INTRODUCTION: An interdisciplinary team approach to patients in specialised palliative care is recommended; however, the composition of the professionals tends to vary, and the roles of physiotherapists and occupational therapists may be underestimated. We aimed to investigate patient-reported unmet needs, which potentially could benefit from physiotherapy and occupational therapy interventions in a specialised palliative care team.
METHODS: Adult patients with chronic advanced diseases referred to the Specialised Palliative Care Team at Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet were enrolled in the study. The Three-Levels-of-Needs Questionnaire was used as primary outcome to assess symptom/problem intensity, symptom/problem burden and felt needs for 12 commonly reported symptoms/problems for patients referred to a specialised palliative care team. Furthermore, participants' level of distress, fatigue and physical activity, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and barriers towards the rehabilitation programme were registered with other measures.
RESULTS: In total, 43 of 67 (64%) patients participated. The majority of participants reported severe symptoms/problems concerning fatigue (81%), impaired physical activities (77%), carrying out work and daily activities (77%), pain (72%), and worries (58%). Furthermore, need for help was expressed concerning physical activities (79%), work and daily activities (77%), fatigue (70%), pain (65%), concentration (58%) and worries (51%). On average the patients characterised 6 (out of 12) symptoms/problems as severe.
CONCLUSION: Patients referred to a specialised palliative care team reported extensive unmet needs concerning physical activities, work and daily activities, fatigue, pain, concentration and worries. Unmet needs that potentially could be alleviated by physiotherapists or occupational therapists implemented in the interdisciplinary team.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the effect of a systematic, fast-track transition from oncological treatment to specialised palliative care at home on symptom burden, to explore intervention mechanisms through patient and intervention provider characteristics and to assess long-term survival and place of death.
MEASURES: The effect of a systematic, fast-track transition from oncological treatment to specialised palliative care at home on patient symptom burden was studied in the Domus randomised clinical trial. Participants had incurable cancer and limited treatment options. The intervention was provided by specialised palliative home teams (SPT) based in hospice or hospital and was enriched with a psychological intervention for patient and caregiver dyad. Symptom burden was measured with Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS-r) at baseline, 8 weeks and 6 months follow-up and analysed with mixed models. Survival and place of death was analysed with Kaplan-Meier and Fisher's exact tests.
RESULTS: The study included 322 patients. Tiredness was significantly improved for the Domus intervention group at 6 months while the other nine symptom outcomes were not significantly different from the control group. Exploring the efficacy of intervention provider demonstrated significant differences in favour of the hospice SPT on four symptoms and total symptom score. Patients with children responded more favourably to the intervention. The long-term follow-up demonstrated no differences between the intervention and the control groups regarding survival or home deaths.
CONCLUSIONS: The Domus intervention may reduce tiredness. Moreover, the intervention provider and having children might play a role concerning intervention efficacy. The intervention did not affect survival or home deaths.
Background: Few studies have investigated the content of interventions provided in early specialised palliative care (SPC).
Objectives: To characterise the content of interventions delivered in early SPC in the Danish Palliative Care Trial (DanPaCT), a multicentre trial with six participating sites.
Methods: A retrospective qualitative and quantitative study coding all new interventions initiated by the palliative teams and documented in the medical records during the 8-week study period of DanPaCT. Interventions were categorised according to (a) symptom/problem prompting the intervention, (b) type of intervention and (c) professional(s) providing the intervention.
Results: In total, 145 patients were randomised to the SPC teams. According to the medical records, patients received a median of 3.5 (range 0–22) new interventions in the 8-week intervention-period from the palliative teams. For 24 (18%) of the patients there was no documented interventions in the medical records. The most frequent symptom/problems treated were pain, (100 interventions; 20% of interventions given) and impaired physical function (62; 13% of interventions given). The most frequent type of intervention was pharmacological (232; 42% of interventions given).
Conclusions: This is one of the first studies to meticulously investigate the content of interventions documented in the medical records for patients receiving early SPC. Diverse symptoms were treated with many different interventions. However, a relatively low number of interventions were documented. This may explain the lack of effect in DanPaCT but also questions whether all interventions were adequately documented
Trial registration number: NCT01348048
AIM: Specialised paediatric palliative care has not previously been a priority in Denmark. The aim of this study was to support its development and organisation, by examining why and where children died using official national data for 1994-2014.
