OBJECTIVE: The majority of self-management interventions are designed with a narrow focus on patient skills and fail to consider their potential as "catalysts" for improving care delivery. A project was undertaken to develop a patient self-management resource to support evidence-based, person-centered care for cancer pain and overcome barriers at the levels of the patient, provider, and health system.
METHOD: The project used a mixed-method design with concurrent triangulation, including the following: a national online survey of current practice; two systematic reviews of cancer pain needs and education; a desktop review of online patient pain diaries and other related resources; consultation with stakeholders; and interviews with patients regarding acceptability and usefulness of a draft resource.Result : Findings suggested that an optimal self-management resource should encourage pain reporting, build patients' sense of control, and support communication with providers and coordination between services. Each of these characteristics was identified as important in overcoming established barriers to cancer pain care. A pain self-management resource was developed to include: (1) a template for setting specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals of care, as well as identifying potential obstacles and ways to overcome these; and (2) a pain management plan detailing exacerbating and alleviating factors, current strategies for management, and contacts for support.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS : Self-management resources have the potential for addressing barriers not only at the patient level, but also at provider and health system levels. A cluster randomized controlled trial is under way to test effectiveness of the resource designed in this project in combination with pain screening, audit and feedback, and provider education. More research of this kind is needed to understand how interventions at different levels can be optimally combined to overcome barriers and improve care.
BACKGROUND: More than 15,000 children die annually in the United States due to an underlying life-limiting disease and the majority of those children experience distressing symptoms, which are not adequately relieved, such as pain and dyspnea. Multimodal analgesia, that is multiple agents, interventions, rehabilitation, psychological modalities, and integrative (nonpharmacologic) therapies, act synergistically for more effective pediatric pain and symptom control with fewer side effects than a single analgesic or modality. However, opioids, such as morphine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and methadone (in the United Kingdom: diamorphine) remain the mainstay medication to effectively treat pain and dyspnea in children with serious illness.
METHODS: This article reviews commonly used opioids in Pediatric Palliative Care, which a special emphasis on 2 potentially particularly effective multimechanistic opioids: tramadol and methadone.
RESULTS: Methadone, due to its multimechanistic action profile, is possibly among the most effective and most underutilized opioid analgesics in children with severe unrelieved pain at end of life. However, methadone should not be prescribed by those unfamiliar with its use: Its effects should be closely monitored for several days, particularly when it is first started and after any dose changes.
CONCLUSIONS: Tramadol appears to play a key role in treating episodes of inconsolability in children with progressive neurologic, metabolic, or chromosomally based condition with impairment of the central nervous system. However, the recent 2017 United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning against pediatric use of tramadol does not seem to be based on clinical evidence, and therefore puts children at risk for unrelieved pain or increased respiratory depression.
Cancer pain is an unrelenting symptom with the potential to alter the quality of life of patients. To adequately manage pain, nurses caring for cancer patients need to fully understand each patient's pain experience. The purpose of this study was to identify the intensity, distress, frequency, or constancy of pain in patients treated for cancer or cancer symptoms and to better understand patient barriers to pain management. This cross-sectional study included patients (N = 105) treated for cancer or cancer symptoms at 2 outpatient medical centers. Assessments included the Pain Barriers Scale, the Cancer Symptom Scale, and the Multidimensional QOL Scale–Cancer. Descriptive statistics and Spearman correlations were used to analyze the data. Sixty-nine percent of patients reported present pain of moderate to severe intensity that caused distress, was frequent/constant, or interfered with their lives. Patients with the greatest pain distress reported the greatest intensity of pain (r = 0.77) and the greatest interference (r = 0.78) with daily lives. Cancer pain was associated with significant distress and interference with life activities and occurred frequently or constantly for many study patients.
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.
CONTEXT: Cancer-related pain is associated with significant suffering and is one of the most challenging symptoms to manage. Studies indicate that front-line clinicians often lack the knowledge on best practices in cancer pain management.
OBJECTIVES: The current project, a quality improvement (QI) initiative, evaluated the outcome of an online educational intervention for nurses on complex cancer pain management.
