Conversations with patients in palliative care by Dr Matthew Grant

Dr Matthew Grant, a palliative care specialist, has published this article in The Conversation describing normal conversations in the course of his daily work.

I love the way he sensitively maneuvers through difficult conversations, allowing the patient to control the content of prognostic information given.

   “Not everyone will feel comfortable talking about their future treatment plans like Keith. It’s important I allow Sharon to decide whether or not she wants to talk about a future where she dies, just as I shouldn’t necessarily dissuade Christos from smoking if it gives him pleasure.”

Continue reading

Kimika Lee wins leadership and innovation award

Kimberley Palliative Care Aboriginal Health Worker, Kimika Lee, has been recognised for her tireless work in the community by winning the Leadership and Innovation Award at the Western Australia Regional Achievement and Community Awards this month.

The local Yawuru Broome woman and mother of six said winning the award was a remarkable moment and one she never thought would happen.

See the article in Palliative Matters, thanks Palliative Care Australia

Asia Pacific hospice network presents webinar on dyspnoea 29th October

In conjunction with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2018, the APHN will be holding the second APHN Webinar 2018.  Partners all over the region will be screening this webinar at various venues.

AHPN posts, “We are honoured to have Dr Neo Han Yee speaking on the topic of “Management of Dyspnea”. Dr Neo is currently a Consultant at the Department of Palliative Medicine at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

“Join us! This webinar is FREE for all palliative care colleagues, so SIGN UP NOW at this link. Registration closes when slots have been filled up.

“We would like to thank all participating organisations for hosting this event and supporting this APHN initiative.

“For more information contact Joyce at aphn@aphn.org or call +65 6235 5166. ”

From the website I am not sure whether health professionals who are not in the listed locations are able to participate in the webinar. Palliverse will find out and get back to you.

webinar – palliative care in hospitals 17th October 2PM AEST

Interested in palliative care in hospitals? I certainly am. In my work as a palliative care consultant in the consultation service in an acute hospital, I see a LOT of unmet need, late referrals, and treatment being undertaken without good conversations about the patient’s goals and needs.

We at Palliverse are very keen to promote improvements at a systems level to improve access to palliative care in the acute setting.

On 17th October, Safer Care Victoria is holding a free webinar on palliative care in hospitals. Our host is Claudia Virdun, who has worked in palliative care within a clinical, project management or education position for over 18 years. Claudia has completed an Honours degree (Nursing), Masters degree in Advancing Professional Healthcare Practice and is currently a Phd Candidate with her research focusing on supporting system-level improvements for palliative care within the hospital setting.

Pre-reading for the webinar include Ms. Virdun’s review and meta-synthesis on what is important to patients and families in end of life care in hospitals.

The webinar takes place at 2PM on 17th October AEDT. For those outside of eastern Australia, here’s a time zone converter.

deprescribing at end of life

My pen poised over the drug chart, I hesitate.

Mr Jones* is a 58-year-old patient that my consultation palliative care team is seeing while he’s in hospital with complications of chemotherapy for advanced lung cancer. I am reviewing his discharge medications before he returns home to the care of the community palliative care team.

He is a very optimistic person, not keen to discuss the possibility of his cancer not getting better. An overweight hypertensive smoker, he’s on a full hand of antihypertensives, anti cholesterol medications, vitamin D supplements, a multi-vitamin, and antiplatelet therapy.

His prognosis is likely less than a year in my mind. Does he need all these medications?

A retrospective cohort study by Todd et al examined this question in groups of people with advanced lung cancer in the United States and the UK. The patients had died and been admitted to hospital then discharged at least once in their last 6 months of life.  Continue reading

#ANZSPM18 Conference – New Frontiers

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The Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine 2018 Conference #ANZSPM18 is off the a great start, with many excellent plenaries & proffered papers presented on day 1 – following an excellent Trainee Day & pre-Conference workshop on thought leadership.

Day 2 promises to be even more awesome, starting off with keynote speaker Tom Le Blanc sharing his insights on collaboration & integration between palliative care & haematology. The rest of the day will feature a variety of plenaries & concurrent sessions on the new frontiers of palliative medicine – the theme of the conference. I’m also looking forward to the conference dinner tonight!

You can find the sides for my presentation on Palliative Care in Heart & Lung Transplantation here: HLTX PC ANZSPM18 Chi Li

Enjoy!

