Traditional Chinese art practices such as brush painting and calligraphy are thought to promote self-development through holistically engaging both physical and mental health. This pilot study investigated the beneficial effects of a community-based self-help group incorporating Chinese art practices as a culturally adapted bereavement intervention. Twenty-six Chinese parents aged over 49 years and who had lost their only child participated in a 20-session Chinese brush painting group over a 6-month period. Ten bereaved parents from the same community who did not participate in the art course but received living support were recruited as a control group. Compared with the control group, the art practice group exhibited a pre-post intervention effect in terms of promoting positive affect and preventing deterioration of prolonged grief symptoms, particularly through the improvement of accessory grief symptoms (e.g., "emotional numbness due to the loss", and "feeling that life is unfulfilling, empty or meaningless after the loss"). No effect was found on negative affect. These findings indicate that a culturally adapted community-based art group may be an effective means of improving grief-related health.
Background: Delirium is a common debilitating complication of advanced cancer.
Objective: To determine if a multicomponent nonpharmacological delirium prevention intervention was feasible for adult patients with advanced cancer, before a phase III (efficacy) trial.
Design: Phase II (feasibility) cluster randomized controlled trial. All sites implemented delirium screening and diagnostic assessment. Strategies within sleep, vision and hearing, hydration, orientation, mobility, and family domains were delivered to enrolled patients at intervention site admission days 1–7. Control sites then implemented the intervention (“waitlist sites”).
Setting: Four Australian palliative care units.
Measurements: The primary outcome was adherence, with an a priori endpoint of at least 60% patients achieving full adherence. Secondary outcomes were interdisciplinary care delivery, delirium measures, and adverse events, analyzed descriptively and inferentially.
Rsults: Sixty-five enrolled patients (25 control, 20 intervention, and 20 waitlist) had 98% delirium screens and 75% diagnostic assessments completed. Nurses (67%), physicians (16%), allied health (8.4%), family (7%), patients (1%), and volunteers (0.5%) delivered the intervention. There was full adherence for 5% patients at intervention sites, partial for 25%. Both full and partial adherence were higher at waitlist sites: 25% and 45%, respectively. One-third of control site patients (32%) became delirious within seven days of admission compared to one-fifth (20%) at both intervention and waitlist sites (p = 0.5). Mean (standard deviation) Delirium Rating Scale-Revised-1998 scores were 16.8 + 12.0 control sites versus 18.4 + 8.2 (p = 0.6) intervention and 18.7 + 7.8 (p = 0.5) waitlist sites. The intervention caused no adverse events.
Conclusion: The intervention requires modification for optimal adherence in a phase III trial.
Background: Recent and preprohibition studies show that patients with serious illness might benefit from psychedelic-assisted therapies for a range of symptoms, physical, psychosocial, and existential.
Objective: To explore the potential roles and research priorities of these therapies in patients with serious illness.
Design, Setting, and Participants: Qualitative study based on semistructured interviews with 17 experts in serious illness care and/or psychedelic research from the United States and Canada.
Measurements: The interview guide elicited participants' perspectives on (1) the potential roles of psychedelic-assisted therapies in this setting, (2) research priorities relevant to this population, and (3) the potential for integrating psychedelic-assisted therapies into existing delivery models of serious illness care. We used thematic analysis until thematic saturation.
Results: Domain I: Participants had polar views on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic-assisted therapies, ranging from strong beliefs in their medical utility to reluctance about their use in this patient population. They shared concerns related to the risks of adverse effects, such as delirium or worsening of psychological distress. Domain II: Research priorities primarily concerned patients with clinically diagnosed psychosocial distress, such as depression, anxiety, or demoralization. Participants also articulated potential roles extending beyond traditional medical diagnosis. Domain III: Participants emphasized essential safety and efficacy guidelines relevant to the integration of these therapies into existing models of care.
Conclusion: This qualitative study highlights issues and priorities for research on psychedelic-assisted therapies in patients with serious illness and proposes a conceptual framework for integrating these therapies into existing delivery models of serious illness care.
