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Palliative careis an interdisciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress at any stage of illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the person and their family. Evidence as of 2016 supports palliative care's efficacy in the improvement of a patient's quality of life.
Health care or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health care is delivered by health professionals in allied health fields. Physicians and physician associates are a part of these health professionals. Dentistry, midwifery, nursing, medicine, optometry, audiology, pharmacy, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and other health professions are all part of health care. It includes work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health.
Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. Nurses may be differentiated from other health care providers by their approach to patient care, training, and scope of practice. Nurses practice in many specialties with differing levels of prescription authority. Many nurses provide care within the ordering scope of physicians, and this traditional role has shaped the public image of nurses as care providers. However, nurse practitioners are permitted by most jurisdictions to practice independently in a variety of settings. In the postwar period, nurse education has undergone a process of diversification towards advanced and specialized credentials, and many of the traditional regulations and provider roles are changing.
Pain is a distressing feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli. The International Association for the Study of Pain's widely used definition defines pain as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage"; however, due to it being a complex, subjective phenomenon, defining pain has been a challenge. In medical diagnosis, pain is regarded as a symptom of an underlying condition.
Palliative care is provided by a team of physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologistsand other health professionals who work together with the primary care physician and referred specialists and other hospital or hospice staff to provide additional support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided as the main goal of care or along with curative treatment. Although it is an important part of end-of-life care, it is not limited to that stage. Palliative care can be provided across multiple settings including in hospitals, at home, as part of community palliative care programs, and in skilled nursing facilities. Interdisciplinary palliative care teams work with people and their families to clarify goals of care and provide symptom management, psycho-social, and spiritual support.
A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.
A primary care physician (PCP) is a physician who provides both the first contact for a person with an undiagnosed health concern as well as continuing care of varied medical conditions, not limited by cause, organ system, or diagnosis. The term is primarily used in the United States. In the past in the US and still in the United Kingdom, the equivalent term was/is general practitioner.
A medical speciality is a branch of medical practice that is focused on a defined group of patients, diseases, skills or philosophy, e.g. children (paediatrics), cancer (oncology), laboratory medicine (pathology) or primary care. After completing medical school, physicians or surgeons usually further their medical education in a specific specialty of medicine by completing a multiple year residency to become a medical specialist.
Physicians sometimes use the term palliative care in a sense meaning palliative therapies without curative intent, when no cure can be expected (as often happens in late-stage cancers). For example, tumor debulking can continue to reduce pain from mass effect even when it is no longer curative. A clearer usage is palliative, noncurative therapy when that is what is meant, because palliative care can be used along with curative or aggressive therapies.
Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread. Possible signs and symptoms include a lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss and a change in bowel movements. While these symptoms may indicate cancer, they may have other causes. Over 100 types of cancers affect humans.
In medicine, a mass effect is the effect of a growing mass that results in secondary pathological effects by pushing on or displacing surrounding tissue.
Medications and treatments are said to have a palliative effect if they relieve symptoms without having a curative effect on the underlying disease or cause. This can include treating nausea related to chemotherapy or something as simple as morphine to treat the pain of broken leg or ibuprofen to treat pain related to an influenza infection.
Morphine is a pain medication of the opiate family which is found naturally in a number of plants and animals. It acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to decrease the feeling of pain. It can be taken for both acute pain and chronic pain. It is frequently used for pain from myocardial infarction and during labor. It can be given by mouth, by injection into a muscle, by injection under the skin, intravenously, injection into the space around the spinal cord, or rectally. Maximum effect is reached after about 20 minutes when given intravenously and after 60 minutes when given by mouth, while duration of effect is 3–7 hours. Long-acting formulations also exist.
Ibuprofen is a medication in the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) class that is used for treating pain, fever, and inflammation. This includes painful menstrual periods, migraines, and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also be used to close a patent ductus arteriosus in a premature baby. It can be used by mouth or intravenously. It typically begins working within an hour.
