their patients, they can be proactive in alleviating their patients' pain and physical discomfort.

  6. Surgical palliative care in Haiti.

    PubMed

    Huffman, Joan L

    2012-03-01

    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.

  7. Surgical palliative care in Haiti.

    PubMed

    Huffman, Joan L

    2011-04-01

    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.

  8. Trends in Canadian hospital standardised mortality ratios and palliative care coding 2004–2010: a retrospective database analysis

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Christopher AKY; Nguyen, Geoffrey C; Wilcox, M Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    Background The hospital standardised mortality ratio (HSMR), anchored at an average score of 100, is a controversial macromeasure of hospital quality. The measure may be dependent on differences in patient coding, particularly since cases labelled as palliative are typically excluded. Objective To determine whether palliative coding in Canada has changed since the 2007 national introduction of publicly released HSMRs, and how such changes may have affected results. Design Retrospective database analysis. Setting Inpatients in Canadian hospitals from April 2004 to March 2010. Patients 12 593 329 hospital discharges recorded in the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) Discharge Abstract Database from April 2004 to March 2010. Measurements Crude mortality and palliative care coding rates. HSMRs calculated with the same methodology as CIHI. A derived hospital standardised palliative ratio (HSPR) adjusted to a baseline average of 100 in 2004–2005. Recalculated HSMRs that included palliative cases under varying scenarios. Results Crude mortality and palliative care coding rates have been increasing over time (p<0.001), in keeping with the nation's advancing overall morbidity. HSMRs in 2008–2010 were significantly lower than in 2004–2006 by 8.55 points (p<0.001). The corresponding HSPR rises dramatically between these two time periods by 48.83 points (p<0.001). Under various HSMR scenarios that included palliative cases, the HSMR would have at most decreased by 6.35 points, and may have even increased slightly. Limitations Inability to calculate a definitively comparable HSMR that include palliative cases and to account for closely timed changes in national palliative care coding guidelines. Conclusions Palliative coding rates in Canadian hospitals have increased dramatically since the public release of HSMR results. This change may have partially contributed to the observed national decline in HSMR. PMID:23131397

  9. Opioid risk assessment in palliative medicine.

    PubMed

    Dale, Rebecca; Edwards, Jeremy; Ballantyne, Jane

    2016-03-01

    Pain management with opioids is an integral part of palliative medicine. As the doses and durations of opioid therapy increase, the inherent risks of opioid therapy rise. Although opioids are effective analgesics, they bring with them complex medical and psychological side effects. Aberrant behavior is dangerous and can be difficult to identify as it results in a splitting in the goals of treatment between the patient and providers. One effective strategy in preventing that situation is through the early identification of at-risk patients. There are several tools that can help identify patients at higher risk of addiction and aberrant behaviors during opioid therapy. Structured use of these tools in conjunction with the clinic exam, regular follow-up visits, and lab testing can further reduce patient risk and improve success in opioid therapy. This article will review the background behind a structured strategy for opioid risk assessment using the Opioid Risk Tool, SOAPP-R, and DIRE tools. In addition, example aberrant behaviors and follow-up strategies will be reviewed. It will be demonstrated that careful screening and follow-up allow risk factors to be recognized and addressed early. PMID:27058865

  10. Weaving interdisciplinary and discipline-specific content into palliative care education: one successful model for teaching end-of-life care.

    PubMed

    Supiano, Katherine P

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23977797

  11. Trappings of technology: casting palliative care nursing as legal relations.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Ann-Claire

    2012-12-01

    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.

  12. Barriers to using palliative care: insight into African American culture.

    PubMed

    Drisdom, Sheronda

    2013-08-01

    As the hospice care setting becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, attending to the different conditions and needs of various groups is essential to providing optimal care. African Americans make up only a small percentage of hospice users in the United States. This article highlights barriers associated with the underenrollment of African Americans into hospice and palliative care programs. A thorough analysis of the literature was conducted to define hospice and palliative care and assess circumstances that impact the use of hospice services by African Americans. Many African Americans are not choosing hospice care because of cultural issues or knowledge deficits, whether through lack of communication or low literacy. Healthcare providers can begin by familiarizing themselves with hospice organizations and developing and putting into practice strategies to communicate with and educate patients and families about hospice care in a culturally sensitive manner. PMID:23899976

  13. The role and significance of nurses in managing transitions to palliative care: a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    Kirby, Emma; Broom, Alex; Good, Phillip

