Background: Several publications have addressed the need for a systematic integration of oncological care focused on the tumor and palliative care (PC) focused on the patient with cancer. The exponential increase in anticancer treatments and the high number of patients living longer with advanced disease have accentuated this. Internationally, there is now a persuasive argument that introducing PC early during anticancer treatment in patients with advanced disease has beneficial effects on symptoms, psychological distress, and survival.
Methods: This is a national cluster-randomized trial (C-RCT) in 12 Norwegian hospitals. The trial investigates effects of early, systematic integration of oncology and specialized PC in patients with advanced cancer in six intervention hospitals compared with conventional care in six. Hospitals are stratified on the size of local catchment areas before randomization. In the intervention hospitals, a three-part complex intervention will be implemented. The backbone of the intervention is the development and implementation of patient-centered care pathways that contain early, compulsory referral to PC and regular and systematic registrations of symptoms. An educational program must be completed before patient inclusion. A total of 680 patients with advanced cancer and one caregiver per patient are included when patients come for start of last line of chemotherapy, defined according to national treatment guidelines. Data registration, clinical variables, and patient- and caregiver-reported outcomes take place every 2 months for 1 year or until death. The primary outcome is use of chemotherapy in the last 3 months of life by comparing the proportion of patients who receive this in the intervention and control groups. Primary outcome is use of chemotherapy in the last 3 months before death, i.e. number of patients. Secondary outcomes are initiation, discontinuation and number of cycles, last 3 months of life, administration of other medical interventions in the last month of life, symptom burden, quality of life (QoL), satisfaction with information and follow-up, and caregiver health, QoL, and satisfaction with care.
Discussion: Results from this C-RCT will be used to raise the awareness about the positive outcomes of early provision of specialized palliative care using pathways for patients with advanced cancer receiving medical anticancer treatment. The long-term clinical objective is to integrate these patient-centered pathways in Norwegian cancer care. The specific focus on the patient and family and the organization of a predictable care trajectory is consistent with current Norwegian strategies for cancer care.
Introduction: Early access to cancer palliative care is recommended. Descriptions of structures and processes of outpatient palliative care clinics operated within smaller hospitals are scarce. This paper presents the development and operation of a fully integrated cancer and palliative care outpatient clinic at a local hospital in a rural region of Mid-Norway offering palliative care concurrent with cancer treatment. A standardized care pathway was applied.
Methods: Palliative care is in Norway part of the public healthcare system. Official recommendations recent years point out action points to improve delivery of palliative care. An integrated cancer and palliative care outpatient clinic at a local hospital and an innovative care delivery model was developed and operated in this setting. Patients were recruited for a descriptive study of the patient population. Clinical data were collected by clinical staff and 13 symptom intensities were reported by the patients.
Results: Cancer and palliative care were provided by one team of healthcare professionals trained in both fields. There was a close collaboration with the other departments at the hospital, with its affiliated tertiary hospital, and with community health and care services to provide timely referral, enhanced continuity, and improved coordination of care. Eighty-eight patients were included. Mean age was 65.6 years, the most common cancer diagnoses were digestive organs (22.7%), male genital organs (20.5%) or breast (25.0%), 75.0% had metastatic or locally advanced cancer, 59.1% were treated with non-curative intention and 93.1% had Karnofsky Performance Status = 80%. Median scores of individual symptoms ranged from 0 to 3 (numerical rating scale, 0–10) and 61.0% reported at least one clinically significant symptom rating (= 4).
Conclusion: This delivery model of integrated outpatient cancer and palliative care is particularly relevant in rural regions allowing cancer patients access to palliative care earlier in the disease trajectory and closer to home
Purpose: Opioids reduce cancer-related pain but an association with shorter survival is variably reported.
im: To investigate the relationship between pain, analgesics, cancer and survival within the European Palliative Care Cancer Symptom (EPCCS) study to help inform clinical decision making.
