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palliative care - Top 30 Publications

Predictors of Specialized Pediatric Palliative Care Involvement and Impact on Patterns of End-of-Life Care in Children With Cancer.

Purpose The impact of specialized pediatric palliative care (SPPC) teams on patterns of end-of-life care is unknown. We sought to determine (1) which children with cancer access SPPC and (2) the impact of accessing SPPC on the risk of experiencing high-intensity end-of-life care (intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation, or in-hospital death). Methods Using a provincial childhood cancer registry, we assembled a retrospective cohort of Ontario children with cancer who died between 2000 and 2012 and received care through pediatric institutions with an SPPC team. Patients were linked to population-based administrative data capturing inpatient, outpatient, and emergency visits. Children were classified as having SPPC, general palliative care, or no palliative care on the basis of SPPC clinical databases, physician billing codes, or inpatient diagnosis codes. Results Of the 572 children, 166 (29%) received care from an SPPC team for at least 30 days before death, and 100 (17.5%) received general palliative care. SPPC involvement was significantly less likely for children with hematologic cancers (OR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.3 to 0.4), living in the lowest income areas (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2 to 0.8), and living further from the treatment center (OR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4 to 0.5). SPPC was associated with a five-fold decrease in odds of intensive care unit admission (OR, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.1 to 0.4), whereas general palliative care had no impact. Similar associations were seen with all secondary indicators. Conclusion When available, SPPC, but not general palliative care, is associated with lower intensity care at the end of life for children with cancer. However, access remains uneven. These results provide the strongest evidence to date supporting the creation of SPPC teams.

Taking Psychedelics Seriously.

Psychiatric research in the 1950s and 1960s showed potential for psychedelic medications to markedly alleviate depression and suffering associated with terminal illness. More recent published studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine when administered in a medically supervised and monitored approach. A single or brief series of sessions often results in substantial and sustained improvement among people with treatment-resistant depression and anxiety, including those with serious medical conditions. Need and Clinical Considerations: Palliative care clinicians occasionally encounter patients with emotional, existential, or spiritual suffering, which persists despite optimal existing treatments. Such suffering may rob people of a sense that life is worth living. Data from Oregon show that most terminally people who obtain prescriptions to intentionally end their lives are motivated by non-physical suffering. This paper overviews the history of this class of drugs and their therapeutic potential. Clinical cautions, adverse reactions, and important steps related to safe administration of psychedelics are presented, emphasizing careful patient screening, preparation, setting and supervision.

Palliative Care in Resource-poor Settings: Inequalities, Challenges, and Opportunities.


Palliative care in liver disease: a matter of life and death.

Experiential learning to increase palliative care competence among the Indigenous workforce: an Australian experience.

Improving Indigenous people's access to palliative care requires a health workforce with appropriate knowledge and skills to respond to end-of-life (EOL) issues. The Indigenous component of the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) includes opportunities for Indigenous health practitioners to develop skills in the palliative approach by undertaking a supervised clinical placement of up to 5 days within specialist palliative care services. This paper presents the evaluative findings of the components of an experiential learning programme and considers the broader implications for delivery of successful palliative care education programme for Indigenous people.

Systematic review of general practice end-of-life symptom control.

End of life care (EoLC) is a fundamental role of general practice, which will become more important as the population ages. It is essential that general practice's role and performance of at the end of life is understood in order to maximise the skills of the entire workforce.

Implementation of the integrated palliative care outcome scale in acute care settings - a feasibility study.

Although hospitals have been described as inadequate place for end-of-life care, many deaths still occur in hospital settings. Although patient-reported outcome measures have shown positive effects for patients in need of palliative care, little is known about how to implement them. We aimed to explore the feasibility of a pilot version of an implementation strategy for the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale (IPOS) in acute care settings.

Confidence in communicating with patients with cancer mediates the relationship between rehabilitation therapists' autistic-like traits and perceived difficulty in communication.

Recently, rehabilitation therapists have become involved in cancer rehabilitation; however, no communication skills training that increases the ability to provide emotional support for cancer patients has been developed for rehabilitation therapists. In addition, no study has examined associations between rehabilitation therapists' communication skills and their level of autistic-like traits (ALT), which are in-born characteristics including specific communication styles and difficulty communicating with patients. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether confidence in communicating with patients mitigates communication difficulties experienced by rehabilitation therapists who have high levels of ALT.

"You either need help…you feel you don't need help…or you don't feel worthy of asking for it:" Receptivity to bereavement support.

Although the needs of the bereaved have been identified widely in the literature, how these needs translate into meaningful, appropriate, and client-centered programs needs further exploration. The application of receptivity to support is a critical factor in participation by the bereaved in palliative care bereavement programs. Receptivity is a complex multifactorial phenomenon influenced by internal and external factors that ultimately influences engagement in psychosocial support in bereavement. This study explored factors that influence receptivity to bereavement support from palliative care services in rural, regional, and remote Western Australia.

Validity and reliability of the Palliative Care Transition Measure for Caregivers (PCTM-C).