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Nurses are generally present, and often influential, in supporting patient and family acceptance of medical futility and in assisting doctors in negotiating referral to palliative care. Yet the specificities of the nursing role and how nurses may contribute to timely and effective referrals is not well understood. This study aimed to systematically explore hospital-based nurses’ accounts of the transition to palliative care, and the potential role of nurses in facilitating more effective palliative care transitions. Design Qualitative study using semistructured interviews. Setting Two health services with public as well as private clinical environments in a major metropolitan area of Australia. Participants Hospital-based nurses (n=20) who regularly work with patients at the point of referral and in managing transitions to palliative care. Results Four significant themes emerged from thematic analysis. These include: (1) professional dynamics and the roles played by nurses in initiating the transition to palliative care; (2) the value of nurses’ informal interactions in timely and effective transitions; (3) the emerging challenge of managing task-oriented nursing versus intense emotional nursing work at the point of medical futility and (4) the emotional burden experienced by nurses within this clinical context. Nurses self-reported occupying critical albeit complex roles in the management of medical futility and the transition to palliative care. They reported experiencing significant emotional burden in balancing interpersonal and interprofessional relationships during this time. Conclusions The results suggest that nurses may be utilised in a more formalised and systematic fashion in the context of managing medical futility and the need to topicalise the transition, with the focus shifted away from medical referrals towards more team-based and patient-centred timely transitions. Further research focused on the experiences of doctors, allied health

  14. Cost Savings from Palliative Care Teams and Guidance for a Financially Viable Palliative Care Program

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Ian M; Robinson, Chessie; Huq, Sakib; Philastre, Martha; Fine, Robert L

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To quantify the cost savings of palliative care (PC) and identify differences in savings according to team structure, patient diagnosis, and timing of consult. Data Sources Hospital administrative records on all inpatient stays at five hospital campuses from January 2009 through June 2012. Study Design The analysis matched PC patients to non-PC patients (separately by discharge status) using propensity score methods. Weighted generalized linear model regressions of hospital costs were estimated for the matched groups. Data Collection Data were restricted to patients at least 18 years old with inpatient stays of between 7 and 30 days. Variables available included patient demographics, primary and secondary diagnoses, hospital costs incurred for the inpatient stay, and when/if the patient had a PC consult. Principal Findings We found overall cost savings from PC of $3,426 per patient for those dying in the hospital. No significant cost savings were found for patients discharged alive; however, significant cost savings for patients discharged alive could be achieved for certain diagnoses, PC team structures, or if consults occurred within 10 days of admission. Conclusions Appropriately selected and timed PC consults with physician and RN involvement can help ensure a financially viable PC program via cost savings to the hospital. PMID:25040226

  15. Influence of the treatment schedule on the physicians’ decisions to refer bone metastases patients for palliative radiotherapy: a questionnaire survey of physicians in various specialties

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Tetsuo; Toya, Ryo; Semba, Akiko; Matsuyama, Tomohiko; Oya, Natsuo

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT We investigated whether the treatment schedule influences physicians’ decisions to refer their patients for radiotherapy. We presented a questionnaire to 104 physicians in various specialties at three hospitals. It included three hypothetical patients with uncomplicated painful bone metastasis: patients with an expected life span of one year (case 1), 6 months (case 2), and 2 months (case 3). The physicians were asked whether they would refer their patients for radiotherapy when a radiation oncologist presented three different treatment schedules: a short (8 Gy/1 fraction/1 day)-, a medium (20 Gy/5 fractions/1 week)-, and a long (30 Gy/10 fractions/2 weeks) schedule. We used Cochran’s Q-test to compare the percentage of physicians across the three schedules and a mixed-effect logistic model to identify predictors of the selection of only the one-day schedule. Of the 104 physicians, 68 (65%) responded. Of these, 37 (54%), 27 (40%), and 26 (38%) chose to refer patients for radiotherapy when the short-, medium-, and long schedules, respectively, were proposed in case 1 (p = 0.14). These numbers were 44 (65%), 29 (43%), and 15 (22%) for case 2 (p < 0.001), and 59 (87%), 12 (18%), and 1 (1%) for case 3 (p < 0.001). Hypothetical patient and the physicians’ years of practice and perspective regarding side effects were independently predictive of the selection of only the one-day schedule. In conclusion, the treatment schedule influenced the physicians’ decisions to refer patients for radiotherapy. PMID:27578911

  16. Endoscopic palliation for pancreatic cancer with expandable metal stents.

    PubMed

    Spitz, J D; Arregui, M E

    2000-05-01

    Pancreatic cancer is generally not amenable to curative resection. Consequently, therapeutic efforts for these patients are most commonly directed at palliation of symptoms. Historically, surgery has been considered the most effective method of providing relief for biliary and/or enteric obstruction. However, less invasive methods have become available that can provide effective relief of jaundice and duodenal obstruction. Surgeons should still play an integral role in the management of these patients. We present a case report in which self-expanding metallic stents were used to relieve obstruction of the bile duct and duodenum in a patient with unresectable pancreatic cancer.