METHODS: We obtained data on 9462 children who died before the age of 18 from the Danish Register of Causes of Death. The causes of deaths were listed according to the codes in the International Classification of Diseases.
RESULTS: The all-cause mortality rate decreased by 52% over the study period, and infants below one year accounted for 61% of all deaths. The decline in infant mortality (26%) primarily reflected fewer deaths due to congenital malformations and chromosomal abnormalities (68%) and perinatal deaths (30%). In children aged one year to 17 years, the substantial decrease (65%) was due to external causes (75%) and neoplasms (57%). The relative proportion of hospital deaths increased, while home deaths decreased.
CONCLUSION: All-cause mortality rate decreased markedly, and the relative proportion of hospital deaths increased. The results may reflect more aggressive and effective treatment attempts to save lives, but some terminally ill children may be deprived of the option of dying at home.
BACKGROUND: Early and integrated specialized palliative care is often recommended but has still only been investigated in relatively few randomized clinical trials.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of early specialized palliative care plus standard care versus standard care on the explorative outcomes in the Danish Palliative Care Trial (DanPaCT).
METHODS: We conducted a randomized multicentre, parallel-group clinical trial. Consecutive patients with metastatic cancer were included if they had symptoms or problems that exceeded a predefined threshold according to the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30). Outcomes were estimated as the differences between the intervention and the control groups in the change from baseline to the weighted mean of the 3- and 8-week follow-ups measured as areas under the curve.
RESULTS: In total, 145 patients were randomized to early specialized palliative care plus standard care versus 152 to standard care only. Early specialized palliative care had no significant effect on any of the symptoms or problems. Of the 21 items addressing satisfaction, specialized palliative care improved the item ‘overall satisfaction with the help received from the health care system’ with 9 points (95% confidence interval 3.8 to 14.2, p = 0.0006) and three other items (all p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: In line with the analyses of the primary and secondary outcomes in DanPaCT, we did not find that specialized palliative care, as provided in DanPaCT, affected symptoms and problems. However, patients in the intervention group seemed more satisfied with the health care received than those in the standard care group.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01348048.
CONTEXT: Losing a child is the most burdensome event parents can experience involving risks of developing anxiety and depression.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate anxiety and depression in bereaved parents during their child's life-limiting illness and imminent death and 3-5 years after the loss in order to target future interventions.
METHODS: A Danish nationwide cross-sectional questionnaire survey. From 2012-2014 a register-based study identified causes of deaths of 951 children 0-18 years of age. Potential palliative diagnoses were classified according to previously used classification. Four-hundred-and-two families were included. A modified version of the self-administered questionnaire "To lose a child" was used. Non-response surveys identified reasons for lack of response.
RESULTS: In all, 136 mothers and 57 fathers completed a questionnaire, representing parents of 152 children (38%). Sixty-five% of mothers and 63% of fathers reported moderate to severe anxiety during the child´s illness. However, 3-5 years after their loss anxiety had decreased markedly. Thirty-five% of mothers and 39% of fathers reported moderate to severe depression during the child´s illness; 3-5 years after the loss they were suffering equivalently from depression. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale indicated that severe depression was significantly associated with lower education and being unmarried.
CONCLUSION: The reporting of anxiety during the child´s illness and prolonged depression in bereaved parents 3-5 years after the loss indicates a potential need for psychological interventions. In the process of implementing specialized paediatric palliative care in Denmark our findings should be considered for future treatment programs.
BACKGROUND: The utilization of the health care system varies in relation to cohabitation status, but conflicting results have been found in studies investigating the association in relation to specialized palliative care (SPC).
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between cohabitation status and admittance to SPC; to establish whether this association differed between hospital-based palliative care team/units (mainly outpatient/home care) and hospice (mainly inpatient care).
DESIGN: A nationwide study based on the Danish Palliative Care Database, which is linked with additional registers.
MEASUREMENTS: The study population included all patients dying from cancer in Denmark between 2010 and 2012 (n = 44,480). The associations were investigated using logistic regression analysis adjusted for sex, age, diagnosis, and geography and standardized absolute prevalences.
RESULTS: Comparison with cohabiting patients showed that overall admittance to SPC was lowest among patients who were widows/widowers (odds ratio [OR] = 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.81–0.91) and those who had never married (OR = 0.74; 95% CI: 0.68–0.80). Patients living alone were more likely to be admitted to a hospice [e.g., divorced OR = 1.41 (95% CI: 1.31–1.52)] than to a hospital-based palliative care team/unit [e.g., never married OR = 0.64 (95% CI: 0.59–0.70)] compared with cohabiting patients. Standardized prevalences of overall admittance to SPC showed a similar pattern, for example, admittance was highest (41%) for patients cohabiting and lowest (30%) for patients who had never married..
