Predicting how long a patient will survive is critically important for them and their families to guide future planning, yet notoriously difficult for doctors to predict accurately. While many patients request this information, others do not wish to know, or are incapable of knowing due to disease progression.
Fuelling this complexity are families who prefer the patient not to be told for fear of torpedoing hope and reducing the quality of time remaining. Conversely, patients may want to know themselves, but do not want to distress their loved ones with this knowledge. Continue reading →
I hope you enjoy this selection of articles (and some links to photos and videos) about palliative care, research and related topics. If you make it to the bottom, I’m interested to know what you think of the last link. Please share your thoughts, and any recommendations, in the comments section.
“Why is so difficult to prognositicate?” asks neurologist Jules Montague, examining cases of poor prognostication throughout history. (Why doctors get it wrong, The Guardian UK)
Team Palliverse still have a place in our heart for textbooks, and we love it even more when their editors write blog posts. To mark the release of the fifth edition of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine, the OUP blog is publishing a 3-part series titled “Facing the challenges of palliative care”. Part 1 (Continuity) and Part 2 (Development) are available now. (Oxford University Press)
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 →