Bibliotherapy is a therapeutic intervention that could potentially be utilized by pediatric palliative care social workers to aid in providing individualized support and adaptive coping techniques through end-of-life and bereavement. Multiple modalities of implementing bibliotherapy are considered, including applications in individual and group counseling. An institutionally supported bibliotherapy program that aims to provide therapeutic and recreational texts for patients, families and clinicians is described. Suggested guidelines and book titles for use in practice with bereaved siblings and families are provided alongside targeted description for use in clinical practice.
AIM AND OBJECTIVES: To explore the experiences and views of nurses who provide non-pharmacological therapies for chronic pain management in palliative care.
BACKGROUND: Nursing expertise in palliative care is essential in providing pain relief to patients with chronic diseases. Examinations of the use of non-pharmacological therapies for chronic pain management in palliative care have revealed what non-pharmacological therapies have been used, but there is insufficient knowledge regarding nurses' attitudes, views, and experiences regarding pain therapies in this context.
DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive design was chosen.
METHODS: Data were collected through individual interviews in a purposive sample with 15 nurses to ensure maximum variation. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. This study aligns with the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) checklist.
RESULTS: The analysis yielded four categories, as follows: "Building and sustaining favorable therapeutic relationships" involved the creation of trust and a solid relationship; in "recognizing the diversity of patients' needs," person-centered care is expressed as being vital for individualized non-pharmacological pain management; "incorporating significant others" describes how nurses can help to ease the patient's pain by identifying positive encounters with family members or friends; and in "recognizing the existence of barriers," nurses highlight vulnerable groups such as children, for whom nurses require special education to enable optimal non-pharmacologic pain management.
CONCLUSION: The unique knowledge that nurses gain about the patient through the nurse-patient relationship is central and crucial for successful non-pharmacological pain management.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study emphasizes the need for nurses to get to know their patient and to be open and sensitive to patients' descriptions of their unique life situations, as this provides the necessary knowledge for optimal care and pain management. Nurses should be encouraged and given the opportunity to attend specialized training in palliative care and pain management.
PURPOSE: Palliative care for cancer deals with physical, psychosocial, and spiritual issues faced by cancer patients, their families, communities, and healthcare providers. Research on complementary medicine (CM) use in France is limited despite high rates of reported CM use in other countries including by palliative patients. This study describes the use of CM by individuals receiving palliative care in Lyon, France.
DESIGN: This study employed an observational cross-sectional survey design.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: The study was conducted in three palliative care centers in Lyon, France; two tertiary hospitals and one palliative care unit (3 sites). Inpatients and outpatients visiting the palliative care clinic with a primary diagnosis of cancer at each study site were invited to participate.
RESULTS: Of 138 eligible patients, 100 completed the survey (RR 72.4%). The majority (90.7%) reported using CM in the previous 6 months or since their primary cancer diagnosis. Participant CM use was either the same (20.7%) or increased since their primary cancer diagnosis (33.7%). Average out-of-pocket expenses associated with CM use in the previous 6 months or since diagnosis were €157.40 (SD €330.15). The most common CM health professional visited was an aromatherapist (72.7%), a Coupeurs de feu (38.6%), osteopath (28.6%) and naturopath (15.3%). The most common CM used were aromatherapy oils (33.7%), homeopathy (30.0%), and vitamins (29.4%).
CONCLUSION: This second survey on CM use in France; is the first conducted in palliative care centers. Results show people with cancer in Lyon, France, have a very high prevalence of CM utilization.
In the past two decades, virtual reality (VR) technology has found use in a variety of clinical settings including pain management, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, and neurology. However, little is known about the utility of VR in the palliative care setting. Moreover, previous investigations have not explored user perceptions of the VR experience in this population. Understanding user perceptions of the VR intervention will be critical for the development and delivery of effective VR therapies. To examine the utility of VR for palliative care patients, a pilot study of VR use was conducted with 12 adult patients diagnosed with life-limiting illness who were residents at a free-standing hospice facility. The intervention consisted of a one-time 30-minute VR experience. User perceptions were assessed through both quantitative and qualitative means, including participant responses to open-ended questions after the VR intervention. Acute changes in symptom burden were assessed using the revised Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale. Participants found the VR experience to be both enjoyable and useful, and the intervention was well-tolerated overall. This study provides support for VR as a promising new therapeutic modality for patients undergoing palliative care.