Methods: Secondary analysis of the international prospective, longitudinal EPCCS study which included 1739 adults with advanced, incurable cancer receiving palliative care. In this secondary analysis, for all participants with date of death or last follow up, a multilevel Weibull survival analysis examined whether pain, analgesics, and other relevant variables are associated with time to death.
Results: Date of death or last follow-up was available for 1404 patients (mean age 65.7 [SD:12.3];men 50%). Secondary analysis of this group showed the mean survival from baseline was 46.5 (SD:1.5) weeks (95% CI:43.6–49.3). Pain was reported by 76%; 60% were taking opioids, 51% non-opioid analgesics and 24% co-analgesics. Opioid-use was associated with decreased survival in the multivariable model (HR = 1.59 (95% CI:1.38–1.84), p < 0.001). An exploratory subgroup analysis of those with C-reactive protein (CRP) measures (n = 219) indicated higher CRP was associated with poorer survival (p = 0.001). In this model, the strength of relationship between survival and opioid-use weakened (p = 0.029).
Conclusion: Opioid-use and survival were associated; this relationship weakened in a small sensitivity-testing subgroup analysis adjusting for CRP. Thus, the observed relationship between survival and opioid-use may partly be due to tumour-related inflammation. Larger studies, measuring disease activity, are needed to confirm this finding to more accurately judge the benefits and risks of opioids in advanced progressive disease.
INTRODUCTION: Minimising bias in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) includes intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses. Hospice/palliative care RCTs are constrained by high attrition unpredictable when consenting, including withdrawals between randomisation and first exposure to the intervention. Such withdrawals may systematically bias findings away from the new intervention being evaluated if they are considered non-responders. This study aimed to quantify this impact within ITT principles.
METHODS: A theoretical model was developed to assess the impact of withdrawals between randomisation and first exposure on i) study power and ii) effect sizes. Ten reported hospice/palliative care studies had power recalculated accounting for such withdrawal.
RESULTS: In the theoretical model, when 5% of withdrawals occurred between randomisation and first exposure to the intervention, change in power was demonstrated in binary outcomes (2.0-2.2%), continuous outcomes (0.8-2.0%) and time-to-event outcomes (1.6-2.0%), and odds ratios were changed by 0.06-0.17. Greater power loss was observed with larger effect sizes. Withdrawal rates were 0.9%-10% in the ten reported RCTs, corresponding to power losses of 0.1%-2.2%. For studies with binary outcomes, withdrawal rates were 0.3-1.2%, changing odds ratios by 0.01-0.22.
DISCUSSION: If blinding is maintained and all interventions are available simultaneously, our model suggests that excluding data from withdrawals between randomisation and first exposure to the intervention minimises one bias. This is the safety population as defined by the International Committee on Harmonisation. When planning for future trials, minimising the time between randomisation and first exposure to the intervention will minimise the problem. Power should be calculated on people who receive the intervention.
Background: People with advanced cancer experience multiple symptoms during their illness trajectory, which can fluctuate in intensity.
Aim: To describe the course of self-reported quality of life, emotional functioning, physical functioning and symptom intensity over time in cancer patients receiving palliative care.
Design: Longitudinal study with monthly assessments, using the EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL. Data were analysed (1) prospectively, from baseline to =8-month follow-up; and (2) retrospectively, by taking death as index date and comparing results from three cross-sectional subsamples at different stages of illness (time to death =6, 5–3 and 2–0 months). Linear mixed models were calculated.
Setting/participants: A total of 1739 patients (mean age 66, 50% male) from 30 palliative care centers in 12 countries were included.
Results: In prospective analyses, quality of life, functioning and symptoms–except nausea/vomiting–remained generally stable over time. In retrospective analyses, patients 2–0 months before death reported significantly lower quality of life and physical functioning scores than those 5–3 months before death, who in turn scored lower than those =6 months before death, suggesting progressive decline. Emotional functioning remained initially unchanged, but decreased in the last months. Pain, fatigue and appetite loss showed a stable increase in intensity towards death. Dyspnea, insomnia and constipation increased from 5–3 to 2–0 months before death. Nausea/vomiting only increased when comparing those =6 months before death with those 2–0 months before death.