METHODS: An online 7-module educational intervention, Advanced Pain Assessment and Management, was offered from 2012 to 2017. Pre-post course evaluations included self-reported knowledge and confidence across cancer pain management domains. In-course competency assessments included knowledge examination, online discussion forum participation, opioid dosage calculation assignment, and small-group-based case study. A mixed-model statistical analysis was used to assess pre-post course change in pain management confidence level.
RESULTS: In all, 306 nurses from 89 hospitals in Ontario, Canada, were enrolled in the course; 81.4% returned the precourse survey and 71.9% successfully completed the course. The average confidence level on pain management was low at baseline (57.5%) but improved significantly post-course. In-course competency assessments ranged from 81% to 89%. Mixed-model results showed post-course improvements in confidence levels, independent of sociodemographic background, clinical role, and professional educational level. Nurses with longer years of practice and more cancer cases reported greater confidence.
CONCLUSION: A facilitator-led online educational intervention focusing on complex cancer pain management can significantly improve nurses' knowledge, confidence, and skills. Low baseline knowledge among nurses highlights the pressing need for health-care organizations to implement cancer pain management training as an integral part of health-care QI initiative.
BACKGROUND: The integration of palliative care into standard oncology care is supported by research to improve quality of life and symptom distress in patients with advanced cancer. In 2016, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released practice guidelines for oncology palliative care that emphasized interprofessional assessment and management of this patient population.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of clinical guidelines on symptom distress in patients with advanced cancer.
METHODS: In two oncology palliative care clinics, the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) scores for pain, fatigue, and anxiety were measured prior to consultation (T1) and at two subsequent visits (T2 and T3). A standardized documentation template was used to measure fidelity for key guideline components.
FINDINGS: Pain, fatigue, and anxiety ESAS scores were statistically lower from T1 to T3. The frequency of patients having a decrease of 2 or more points for all symptoms increased compared to baseline data. There was 100% compliance to the documentation template during the guideline implementation.
Introduction: This case-control study evaluates the success of indwelling pain catheters in nonoperatively treated femoral neck fractures (FNFs) for end-of-life pain management.
Methods: Patients older than 65 years with nonoperatively treated FNFs were retrospectively identified at a level 1 trauma center between March 2012 and September 2015. Twenty-three received indwelling continuous peripheral pain catheters (experimental) and 10 received traditional pain control modalities (control). Pain scores 24 hours before/after pain management interventions, ambulation status at admission and discharge, mortality at 30 days/1 year, and length of hospital stay (LOS) were compared between treatment groups.
Results: The experimental and control groups were similar with respect to demographics, differing only in pre-fracture ambulatory status (P = .03). The 30-day mortality was 52% versus 50% (odds ratio, OR: 1.1 [95% confidence interval, CI: 0.25-4.82], P = .99) and 1-year mortality was 87% versus 80% (OR: 1.67 [95% CI: 0.23-11.9], P = .63) for experimental and control groups, respectively. The LOS did not statistically significantly differ for experimental and control groups (5.3 ± 3.56 days vs 3.8 ± 1.81 days, P = .15), respectively. The experimental group experienced twice the improvement in ambulation status (1.0 ± 0.56 vs 0.5 ± 0.71, P = 0.03) and greater improvement in pain scores (4.5 ± 2.19 vs 1.2 ± 2.72, P = .002).
Discussion: Operative management of FNFs may not be indicated in patients with advanced age and comorbidities. Regardless, these patients require pain palliation and early mobilization while minimizing hospital LOS and opiate consumption.
Conclusion: This case-control study demonstrates significant improvement in both pain level and ambulatory status for patients treated with indwelling continuous peripheral catheters. Future studies should further evaluate with a larger sample size; however, this study provides an excellent launching point for palliative management of this complex population.
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.
OBJECTIVES: Uncontrolled pain in advanced cancer is a common problem and has significant impact on individuals' quality of life and use of healthcare resources. Interventions to help manage pain at the end of life are available, but there is limited economic evidence to support their wider implementation. We conducted a case study economic evaluation of two pain self-management interventions (PainCheck and Tackling Cancer Pain Toolkit [TCPT]) compared with usual care.