Involving patients in their own care is associated with improved health outcomes. Complementary therapies are popular among patients and enable them to receive the palliative care they want and need. However, the range of complementary therapy services available to patients need to be evaluated for efficacy. This study evaluated the complementary therapy services offered at one cancer outpatient clinic in the UK, with the aim of evaluating the effect of complementary therapies on patient wellbeing and to systematise concerns and categories of wellbeing in order to improve service provision. A sample of 60 patients rated their feelings of wellbeing on a Likert scale before and after a series of six complementary therapies. They were also asked which concerns they had and, after treatment, were asked about factors that may influence their wellbeing. The data were analysed quantitatively by t-test and Wilcoxon signed ranks and the results show a statistically significant improvement in wellbeing. The concerns were assigned into super categories to aid service provision and the other factors that influence general wellbeing were assessed to categorise areas of patient needs that may be addressed in patient care. These results highlight important areas for investigation, which have implications for service provision in palliative cancer care.
The death of a loved one is ultimately a universal experience. However, conventional interventions employed for people suffering with uncomplicated grief have gathered little empirical support. The present study aimed to explore the potential effects of ayahuasca on grief. We compared 30 people who had taken ayahuasca with 30 people who had attended peer-support groups, measuring level of grief and experiential avoidance. We also examined themes in participant responses to an open-ended question regarding their experiences with ayahuasca. The ayahuasca group presented a lower level of grief in the Present Feelings Scale of Texas Revised Inventory of Grief, showing benefits in some psychological and interpersonal dimensions. Qualitative responses described experiences of emotional release, biographical memories, and experiences of contact with the deceased. Additionally, some benefits were identified regarding the ayahuasca experiences. These results provide preliminary data about the potential of ayahuasca as a therapeutic tool in treatments for grief.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: There is a high prevalence of delirium in palliative care patients. This review aims to evaluate the effects of the pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions used to manage delirium symptoms in this patient group.
RECENT FINDINGS: A recent study has suggested there is no role for antipsychotic medication in the management of delirium in palliative care patients, which is a move away from previous expert opinion. In addition, recent findings suggest there may be a role for the use of antipsychotics in combination with benzodiazepines in the management of agitated delirium.
SUMMARY: It is too early to abandon the use of antipsychotic medication entirely in the management of delirium, however there remains inadequate evidence to support the routine use of either pharmacological or nonpharmacological interventions for delirium treatment. Clinicians should determine the delirium subtype and severity, using this to inform the most appropriate pharmacological treatment if required. Further rigorously designed research is needed to seek clarity over whether the alleviation of symptoms is dose dependent, and to determine whether there is a severity threshold over which pharmacological interventions are most effective. Future research is required to evaluate nonpharmacological interventions in this population.
Antipsychotics are frequently used for treatment of delirium, although little evidence exists that they improve delirium outcomes. Our objective was to evaluate haloperidol (HAL) compared to non-haloperidol antipsychotics (NHAP) or no pharmacologic treatment (NP) in the management of delirium in older adults under the care of a palliative care consult service across a large, integrated health care system.
A retrospective chart review examined data from September 2014-September 2015. All hospitalized patients =65 years old with a diagnosis of delirium during palliative care consultation were included (n = 304). Primary outcome was length of stay after delirium diagnosis. Secondary outcomes included delirium symptom length, sedation, and QTc prolongation. Univariate statistical tests, analysis of covariance, and multiple regression methods were used to compare groups.
Post-delirium length of stay in the HAL, NHAP, and NP groups were 8.5, 7.0, and 6.8 days, respectively (p = 0.19). Delirium duration in the HAL, NHAP, and NP groups were 6.7, 6.0, and 4.9 days, respectively (p = 0.05). Safety outcomes were statistically different than the reference group (NHAP).
Congruent with existing literature in other generalized patient populations, no significant difference in post-delirium length of stay existed in geriatric, palliative care population.
CONTEXT: Chinese medicine modalities, including acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine (CHM), have been used as palliative interventions among cancer patients. More research should be conducted to confirm their effectiveness.
OBJECTIVES: To prioritize Chinese medicine clinical research questions for cancer palliative care.