Patients suffering from advanced disease face different care transitions. The transition from acute to palliative care is challenging and may lead to the discontinuity of care. Family caregivers become important sources of information, as patients begin to experience difficulties in coping with emotional transition events. The Care Transition Measure was developed to evaluate care transitions as experienced by the elderly. It has never been used in palliative care. The aim of this study was to test the validity and reliability of a modified version of the Palliative Care Transition Measure, specifically the Palliative Care Transition Measure for Caregivers (PCTM-C).

Continuous subcutaneous levetiracetam in end-of-life care.

Seizures constitute a determining aspect in quality of life and are frequently challenging in palliative care-a field where treatment has yet to be standardised. Levetiracetam-a new generation anticonvulsant-has proved efficacy both through oral, as well as intravenous administration in the general population. This case reports on the use of continuous subcutaneous levetiracetam to effectively control seizures in a terminally ill patient without patent oral route.

Interventions to support effective communication between maternity care staff and women in labour: A mixed-methods systematic review.

the objectives of this review were (1) to assess whether interventions to support effective communication between maternity care staff and healthy women in labour with a term pregnancy could improve birth outcomes and experiences of care; and (2) to synthesize information related to the feasibility of implementation and resources required.

The barriers and facilitators for recognising distress in people with severe dementia on general hospital wards.

psychological symptoms and delirium are common, but underreported in people with dementia on hospital wards. Unrecognised and untreated symptoms can manifest as distress. Identifying distress accurately therefore could act as a trigger for better investigation and treatment of the underlying causes. The challenges faced by healthcare professionals to recognise and report distress are poorly understood.

Minority race and male sex as risk factors for non-beneficial gastrostomy tube placements after stroke.

Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tubes are widely used for enteral feeding after stroke; however, PEG tubes placed in patients in whom death is imminent are considered non-beneficial.

Collaborative Practice Model: Improving the Delivery of Bad News.

Ideal bad news delivery requires skilled communication and team support. The literature has primarily focused on patient preferences, impact on care decisions, healthcare roles, and communication styles, without addressing systematic implementation. This article describes how an interdisciplinary team, led by advanced practice nurses, developed and implemented a collaborative practice model to deliver bad news on a unit that had struggled with inconsistencies. Using evidence-based practices, the authors explored current processes, role perceptions and expectations, and perceived barriers to developing the model, which is now the standard of care and an example of interprofessional team collaboration across the healthcare system. This model for delivering bad news can be easily adapted to meet the needs of other clinical units.

Serial Palliative Performance Scale Assessment in a University General Hospital: A Pilot Study.

Serial Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) assessments may predict functional decline and prognosis in cancer and noncancer patients and help with end-of-life decision making.

The importance of psychosocial factors in management of pulmonary arterial hypertension patients.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is significantly reshaping personal and professional lives of patients due to its chronic nature, varying clinical profile and uncertain perspectives of treatment. PAH is at this time an incurable disease, which requires to consider not only strictly medical dimension, but also the psychosocial aspects of care. This paper discusses therefore the psychological problems most commonly reported by PAH patients. It reviews the instruments used to assess them. We describe the relationships between the quality of life and depressive symptoms and the physical activity of the PAH patients, which have deep treatment-related consequences. The process of transition of teenage PAH patients into the adult care system is another sensitive phase, which requires careful preparation, individualised medical, psychosocial and educational approach, specific for the organisation of the Polish healthcare system. Palliative care of PAH patients has also been described, as it represents an integral part of treatment of this life-limiting disease. Swift recognition and adequate management of emotional and cognitive disruptions in PAH patients may contribute to their better co-operation with therapists, improvements in quality of life thus contributing to improved treatment outcomes.

Checkpoint Inhibitors, Palliative Care, or Hospice.

Checkpoint (CTLA-4, PD-1, and PD-L1) inhibitors have changed the face of oncology. A subset of patients enjoys long, gratifying treatment responses. Unfortunately, most patients do not respond even when expressing favorably markers such as PD-L1. Checkpoint inhibitors are largely palliative (though a subset have long-term cancer responses) and as such patient-related outcome measures should be included when evaluating benefits. The purpose of this review is to place checkpoint inhibitor trials within a palliation context. Included is a discussion on potential adverse effects on end-of-life care.

Hypercalcemia of Malignancy: An Emergency Medicine Simulation.

Hypercalcemia is a poor prognostic factor associated with malignancy. The signs and symptoms of hypercalcemia that the patients present to the emergency department are vague and often overlap with the general symptoms of cancer itself or the adverse effects of the chemotherapy. Given that the development of hypercalcemia of malignancy can present with imminent danger to the patient and is a treatable condition, emergency physicians should know how to recognize and treat it. It also marks a time at which discussions regarding plans of care should be initiated with the patients. In this report, we describe a simulation case that can be used to train emergency medicine residents to both recognize and treat hypercalcemia of malignancy and to initiate the discussion of goals of care.

Tackling hearing loss to improve the care of older adults.

Intensive care: because we can or because we should?

