||September 26, 2012
Roundtable discusses palliative care in the ED
A group of palliative care experts participate in a roundtable discussion about past, present, and future palliative care in the emergency department in Journal of Palliative Medicine. The discussion begins with an explanation about why palliative care is important in this setting and progress that has taken place in the past few years. The group talks about better integration, relief of symptoms in the ED, and the challenges of implementing palliative care in a setting where the focus has been on evaluation and stabilization of the patient. The article concludes with ideas about where palliative ED care is headed during the next 10 years.
CSU opens palliative care institute
California State University (CSU) San Marcos in North San Diego County has opened the CSU Institute for Palliative Care at CSUSM, designed to address a critical shortage of nursing, social work, and other professionals trained in palliative care and to raise consumer awareness about the value of palliative care. The Institute will serve as a model for CSU's other campuses. In addition to providing academic curriculum for today's students, it will also offer continuing education courses for practicing professionals. The Archstone Foundation and the California HealthCare Foundation provided a combined $1.2 million, three-year grant to the Institute.
Blogger examines how a serious career also can be fun
Nicky Quinlan, MB, MRCPI, writes at the JPM blog about people's reactions when she tells them she works in palliative care and then explores the science of humor, particularly in hospice care. Read more and join the discussion at the blog. Further Information
NHPCO creates institute for innovation
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) has created the Mary J. Labyak Institute for Innovation to develop and promote new strategies for ensuring patients and their families receive the best care possible. The institute is named after the late hospice pioneer, Mary J. Labyak, and started with seed money from her estate and memorial gifts in her honor. "More than 40 years ago, innovators such as Mary took the core of an idea and built the foundation upon which today's hospice and palliative care providers serve millions of patients and families each year," said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO.
Hospice starts CHF program
Hospice of Holland, Mich., has launched “Take Heart,” a program to help patients with chronic heart failure better manage their condition and avoid unnecessary emergency department visits. The program currently has 40 patients and will focus on improving their quality of life by helping them recognize subtle symptoms of an exacerbation and then properly manage those symptoms. This is the second disease-specific program the hospice has begun this year. The other is for dementia patients. Further Information
Chronic pain costs U.S. billions
Health economists from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, estimate the annual cost of chronic pain in the United States is as high as $635 billion, including the cost of incremental health care and direct costs from lower productivity. The team used data from the 2008 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to gauge the economic burden. They estimated 10 percent of the people surveyed suffered from moderate pain, and this group had healthcare expenditures $4,516 higher than someone with no pain. Pain affected missed work days, annual hours worked, and hourly wages. The authors reported their findings in The Journal of Pain.
Cancer and chronic disease a burden on Europe
Dutch researchers estimate that 42 percent of Europeans who died in 2007 suffered from cancer and chronic disease. The rate was highest in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Denmark and lowest in Cyprus, Ireland, and Slovakia. Countries with relatively high crude death rates for cancer and chronic diseases had lower rates of sudden deaths for people age 65 and older. The authors suggest, in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, future research focus on the symptoms and palliative care services and urge policymakers to take into account regional variations when developing palliative care strategies.
Hospice offers college students experience in end-of-life care
St Giles Hospice in Lichfield, UK, welcomed eight health and social career students from South Staffordshire College to develop their skills and gain practical experience at the hospice. During the 12-week program, students visited the hospice one day per week and found it a valuable experience. Further Information
Delirium common in palliative care patients
An Australian systemic review to investigate the frequency with which palliative care inpatients experience delirium found eight studies from 1980 to 2012 for inclusion. Prevalence rates varied and ranges from 13.3 percent to 42.3 percent at admission to 58.8 percent to 88 percent in the weeks or hours before death. Hypoactive delirium was the most common subtype. The authors concluded that the prevalence and incidence is high enough to support screening for delirium, but more research is needed to develop a standard method for screening as well as management of the condition. Further Information
ACS offering pilot and exploratory grants
The American Cancer Society is accepting applications for its Pilot and Exploratory Projects in Palliative Care of Cancer Patients and Their Families program until 5 p.m. Eastern on October 15, 2012. The grants focus on generating pilot data so investigators can compete for larger grants. The society will provide up to $60,000 in direct costs, plus 20 percent of indirect costs annually with awards not to exceed one to two years. Recipients must agree to attend required meetings and present the results of the funded research, as well as prepare annual progress reports. Further Information