Palliative care and #ausvotes19

It’s election time again! Honestly, we have not had a new Prime Minister for ages in Australia. We sadly can’t have Jacinda Ardern, but there it is.
Dr Benjamin Thomas (@andiyarus)  has been tweeting up a storm putting pressure on the powers-that-be and the powers-that-wannabe in advocating for #palliativecare patients in the upcoming election. He visited the @Palliverse to answer a few questions for us. Continue reading

Survey – clinical trials in specialist palliative care

If you are a nurse, doctor or allied health professional in a specialist palliative care service please consider contributing to the survey below. It does not take long.

“Attitudes of Palliative Care Practitioners Towards Enrolling Patients in Clinical Trials

We would appreciate your participation in this survey as a health care professional who provides care to patients in palliative care settings.
Continue reading

Advance care planning week 1-5 April

National Advance Care Planning Week encourages all Australians to speak up about their future healthcare preferences and make sure their voice is heard and respected, regardless of what the future brings.

“If you were really ill, and could not speak to the doctors about the health care you wanted and did not want,

WHO would speak for you?

and WHAT would they say?”

#acpweek19

How can people get involved?

– visit acpweek.org.au for more information and access the relevant forms in their state or territory.
-attend a National Advance Care Planning Week event
-request a free email starter pack

Hot topics – Melbourne 27th March

Keen to learn more? Here is the page you need

 

PaCCSC survey for health professionals on cancer cachexia anorexia syndrome

EXPERIENCES OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS DEALING WITH CANCER ANOREXIA CACHEXIA SYNDROME (CACS) (UTS HREC ETH18-2870)

As a health care professional seeing advanced cancer patients who have CACS in your daily practice, you are invited to take part in this online survey. The research will identify barriers, knowledge and management gaps in clinical practice. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and participation is voluntary and anonymous.
The project is supported by the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC) located at the University of Technology Sydney. For more information, please feel free to contact Ms Linda Brown, National Manager, PaCCSC on PaCCSC@uts.edu.au.

Thank you for your time.

link: https://redcap.research.uts.edu.au/surveys/?s=Y984LHMD3Y

Please note: if you have previously completed the survey, please ignore the request.

Sertraline in symptomatic chronic breathlessness: a double blind, randomised trial

It’s a Thing, that we tend to publish and read studies that show that new medications or interventions improve things, rather than that a possible treatment or intervention does not help. But both are important, right? If a treatment that is being given to people is shown to not work, we need to know about that too.

The prolific team at PaCCCS including Professors Currow and Agar have published a trial of sertraline (an antidepressant) in breathlessness and found it did not improve breathlessness scores compared with those taking a placebo tablet. Quality of life improved slightly in those taking the sertraline, however. Overall, they felt that sertraline did not provide benefit.  Continue reading

Final Program for Palliative Care Nurses Australia (PCNA) Biennial Conference: Fostering Excellence in Palliative Care

It’s not too late to register for this year’s Palliative Care Nurses Australia Conference in Brisbane!

PCNAust18 Conference Banner_18

Continue reading

ABC radio Perth says that it’s time to talk about death and your end of life plan

http://www.abc.net.au/radio/perth/programs/focus/an-organised-death/9563772

This FOCUS discussion examines what it means to respect the final wishes of the dying.

And how can any of us do that, when most of us are reluctant to even bring it up?

There’s the nitty-gritty stuff like a will, powers of attorney and advanced-health-directives.

And then there are the things around the edges; where do you want to spend your final hours, what will happen to your pets and what do you want played at your funeral?

Taking part in the discussion is nurse practitioner, Shannon Tassell and Dr Margaret Sealey, a palliative care counsellor from Murdoch University.

Duration: 36min 35sec

Broadcast: 

Death and digital media seminar Melbourne 26th April 17:00

The Centre for Palliative Care is hosting what will be a thought-provoking session on the intersection of death and digital media. As someone who is periodically startled by Facebook mentions of people who have died, I am looking forward to this.

“The focus of this presentation will be to outline some of the key issues surrounding death in the digital age. This will include a critical overview of how people mourn, commemorate and interact with the dead through digital media.

The presenters will briefly map the historical and shifting landscape of digital death by considering a range of social, commercial and institutional responses to technological innovations. Discussion will centre around multiple digital platforms through a number of case studies drawn from Australia, North America and Europe.

Through these case studies they will offer fresh insight and analysis into emerging practices through which digital technologies are used to mourn, commemorate and interact with the dead.

You won’t want to miss this 21st century overview of death and social media.”

For more information email centre.palliativecare@svha.org.au

http://www.centreforpallcare.org/events/32/hot-topic-death-and-digital-media

Cheers, Sonia

 

What does a successful (US) palliative care program look like?

A little different from that found in Australia or New Zealand. 28097_PEC_Palliative_Care_Poster

Here are some ideas which might have resonance in our region.

I love the idea of automatic triggers to referral, which takes away the emotional content for the referrer of whether to refer or not. But our electronic medical record systems lag a long way behind that seen in the US, which is problematic.

I am not sure what I think about the suggested re-brand to “supportive care”. Less threatening for some patients and referrers, for sure. Does it mean we are joining the ranks of the death deniers, though?
Excellent reminder about the importance of meticulous communication with referrers. However I suggest that an item missing is laser focus on communication with patients. As patients sit at the centre of our care, I often write the letter to the patient in non medical language, and copy in the referrer and general practitioner. The letters may be light on medical detail for some referrers, but the patients often find them useful to remind them of what we talked about, and to show family, friends and other care givers.

I liked the data down the bottom about readmission rates, that would be a powerful lever for our managers to promote palliative care consultation services. Patients seen by palliative care had dramatically lower readmission rates compared with those not seen.

I would love to see an infographic about our palliative care services data, if you have seen one please let me know!28097_PEC_Palliative_Care_Poster

Sonia