Palliative care for the cancer patient.
ABSTRACT Palliation of symptoms to optimize QOL is the foundation of cancer care regardless of stage of disease or level of anticancer treatment. Patients commonly experience pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting, dyspnea, fatigue, and delirium. Many valid clinical tools are available to the primary care clinician to screen for symptoms, assess severity, measure treatment response, and elicit the patient's subjective symptom experience. Although there is limited evidence regarding the relative efficacy of symptom interventions from randomized controlled trials, clinical practice guidelines are available.
Article: Pathophysiology of pain.Disease-a-month: DM 10/2013; 59(10):330-58. · 1.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Adverse events related to analgesic use represent a challenge for optimizing treatment of pain in older people. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NS-NSAID) and cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitor use is appropriately targeted in those with a prior history of gastrointestinal (GI) events, myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke. METHODS: A retrospective study of pharmacy claims data from the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs was conducted, involving 288,912 veterans aged 55 years and over. Analgesic utilization from 2007 to 2009 was assessed. Three risk cohorts (veterans with prior hospitalization for GI bleed, MI or stroke) and a low-risk cohort were identified. Poisson regression was applied to test for a linear trend over the study period. RESULTS: The prevalence of analgesics dispensed in the overall study population was approximately 34 % between 2007 and 2009. COX-2 inhibitors were more widely dispensed than NS-NSAIDs in all those at risk of NSAID-related adverse events. At the end of 2009, the ratio was 5.1 % to 2.5 % in the GI cohort, 3.6 % to 3.2 % in the MI cohort and 3.6 % to 2.6 % in the stroke cohort. CONCLUSIONS: Although COX-2 inhibitors appeared to be preferred over NS-NSAIDs in those with a prior history of GI events, 2.5 % of patients were still using an NS-NSAID at the end of the study period. Consistent with treatment guidelines, in most of these cases, these drugs were co-dispensed with proton pump inhibitors. COX-2 inhibitors were used at slightly higher rates than NS-NSAIDs in those with a prior history of MI or stroke, which is not consistent with guidelines recommending NS-NSAID use.Drugs & Aging 11/2012; 30(1). · 2.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Primary care clinicians increasingly encounter patients with advanced illness, many suffering from symptoms other than pain. Key principles that guide palliative care must be incorporated into a plan of care for each patient and family. Although medical management continues to be the mainstay of treatment, the generalist in palliative care needs to be familiar with the patient's preferences and goals of care. This article provides an overview of gastrointestinal symptoms including anorexia, cachexia, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Advanced progressive illnesses are defined here as incurable conditions that have significant morbidity in the later stages of illness.Primary care 06/2011; 38(2):225-46, viii. · 0.81 Impact Factor