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe. The most common symptoms include: high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, sneezing, and feeling tired. These symptoms typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week. The cough, however, may last for more than two weeks. In children, there may be diarrhea and vomiting, but these are not common in adults. Diarrhea and vomiting occur more commonly in gastroenteritis, which is an unrelated disease and sometimes inaccurately referred to as "stomach flu" or the "24-hour flu". Complications of influenza may include viral pneumonia, secondary bacterial pneumonia, sinus infections, and worsening of previous health problems such as asthma or heart failure.
Palliative care is given to people who have any serious illness and who have physical, psychological, social, or spiritual distress as a result of the treatment they are seeking or receiving.Palliative care increases comfort by lessening pain, controlling symptoms, and lessening stress for the patient and family, and should not be delayed when it is indicated. Evidence shows that end-of-life communication interventions decrease utilization (such as length of stay), particularly in the intensive care unit setting, and that palliative care interventions (mostly in the outpatient setting) are effective for improving patient and caregiver perceptions of care.
Spiritual distress is a disturbance in a person's belief system. As an approved nursing diagnosis, spiritual distress is defined as "a disruption in the life principle that pervades a person's entire being and that integrates and transcends one's biological and psychological nature."
Palliative care is not reserved for people in end-of-life care and can improve quality of life, decrease depressive symptoms, and increase survival time.If palliative care is indicated for a person in an emergency department, then that care should begin in the emergency department immediately and with referral to additional palliative care services. Emergency care physicians often are the first medical professionals to open the discussion about palliative care and hospice services with people needing care and their families.
End-of-life care refers to health care, not only of a person in the final hours or days of their lives, but more broadly care of all those with a terminal condition that has become advanced, progressive, and incurable.
Quality of life (QOL) is an overarching term for the quality of the various domains in life. It is a standard level that consists of the expectations of an individual or society for a good life. These expectations are guided by the values, goals and socio-cultural context in which an individual lives. It is a subjective, multidimensional concept that defines a standard level for emotional, physical, material and social well-being. It serves as a reference against which an individual or society can measure the different domains of one’s own life. The extent to which one's own life coincides with this desired standard level, put differently, the degree to which these domains give satisfaction and as such contribute to one's subjective well-being, is called life satisfaction.
An emergency department (ED), also known as an accident & emergency department (A&E), emergency room (ER), emergency ward (EW) or casualty department, is a medical treatment facility specializing in emergency medicine, the acute care of patients who present without prior appointment; either by their own means or by that of an ambulance. The emergency department is usually found in a hospital or other primary care center.
In some cases, medical specialty professional organizations recommend that sick people and physicians respond to an illness only with palliative care and not with a therapy directed at the disease. The following items are indications named by the American Society of Clinical Oncology as characteristics of a person who should receive palliative care but not any cancer-directed therapy.
These characteristics may be generally applicable to other disease conditions besides cancer.[ citation needed ]
Palliative care is a term derived from Latin palliare, "to cloak." It refers to specialised medical care for people with serious illnesses. It is focused on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness — whatever the prognosis.The goal is to improve quality of life for both the sick person and the family as they are the central system for care.
A World Health Organization statementdescribes palliative care as "an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual." More generally, however, the term "palliative care" may refer to any care that alleviates symptoms, whether or not there is hope of a cure by other means; thus, palliative treatments may be used to alleviate the side effects of curative treatments, such as relieving the nausea associated with chemotherapy.
The term "palliative care" is increasingly used with regard to diseases other than cancer such as chronic, progressive pulmonary disorders, renal disease, chronic heart failure, HIV/AIDS and progressive neurological conditions. In addition, the rapidly growing field of pediatric palliative care has clearly shown the need for services geared specifically for children with serious illness.
While palliative care may seem to offer a broad range of services, the goals of palliative treatment are concrete: relief from suffering, treatment of pain and other distressing symptoms, psychological and spiritual care, a support system to help the individual live as actively as possible and a support system to sustain and rehabilitate the individual's family.
Starting in 2006 in the United States, palliative medicine is now a board certified sub-speciality of internal medicine with specialised fellowships for physicians who are interested in the field.
In the United States, a distinction should be made between palliative care and hospice care. Hospice services and palliative care programs share similar goals of providing symptom relief and pain management.Palliative care services can be appropriate for anyone with a serious, complex illness, whether they are expected to recover fully, to live with chronic illness for an extended time, or to experience disease progression.