Conclusion: While the prospective approach showed predominantly stable patterns for quality of life, functioning and symptom severity throughout study duration, retrospective analyses indicated that deterioration was already apparent before the terminal phase and accelerated close to death. Our findings support the importance of early symptom identification and treatment in this population, and highlight the need for further studies to explore what characterizes those with either lower or higher symptom burden at different time points towards death.
PURPOSE: Although patients with advanced cancer report poor sleep quality, few studies have assessed sleep quality with a combination of subjective and objective measures. We aimed to examine sleep quality in hospitalized patients with advanced cancer by combining patient-reported outcome-measures (PROMs) and polysomnography (PSG) or actigraphy.
METHODS: A one-night prospective observational study of sleep in hospitalized patients with metastatic cancer using WHO step III opioids was conducted. Total sleep time, sleep onset latency, number of awakenings, and wake after sleep onset were assessed by PROMs and actigraphy. Sleep quality was assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) (range; 0-21), where higher scores indicate worse sleep quality.
RESULTS: Forty patients were monitored. Median age was 70, median oral morphine equivalent dose was 80 mg/24 h (10–1725), median Karnofsky Performance Score was 50 (20–90), and median time to death from inclusion was 38 days (4–319). Mean PSQI score was 6.5 (SD ± 3.4). PROMs and actigraphy of mean (SD) sleep onset latency were 46 (± 64) and 35 min (± 61), respectively, while mean time awake at night was 37 (± 35) and 40 min (± 21). PROMs and actigraphy differed on number of awakenings (mean 2 (± 1) vs. 24 (± 15), p 0.001). Bland-Altman plots showed large individual differences between PROMs and actigraphy. PSG was not feasible.
CONCLUSIONS: PROMs and actigraphy documented poor sleep quality, but a lack of agreement across methods. The study demonstrates a need to improve assessment of sleep quality and treatment of sleep disturbance in hospitalized patients with advanced cancer near end of life.
BACKGROUND: Health care professionals should prevent and relieve suffering in carers of patients with advanced cancer. Despite known positive effects of systematic carer support, carers still do not receive sufficient support. Carers have reported to be less satisfied with coordination of care and involvement of the family in treatment and care decisions than patients. In a rural district of Mid-Norway, cancer palliative care services across specialist and community care were developed. Participants' experiences and opinions were investigated as part of this development process.
METHODS: The aim of this qualitative study was to explore and describe health care professionals' experiences with carer support from their own perspective. Data were collected in focus groups. Purposeful sampling guided the inclusion. Six groups were formed with 21 professionals. The discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using systematic text condensation.
RESULTS: In the analyzis of the focus group discussions, ten categories emerged from the exploration of health care professionals' carer support, assessment of needs, and factors hampering carer support: 1) dependent on profession, role, and context, 2) personal relationship, 3) personal skills and competence, 4) adjusted to the stage of the disease, 5) informal assessment of carers' needs, 6) lack of education 7) lack of systems for carer consultations, 8) lack of systems for documentation, 9) lack of systems for involving GPs, and 10) lack of systematic spiritual care.
CONCLUSIONS: Health care professionals built a personal relationship with the carers as early as possible, to facilitate carer support throughout the disease trajectory. Systematic carer support was hampered by lack of education and system insufficiencies. Organizational changes were needed, including 1) education in carer support, communication, and spiritual care, 2) use of standardized care pathways, including systematic carer needs assessment, 3) systematic involvement of general practitioners, and 4) a system for documentation of clinical work with carers.
BACKGROUND: Early intervention against cachexia necessitates a predictive model. The aims of this study were to identify predictors of cachexia development and to create and evaluate accuracy of a predictive model based on these predictors.
