#ANZSPM16 tweet chat: Medicinal cannabis and palliative care

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In recent years scientific research into the effects of cannabinoids has been on the increase. Some would say that not-so-scientific research on the effects of cannabis has been underway for many hundreds of years, in many different countries and cultures.

Until recently I didn’t know that our own bodies produce endogenous cannabinoids, the various effects of which are still being studied. 

Two years ago, colleagues had informed me that at the Montreal Conference 2015 it was a ‘smokingly hot’ topic. The most widely studied cannabis-derived cannabinoids are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC.) You may have heard of some of the medications that have ‘come to market’ since then:  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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Highlights from #ANZSPM16 pre-conference workshops

The Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM) 2016 Conference opens today. A number of excellent pre-conference workshops were held yesterday, including:

  • A comprehensive trainee day, including a great workshop from Katrina Anderson on self-care and reflection about love, strength, vulnerability and respect; the use of methadone (Pippa Hawley); the challenges of providing palliative care in residential aged care facilities (Douglas McGregor), patients and families with vulnerable personalities (David Kissane), and the neuroanatomy of distress (Lisa Miller)
  • A great presentation on the role of media in palliative care, followed by a hands-on workshop in the afternoon, under the encouraging guidance of Marie Mills; and
  • Supervisor workshop, lead by Michelle Gold and Brian Le

Team Palliverse will be broadcasting from the #ANZSPM16 Conference for the next three days. If you are at the conference, please come and say g’day – and recharge your devices – at the social media hub!

#ANZSPM16 – How does literature enrich our understanding of illness and dying?

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If, like me, you appreciate the arts and enjoy becoming engrossed in the literature (not indexed on PubMed)—then this workshop is for you!

On the morning of Sunday, 11th September #ANZSPM16 delegates will be treated to the workshop:

From Tolstoy to Garner: How literature enriches our understanding of illness & dying.

The workshop will be facilitated by: Gabrielle Brand, Felicity Hawkins, Carol Douglas, Mary McNulty, Valerie Henry, and Anna Petterson.

For more background on the use of arts and literature in palliative care, continue reading!

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Delirium: Why we should (palliative) care

In palliative care, delirium is everyone’s business. Anyone can get delirium if they are seriously ill. It is a distressing symptom – for the person with delirium, their loved ones and the professionals who care for them. Although it is common, potentially preventable and may be reversible, it is often missed, misdiagnosed and mismanaged despite our best intentions.

This 5-minute video is an excellent resource for the public and health professionals alike, (and seems to cover everything that it takes me 45 minutes to teach to nurses or doctors!). I discovered it via its co-creator, Delirium Champion Dr MS Krishnan.

This week, I am taking over Palliverse to share posts about delirium in palliative care – from conferences to clinical standards to a heart-wrenching personal story. Continue reading

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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Planning care for people with dementia

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Two new resources are now available to help with planning care for people with dementia. Palliverse talked to driving force Prof Meera Agar about the ‘whys’, ‘hows’ and ‘whats’.

Q: Why develop care planning resources just for dementia?

A: People with dementia face unique challenges and decisions related to their care and health care needs as their illness progresses; and supporting their choices is made more complex as they become less able to communicate their needs and articulate decisions about what they want from care. While good intentioned, many health professionals in aged care and other settings may not understand the course of dementia, and there may not always be good communication, involving the person with dementia whenever possible and their families,  and also between the different health professional involved in the persons care.

Q: So how do the new resources help?

A: The two new resources are a website offering practical support for family case conferencing and a report providing guidance on critical recommendations to improve advance care planning. Continue reading

Modern dying from a doctor’s perspective

 

A thoughtful article regarding our modern attitudes to dying by Dr Craig Bowron, an internist (i.e. physician in internal medicine for us Down Under, or general medicine consultant)

Opting to try all forms of medical treatment and procedures to assuage this guilt is also emotional life insurance: When their loved one does die, family members can tell themselves, “We did everything we could for Mom.”

In my experience, this is a stronger inclination than the equally valid (and perhaps more honest) admission that “we sure put Dad through the wringer those last few months.”

I agree with Dr Bowron, that sometimes we may not consider the cost to the person (not the financial cost, other costs) of being able to say, “We did everything we could.”

What do you think? Does this apply where you are?

Regards, Sonia

PS Thanks to Tegan, a social worker I work with, for pointing me to this article.

I think therefore I am? – Palliative Care for Chinese People: An insider’s look

Hiya folks,

I’m presenting at Grand Round tomorrow on the above subject.

Pasted below are the Tipsheets I prepared as a take-away for the presentation.

At the bottom is a link for printable PDF versions.

Enjoy, James.

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2Chinese Culture Tipsheet PDF Version

Bisphosphonates and denosumab good for bone pain…. right?

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Wrong!

The folk from Cochrane asked this question. ‘In adult patients with metastatic bone pain, what is the evidence that bisphosphonates and denosumab are effective and safe in controlling pain?’

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27006430

They found that evidence to support an analgesic role for bisphosphonates and denosumab is weak. Bisphosphonates and denosumab appear to be beneficial in preventing pain by delaying the onset of bone pain rather than by producing an analgesic effect per se.

Sonia