Hospice care focuses on five topics: communication, collaboration, compassionate caring, comfort, and cultural (spiritual) care. The end of life treatment in hospice differs from that in hospitals because the medical and support staff are specialized in treating only the terminally ill. This specialization allows for the staff to handle the legal and ethical matters surrounding death more thoroughly and efficiently with survivors of the patient. Hospice comfort care also differentiates because patients are admitted to continue managing discomfort relief treatments while the terminally ill receiving comfort care in a hospital are admitted because end-of-life symptoms are poorly controlled or because current outpatient symptom relief efforts are ineffective.
Hospice is a type of care involving palliation without curative intent. Usually, it is used for people with no further options for curing their disease or in people who have decided not to pursue further options that are arduous, likely to cause more symptoms, and not likely to succeed. Hospice care under the Medicare Hospice Benefit requires that two physicians certify that a person has less than six months to live if the disease follows its usual course. This does not mean, though, that if a person is still living after six months in hospice he or she will be discharged from the service.
The philosophy and multi-disciplinary team approach are similar with hospice and palliative care, and indeed the training programs and many organizations provide both. The biggest difference between hospice and palliative care is the type of illness people have, where they are in their illness especially related to prognosis, and their goals/wishes regarding curative treatment.
Outside the United States there is generally no such division of terminology or funding, and all such care with a primarily palliative focus, whether or not for people with a terminal illness, is usually referred to as palliative care.
Outside the United States the term hospice usually refers to a building or institution which specializes in palliative care, rather than to a particular stage of care progression. Such institutions may predominantly specialize in providing care in an end-of-life setting; but they may also be available for people with other specific palliative care needs.
Despite the fact that many individuals are now dying either at home or in a care facility, as of 2010, 29% of all deaths in the United States occurred in a hospital setting, these statistics increased in 2016 to about 60% of all deaths occurred in the hospital which is a substantial increase from 2010. which is still a rather substantial percentage. [ citation needed ] Comfort care can require meticulous techniques to alleviate distress caused by severe health troubles near the end of life. Doctors, nurses, nurses aides, social workers, chaplains, and other hospital support staff work systematically together to carry out end of life care and comfort in the hospital setting. Hospitals are able to accommodate the demand for acute medical attention as well as education and supportive therapies for the families of their loved ones. Within hospital settings, there is an increasing shortage of board-certified palliative care specialists. This shortage results in the responsibility of comfort care falling on the shoulders of other individuals.
Comfort care in hospitals differs from comfort care in hospices because patients’ end-of-life symptoms are poorly controlled prior to checking in. The average time between death and the admission of a terminally ill patient is 7.9 days.Patients receiving end of life care in a hospice setting typically have a longer time between their admission and death; 60% of hospice patients passed within approximately 30 days of being admitted. The average length of stay at a hospice house from admission to death is about 48 hours.
A method for the assessment of symptoms in people admitted to palliative care is the Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scale (ESAS), in which there are eight visual analog scales (VAS) of 0 to 10, indicating the levels of pain, activity, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, appetite and sensation of well-being,sometimes with the addition of shortness of breath. On the scales, 0 means that the symptom is absent and 10 that it is of worst possible severity. It is completed either by the person in need of care alone, by the person with a nurse's assistance, or by the nurses or relatives.
Medications used in palliative care are used differently from standard medications, based on established practices with varying degrees of evidence.Examples include the use of antipsychotic medications to treat nausea, anticonvulsants to treat pain, and morphine to treat dyspnea. Routes of administration may differ from acute or chronic care, as many people in palliative care lose the ability to swallow. A common alternative route of administration is subcutaneous, as it is less traumatic and less difficult to maintain than intravenous medications. Other routes of administration include sublingual, intramuscular and transdermal. Medications are often managed at home by family or nursing support.
Palliative care interventions in care homes may contribute to lower discomfort for residents with dementia, and to improve family member's views of the quality of care.However, higher quality research is needed to support the benefits of these interventions for older people dying in these facilities.
