Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

End-stage dementia patients deserve the same access to palliative care as people with cancer

13.05.2008
There is an urgent need to improve end-of-life care for older people in the final stages of dementia, according to an international review published in the May issue of Journal of Clinical Nursing.

“We must act now to stop people with dementia from suffering from protracted, potentially uncomfortable and undignified deaths” says Jan Draper, Professor of Nursing for The Open University, UK.

“The management of dementia is becoming a major international public health concern because people are living longer which means that more people are likely to develop this disease.”

Professor Draper teamed up with Deborah Birch, a Clinical Nurse Specialist working with older people in Lincoln,UK, to review 10 years of published research. They carried out a detailed analysis of 29 studies, from the USA, UK, Canada, Israel, Switzerland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland.

“Our review has reinforced the importance of providing appropriate palliative care to individuals suffering from end-stage dementia and clearly identified some of the barriers to extending such provision” says Professor Draper.

“These include concerns that such an expansion might lead to skills and funding shortages and, in turn, compromise the ability of existing palliative care teams to provide care to cancer patients, who tend to be the main recipients of this kind of care.

“We believe that clinicians and patient groups caring for patients with advanced dementia need to work together with specialist palliative care providers and health commissioners to develop, fund and evaluate appropriate cost-effective services that meet the needs of both patients and their families.

“If this is achieved, these improvements have the potential to increase people’s quality of life and reduce the amount of time they spend in acute hospitals.”

Birch and Draper say that the findings of their review indicate a number of ways that colleagues across healthcare disciplines can work together to enhance the quality of care they provide older people in the end stages of dementia. These include:

• Communicating the diagnosis of dementia in a sensitive way and indicating, as clearly as possible, how the disease is likely to progress.

• Acknowledging the potential influence that the individual beliefs and values of the healthcare team - such as difficult drug and treatment decisions - may have on the care provided.

• Improving and providing timely and accurate communication about key issues, including the role of advanced directives, such as living wills or do not resuscitate orders.

• Reconsidering aggressive medical treatments that have limited benefits and may cause further discomfort to dying patients.

• Encouraging professionals, carers and, where possible, patients to work together to plan appropriate care tailored to the needs of the individual.

• Reinforcing the need for multi-disciplinary ways of working.

• Reconsidering the most appropriate place to deliver end-of-life care.

• Acknowledging the right of all older people dying from end-stage dementia to have access to high-quality specialist palliative care services.

“Palliative care services are used to providing care for cancer patients, but high-quality care for people with end-stage dementia does not appear to be given the same priority” says Professor Draper.

“In the UK, for example, it has been a relatively neglected topic in relation to policy, planning, practice development and training.

“Population trends suggest that life expectancy is increasing and this will mean that more people are at risk of developing dementia, which affects one in 1,000 people under 65 but rises to one in five once people are over 85.

“Dementia is a progressive terminal illness for which there is currently no cure and patients dying from the disease have significant healthcare needs.

“Despite this, they are often denied the palliative care services that could improve their comfort and quality of life.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/jcn

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>