Cryo-Assisted Resection En Bloc, and Cryoablation In Situ, of Primary Breast Cancer Coupled With Intraoperative Ultrasound-Guided Tracer Injection: A Preliminary Clinical Study.

The aim of the study was to perform cryosurgery on a primary breast tumor, coupled with simultaneous peritumoral and intratumoral tracer injection of a blue dye, to evaluate lymphatic mapping. We explored the ability of our strategy to prevent tumor cells, but not that of injected tracers, to migrate to the lymphovascular drainage during conventional resection of frozen breast malignancies. Seventeen patients aged 51 (14) years (mean [standard deviation]), presenting primary breast cancer with stage I to IV, were randomly selected and treated in The Rudolfinerhaus Private Clinic in Vienna, Austria, and included in this preliminary clinical study. Under intraoperative ultrasound, 14 patients underwent curative cryo-assisted tumor resection en bloc, coupled with peritumoral tracer injection, which consisted of complete tumor freezing and concomitant peritumor injection with a blue dye, before resection and sentinel lymph node dissection (group A). Group B consists of 3 patients previously refused any standard therapy and had palliative tumor cryoablation in situ combined with intratumoral tracer injection. The intraoperative ultrasound facilitated needle positioning and dye injection timing. In group A, the frozen site extruded the dye that was distributed through the unfrozen tumor, the breast tissue, and the resection cavity for 12 patients. One to 4 lymph nodes were stained for 10 of 14 patients. The resection margin was evaluable. Our intraoperative ultrasound-guided performance revealed the injection and migration of a blue dye during the frozen resection en bloc and cryoablation in situ of primary breast tumors. Sentinel lymph node mapping, pathological determination of the tumor, and resection margins were achievable. The study paves the way for intraoperative cryo-assisted therapeutic strategies for breast cancer.

The patient categorisation tool: psychometric evaluation of a tool to measure complexity of needs for rehabilitation in a large multicentre dataset from the United Kingdom.

This first psychometric evaluation of the Patient Categorisation Tool examined its properties as an instrument to measure complexity of needs in a mixed population of patients presenting for specialist neurorehabilitation.

Web-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Chronic Pain Patients with Aberrant Drug-Related Behavior: Outcomes from a Randomized Controlled Trial.

There is high unmet need for effective behavioral treatments for chronic pain patients at risk for or with demonstrated histories of opioid misuse. Despite growing evidence supporting technology-based delivery of self-management interventions for chronic pain, very few such programs target co-occurring chronic pain and aberrant drug-related behavior. This randomized controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of a novel, web-based self-management intervention, grounded in cognitive behavior therapy, for chronic pain patients with aberrant drug-related behavior.

Evaluation of the Report on Euthanasia for the New Zealand Medical Association by Grant Gillett.

Compassion from a palliative care perspective.

Compassion is a core virtue in medicine and lies at the heart of good medical care. It connects us to each other and reflects our need for relationships with others.

'Total Pain' in Children with Severe Neurological Impairment.

Many children with palliative care needs experience difficulty in managing pain. Perhaps none more so than those with severe neurological impairment. For many years; behaviours in these children were misunderstood. As a result; pain was poorly recognised and inadequately managed. Significant advances have been made in the assessment and management of pain in this challenging group of patients. We summarise these advances; drawing on our own experience working with infants; children and young adults with palliative care needs within a UK tertiary paediatric palliative care service. We expand on the recent understanding of 'Total Pain'; applying a holistic approach to pain assessment and management in children with severe neurological impairment.

Clinical Intentions of Antibiotics Prescribed Upon Discharge to Hospice Care.

To better understand the clinical intentions for antibiotic prescribing upon discharge from acute care to hospice care.

Cancer-associated cachexia.

Cancer-associated cachexia is a disorder characterized by loss of body weight with specific losses of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Cachexia is driven by a variable combination of reduced food intake and metabolic changes, including elevated energy expenditure, excess catabolism and inflammation. Cachexia is highly associated with cancers of the pancreas, oesophagus, stomach, lung, liver and bowel; this group of malignancies is responsible for half of all cancer deaths worldwide. Cachexia involves diverse mediators derived from the cancer cells and cells within the tumour microenvironment, including inflammatory and immune cells. In addition, endocrine, metabolic and central nervous system perturbations combine with these mediators to elicit catabolic changes in skeletal and cardiac muscle and adipose tissue. At the tissue level, mechanisms include activation of inflammation, proteolysis, autophagy and lipolysis. Cachexia associates with a multitude of morbidities encompassing functional, metabolic and immune disorders as well as aggravated toxicity and complications of cancer therapy. Patients experience impaired quality of life, reduced physical, emotional and social well-being and increased use of healthcare resources. To date, no effective medical intervention completely reverses cachexia and there are no approved drug therapies. Adequate nutritional support remains a mainstay of cachexia therapy, whereas drugs that target overactivation of catabolic processes, cell injury and inflammation are currently under investigation.

Caring for a family member or friend with dementia at the end of life: A scoping review and implications for palliative care practice.

Although people with dementia receive substantial care from informal sources, there is limited research available that investigates how these carers experience end-of-life care.