METHODS: We generated a decision-analytic model to facilitate the evaluation. This modelled the survival of individuals at the end of life as they moved through pain severity categories. Intervention effectiveness was based on published meta-analyses results. The evaluation was conducted from the perspective of the U.K. health service provider and reported cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY).
RESULTS: PainCheck and TCPT were cheaper (respective incremental costs -GBP148 [-EUR168.53] and -GBP474 [-EUR539.74]) and more effective (respective incremental QALYs of 0.010 and 0.013) than usual care. There was a 65 percent and 99.5 percent chance of cost-effectiveness for PainCheck and TCPT, respectively. Results were relatively robust to sensitivity analyses. The most important driver of cost-effectiveness was level of pain reduction (intervention effectiveness). Although cost savings were modest per patient, these were considerable when accounting for the number of potential intervention beneficiaries.
CONCLUSIONS: Educational and monitoring/feedback interventions have the potential to be cost-effective. Economic evaluations based on estimates of effectiveness from published meta-analyses and using a decision modeling approach can support commissioning decisions and implementation of pain management strategies.
Importance: The recent parenteral opioid shortage (POS) has potential implications for cancer-related pain management in hospitalized patients.
Objective: This study compared changes in opioid prescriptions and clinically improved pain (CIP) among patients treated by an inpatient palliative care (PC) team before and after our institution first reported the POS.
Design, Setting, and Participants: A cohort study of 386 eligible patients with cancer treated at a comprehensive cancer center 1 month before and after the announcement of the POS. We reviewed data from electronic health records, including patient demographics, opioid type, route of administration, and dose. Board-certified palliative care specialists assessed CIP at follow-up day 1.
Exposures: The announcement of the POS by the institution's pharmacy and therapeutics committee on February 8, 2018.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was to measure the change in opioid prescription patterns of physicians, and the secondary outcome was to measure the proportion of patients who achieved CIP before and after announcement of the POS.
Results: Of 386 eligible patients, 196 were men (51%), 270 were white (70%), and the median age was 58 years (interquartile range, 46-67 years). Parenteral opioids were prescribed less frequently by the referring oncology teams after the POS (56 of 314 [18%]) vs before the POS (109 of 311 [35%]) (P < .001). The PC team also prescribed fewer parenteral opioids after the POS (96 of 336 [29%]) vs before the POS (159 of 338 [47%]) (P < .001). After the POS (vs before the POS), significantly fewer patients achieved CIP on follow-up day 1 (119 [62%] vs 144 [75%] of 193; P = .01). Multivariate analysis showed that before the POS, patients had an 89% higher chance of achieving CIP on follow-up day 1 (odds ratio, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.22-2.94; P = .005).
Conclusions and Relevance: There was a significant change in opioid prescription patterns associated with the POS. Furthermore, after the POS, fewer patients achieved CIP. These factors have potential implications for patient satisfaction and hospital length of stay.
BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that more than half of patients with advanced progressive diseases approaching the end-of-life report pain and that pain relief for these patients is poorest at home compared to other care settings such as acute care facilities and hospice. Although home is the most common preferred place of death, the majority of deaths occur outside the home. Specialist palliative care is associated with improved quality of life, but systematic reviews of RCTs have failed to show a consistent association with better pain relief. The aim of this study was to examine the factors associated with good pain relief at home in the last 3 months of life for people with advanced progressive disease.
METHODS: Data were obtained from the National Bereavement Survey in England, a cross-sectional post-bereavement survey of a stratified random sample of 246,763 deaths which were registered in England from 2011 to 2015. From 110,311 completed surveys (45% response rate), the analysis was based on individual-level data from 43,509 decedents who were cared for at home before death.
RESULTS: Decedents who experienced good pain relief at home before death were significantly more likely to have received specialist palliative care (adjusted OR = 2.67; 95% CI, 2.62 to 2.72) and to have a recorded preferred place of death (adjusted OR = 1.87; 95% CI, 1.84 to 1.90) compared to those who did not. Good pain relief was more likely to be reported by a spouse or partner of the decedents compared to reports from their son or daughter (adjusted OR = 1.50, 95% CI, 1.47 to 1.53).