CONCLUSION: Cohabiting individuals were favored in admittance to SPC.
Compared with cohabiting patients it is unlikely that patients living alone have lower needs for SPC: results point toward inequity in admittance to specialist health care, a problem that should be addressed.
BACKGROUND: Specialised palliative care trials often fail to address intervention effects on caregiver anxiety and depression, particularly in bereavement. We evaluate effects of specialised palliative care and dyadic psychological intervention on caregiver anxiety and depression in a randomised controlled trial (RCT).
METHODS: Patients with incurable cancer and limited antineoplastic treatment options and their caregivers, recruited from a university hospital oncology department, were randomised (1:1) to care as usual or accelerated transition from oncological treatment to home-based specialised palliative care. We assessed caregivers' symptoms of anxiety and depression with the Symptom Checklist-92 up to six months after randomisation and 19 months into bereavement, and estimated intervention effects in mixed effects models.
RESULTS: The ‘Domus’ trial enrolled 258 caregivers. The intervention significantly attenuated increases in caregivers’ symptoms of anxiety overall (estimated difference, -0.12; 95% confidence interval, -0.22 to -0.01, p = 0.0266), and symptoms of depression at eight weeks (-0.17; -0.33 to -0.02; p = 0.0314), six months (-0.27; -0.49 to -0.05; p = 0.0165), and in bereavement at two weeks (-0.28; -0.52 to -0.03; p = 0.0295) and two months (-0.24; -0.48 to -0.01; p = 0.0448).
CONCLUSIONS: This first RCT evaluating specialised palliative care with dyadic psychological support significantly attenuated caregiver anxiety and depression before and during bereavement. (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01885637).
BACKGROUND: The focus of specialized palliative care is to improve quality of life for patients with incurable cancer and their relatives including an increased opportunity to make their own choice of place of care and death.
AIM: To investigate whether a systematic fast-track transition from oncological treatment to specialized palliative care at home for patients with incurable cancer reinforced with a psychological dyadic intervention could result in more time spent at home and death at home. Secondary aims were to investigate effects on quality of life, symptomatology and survival.
DESIGN:: A prospective, single-centre, randomized controlled trial ( Clinicaltrials.gov : NCT01885637).
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS:: In all, 340 patients with incurable cancer and no or limited antineoplastic treatment options.
RESULTS: No statistically significant difference was found regarding number of deaths (4%, p = 0.460) and time spent at home (3%, p = 0.491). The secondary outcomes indicated that the intervention resulted in improved quality of life (-11.6 ± 25.5, p = 0.005, effect size = -0.44, 95% confidence interval = -0.77; -0.11), social functioning (-15.8 ± 31.4, p = 0.001, effect size = -0.50, 95% confidence interval = -0.84; -0.17) and emotional functioning (-9.1 ± 21.2, p = 0.039, effect size = -0.43, 95% confidence interval = -0.76; -0.10) after 6 months. A linear mixed-effect regression model confirmed a possible effect on emotional and social functioning at 6 months. Regarding survival, no differences were found between groups (p = 0.605). No adverse effects were seen as consequence of the intervention.
CONCLUSIONS: The main findings indicated that the intervention had no effect on time spent at home or place of death. However, the intervention resulted in a weak improvement of quality of life, social functioning and emotional functioning after 6 months.
OBJECTIVE: Specialized palliative care (SPC) interventions increasingly include patient-caregiver dyads, but their effects on dyadic coping are unknown. We investigated whether an SPC and dyadic psychological intervention increased aspects of dyadic coping in patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers, whether dyad characteristics moderated effects and whether aspects of dyadic coping mediated significant intervention effects on caregivers' anxiety and depression.
METHODS: We randomized 258 patients with incurable cancer and their caregivers to care as usual or accelerated transition from oncological treatment to home-based SPC and dyadic psychological support. In secondary outcome analyses, using mixed-effects models, we estimated intervention effects and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for communication of stress and common coping, and moderation by dyad type and demographics. In path analyses, we investigated whether stress communication and common coping mediated intervention effects on caregivers' symptoms of anxiety and depression. (Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01885637)
RESULTS: The intervention significantly increased common coping in patients and caregivers in couples (estimated difference, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.11 to 1.24) and stress communication by partner caregivers (0.97; 0.24 to 1.24). We found some support for different intervention effects for spouses and other dyads, but no evidence of mediation.