  17. Integrated oncology and palliative care: five years experience at the National Cancer Institute of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Allende-Pérez, Silvia; Verástegui-Avilés, Emma; Mohar-Betancourt, Alejandro; Meneses-García, Abelardo; Herrera-Gómez, Angel

    2016-04-01

    Under the national plan for addressing cancer, prevention and detection play important roles. However, the cost of treatments and late diagnosis represent a significant burden on health services. At the National Cancer Institute, more than half of patients present with tumors in advanced stages, and approximately 10% of patients seen for the first time exhibit terminal-stage malignancies, where there are no feasible cancer treatment options, and the patients are instead admitted to the hospital exclusively for palliative symptomatic management. In 2010, the National Cancer Plan began implementing a model of integrative management of palliative care in oncology that has gradually come to include symptomatic palliative care, involving ambulatory, distant and hospitalized management of patients with cancer, in its final stages and, more recently, in earlier stages. PMID:27557392

  18. Norwegian nurses' thoughts and feelings regarding the ethics of palliative sedation.

    PubMed

    Venke Gran, Siv; Miller, Jean

    2008-11-01

    The purpose of this descriptive study was to explore whether or not nurses viewed deep palliative sedation as an ethical problem; and, if so, why they felt it posed a problem for them. An exploratory descriptive design with quantitative and qualitative sections was used. A questionnaire, consisting of open- and closed-ended questions, was answered by a sample of 73 nurses employed in three settings in Norway. The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. The findings indicated that 88% of the respondents had provided care for patients with great suffering; 78% had provided care for patients who received palliative sedation; and 63% felt that deep palliative sedation posed ethical problems. The respondents felt it was ethically difficult when patients were not involved in the decision, when families had continued needs to communicate with their loved ones, and when nurses felt uncertain about the relief of symptoms due to patients' inability to communicate.

  19. Progress in palliative care in Israel: comparative mapping and next steps

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Palliative care was established rapidly in some countries, while in other countries its establishment has taken a different trajectory. This paper identifies core steps in developing a medical specialty and examines those taken by Israel as compared with the US and England for palliative care. It considers the next steps Israel may take. Palliative care aims to provide quality of life for those with serious illnesses by attending to the illness-prompted physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs of patients and their families. It has ancient roots in medicine; its modern iteration began against the backdrop of new cures and life-sustaining technology which challenged conceptions of how to respect the sanctity of life. The first modern hospice was created by Saunders; it provided proof that palliative care works, and this has occurred in Israel as well (the first step). Another key step is usually skills development among clinicians; in Israel, few education and training opportunities exist so far. Specialty recognition also has not yet occurred in Israel. Service development remains limited and a major shortage of services exists, compared to the US. Research capacity in Israel is also limited. Policy to develop and sustain palliative care in Israel is underway; in 2009, the Ministry of Health established policy for implementing palliative care. However, it still lacks a financially viable infrastructure. We conclude that palliative care in Israel is emerging but has far to go. Adequate resource allocation, educational guidelines, credentialed manpower and specialty leadership are the key factors that palliative care development in Israel needs. PMID:22913773

  20. EUS-guided choledochoduodenostomy for palliative biliary drainage in patients with malignant biliary obstruction: results of long-term follow-up.

    PubMed

    Yamao, K; Bhatia, V; Mizuno, N; Sawaki, A; Ishikawa, H; Tajika, M; Hoki, N; Shimizu, Y; Ashida, R; Fukami, N

    2008-04-01

    Five patients with obstructive jaundice caused by malignant periampullary biliary stenosis underwent EUS-guided choledochoduodenostomy (EUS-CDS) from the first portion of the duodenum using a convex echoendoscope and a needle knife. All the steps of the procedure including passage dilatation and the plastic stent placement were performed through the accessory channel of the echoendoscope over the guide wire. Stent insertion was technically successful in all five patients. The procedure was also clinically effective in relieving jaundice in all cases. One patient developed pneumoperitoneum, which resolved with conservative management. Stent exchange was successful in seven of eight attempts in patients with stent occlusion. One failure was due to tumor invasion to the choledochoduodenal fistula. Stent patency was maintained in the remaining patients throughout their survival period. The average stent patency was 211.8 days. EUS-CDS from the first portion of the duodenum appears to be feasible and safe in cases of obstructive jaundice caused by distal bile duct obstruction.

  1. Using routine data to improve palliative and end of life care

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. [Personal and dignified death. The role of pastoral care in palliative medicine].