METHODS: A secondary analysis of a prospective, observational, multicentre study was conducted. Patients, who attended a palliative care programme, had incurable cancer and did not have cachexia at baseline, were amenable to the analysis. Cachexia was defined as weight loss (WL) >5% (6months) or WL>2% and body mass index<20kg/m2. Clinical and demographic markers were evaluated as possible predictors with Cox analysis. A classification and regression tree analysis was used to create a model based on optimal combinations and cut-offs of significant predictors for cachexia development, and accuracy was evaluated with a calibration plot, Harrell's c-statistic and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.
RESULTS: Six-hundred-twenty-eight patients were included in the analysis. Median age was 65 years (IQR 17), 359 (57%) were female and median Karnofsky performance status was 70(IQR 10). Median follow-up was 109 days (IQR 108), and 159 (25%) patients developed cachexia. Initial WL, cancer type, appetite and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were significant predictors (p 0.04). A five-level model was created with each level carrying an increasing risk of cachexia development. For Risk-level 1-patients (WL<3%, breast or hematologic cancer and no or little appetite loss), median time to cachexia development was not reached, while Risk-level 5-patients (WL 3-5%) had a median time to cachexia development of 51 days. Accuracy of cachexia predictions at 3 months was 76%.
CONCLUSION: Important predictors of cachexia have been identified and used to construct a predictive model of cancer cachexia.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01362816 .
BACKGROUND: Performance status, a predictor of cancer survival, and ability to maintain independent living deteriorate in advanced disease. Understanding predictors of performance status trajectory could help identify those at risk of functional deterioration, target support for independent living and reduce service costs. The relationship between symptoms, analgesics and performance status is poorly delineated.
AIM: The aim of this study is to determine whether demographics, analgesics, disease characteristics, quality-of-life domains and C-reactive protein predict the trajectory of Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) in patients with advanced cancer.
DESIGN: The study design is the secondary data analysis of the international prospective, longitudinal European Palliative Care Cancer Symptom study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01362816). A multivariable regression model was built for KPS area under the curve per day (AUC).
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: This included adults with advanced, incurable cancer receiving palliative care, without severe cognitive impairment and who were not imminently dying (n = 1739).
RESULTS: The mean daily KPS AUC (n = 1052) was 41.1 (standard deviation = 14.1). Opioids (p < 0.001), co-analgesics (p = 0.023), poorer physical functioning (p < 0.001) and appetite loss (p = 0.009) at baseline were explanatory factors for lower KPS AUC. A subgroup analysis of participants with C-reactive protein data (n = 240) showed that only C-reactive protein (p = 0.040) and physical function (p < 0.001) were associated with lower KPS AUC.
CONCLUSION: This study is novel in determining explanatory factors for subsequent functional trajectories in an international dataset and identifying systemic inflammation as a candidate therapeutic target to improve functional performance. The effect of interventions targeting physical function, appetite and inflammation, such as those used for cachexia management, on maintaining functional status in patients with advanced cancer needs to be investigated.
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.
BACKGROUND: Radiation therapy (RT) results in pain relief for about 6 of 10 patients with cancer induced bone pain (CIBP) caused by bone metastases. The high number of non-responders, the long median time from RT to pain response and the risk of adverse effects, makes it important to determine predictors of treatment response. Clinical features such as cancer type, performance status and pain intensity, and biomarkers for osteoclast activity are proposed as predictors of response to RT. However, results are inconsistent and there is a need for better predictors of RT response. A similar argument can be stated for the development of cachexia; there are currently no predictors that can identify patients who will develop cachexia later in the cancer disease trajectory. Experimental and preclinical studies show that pain, depression and cachexia are related to inflammation. However, it is not known if inflammatory biomarkers can predict CIBP, depression or development of cachexia.
METHODS: This multicenter, multinational longitudinal observational study will include 600 adult patients receiving RT for CIBP. Demographic data, clinical variables, osteoclast and inflammatory biomarkers will be assessed before start of RT, and 3, 8, 16, 24 and 52 weeks after last course of RT. The primary aim of the study is to identify potential predictors for pain relief from RT. Secondary aims are to explore potential predictors for development of cachexia, the longitudinal relationship between pain intensity and depression, and if inflammatory biomarkers are associated with changes in pain intensity, cachexia and depression during one-year follow up.
