About soniafullerton

Palliative physician, internet addict, mum of three.

Dying2learn? Join the conversation about death and dying

Our colleagues at CareSearch  are developing and running a ‘Massive Open Online Course’ (MOOC) on death and dying (Dying2Learn) for the second year in a row.

The CareSearch MOOC will provide an opportunity for any Australian to openly and supportively discuss, learn, and contribute to discussions on social issues around death and dying. The MOOC has been created for the general public in Australia, but everyone is invited to join us.

Registrations open on 27th of March for a start on 3rd April. It will run for five weeks.

It will include learning modules covering:

  1. How does today’s society engage with death and dying? How do we use language to describe it? What about the role of t.v. and film?
  2. What does death ‘look’ like? How is death and dying portrayed in the media?
  3. If death is the problem, is medicine the answer? A look at what we die of, the role of medicine, and prolonging life versus prolonging death.
  4. Digital dying: Death during the internet age.

Want to know more? Please visit www.caresearch.com.au/Dying2Learn

6th International Conference on Advance Care Planning and End of Life Care (ACPEL) in Canada

image.conference.acpel.png

Details at a glance:
Event: 6th International Conference on Advance Care Planning and End of Life Care (ACPEL)
Theme: Conversations Matter
Date: September 6-9, 2017
Location: The Banff Center, Banff, Alberta Canada

Twitter analysis shows increasing awareness of palliative care in the USA

Palliverse is a fan of twitter and social media in general increasing awareness and uptake of palliative care. This analysis of search terms in twitter shows that awareness of palliative care looks to be increasing in the US, compared to in the UK where it is well established.

Internet search query analysis can be used to demonstrate the rapidly increasing public awareness of palliative care in the USA
McLean, S., Lennon, P., Glare, P.
BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2017; 0:bmjspcare-2016-001171v1-bmjspcare-2016-001171.

Abstract

Background

A lack of public awareness of palliative care (PC) has been identified as one of the main barriers to appropriate PC access. Internet search query analysis is a novel methodology, which has been effectively used in surveillance of infectious diseases, and can be used to monitor public awareness of health-related topics.

 

Objectives

We aimed to demonstrate the utility of internet search query analysis to evaluate changes in public awareness of PC in the USA between 2005 and 2015.

Methods Google Trends provides a referenced score for the popularity of a search term, for defined regions over defined time periods. The popularity of the search term ‘palliative care’ was measured monthly between 1/1/2005 and 31/12/2015 in the USA and in the UK.

 

Results

Results were analysed using independent t-tests and joinpoint analysis. The mean monthly popularity of the search term increased between 2008–2009 (p<0.001), 2011–2012 (p<0.001), 2013–2014 (p=0.004) and 2014–2015 (p=0.002) in the USA. Joinpoint analysis was used to evaluate the monthly percentage change (MPC) in the popularity of the search term. In the USA, the MPC increase was 0.6%/month (p<0.05); in the UK the MPC of 0.05% was non-significant.

 

Discussion

Although internet search query surveillance is a novel methodology, it is freely accessible and has significant potential to monitor health-seeking behaviour among the public. PC is rapidly growing in the USA, and the rapidly increasing public awareness of PC as demonstrated in this study, in comparison with the UK, where PC is relatively well established is encouraging in increasingly ensuring appropriate PC access for all.

THE 5TH VITAL SIGN: PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE AND CHRONIC PAIN WORKSHOP

Palliative doctors and trainees and those interested in pain management might want to check out the upcoming pain management workshop at the shiny new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

“This workshop is ideally suited to general practitioners, perioperative physicians, anaesthetists and pain specialists who seek an update on evidence-based management of acute pain in the perioperative setting. We will also highlight the latest research aimed at reducing the transition of acute pain to subacute and chronic pain and its associated morbidity.”

For more information see here 

Saturday, November 12th 2016

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre,
Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre,
Melbourne

#ANZSPM16 Cost of caring tweet chat

I thought our most recent tweet chat on the cost of caring featuring Dr Merryn Gott was one of our best!

Thanks to James for moderating.

If you were unlucky enough to miss it, I have written a Storify which would provide a quick summary.

australian-dollars

Have a lovely weekend, Sonia

#ANZSPM16 tweet chat: the (hidden) cost of caring

anzspm16-cost-of-caring

A game changer at the recent Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative medicine 2016 Conference (#ANZSPM16) was Dr Merryn Gott’s plenary presentation on the hidden costs of caring. Little is known about the financial impact of caring for people at the end of life.

She detailed some powerful anecdotes, including the story of two sisters whose mother lay dying in a hospital. The cost of parking was prohibitive and the daughters took it in turns to sit in the car watching out for the parking inspector. When their mother died, only one of the daughters was there; the other was in the car. Continue reading

Highlights from day 1 #ANZSPM16

We had a terrific day one at the #ANZSPM16 conference in Perth. The conference, mainly catering to palliative doctors in Australia and New Zealand, takes place in the luxurious Duxton hotel close to the Swan River in Perth.

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Musings on marvellous methadone

Been having some terrific N=1 successes recently using adjuvant methadone in resistant neuropathic cancer pain.

This Canadian group lead by Dr Courtemanche in Quebec followed 150 ish patients with cancer neuropathic pain who had low dose methadone added as an adjunct. They found that half the patient responded, where response was defined as a greater than 30% decrease in pain intensity. Median time to response was 7 days. Formidable!

In the same issue of  the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, a Japanese team lead by Dr Sakamoto in Nagoya found that pain intensity was reduced in most of the 28 patients who were rotated to methadone from other opioids with  neuropathic pain caused by cancer. Sugoi!

Methadone… do you love it? Hate it? Fear it?

Sonia

The changing landscape of palliative care: #ANZSPM16 conference Sept 2016 Perth

Getting excited about heading to the Australian New Zealand Society for Palliative Medicine conference in September in Perth. With Melbourne’s frigid weather, the thought of a flight to sunny warm Perth in Spring has to be attractive. But more than that, the topic of how palliative care is changing in the 21st century is fascinating.

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Victorian end of life and palliative care framework

The Victorian government has released the long awaited end of life and palliative care framework. The framework aims to deliver care where and when people require it and ensure people from all walks of life can determine what happens to them at the end of their life. It recognises that palliative care services alone cannot meet the growing demand that our society will require for care in the final stage of life.

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