For many, knowing that the end of life is approaching induces various forms of emotional and psychological distress. The key to effective palliative care is to provide a safe way for the individual to address their distresses, that is to say their total suffering, a concept first thought up by Cicely Saunders, and now widely used, for instance by authors like Twycross or Woodruff.Dealing with total suffering involves a broad range of concerns, starting with treating physical symptoms such as pain, nausea and breathlessness with various medications. Usually, the sick person's concerns are pain, fears about the future, loss of independence, worries about their family and feeling like a burden. The interdisciplinary team also often includes a licensed mental health professional, a licensed social worker, or a counselor, as well as spiritual support such as a chaplain, who can play roles in helping people and their families cope. There are five principal methods for addressing patient anxiety in palliative care settings. They are counseling, visualisation, cognitive methods, drug therapy and relaxation therapy. Palliative pets can play a role in this last category.
To take care of a patient's pain that is at the End of Life, one has to understand that it is of the utmost importance to take care of the Total Body Pain. This Total Body Pain is the sum of all of the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual pain they can be enduring at this stressful time.When someone is at the end of their life and they are seeking comfort care, the majority of the time they are in excruciating pain. This pain can be a physical manifestation to where their body is beginning to fight back on itself causing a multitude of physical symptoms. The pain can be in a psychosocial manifestation and can be dealt with by the medical team having open communication about how to cope with and prepare for death. The last aspect of pain that is included in Total Body Pain is the spiritual pain manifestation; if patients spiritual needs are met, then studies show that they will be more likely to get hospice care. Addressing the needs of the Total Body Pain can lead to a better quality of life overall for the patients.
The Physical pain can be managed in a way that uses adequate pain medications as long as they will not put the patient at further risk for developing or increasing medical diagnoses such as heart problems or difficulty breathing.Patients at the end of life can exhibit many physical symptoms that can cause extreme pain such as dyspnea (or difficulty breathing), Coughing, Xerostomia (Dry Mouth), Nausea and Vomiting, Constipation, Fever, Delirium, Excessive Oral and Pharyngeal Secretions (“Death Rattle”) and many more painful symptoms can be seen that they are hoping to get some pain relief from.
Once the immediate physical pain has been dealt with, it is important to remember to be a compassionate and empathetic caregiver that is there to listen and be there for their patients. Being able to identify the distressing factors in their life other than the pain can help them be more comfortable.When a patient has their needs met then they are more likely to be open to the idea of hospice or treatments outside of comfort care. Having a Psychosocial assessment allows the medical team to help facilitate a healthy patient-family understanding of adjustment, coping and support. This communication between the medical team and the patients and family can also help facilitate discussions on the process of maintaining and enhancing relationships, finding meaning in the dying process, and achieving a sense of control while confronting and preparing for death.
When a patient is at the end of life, one of the most important things that a lot of them want to talk to their physicians about is their spirituality. Regardless of this desire, less than 50% of physicians believe that it is their job to address these religious concerns, and only a minority of patients have been recorded to have had their spiritual needs met.Most of the time these patients are referred to Chaplain services if they are available or they rely on the medical staff available and any family and friends that may be there as well. Chaplain services are one of the best services available for meeting this spiritual need. That being said, there are not enough Chaplains available at any one time and the majority of them are not qualified to be giving services to Comfort Care patients whom often have the most serious illnesses. According to a multiple site cohort study involving 343 advanced cancer patients, it was found that those who had their religious needs met were more likely than those who did not have their religious needs met to go through with more hospice care and to not get unnecessary treatments at the end of life, as well as the study showed that they ended up having higher quality of life scores than those who did not have their spiritual needs met.
Palliative care for children and young people is an active and total approach to care, from the point of diagnosis, throughout the child's life, death and beyond. It embraces physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements and focuses on the enhancement of quality of life for the child or young person, and support for the whole family. It includes the management of distressing symptoms, provision of short breaks, end of life care and bereavement support.
Palliative care can be introduced at any point throughout a child's life; it is completely individual. Some children may require palliative care from birth, others only as their condition deteriorates. Families may also vary as to whether they wish to pursue treatments aimed to cure or significantly prolong life. In practice, palliative care should be offered from diagnosis of a life-limiting condition or recognition that curative treatment for a life-threatening condition is not an option; however, each situation is different and care should be tailored to the child.