DISCUSSION: The immediate clinical implication of the PRAIS study is to identify potential predictive factors for a RT response on CIBP, and thereby reduce non-efficacious RT. Patient benefits are fewer hospital visits, reduced risk of adverse effects and more individualized pain treatment. The long-term clinical implication of the PRAIS study is to improve the knowledge about inflammation in relation to CIBP, cachexia and depression and potentially identify associations and mechanisms that can be targeted for treatment.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02107664 , date of registration April 8, 2014 (retrospectively registered).
TRIAL SPONSOR: The European Palliative Care Research Centre (PRC), Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, NTNU, Faculty of medicine and Health Sciences, Trondheim, N-7491, Norway.
BACKGROUND: Caring for advanced cancer patients affects carers' psychological and physical health. Resilience has been defined as "the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of threat."
AIM: The aim of this study was to explore factors promoting carer resilience, based on carers' experiences with and preferences for health care provider support.
DESIGN: Qualitative, semi-structured, individual interviews with family carers of advanced cancer patients were performed until data saturation. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using systematic text condensation.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Carers ( n = 14) of advanced cancer patients, not receiving curative treatment, admitted to an integrated curative and palliative care cancer outpatient clinic or to a university hospital cancer clinic, were included.
RESULTS: 14 carers of advanced cancer patients were included; 7 men, 7 women, and mean age of 59 years; 3 were bereaved; 12 were partners; 5 had young and teenage children. Four main resilience factors were identified: (1) being seen and known by health care providers-a personal relation; (2) availability of palliative care; (3) information and communication about illness, prognosis, and death; and (4) facilitating a good carer-patient relation.
CONCLUSION: Health care providers may enhance carers' resilience by a series of simple interventions. Education should address carers' support needs and resilience. Systematic assessment of carers' support needs is recommended. Further investigation is needed into how health care providers can help carers and patients communicate about death.
Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome characterised by an ongoing loss of skeletal muscle mass that cannot be fully reversed by conventional nutritional support alone. Cachexia has a high prevalence in cancer and a major impact on patient physical function, morbidity and mortality. Despite the consequences of cachexia, there is no licensed treatment for cachexia and no accepted standard of care. It has been argued that the multifactorial genesis of cachexia lends itself to therapeutic targeting through a multimodal treatment. Following a successful phase II trial, a phase III randomised controlled trial of a multimodal cachexia intervention is under way. Termed the MENAC trial (Multimodal-Exercise, Nutrition and Anti-inflammatory medication for Cachexia), this intervention is based on evidence to date and consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and eicosapentaenoic acid to reduce inflammation, a physical exercise programme using resistance and aerobic training to increase anabolism, as well as dietary counselling and oral nutritional supplements to promote energy and protein balance. Herein we describe the development of this trial.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT02330926.
BACKGROUND: Information on medication use in the last months of life is limited.
AIM: To describe which medications are prescribed and deprescribed in advanced cancer patients receiving palliative care in relation to time before death and to explore associations with demographic variables.
DESIGN: Prospective study, using case report forms for monthly data collection. Medication included cancer treatment and 19 therapeutic groups, grouped into four categories for: (1) cancer therapy, (2) specific cancer-related symptom relief, (3) other symptom relief and (4) long-term prevention. Data were analysed retrospectively using death as the index date. We compared medication use at 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 month(s) before death by constructing five cross-sectional subsamples with medication use during that month. Paired analyses were done on a subsample of patients with at least two assessments before death.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: We studied the medication use of 720 patients (mean age 67, 56% male) in 30 cancer centres representing 12 countries.
RESULTS: From 5 to 1 month(s) before death, cancer therapy decreased (55%-24%), most medications for symptom relief increased, for example, opioids (62%-81%) and sedatives (35%-46%), but medication for long-term prevention decreased (38%-27%). The prevalence of chemotherapy was 15.5% in the last month of life, with 9% of new courses started in the last 2 months. With higher age, chemotherapy and opioid use decreased.