METHODS: Twelve international experts, including physicians, Chinese medicine practitioners, nurses and clinical research methodologists (n=3 from each category) from Asia, North America, Australia and Europe participated in a two-round Delphi survey for prioritizing 29 research questions identified from existing systematic reviews. The experts were asked to i) rate clinical importance of answering the questions on a 9-point Likert scale; ii) provide qualitative comments on their ratings; and iii) suggest outcome measurement approaches.
RESULTS: Eight research priorities reached positive consensus after the two-round Delphi survey. Six of the priorities focused on acupuncture and related therapies; of which median ratings on importance ranged from 7.0 to 8.0 (interquartile range (IQR): 1.00 to 2.50), and the percentage agreement ranged from 75.0% to 91.7%. The remaining two priorities related to CHM; with median ratings ranged from 7.0 to 8.0 (IQR: 1.00 to 1.50), with percentage agreement ranged from 75.0% to 83.3%. Neither positive nor negative consensus was established among the remaining 21 questions.
CONCLUSION: The findings will inform rational allocation of scarce research funding for evaluating the effectiveness of Chinese medicine for cancer palliative care, especially on acupuncture and related therapies. Further research on herb safety and herb-drug interaction should be performed before conducting international trials on CHM.
BACKGROUND: Fatigue is a common symptom experienced by people with cancer and other long-term, non-malignant conditions. It can be disease-related or caused by treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Patients frequently report this as a distressing symptom and, while some international guidelines for its management exist, evidence suggests that these are not always implemented.
METHOD: This article reviews the evidence basis for fatigue management, looking at exercise, education, psychological interventions, complementary therapies and pharmacological therapy, and finds that a one-size fits all approach to fatigue management is unrealistic.
FINDINGS: Research appears to support different interventions at various points in the disease trajectory and this is of importance for service design as palliative care is increasingly introduced earlier in the patient's pathway.
CONCLUSION: Although the body of research is growing, management of fatigue caused by non-malignant conditions remains poorly evidenced, making comprehensive recommendations for these patient groups even more challenging.
Ginseng has been used for centuries to treat various diseases and has been commercially developed and cultivated in the past 300 years. Ginseng products may be fresh, dried (white), or dried and steamed (red). Extracts may be made using water or alcohol. There are over 50 different ginsenosides identified by chromatography. We did an informal systematic qualitative review that centered on fatigue, cancer, dementia, respiratory diseases, and heart failure, and we review 113 studies in 6 tables. There are multiple potential benefits to ginseng in cancer. Ginseng, in certain circumstances, has been shown to improve dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart failure through randomized trials. Most trials had biases or unknown biases and so most evidence is of low quality. We review the gaps in the evidence and make some recommendations regarding future studies.
Background: Delirium is common, distressing, serious and under-researched in specialist palliative care settings.
Objectives: To examine whether people requiring palliative care were included in non-pharmacological delirium intervention studies in inpatient settings, how they were characterised and what their outcomes were.
Design: Systematic review (PROSPERO 2017 CRD42017062178).
Data sources: Systematic search in March 2017 for non-pharmacological delirium intervention studies in adult inpatients. Database search terms were ‘delirium’, ‘hospitalisation’, ‘inpatient’, ‘palliative care’, ‘hospice’, ‘critical care’ and ‘geriatrics’. Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network methodological checklists guided risk of bias assessment.
Results: The 29 included studies were conducted between 1994 and 2015 in diverse settings in 15 countries (9136 participants, mean age = 76.5 years (SD = 8.1), 56% women). Most studies tested multicomponent interventions (n = 26) to prevent delirium (n = 19). Three-quarters of the 29 included studies (n = 22) excluded various groups of people requiring palliative care; however, inclusion criteria, participant diagnoses, illness severity and mortality indicated their presence in almost all studies (n = 26). Of these, 21 studies did not characterise participants requiring palliative care or report their specific outcomes (72%), four reported outcomes for older people with frailty, dementia, cancer and comorbidities, and one was explicitly focused on people receiving palliative care. Study heterogeneity and limitations precluded definitive determination of intervention effectiveness and only allowed interpretations of feasibility for people requiring palliative care. Acceptability outcomes (intervention adverse events and patients’ subjective experience) were rarely reported overall.
Conclusion: Non-pharmacological delirium interventions have frequently excluded and under-characterised people requiring palliative care and infrequently reported their outcomes.