There are an estimated 49,000 children and young people in the UK living with a life-threatening or life-limiting condition that may require palliative care services.A 2015 survey from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) found that nearly a third of children's nurses said they don't have the resources to deliver adequate care in the home setting.
Australia and New Zealand
The Paediatric Palliative Care Australia and New Zealand Corporation (PPCANZ) in conjunction with Palliative Care Australia supports a 'Paediatric Palliative Care' websitewhich provides practical information about paediatric palliative care to families who have a child with a life-limiting illness, as well as information about the people who support them. There is however very little empirical research regarding the support provided to children in palliative care. To help address the lack of research, the Palliative Care Unit at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, is currently conducting an international modified delphi study to provide 'Recommendations for Speech-Language Pathologist (SLPs) in Paediatric Palliative Care Teams' (abbrev. RESP3CT). This study will conclude in 2020/2021 and hopefully provide greater information with regard to the collaborative role of SLPs assisting children, families and clinical staff regarding appropriate and multidisciplinary palliative care.
Palliative care began in the hospice movement and is now widely used outside of traditional hospice care. Hospices were originally places of rest for travellers in the 4th century. In the 19th century a religious order established hospices for the dying in Ireland and London. The modern hospice is a relatively recent concept that originated and gained momentum in the United Kingdom after the founding of St. Christopher's Hospice in 1967. It was founded by Dame Cicely Saunders, widely regarded as the founder of the modern hospice movement. Dame Cicely Saunders, went to St.Thomas’ Hospital in 1944 to become a nurse. After working with the terminally ill she went and became a doctor in 1957 so that she could start her own hospice. [ citation needed ]Dr. Cicely Saunders then opened her own hospice after she saw all of the terminally ill patients that she nursed in excruciating pain because their pain was not being managed like it should have been.
In the UK in 2005 there were just under 1,700 hospice services consisting of 220 inpatient units for adults with 3,156 beds, 33 inpatient units for children with 255 beds, 358 home care services, 104 hospice at home services, 263 day care services and 293 hospital teams. These services together helped over 250,000 people in 2003 and 2004.[ citation needed ]
Hospice in the United States has grown from a volunteer-led movement to a significant part of the health care system. In 2005 around 1.2 million persons and their families received hospice care. Hospice is the only Medicare benefit that includes pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, twenty-four-hour/seven-day-a-week access to care and support for loved ones following a death. Most hospice care is delivered at home. Hospice care is also available to people in home-like hospice residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, veterans' facilities, hospitals, and prisons.[ citation needed ]
The first United States hospital-based palliative care consult service was developed by the Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1985 at Detroit Receiving Hospital.The first palliative medicine program in the United States was started in 1987 by Declan Walsh, MD at the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio. This is a comprehensive integrated program, responsible for several notable innovations in US palliative medicine; the first clinical and research fellowship (1991), acute care palliative medicine inpatient unit (1994), and Chair in Palliative Medicine (1994). The program evolved into The Harry R. Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine which was designated as a World Health Organization international demonstration project and accredited by the European Society for Medical Oncology as an Integrated Center of Oncology and Palliative Care. Other programs followed: most notable the Palliative Care Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin (1993); Pain and Palliative Care Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (1996); and The Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine (1997). Since then there has been a dramatic increase in hospital-based palliative care programs, now numbering more than 1,400. Eighty percent of US hospitals with more than 300 beds have a program.
A widely cited report in 2007 of a randomized controlled trial with 298 patients found that palliative care delivered to patients and their caregivers at home improved satisfaction with care while decreasing medical service use and the cost of care.
A 2009 study regarding the availability of palliative care in 120 US cancer center hospitals reported the following: only 23% of the centers have beds that are dedicated to palliative care; 37% offer inpatient hospice; 75% have a median time of referral to palliative care to the time of death of 30 to 120 days; research programs, palliative care fellowships, and mandatory rotations for oncology fellows were uncommon.
The results of a 2010 study in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that people with lung cancer who received early palliative care in addition to standard oncologic care experienced less depression, increased quality of life and survived 2.7 months longer than those receiving standard oncologic care.