CONCLUSIONS: SPC and dyadic psychological intervention may affect aspects of dyadic coping. Common coping and stress communication did not mediate the previously found significant intervention effects on caregiver anxiety and depression, indicating that other mechanisms may have been.
Full integration of oncology and palliative care relies on the specific knowledge and skills of two modes of care: the tumour-directed approach, the main focus of which is on treating the disease; and the host-directed approach, which focuses on the patient with the disease. This Commission addresses how to combine these two paradigms to achieve the best outcome of patient care. Randomised clinical trials on integration of oncology and palliative care point to health gains: improved survival and symptom control, less anxiety and depression, reduced use of futile chemotherapy at the end of life, improved family satisfaction and quality of life, and improved use of health-care resources. Early delivery of patient-directed care by specialist palliative care teams alongside tumour-directed treatment promotes patient-centred care. Systematic assessment and use of patient-reported outcomes and active patient involvement in the decisions about cancer care result in better symptom control, improved physical and mental health, and better use of health-care resources. The absence of international agreements on the content and standards of the organisation, education, and research of palliative care in oncology are major barriers to successful integration. Other barriers include the common misconception that palliative care is end-of-life care only, stigmatisation of death and dying, and insufficient infrastructure and funding. The absence of established priorities might also hinder integration more widely. This Commission proposes the use of standardised care pathways and multidisciplinary teams to promote integration of oncology and palliative care, and calls for changes at the system level to coordinate the activities of professionals, and for the development and implementation of new and improved education programmes, with the overall goal of improving patient care. Integration raises new research questions, all of which contribute to improved clinical care. When and how should palliative care be delivered? What is the optimal model for integrated care? What is the biological and clinical effect of living with advanced cancer for years after diagnosis? Successful integration must challenge the dualistic perspective of either the tumour or the host, and instead focus on a merged approach that places the patient's perspective at the centre. To succeed, integration must be anchored by management and policy makers at all levels of health care, followed by adequate resource allocation, a willingness to prioritise goals and needs, and sustained enthusiasm to help generate support for better integration. This integrated model must be reflected in international and national cancer plans, and be followed by developments of new care models, education and research programmes, all of which should be adapted to the specific cultural contexts within which they are situated. Patient-centred care should be an integrated part of oncology care independent of patient prognosis and treatment intention. To achieve this goal it must be based on changes in professional cultures and priorities in health care.
Objective: Patients with incurable cancer and their informal caregivers have numerous psychological and psychosocial needs. Many of these patients wish to receive their care and die at home. Few home-based specialized palliative care (SPC) interventions systematically integrate psychological support. We present a psychological intervention for patient-caregiver dyads developed for an ongoing randomized controlled trial (RCT) of home-based SPC, known as Domus, as well as the results of an assessment of its acceptability and feasibility.
METHOD: The Domus model of SPC for patients with incurable cancer and their caregivers offered systematic psychological assessment and dyadic intervention as part of interdisciplinary care. Through accelerated transition to SPC, the aim of the model was to enhance patients' chances of receiving care and dying at home. Integration of psychological support sought to facilitate this goal by alleviating distress in patients and caregivers. Psychologists provided needs-based sessions based on existential-phenomenological therapy. Feasibility and acceptability were investigated by examining enrollment, nonparticipation, and completion of psychological sessions.
RESULTS: Enrollment in the RCT and uptake of the psychological intervention indicated that it was feasible and acceptable to patients and caregivers. The strengths of the intervention included its focus on dyads, psychological distress, and existential concerns, as well as interdisciplinary collaboration and psychological interventions offered according to need. Its main limitation was a lack of an intervention for other family members.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Our results show that psychological intervention can be systematically integrated into SPC and that it appears feasible to provide dyadic needs-based sessions with an existential therapeutic approach. The Domus RCT will provide evidence of the efficacy of a novel model of multidisciplinary SPC.
INTRODUCTION: Denmark has been ranked low regarding the extent of teaching in palliative care (PC) at medical schools although the Danish Health Authority recommends that all doctors have basic knowledge of PC. The aim of this study was to investigate the contents of and time spent on teaching in PC at the four Danish medical schools and to compare results with recommendations from the European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC).