CONCLUSION: This study indicates that patients at home who are approaching the end-of-life experience substantially better pain relief if they receive specialist palliative care and their preferred place of death is recorded regardless of their disease aetiology.
BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is characterized by pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet and by diminished quality of life. Multiple previous studies, mostly preclinical, suggest that poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors may help with these symptoms.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the relationship between PARP inhibition and prevention/palliation of peripheral neuropathy in a clinical setting.
DESIGN: Meta-analysis of placebo-controlled clinical trials with PARP inhibitors.
SETTING/SUBJECTS: We conducted 9 literature searches that included PubMed and other sources to compile fully published placebo-controlled clinical trials that tested PARP inhibitors and that reported on peripheral neuropathy.
MEASUREMENTS: The relative risks for neuropathy of all grades based on PARP inhibition were calculated for each trial. Each trial was weighted by its respective sample size. A forest plot was constructed.
RESULTS: Five trials, inclusive of 843 patients, met this study's eligibility criteria. Four included a concomitant PARP inhibitor (either olaparib or veliparib) and paclitaxel, a neuropathy-causing chemotherapy agent; the remaining trial evaluated long-term monotherapy with olaparib. The pooled overall relative risk for the development of neuropathy with PARP inhibition was 1.06 (95% confidence interval: 1-1.4).
CONCLUSIONS: PARP inhibition does not appear to reduce the risk of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Whether PARP inhibitors may palliate (rather than prevent) neuropathy remains an area in need of further investigation.
BACKGROUND: Methadone may play a role in the control of refractory cancer pain in opioid switching, although some cases fail to switch to methadone.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the differences in the clinical aspects in switching to methadone between successful cases (SCs) and unsuccessful cases (UCs).
DESIGN: This was a retrospective study of the clinical aspects of cancer patients who experienced opioid switching from other opioids to methadone.
SETTING/SUBJECTS: Eighty-seven patients who were prescribed oral methadone in our hospital were analyzed. Methadone was initiated from other opioids due to refractory pain in the stop-and-go switching. Among the 87 cases, 7 cases were excluded from further analysis because methadone administration was stopped due to vomiting or self-cessation within six days from switching.
RESULTS: Among the 80 cases who had methadone for seven days or more, 70 cases (SCs) were successful in switching to methadone, according to the Japanese definition, although 10 cases (UCs) who experienced the rapid progression of illness failed due to oral difficulty in the course of titration. In comparison of the clinical characteristics between SCs and UCs, the number of days alive from the start of the administration of methadone was significantly greater in the SCs than in the UCs (SCs: 87.1, UCs: 19, p < 0.0001), but no significant differences were observed for any other factors.
CONCLUSION: From this comparative retrospective study of opioid switching to methadone for cancer pain control between SCs and UCs, early switching to methadone may be useful for patients with advanced cancer pain.
PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the impact on pain management by multidisciplinary palliative care team (mPCT) and the team pharmacist.
METHODS: Patients who were admitted to palliative care unit (PCU) for at least 7 days between April 2014 and December 2015 were included. The mPCT consisted of a physician, a pharmacist, nurses, and non-clinical support staff. The team was on charge of pain management of patients who were admitted to PCU. Pain intensity was assessed at 3 time points in each patient; 1 week before PCU admission (day -7), on the day of admission (day 0), and 1 week after admission (day 7) using 0 to 10 numerical rating scale (NRS). Analgesic use was evaluated with 6 categories based on National Comprehensive Cancer Network and Korean pain management guidelines. Pain intensity and analgesic use appropriateness were compared at day -7, day 0, and day 7 for the patients who were admitted to the PCU.
RESULTS: Pain intensity decreased significantly on day 7 of PCU admission compared to it on day 0 (NRS: 4.05 vs 2.66, P < .001). A significant negative correlation was found between pain intensity and the proper use of analgesics ( r = -0.407; P < .001, r = -0.309; P = .001, r = -0.241; P = .009, on day -7, day 0, day 7, respectively).
CONCLUSION: The mPCT contributed to the reduction of inappropriate use of analgesics and improved pain control. Pharmacist intervention appeared to have improved pain control in patients under palliative care. Each team member's role should be individualized and developed further.
