Generalist plus Specialist Palliative Care - Creating a More Sustainable Model
ABSTRACT Palliative care, a medical field that has been practiced informally for centuries, was recently granted formal specialty status by the American Board of Medical Specialties. The demand for palliative care specialists is growing rapidly, since timely palliative care consultations have been shown to improve the quality of care, reduce overall costs, and sometimes even increase longevity.1,2 The field grew out of a hospice tradition in which palliative treatment was delivered only at the end of life, but its role has expanded so that palliative care specialists now also provide palliative treatment in the earlier stages of disease alongside disease-directed . . .
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ABSTRACT: People with dementia may benefit from palliative care which specifically addresses the needs of patients and families affected by this life-limiting disease. On behalf of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), we recently performed a Delphi study to define domains for palliative care in dementia and to provide recommendations for optimal care. An international panel of experts in palliative care, dementia care or both, achieved consensus on almost all domains and recommendations, but the domain concerning the applicability of palliative care to dementia required revision. To examine in detail, the opinions of the international panel of 64 experts around the applicability of palliative care, we explored feedback they provided in the Delphi process. To examine which experts found it less important or less applicable, ordinal regression analyses related characteristics of the panelists to ratings of overall importance of the applicability domain, and to agreement with the domain's four recommendations. Some experts expressed concerns about bringing up end-of-life issues prematurely and about relabeling dementia care as palliative care. Multivariable analyses with the two outcomes of importance and agreement with applicability indicated that younger or less experienced experts and those whose expertise was predominantly in dementia care found palliative care in dementia less important and less applicable. Benefits of palliative care in dementia are acknowledged by experts worldwide, but there is some controversy around its early introduction. Further studies should weigh concerns expressed around care receiving a "palliative" label versus the benefits of applying palliative care early.International Psychogeriatrics 06/2015; DOI:10.1017/S1041610215000824 · 1.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: International medical organizations such as the American Society of Medical Oncology recommend early palliative care as the "gold standard" for palliative care in patients with advanced cancer. Nevertheless, even in Comprehensive Cancer Centers, early palliative care is not yet routine practice. The main goal of the EVI project is to evaluate whether early palliative care can be implemented-in the sense of "putting evidence into practice"-into the everyday clinical practice of Comprehensive Cancer Centers. In addition, we are interested in (1) describing the type of support that patients would like from palliative care, (2) gaining information about the effect of palliative care on patients' quality of life, and (3) understanding the economic burden of palliative care on patients and their families. The EVI project is a multi-center, prospective cohort study with a sequential control group design. The study is a project of the Palliative Care Center of Excellence (KOMPACT) in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, which was recently established to combine the expertise of five academic, specialist palliative care departments. The study is divided into two phases: preliminary phase (months 1-9) and main study phase (months 10-18). In each of all five participating academic Comprehensive Cancer Centers, an experienced palliative care physician will be hired for 18 months. During the preliminary phase, the physician will be allowed time to establish the necessary structures for early palliative care within the Comprehensive Cancer Center. In the main study phase, patients with metastatic cancer will be offered a consultation with the palliative care physician within eight weeks of diagnosis. After the initial consultation, follow-up consultations will be offered as needed. The study is built upon a convergent parallel design. In the quantitative arm, patients will be surveyed in both the preliminary and main study phase at three points in time (baseline, 12 weeks, 24 weeks). Standardized questionnaires will be used to measure patients' quality of life, symptom burden and mood. Using interviews with palliative care physicians, oncologists, department heads, patients and their caregivers, the qualitative arm will explore (1) what factors encourage and hinder the early integration of palliative care into standard oncology care, (2) what support patients and their caregivers would like from palliative care, and (3) what effect palliative care has on the economic disease burden of patients and their families. The study proposed is meant to serve as a catalyzer. Local palliative care teams should be put in position to routinely cooperate with the primary treating department at their respective cancer center. The long-term goal of this project is to create sustainable improvements in the care of patients with incurable cancer. DRKS00006162 ; date of registration: 19/05/2014.BMC Cancer 05/2015; 15(1):443. DOI:10.1186/s12885-015-1453-0 · 3.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: 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. 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. 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. 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 palliative care practice.PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0124387. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0124387 · 3.53 Impact Factor