In 2011, The Joint Commission (an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies thousands of health care organizations and programs in the United States) began an Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care that recognizes hospital inpatient programs. In order to obtain this certification, a hospital must show superior care and enhancement of the quality of life for people with serious illness.
The first pan-European center devoted to improving palliative care and end-of-life care was established in Trondheim, Norway in 2009. The center is based at NTNU's Faculty of Medicine and at St. Olav's Hospital/Trondheim University Hospital and coordinates efforts between groups and individual researchers across Europe, specifically Scotland, England, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, along with the United States, Canada and Australia.[ citation needed ]
Families of persons who get a referral to palliative care during a hospitalization incur less costs than people with similar conditions who do not get a palliative care referral.
Funding for hospice and palliative care services varies. In Great Britain and many other countries all palliative care is offered free, either through the National Health Service (as in the UK) or through charities working in partnership with the local health services. Palliative care services in the US are paid by philanthropy, fee-for service mechanisms, or from direct hospital support while hospice care is provided as Medicare benefit; similar hospice benefits are offered by Medicaid and most private health insurers. Under the Medicare Hospice Benefit (MHB) a person signs off their Medicare Part B (acute hospital payment) and enrolls in the MHB through Medicare Part B with direct care provided by a Medicare certified hospice agency. Under terms of the MHB the Hospice agency is responsible for the Plan of Care and may not bill the person for services. The hospice agency, together with the person's primary physician, is responsible for determining the Plan of Care. All costs related to the terminal illness are paid from a per diem rate (~US $126/day) that the hospice agency receives from Medicare – this includes all drugs and equipment, nursing, social service, chaplain visits and other services deemed appropriate by the hospice agency; Medicare does not pay for custodial care. People may elect to withdraw from the MHB and return to Medicare Part A and later re-enrol in hospice.
In most countries hospice care and palliative care is provided by an interdisciplinary team consisting of physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, hospice chaplains, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, complementary therapists, volunteers, and, most importantly, the family. The team's focus is to optimize the person's comfort. In some countries, additional members of the team may include certified nursing assistants and home healthcare aides, as well as volunteers from the community (largely untrained but some being skilled medical personnel), and housekeepers. In the United States, the physician subspeciality of hospice and palliative medicine was established in 2006to provide expertise in the care of people with life-limiting, advanced disease, and catastrophic injury; the relief of distressing symptoms; the coordination of interdisciplinary care in diverse settings; the use of specialized care systems including hospice; the management of the imminently dying patient; and legal and ethical decision making in end-of-life care.
Caregivers, both family and volunteers, are crucial to the palliative care system. Caregivers and people being treated often form lasting friendships over the course of care. As a consequence caregivers may find themselves under severe emotional and physical strain. Opportunities for caregiver respite are some of the services hospices provide to promote caregiver well-being. Respite may last a few hours up to several days (the latter being done by placing the primary person being cared for in a nursing home or inpatient hospice unit for several days).
In the US, board certification for physicians in palliative care was through the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine; recently this was changed to be done through any of 11 different speciality boards through an American Board of Medical Specialties-approved procedure. Additionally, board certification is available to osteopathic physicians (D.O.) in the United States through four medical speciality boards through an American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists-approved procedure.More than 50 fellowship programs provide one to two years of speciality training following a primary residency. In Britain palliative care has been a full speciality of medicine since 1989 and training is governed by the same regulations through the Royal College of Physicians as with any other medical speciality. Nurses, in the United States and internationally, can receive continuing education credits through Palliative Care specific trainings, such as those offered by End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC)
In India Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai has started a physician course in palliative medicine for the first time in the country since 2012.
In the United States, hospice and palliative care represent two different aspects of care with similar philosophy, but with different payment systems and location of services. Palliative care services are most often provided in acute care hospitals organized around an interdisciplinary consultation service, with or without an acute inpatient palliative care unit. Palliative care may also be provided in the dying person's home as a "bridge" program between traditional US home care services and hospice care or provided in long-term care facilities.In contrast over 80% of hospice care in the US is provided at home with the remainder provided to people in long-term care facilities or in free standing hospice residential facilities. In the UK hospice is seen as one part of the speciality of palliative care and no differentiation is made between 'hospice' and 'palliative care'.
