Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Referrals to palliative care come too late to improve quality of life for cancer patients

23.02.2005


Referrals to palliative care often come too late to improve quality of life for patients with cancer, a new study has found. A survey of family members of people who have died of cancer in Japan found that nearly half of respondents believed that referrals to palliative care were given too late in the course of the illness. The study, which will be published online February 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), is the first to investigate perceptions about referrals to end-of-life care among family members of cancer patients.

"Earlier referrals to palliative care are essential to alleviate suffering and improve treatment outcomes and quality of life for people with cancer," said Tatsuya Morita, MD, Department of Palliative and Supportive Care, Palliative Care Team and Seirei Hospice in Shizuoka, Japan, and lead author of the study. "Patients and their families should feel comfortable discussing end of life care with their physicians and each other so that palliative care services can be given at the most appropriate moment for the patient."

Palliative care treats the physical, spiritual, psychological, and social needs of a person with cancer, both during cancer treatment and at the end of life.



Researchers in Japan gave detailed questionnaires to 318 family members of cancer patients who had received end-of-life palliative care services. The survey asked respondents about their perception of the timing of referral to care, as well as their perceptions of the quality of palliative care.

The greatest proportion of respondents believed that palliative care referrals were given late (30%) or very late (19%). Forty-eight percent of families thought that referral timing was appropriate, while only 3.8% said that it was early or very early.

A number of factors determined the timing of palliative care referrals. Families who reported late or very late referrals were significantly less likely to report having discussions with physicians about end of life care (55%), compared to those who thought referral time was appropriate (79%). Of the families who did not have such conversations, factors included family unwillingness (14%), patient unwillingness (18%), and physician unwillingness (57%).

Families who reported late or very late referrals were two times more likely to believe before admission that palliative care shortens patient lives. They were also more likely to report feeling unprepared for changes in the patient’s condition as he or she neared the end of life.

Researchers found, however, that families’ perceptions of palliative care changed significantly once patients were admitted to palliative care units. Among 257 families who had low expectations before admission, 101 (39%) reported that the care was much better than expected, 76 families (30%) said it was better, while only 12 (4.7%) reported that care was worse.

An accompanying editorial by Betty Ferrell, PHD, FAAN, research scientist, City of Hope National Medical Center, notes that this study has great significance for people living with cancer in all countries.

"There is international recognition about the need to ease what is an incredibly difficult decision for patients and families about palliative care and increase earlier referrals to such programs," Dr. Ferrell said. "This study supports closer collaboration between oncologists and palliative care specialists, rather than simply a swift transfer from one provider to the other as the patient’s condition declines."

Danielle Potuto | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asco.org

More articles from Statistics:

nachricht Institutions of higher education spent more than Euro 48 billion in 2014
19.05.2016 | Statistisches Bundesamt

nachricht Microtechnology industry keen to invest and innovate
07.04.2016 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

All articles from Statistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>