CONCLUSION: Medications for symptom relief increased in almost all medication groups. Deprescribing was found in heart medication/anti-hypertensives and cancer therapy, although use of the latter remained relatively high.
Purpose : Palliative care referral is primarily based on clinician judgment, contributing to highly variable access. Standardized criteria to trigger automatic referral have been proposed, but it remains unclear how best to apply them in practice. The authors conducted a Delphi study of international experts to identify a consensus for the use of standardized criteria to trigger automatic referral.
Methods : Sixty international experts stated their level of agreement for 14 statements regarding the use of clinician-based referral and automatic referral over two Delphi rounds. A consensus was defined as an agreement of =70% a priori.
Results : The response rate was 59/60 (98%) for the first round and 56/60 (93%) for the second round. Twenty-six (43%), 19 (32%), and 11 (18%) respondents were from North America, Asia/Australia, and Europe, respectively. The panel reached consensus that outpatient palliative care referral should be based on both automatic referral and clinician-based referral (agreement = 86%). Only 18% felt that referral should be clinician-based alone, and only 7% agreed that referral should be based on automatic referral only. There was consensus that automatic referral criteria may increase the number of referrals (agreement = 98%), facilitate earlier palliative care access, and help administrators to set benchmarks for quality improvement (agreement = 86%).
Conclusions : Our panelists favored the combination of automatic referral to augment clinician-based referral. This integrated referral framework may inform policy and program development.
Background: Systematic and reliable epidemiological information at population level, preferably cross-national, is needed for an adequate planning of (end-of-life) health care policies, e.g. concerning place of death, but is currently lacking. This study illustrates opportunities and weaknesses of death certificate data to provide such information on place of death and associated factors in nine European countries (seven entire countries and five regions).
Methods: We investigated the possibility and modality of all partners in this international comparative study (BE, DK, IT, NL, NO, SE, UK) to negotiate a dataset containing all deaths of one year with their national/regional administration of mortality statistics, and analysed the availability of information about place of death as well as a number of clinical, socio-demographic, residential and healthcare system factors.
Results: All countries negotiated a dataset, but rules, procedures, and cost price to get the data varied strongly between countries. In total, about 1.1 million deaths were included. For four of the nine countries not all desired categories for place of death were available. Most desired clinical and socio-demographic information was available, be it sometimes via linkages with other population databases. Healthcare system factors could be made available by linking existing healthcare statistics to the residence of the deceased.
Conclusion: Death certificate data provide information on place of death and on possibly associated factors and confounders in all studied countries. Hence, death certificate data provide a unique opportunity for cross-national studying and monitoring of place of death. However, modifications of certain aspects of death certificate registration and rules of data-protection are perhaps required to make international monitoring of place of death more feasible and accurate.
Le centre européen de recherche en soins palliatifs, situé en Norvège, a développé un outil web, Eir, grâce auquel les patients peuvent communiquer des informations sur leurs symptômes, leurs fonctions, leur qualité de vie, leurs besoins et leurs préférences à leur équipe soignante. Les auteurs expliquent comment cet outil améliore grandement la prise en charge des symptômes en soins oncologiques.
Un groupe de travail de l'EAPC (Association européenne de soins palliatifs) s'est réuni pour établir un état des lieux des connaissances sur l'accès douloureux paroxystique, selon les preuves théoriques et pratiques. Ils ont convenu que la douleur épisodique ou transitoire pourrait être un terme plus simple et plus adéquat dans la plupart des langues dont l'anglais, le français, l'italien et l'espagnol.
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.
Les professionnels des soins palliatifs à travers l'Europe et le monde se sont réunis à Prague en juin 2013 pour le 13ème congrès mondial de l'Association Européenne pour les Soins Palliatifs (EAPC). Maintenant, ils doivent appliquer leurs nouvelles connaissances dans leur pratique clinique. L'auteure a quelques conseils sur la façon de procéder.