Cancer-related neuropathic pain (CNP) requires therapy involving multiple pharmaceuticals, including anticonvulsants and antidepressants; however, strong evidence to support this practice is limited. This study is a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey. As the standard dose of adjuvant analgesics for CNP refractory to opioid therapy is not clear, the purpose of this study is to clarify the opinions of specialists about the usage of duloxetine and pregabalin for patients with CNP refractory to opioid therapy. Two hundred and eight certified palliative care specialists were surveyed and a total of 87 (42%) responses were analyzed. Twenty-five percent of specialists had considered increasing duloxetine doses up to 60 mg/day and 58% had considered increasing pregabalin doses up to 300 mg/day for CNP refractory to opioid therapy. However, 23% of the specialists succeeded in increasing duloxetine doses up to 60 mg/day and 17% in increasing pregabalin doses up to 300 mg/day, respectively.
Les établissements médicosociaux, et plus spécifiquement les MAS (Maisons d'Accueil Spécialisées) et les FAM (Foyers d'Accueil Médicalisé), sont particulièrement concernés par la question de l'accompagnement en soins palliatifs et en fin de vie : parce qu'ils accueillent un public vieillissant, mais aussi parce qu'ils sont amenés à accompagner des situations de plus en plus complexes. Pour les personnes polyhandicapées ou atteintes d'un handicap sévère, l'entrée en établissement représente souvent le choix d'un lieu de vie définitif : c'est le lieu où elles vont vivre et finir leur vie, parfois prématurément du fait de leur vulnérabilité. Ces personnes et leur famille ont souvent eu à vivre déjà des deuils successifs : celui de la "bonne santé", de la vie au domicile, de l'autonomie et d'une certaine indépendance dans les activités du quotidien. Il appartient ainsi aux institutions d'inscrire la dimension palliative dans leur projet d'établissement. Pourtant, cette démarche semble parfois difficile : le rapport sur la fin de vie dans les établissements pour personnes adultes handicapées réalisé par l'Observatoire National de la Fin de vie en 2013 évoque ainsi une "fin de vie invisible". L'accompagnement palliatif en MAS et en FAM peut en effet soulever de nombreuses questions : à partir de quand une personne atteinte d'une pathologie évolutive et incurable relève-t-elle de soins palliatifs ? En quoi consiste un accompagnement en fin de vie, quand commence-t-il ? Quel est le cadre légal, et comment s'applique-t-il aux établissements médicosociaux ? Comment recueillir l'expression de la volonté de personnes dyscommunicantes, comment évaluer et soulager leur douleur ? Comment accompagner ces personnes, mais aussi leurs proches et les autres résidents de l'établissement ? Jusqu'où doit-on aller ? L'ensemble de l'équipe doit-il être impliqué ? C'est pour réfléchir collectivement à ces différentes questions que le groupement des MAS et FAM a décidé, en décembre 2015, de mettre en place un groupe de travail sur la démarche palliative en MAS et en FAM. Ce groupe a concrétisé deux projets : l'organisation d'une journée d'étude régionale (le 17 novembre 2017), et la réalisation de cette étude.
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Alors que le rapport d'information du Sénat sur la situation dans les EHPAD lui était remis, Mme Agnès Buzyn, ministre des solidarités et de la santé, disait aux sénateurs : "Le désarroi quotidien du personnel [des EHPAD] est en partie liée au fait que les personnes accueillies meurent en moyenne dans les deux ans. C'est très anxiogène et déprimant. Nous devons former le personnel et organiser la fin de vie en Ehpad." Mais comment ? Ce dossier, réalisé en collaboration avec la SFAP et le CNSPV, revient sur les droits des malades en fin de vie issus des lois du 22 avril 2005 et du 2 février 2016, apporte des données chiffrées et présente l'expérience de l'équipe mobile de soins palliatifs du Val-d'Oise, une EMSP entièrement réservée aux EHPAD.
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L'ouverture des États généraux de la bioéthique, à l'orée de 2018, a été l'occasion d'inscrire à l'ordre du jour une question qui, initialement, n'y était pas prévue, celle de la fin de vie. Et c'est sous la seule figure de la possible légalisation de l'euthanasie que le débat se cristallise. (R.A.).
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