Journal club on delirium #hpmjc


Delirium is a syndrome associated with a sudden change in a person’s mental function that interferes with their thinking and awareness. It is a common problem that confronts many patients, families and clinicians in the palliative care setting. Delirium usually develops as a result of a serious medical condition, which can often be found and treated. However, the symptoms of delirium – such as fluctuating confusion, reduced attention, disturbed sleep-wake cycle, and/or hallucinations – can be very distressing for everyone involved, and may persist for many days to weeks.

Medications – including antipsychotics such as haloperidol and risperidone – are often used to manage the symptoms of delirium. But do they actually work?

To answer this question, Professor Meera Agar (@meera_agar) and colleagues from the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC) conducted a study examining the use of these medications. The results of their research was published in JAMA Internal Medicine recently, and also discussed on various media platforms (examples here, here and here).

Please join Hospice and Palliative Medicine Journal Club (#hpmjc) in January 2017 for an in-depth discussion about this important study. The journal club will be hosted by Chi Li (@Dr_Chi_Li) from Palliverse and feature the paper’s first author, Meera Agar (@meera_agar)!

When? The hour-long online journal club will start at (please note the different dates):

  • Auckland: 9am, Tuesday 24th January
  • Sydney: 7am, Tuesday 24th January
  • London: 8pm, Monday 23rd January
  • New York / Toronto: 3pm, Monday 23rd January
  • Other cities

Who? Anyone and everyone who has:

  • Experienced delirium themselves
  • Cared for or lived with someone with delirium
  • An interest in improving the treatment of delirium
  • An interest in enhancing palliative care

How? It’s easy!

What? We will be discussing the following topics during the journal club

  • Topic 1: Why was the study conducted? Are the study questions / aims relevant to you and/or your work?
  • Topic 2: How was the study conducted? What did you like about the study methodology? Would you have done anything differently?
  • Topic 3: What were the main findings from the study? Were you surprised by any of the study results?
  • Topic 4: Has this study changed the way you think about delirium in the palliative care setting? Why and why not? What’s next?

If you would like more information, or are having trouble accessing the paper, please feel free to contact us via Twitter (@Dr_Chi_Li or @palliverse) or by email ( or

We hope you can join us for a great discussion about this important study!


twitter 102 – I know what a hashtag is, what’s next?

Greetings tweeps.
That’s not an insult by the way, a tweep is a person who uses twitter, think twitter/people.

So maybe by now you have had a look at twitter and know what a handle is, i.e. a person’s user name that starts with an @ symbol.
And you know we use hashtags like #palliative to “tag” topics of interest so other people can find them.
Hopefully you have registered and have a handle of your own.

What’s next? Time to dive into the fabulous world of tweetchats. A tweetchat is an event on twitter that can happen as a regular event, or as a one off or occasional event.

One of my favourties is #hpmglobal which is hospice and palliative medicine global. It’s hosted by Prof Jim Cleary (@jfclearywisc) who works at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center as an oncologist and palliative medicine physician. He passionately promotes global access to opioids.
Each week at a particular time, which at the moment is Monday 22:00 AEST, he hosts a multidisciplinary discussion which is attended by people interested in palliative care from all over the world, including clinicians in Africa, the Americas, Europe, and of course a strong showing from Australasia.

Your well-run tweetchat has a theme that is decided and promoted on Twitter ahead of time. Examples from the past have included discussions of opioid availability in developing countries, and end of life care policies in your country. It has an international emphasis. Another great chat, #hpm, is terrific but sadly at a bad time for ANZ tweeps, in work hours on a Thursday. See the link below.

The tweetchat hour may be structured like this:
The topic has been announced, often with a link to a blog written by the host of the tweetchat or by the co-host of that week’s chat.
1. restatement of the topic and relevant link
2. introductions
3. topics one, two and three (marked as T1 etc)
4. CT (closing thoughts)
5. Announcement of next week’s topic
6. Sometimes the data analysis of the tweetchat is tweeted

It’s really fun and you meet great people. You are welcome to just listen in and not say too much (“lurk”).

Once you have the hang of this, it’s time to start trying out other twitter related platforms like tweetchat, tweetdeck and hootsuite. These make it easier to follow several conversations at once, and tweet as different identities. So for example, sometimes I tweet as @sonialf and sometimes as @palliverse.

Other tweetchats I enjoy are #hcldr (health care leaders), #hcsmanz (health care social media Australia/New Zealand) and #hpmjc (hospice and palliative medicine journal club).

I hope to see you at 22:00 Monday night, i.e. tomorrow (Melb/Sydney time) for a combined #hpmjc and #hpmglobal. Let us know if you are there as a result of @palliverse!
Here is the tweet about it including the link…
#hpmglobal meets #hpmjc “How good r we at diagnosing dying?” Join @drol007 Mon Sept 29 12n GMT (10pSYD; 1pLON; 8aNYC)

What is your favourite tweetchat? Let us know in the comments.

Cheers, sonia

Article by Christian Sinclair @ctsinclair about #hpm

How to participate in #hpmJC – palliative care Twitter journal club

Interested in Twitter journal club but not sure what it’s all about? Keep reading.
The next #hpmJC will be held on 29th September 2014, 10pm AEST (noon GMT). It will be hosted from the UK by Dr Ollie Minton (@drol007). The article to be discussed is Diagnosing dying: an integrative literature review, by Kennedy et al. It’s available via open access from BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care.

Twitter journal club is a regular (approximately monthly) “tweet chat”. Unlike a traditional journal club, participants are located all over the world, giving a global perspective to the discussion and sharing their local practices. Sometimes the study authors participate!You don’t need a Twitter account to watch the discussion – simply go to and type #hpmJC into the search bar in the top right-hand corner of the page. An even easier option is to visit a website like or – these websites automatically update when anyone tweets with the #hpmJC hashtag. Again, you don’t need to sign in to use these websites.

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