In the UK palliative care services offer inpatient care, home care, day care and outpatient services, and work in close partnership with mainstream services. Hospices often house a full range of services and professionals for children and adults. In 2015 the UK's palliative care was ranked as the best in the world "due to comprehensive national policies, the extensive integration of palliative care into the National Health Service , a strong hospice movement, and deep community engagement on the issue."
The focus on a person's quality of life has increased greatly since the 1990s. In the United States today, 55% of hospitals with more than 100 beds offer a palliative-care program,and nearly one-fifth of community hospitals have palliative-care programs. A relatively recent development is the palliative-care team, a dedicated health care team that is entirely geared toward palliative treatment.
Physicians practicing palliative care do not always receive support from the people they are treating, family members, healthcare professionals or their social peers. More than half of physicians in one survey reported that they have had at least one experience where a patient's family members, another physician or another health care professional had characterised their work as being "euthanasia, murder or killing" during the last five years. A quarter of them had received similar comments from their own friends or family member, or from a patient.
A radiation oncologist is a specialist physician who uses ionizing radiation in the treatment of cancer. Radiation oncology is one of the three primary specialties, the other two being surgical and medical oncology, involved in the treatment of cancer. Radiation can be given as a curative modality, either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. It may also be used palliatively, to relieve symptoms in patients with incurable cancers. A radiation oncologist may also use radiation to treat some benign diseases, including benign tumors. In some countries, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are controlled by a single oncologist who is a "clinical oncologist". Radiation oncologists work closely with other physicians such as surgical oncologists, interventional radiologists, internal medicine subspecialists, and medical oncologists, as well as medical physicists and technicians as part of the multi-disciplinary cancer team.. Radiation oncologists undergo four years of oncology specific training whereas oncologists who deliver chemotherapy have two years of additional training in cancer care during fellowship after internal medicine residency in the United States.
In medicine, specifically in end-of-life care, palliative sedation is the palliative practice of relieving distress in a terminally ill person in the last hours or days of a dying patient's life, usually by means of a continuous intravenous or subcutaneous infusion of a sedative drug, or by means of a specialized catheter designed to provide comfortable and discreet administration of ongoing medications via the rectal route.
Terminal illness or end-stage disease is an incurable disease that cannot be adequately treated and is reasonably expected to result in the death of the patient. This term is more commonly used for progressive diseases such as cancer or advanced heart disease than for trauma. In popular use, it indicates a disease that will progress until death with near absolute certainty, regardless of treatment. A patient who has such an illness may be referred to as a terminal patient, terminally ill or simply terminal. There is no standardized life expectancy for a patient to be considered terminal, although it is generally months or less. Life expectancy for terminal patients is a rough estimate given by the physician based on previous data and does not always reflect true longevity. An illness which is lifelong but not fatal is a chronic condition.
Dame Cicely Mary Saunders, OM DBE FRCS FRCP FRCN was an English Anglican nurse, social worker, physician and writer, involved with many international universities. She is best known for her role in the birth of the hospice movement, emphasising the importance of palliative care in modern medicine. She is the subject of a biography published in 2018, to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth.
Ira Robert Byock is an American physician, author, and advocate for palliative care. He is founder and chief medical officer of the Providence St. Joseph Health Institute for Human Caring in Torrance, California, and holds appointments as active emeritus professor of medicine and professor of community health and family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He was director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center, from 2003-14, and associate director for patient and family-centered care at the affiliated Norris-Cotton Cancer Center.
A caregiver or carer is an unpaid or paid member of a person's social network who helps them with activities of daily living. Caregiving is most commonly used to address impairments related to old age, disability, a disease, or a mental disorder.
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System(SRHS) is one of South Carolina's largest healthcare systems. SRHS draws patients primarily from the areas of Spartanburg, Cherokee, Union and Greenville counties, located in the Piedmont region of South Carolina, and Rutherford and Polk counties, located in western North Carolina. Spartanburg General Hospital was organized under the authority of the South Carolina General Assembly in 1917, and officially became the Spartanburg Regional Health Services District, Inc., a political subdivision of the State of South Carolina, by charter granted by the secretary of state of South Carolina on May 1, 1995.
The Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient (LCP) was a care pathway in the United Kingdom covering palliative care options for patients in the final days or hours of life. It was developed to help doctors and nurses provide quality end-of-life care. Now discredited, the LCP was widely abused as a 'tick box exercise', with patients being casually assessed as terminal, heavily sedated, and denied water so the diagnosis became self-fulfilling. Hospitals were also provided cash incentives to achieve targets for the number of patients placed on the LCP.
The philosophy of healthcare is the study of the ethics, processes, and people which constitute the maintenance of health for human beings. For the most part, however, the philosophy of healthcare is best approached as an indelible component of human social structures. That is, the societal institution of healthcare can be seen as a necessary phenomenon of human civilization whereby an individual continually seeks to improve, mend, and alter the overall nature and quality of their life. This perennial concern is especially prominent in modern political liberalism, wherein health has been understood as the foundational good necessary for public life.
Hospice care in the United States is a type and philosophy of end-of-life care which focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient's symptoms. These symptoms can be physical, emotional, spiritual or social in nature. The concept of hospice as a place to treat the incurably ill has been evolving since the 11th century. Hospice care was introduced to the United States in the 1970s in response to the work of Cicely Saunders in the United Kingdom. This part of health care has expanded as people face a variety of issues with terminal illness. In the United States, it is distinguished by extensive use of volunteers and a greater emphasis on the patient's psychological needs in coming to terms with dying.
Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs. In Western society, the concept of hospice has been evolving in Europe since the 11th century. Then, and for centuries thereafter in Roman Catholic tradition, hospices were places of hospitality for the sick, wounded, or dying, as well as those for travelers and pilgrims. The modern concept of hospice includes palliative care for the incurably ill given in such institutions as hospitals or nursing homes, but also care provided to those who would rather spend their last months and days of life in their own homes. The first modern hospice care was created by Cicely Saunders in 1967.
Diane E. Meier, an American geriatrician and palliative care specialist, is Director of the Center to Advance Palliative care (CAPC) - a national organization dedicated to increasing the number and quality of palliative care programs in the United States. Meier is also Vice-Chair for Public Policy, Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Meier was founder and Director of the Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City from 1997 to 2011.
An informal or primary caregiver is an individual in a cancer patient's life that provides unpaid assistance and cancer-related care. Due to the typically late onset of cancer, caregivers are often the spouses and/or children of patients, but may also be parents, other family members, or close friends. Informal caregivers are a major form of support for the cancer patient because they provide most care outside of the hospital environment. This support includes:
Terminal dehydration is dehydration to the point of death, potentially as a suicide method. Some scholars make a distinction between "terminal dehydration" and "termination by dehydration". Courts in the United States generally do not recognize prisoners as having a right to die by voluntary dehydration, since they view it as suicide.
Death trajectory refers to the pattern of dying when a patient is given a projected death date with limited or no medical recourse for the remaining existence of the individual's life. The death trajectory is dependent on the cause of death, whether it is sudden death, chronic illness, or the steady decline in health due to senescence (aging). Death trajectory is analyzed in two separate aspects: duration and shape. Duration refers to the period of time a patient has to live, which can be anywhere from imminent death to several months. Shape refers to how that duration is then graphed. In other words, the shape is "the course of dying, its predictability, and whether death is expected or unexpected".
Carondelet Health Network is a large Catholic health care provider in Arizona. It is a non-profit corporation with five facilities: Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital, Carondelet Neurological Institute, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute, and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital.
Undertreatment of pain is the absence of pain management therapy for a person in pain when treatment is indicated.
Cancer rehabilitation has been defined in the scientific literature as a distinct field of medicine that focuses on reducing or eliminating side-effects of cancer treatment and improving survivors' strength, ability to function and quality of life
Dr. Margaret Ruth McCorkle FAAN, FAPOS is an international leader and award-winning pioneer in oncology nursing. She is currently the Florence Schorske Wald Professor of Nursing at the Yale School of Nursing.
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