Palliative Care Victoria Conference 2014

Are you heading to the palliative care victoria conference in Melbourne in July 2014?

Fear not, your trusty @palliverse correspondent @sonialf will be heading there to keep you up to date with the exciting developments. Continue reading

Abstract submissions open for 2015 APHC

Online abstract submission is now open for the Asia Pacific Hospice Conference in Taipei, Taiwan (30 April – 3 May 2015), with the theme “Transforming Palliative Care”. More information is available at the conference website.


via @ehospice on twitter

Welcome to the Palliverse

Welcome to Palliverse, a website and online community designed to connect palliative care researchers, clinicians, ideas and funding sources, with an Australian and New Zealand focus.

Regular posts will offer advice for early career researchers, interviews, links to clinical resources, updates on palliative care in the mainstream media, and more. The Palliverse editorial team are researchers, doctors and nurses hoping to connect like-minded individuals across the palliative care community. The website and its content are self-funded by the editorial team.

Palliverse relies on your participation so please leave comments, share links, ask the Palliverse community for advice, and participate in any way you think may be of benefit in furthering palliative care in Australia and New Zealand. Submissions are very welcome.

Look here for more information and site rules.

You can contact us at, @palliverse on Twitter or via the comments below. We would greatly appreciate your feedback regarding Palliverse via our online survey, which only takes a few minutes.


Thank you

The Palliverse Editorial Team

Diabetes management at the end of life

Diabetes management in palliative care is often tricky. Trying to optimise quality of life, and finding a balance between the burden of diabetes treatment (such as checking blood sugars, diabetic diet and medication side effects) and the sequelae of uncontrolled blood sugars (like unpleasant symptoms and infections) is difficult. As a patient’s weight, diet, metabolism and organ function change, the risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) increases. Adding further difficulty is that patients with chronic diabetes have often spent years being told that they need to keep strict control of their blood sugars, in order to avoid the awful long-term consequences of poorly-controlled diabetes. It can be difficult to convince patients, their families and carers blood sugar control can be relaxed in the palliative care setting. Continue reading

National Palliative Care Projects: call for applications

Funding of up to $52 million is being provided by the Australian Government over three years from 2014-15 to 2016-17 under the Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund (CDPSIF) for National Palliative Care Projects that focus on enhancing the quality of service delivery in the palliative care sector. The objective of the National Palliative Care Projects is to deliver nationally focused projects that: improve palliative care education and training of health and aged care workforce; and identify quality improvements that can assist in improving the delivery of palliative care services across Australia.  Click here for the invitation to apply for funding.

What’s in a name: Where did you get “Palliverse” from?

I wonder how many people reading this have tried to come up with a catchy title for something.  Those random thoughts of: “If I was going to invent a breakfast cereal it would definitely be called… ” or our mental play around the name of a book that we would like to write where the pun will be just clever enough for us to get away with it; or our musing around a better name for a café that has all the potential (good coffee, the appropriate number of hipsters) but just not that vital title.

Hello my name is

Continue reading

Children On Death

As both mere humans and as professionals in the palliative care sphere, how often do we catch ourselves or those around us contemplating the big questions of life, or more specifically, death? Quite often, I imagine… Yet many of us still find ourselves tongue-tied on the subject. Even as professionals in the ‘business’ of dying, we may approach conversations on the subject with a certain reluctance. How do we gauge the readiness of a person to face their own mortality? How do we establish a person’s preferences for disclosure? These are complex questions with perhaps no one easy answer – unless of course, you’re a kid, right? Continue reading

“Sonia’s sign” – conjunctivitis as a novel indicator of the terminal phase?

Generations of junior medical staff had internally rolled their eyes when I voiced my theory about conjunctivitis meaning that the patient would die soon, then been astounded by my prognostic skills when the patient deteriorated into the terminal phase. It was time to put my reputation where my mouth was and do a prospective audit. Did diagnosis and treatment of conjunctivitis in the inpatient palliative care setting mean that the patient had a very poor prognosis? Continue reading