METHODS: Data were collected by examining university curricula, course catalogues, etc., using search words based on recommendations from the Palliative Education Assessment Tool and by a questionnaire survey among the university employees responsible for semesters or courses in Danish medical schools.
RESULTS: Teaching in palliative medicine at Danish medical schools is generally sparse and mainly deals with pain management and general aspects of PC. Compared to European recommendations, teaching in, e.g., ethics, spirituality, teamwork and self-reflection is lacking. Furthermore, PC training does not reach the recommended minimum of 40 hours, and examinations in PC are not held. As from the autumn of 2017, the University of Southern Denmark has offered a course that expands teaching in PC and thereby improves compliance with EAPC recommendations; the remaining three medical schools do not, to our knowledge, have any specific plans to increase the extent of teaching activities in palliative medicine.
CONCLUSIONS: Teaching in palliative medicine is sparse at all four medical schools in Denmark and should be strengthened to meet Danish as well as European recommendations.
FUNDING: No funding was used for this study.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: not relevant.
BACKGROUND: The use of chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life should be as low as possible.
AIM: To study the factors related to the use of chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life and the factors related to concurrent antineoplastic treatment and specialized palliative care.
DESIGN: This was a population-based cohort study. The data were collected from the Danish Register of Causes of Death, the Danish National Patient Register, and the Danish Palliative Care Database. Analyses were descriptive and multivariate logistic regression.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Cancer decedents between 2010 and 2013 in the Capital Region of Denmark.
RESULTS: During the study period, 17,246 individuals died of cancer and 33% received specialized palliative care. In the last 14 days of life, 4.2% received chemotherapy. Younger patients and patients with hematological cancers were more likely to receive chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life. Receiving specialized palliative care was associated with a lower risk of receiving chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life-odds ratio 0.15 for hospices and 0.53 for palliative hospital units. A total of 8% of the population received concurrent antineoplastic treatment and specialized palliative care. Female gender, younger age, and breast and prostate cancer were significantly associated with this concurrent model.
CONCLUSION: Overall, the incidence of antineoplastic treatment in the last 14 days of life was low compared to other studies. Patients in specialized palliative care had a reduced risk of receiving chemotherapy at the end of life.
Background: Beneficial effects of early palliative care have been found in advanced cancer, but the evidence is not unequivocal.
Aim: To investigate the effect of early specialist palliative care among advanced cancer patients identified in oncology departments.
Setting/participants: The Danish Palliative Care Trial (DanPaCT) (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01348048) is a multicentre randomised clinical trial comparing early referral to a specialist palliative care team plus standard care versus standard care alone. The planned sample size was 300. At five oncology departments, consecutive patients with advanced cancer were screened for palliative needs. Patients with scores exceeding a predefined threshold for problems with physical, emotional or role function, or nausea/vomiting, pain, dyspnoea or lack of appetite according to the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) were eligible. The primary outcome was the change in each patient's primary need (the most severe of the seven QLQ-C30 scales) at 3- and 8-week follow-up (0-100 scale). Five sensitivity analyses were conducted. Secondary outcomes were change in the seven QLQ-C30 scales and survival.
Results: Totally 145 patients were randomised to early specialist palliative care versus 152 to standard care. Early specialist palliative care showed no effect on the primary outcome of change in primary need (-4.9 points (95% confidence interval -11.3 to +1.5 points); p = 0.14). The sensitivity analyses showed similar results. Analyses of the secondary outcomes, including survival, also showed no differences, maybe with the exception of nausea/vomiting where early specialist palliative care might have had a beneficial effect.
Conclusion: We did not observe beneficial or harmful effects of early specialist palliative care, but important beneficial effects cannot be excluded.
PURPOSE: Avoidable hospital admissions are important negative indicators of quality of end-of-life care. Specialized palliative care (SPC) may support patients in remaining at home. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate if SPC at home could prevent hospital admissions in patients with incurable cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: These are secondary results of Domus: a randomized controlled trial of accelerated transition to SPC with psychological intervention at home (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01885637). Participants were patients with incurable cancer and limited antineoplastic treatment options and their caregivers. They were included from the Department of Oncology, Rigshospitalet, Denmark between 2013 and 2016. The control group received usual care. Outcomes were hospital admissions, causes thereof, and patient and caregiver perceptions of place of care (home, hospital etc.) at baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 6 months.