Although psychological counseling remains the mainstray of depression management, treatment with pharmacotherapy can achieve better outcomes for many patients. palliative care clinicians may encounter depressed patients who cannot take anything and are designated nil per os by mouth (NPO) for prolonged periods of time due to swallowing problems or gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities (e.g., small bowel transplant, a complicated abdominal wound, or severe pancreatitis). This Fast Fact reviews the best evidence to identify a care approach for the non-oral pharmacological management of depression.
The use of complementary and alternative therapies is growing year after year, and Reiki therapy takes a place of choice. Reiki therapy, classed as a biofield energy therapy, raises the question of validity when applied to patients, especially in palliative care. The purpose of this review is to highlight the effects of Reiki therapy on pain, anxiety/depression and quality of life of patients, specifically in palliative care. The current article indicates that Reiki therapy is useful for relieving pain, decreasing anxiety/depression and improving quality of life in several conditions. Due to the small number of studies in palliative care, we were unable to clearly identify the benefits of Reiki therapy, but preliminary results tend to show some positive effects of Reiki therapy for the end-of-life population. These results should encourage teams working in palliative care to conduct more studies to determine the benefits of Reiki therapy on pain, anxiety/depression and quality of life in palliative care.
OBJECTIVES: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programmes are standard of care for patients following a coronary event. While such exercise-based secondary prevention programme do offer benefits, they are used by less than 30% of eligible patients and attrition within these programmes is high. This project is a nested qualitative assessment of a pilot programme considering Tai Chi (TC) as an alternative to CR. We hypothesised that TC may overcome several key barriers to CR.
METHODS: A semistructured focus group agenda was used to assess three key domains of feasibility: (1) patients' experiences, (2) reasons/barriers for not having attended CR and (3) any improvements in physical activity and other secondary outcomes (quality of life, weight, sleep). A thematic analysis was used to better understand the key concepts.
RESULTS: This high-risk group of patients reported that they enjoyed TC exercise, and felt confident and safe doing it. TC practice was reported to support other types of physical activity allowing for a generalisation of positive effects.
DISCUSSION: This analysis is consistent with published reports of TC practice improving mood and psychological well-being. Qualitative methods allowed us to find emergent experiential reports of behaviour change factors found in established behaviour change theories.
BACKGROUND: Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is the most common cause of orofacial and cervical skull pain and is considered to be a public health problem, affecting 5% to 12% of the world population. TMD is multifactorial and there are several types of treatment, with the conservative types being indicated more often as they are less aggressive and reversible. The main aim of these treatments is to relieve symptoms, reduce of pain, and restore orofacial and cervical skull functions. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), a noninvasive therapy, is an option for the management of musculoskeletal disorders due to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative effects.
METHODS: The aim of the proposed study is to verify whether PBMT is effective for use in palliative care of TMD and orofacial and cervical skull pain. A randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial is proposed. This study will involve 200 adult participants (over 18 years of age) who will be randomly divided into two groups (n = 100): Group 1, active treatment (PBMT); and Group 2, placebo. Participants will be subjected to three sessions of PBMT or placebo and will be evaluated using the research diagnostic criteria (RDC) for TMD. Pain level (measured by a visual analog scale (VAS)), mandibular movements (measured by ruler and caliper), quality of life (measured by the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP)-14), and quality of sleep (measured by the Epworth scale) will be recorded. This study is being conducted at the Special Laboratory of Lasers in Dentistry (LELO) of the School of Dentistry of the University of Sao Paulo (USP).
DISCUSSION: This study will verify whether PBMT is effective in reducing TMD and orofacial and cervical skull pain. PBMT may be an option for the management of musculoskeletal disorders due to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative effects, in addition to being a noninvasive technique.
It is common for patients with cancers in Hong Kong seeking Chinese Medicine (CM) therapies as supportive care during cancer treatment and to manage treatment-related side effects. This article provides clinical practice guideline (CPG) on the use of CM for specific clinical indications caused by cancer and during cancer treatment, including pain, constipation, and insomnia, and aims to guide local licensed CM practitioners and provide beneficial reference for social medical decision makers and patients. In this manuscript, we summarize the clinical manifestation, CM pattern classification, and CM intervention including herbal treatment, acupuncture treatment, regulating, and nursing based on pattern differentiation.