#ANZSPM Study Day for trainees & new fellows

VCCC

Beautiful spaces inside the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the new home of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia

[The following article by Dr Sarah Dunlop, advanced trainee in palliative medicine, was first published in the Australian & New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM) Newsletter. The next ANZSPM study day will be held on September 6th in Sydney prior the the upcoming ANZSPM 2018 Conference. Follow #ANZSPM18 for updates from this biennial meeting – Chi] 

While there are many benefits of living in Western Australia (the weather, the beaches, and charming, debonair palliative medicine trainees), there are also downsides to living in one of the most isolated cities in the world… specifically the isolation! The decision to travel interstate to a course or conference usually hinges on three questions: can I get the time off, can I afford it, and is it going to improve my practice? So after charming my colleagues into giving a debonair trainee a day off and boarding the red-eye to Melbourne, I can confirm that the Study Day for Trainees and New Fellows met all my requirements.  Continue reading

A reflection on voluntary assisted dying and conscientious objection

Dying sculture

[Image by rmac8oppo from pixabay]

[The following essay by Dr Adrian Dabscheck, an experienced palliative care physician in Melbourne, explores the evolution of our society’s views towards death and reflects on the role of palliative care and voluntary assisted dying in this context – Chi]

During a recent period of enforced rest, I had time to reflect on my attitude to the recently enacted voluntary assisted dying legislation in Victoria and consider my response.I will detail my reaction to the Act and why I have chosen to become a so-called conscientious objector.

In his essay Western Attitudes Toward Death,French historian Philippe Ariès illustrates the evolution of our attitudes to death.

Initially, and for millennia, there had been a general resignation to the destiny of our species for which he used the phrase, Et moriemur, and we shall all die. This was replaced in the twelfth century by the more modern concept of the importance of one’s self, and he used the phrase, la mort de soi, one’s own death.  Continue reading

Palliative Care in the emergency department – PhD scholarship (Melbourne)

https://medicine.unimelb.edu.au/news-and-events/phd-scholarship-palliative-care-in-the-emergency-department-research

This looks like an interesting and worthwhile project under the wonderful  Prof Jenny Philip…..

The Project:

Hospital Emergency Departments (ED) face significant pressures and the challenge of providing quality care to high numbers of patients. In particular, patients with advanced cancer are known to frequently present to ED for worsening symptoms, treatment-related complications and need for additional support.

This PhD builds upon previous work to explore novel ways of identifying patients with cancer at increased risk of ED presentation.  This will include, but not be limited to, using established hospital and clinical datasets, to consider the development of a tool of risk stratification.   The candidate will be supported to further this project to develop potential interventional responses for palliative care patients in the emergency department.  The development of epidemiological data analytical skills will be an important outcome for this PhD candidate.

The Scholarship:

This PhD provides an exciting opportunity to work alongside other researchers and clinicians within a clinically embedded palliative research care unit at St Vincent’s Hospital in collaboration with other clinical partners as part of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

The successful candidate will be enrolled through the Department of Medicine at the University of Melbourne and be supervised by Professor Jennifer Philip, Associate Professor Brian Le in collaboration with Professor Vijaya Sundararajan (LaTrobe University). The candidate would also be supported by an established project team with interests in developing palliative care in the emergency department.

A competitive three year scholarship is available to the successful applicant to support their candidature.  Interested applicants are encouraged to apply and will be interviewed.

Amount awarded:

The scholarship is $30,000 per year for 3 years.

Eligibility/Selection Criteria:

  • An Honours degree in a health-related field such as Psychology, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health
  • Candidate must be competitive for an RTP scholarship or equivalent
  • Experience with quantitative datasets, or population-based research is desirable
  • Ability to work independently
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Good project management skills

Please contact Professor Jennifer Philip or Nora Hanafi if have any questions and/or to express your interest in the PhD project and scholarship.

Nora Hanafi

Research Programs Coordinator

Melbourne Medical School | Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

E: shanafi@unimelb.edu.au

Whisper No More

‘Whisper No More‘ is a learning package that contains stories from Aboriginal people about their experience of cancer. Linked to a decade of research, it was prompted by findings from ‘A whispered sort of stuff‘, a report on a study undertaken with mid-west communities in Western Australia.

‘Whisper No More’ is freely available online for registered users and includes videos, discussion questions and links to key articles and websites. There is also specific content relating to future planning and discussions about end of life care.

FINAL_Flyer_WhisperNoMore_180528 (palliverse)