RESULTS: During the study, 340 patients were randomized and 322 were included in modified intention-to-treat analyses. Overall, there were no significant differences in hospital admissions between the groups. The intervention group had more admissions triggered by worsened general health (22% v 16%, p=0.0436) or unmanageable home situation (8% v 4%, p=0.0119). After diagnostics, admissions were more often caused by clinical symptoms of cancer without progression in the intervention group (11% v 7%, p=0.0493). The two groups did not differ significantly in overall potentially avoidable admissions. Both groups felt mostly safe about their place of care.
CONCLUSION: The intervention did not prevent hospital admissions. Likely, any intervention effects were outweighed by increased identification of problems in the intervention group leading to hospital admissions. Overall, patients and caregivers felt safe in their current place of care.
OBJECTIVE: Due to the multiple physical, psychological, existential, and social symptoms involved, patients with advanced cancer often have a reduced quality of life (QoL), which requires specialized palliative care (SPC) interventions. The primary objective of the present systematic review was to review the existing literature about SPC and its effect on QoL, on physical and psychological symptoms, and on survival in adult patients with advanced cancer.
METHOD: We utilized a search strategy based on the PICO (problem/population, intervention, comparison, and outcome) framework and employed terminology related to cancer, QoL, symptoms, mood, and palliative care. The search was performed in Embase, PubMed, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Selected studies were analyzed and categorized according to methods, results, quality of evidence, and strength of recommendation.
RESULTS: Six randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were selected for analysis (out of a total of 1,115 studies). Two other studies were found by hand search, one of which was only published in conference abstract form. The RCTs differed in terms of aims, interventions, control groups, and outcomes; however, the primary aim of all of them was to investigate the effect of SPC on patient QoL. Five studies found improved QoL in the intervention group. Physical symptom intensity decreased in two studies, and three studies found improved mood in the intervention group. However, physical and psychological symptoms were secondary outcomes in these studies. Survival was improved in two studies. All the studies offered generalizability, but the level of evidence validity varied among them. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Due to several methodological limitations, the evidence offered in these studies ranged from low to high. The evidence in this field of study in general is still nascent, but there is growing support for the utilization of SPC to improve the quality of life of adult patients with advanced cancer. The evidence that SPC reduces physical and psychological symptoms is moderate, while the evidence that it prolongs survival is low.
Purpose : The aims were to describe symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in Greenlandic patients with advanced cancer and to assess the applicability and internal consistency of the Greenlandic version of the EORTC-QLQ-C30 core version 3.0.
Methods : A Greenlandic version of the EORTC QLQ-C30 v.3.0 was developed. The translation process included independent forward translation, reconciliation and independent back translation by native Greenlandic-speaking translators who were fluent in English. After pilot testing, a population-based cross-sectional study of patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative treatment was conducted. Internal consistency was examined by calculating Cronbach's alpha coefficients for five function scales and three symptom scales.
Results : Of the 58 patients who participated in the study, 47% had reduced social functioning, 36% had reduced physical and role functioning and 19% had reduced emotional and cognitive functioning. Furthermore, 48% reported fatigue, and 33% reported financial problems. The Greenlandic version of the EORTC had good applicability in the assessment of symptoms and quality of life. Acceptable Cronbach's alpha coefficients (above 0.70) were observed for the physical, role and social functioning scales, the fatigue scale and the global health status scale.
Conclusions : Patients with undergoing palliative treatment in Greenland for advanced cancer reported high levels of social and financial problems and reduced physical functioning. This indicates a potential for improving palliative care service and increasing the focus on symptom management. The Greenlandic version of the EORTC-QLQ-C30 represents an applicable and reliable tool to describe symptoms and health-related quality of life among Greenlandic patients with advanced cancer.
Depuis les années 1990, le Danemark a accompli des efforts louables en matière de soins palliatifs, et est devenu un lieu-phare de la recherche et de la formation. Certains secteurs demeurent toutefois à améliorer, tels que les soins palliatifs pour les enfants et pour les patients atteints de maladies non-cancéreuses.
[D'après résumé revue]
Cet article présente la version mise à jour des lignes directrices de l'Association Européenne de Soins Palliatifs (EAPC) sur l'utilisation d'opioïdes pour le traitement de la douleur cancéreuse. Ces lignes directrices sont présentées comme une liste de 16 recommandations fondées sur les preuves.