The latest medical research on Palliative Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about palliative medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Quality of Sleep in Patients with Cancer: A Cross-sectional Observational Study.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

Insomnia and poor sleep quality are common problems in patients with cancer. It interferes with the coping ability, symptoms, and treatment outcomes. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) is a reliable, valid instrument to assess the quality of sleep in patients with cancer.

The study was conducted at the department of medical oncology of a tertiary cancer care center. Consecutive eligible participants were recruited and evaluated for sleep quality using PSQI questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered only once with the questions evaluating to the quality of sleep over the last 1 month. A PSQI total score of ≤5 was suggestive of good quality of sleep and a score of >5 was indicative of poor quality of sleep.

Ninety-two consecutive consenting cancer patients admitted for chemotherapy participated in the study. Thirty-one (33.7%) patients had early cancer and 35 (38%) patients had Stage IV metastatic disease. Thirty-six (39.1%) patients reported sleep of <6 h and 30 (32.6%) patients had impaired functioning during day due to sleepiness. Fifty-three (57.6%) patients had poor total PSQI score, of which 39 (73.5%) were female and 14 (26.5%) were male. The study showed no correlation of the PSQI scores with the stage of the disease, and the prior treatment received.

The study showed that Indian cancer patients have short sleep duration and poor quality of sleep. A higher prevalence of sleep disturbances was seen among female cancer patients. PSQI questionnaire can be a cost-effective way of screening cancer patients for poor quality of sleep.

Prescription Pattern of Drugs Used for Neuropathic Pain and Adherence to NeuPSIG Guidelines in Cancer.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

The objective of the present research was to evaluate the prescription pattern of the drugs used in the pharmacological treatment of cancer-related neuropathic pain (CRNP) and to assess the adherence of the physicians to the Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group (NeuPSIG) Guidelines.

This was a cross-sectional, observational study where patients who presented to the pain and palliative care outpatient clinic of the tertiary care hospital with CRNP were prospectively recruited. Participants were screened for neuropathic pain using DN4 questionnaire. Demographic details, diagnosis, medication details, and adherence to NeuPSIG guidelines were assessed using a validated questionnaire.

Of 300 patients screened, 64% were male and 36% were female, with a mean age of 48.26 ± 13.05 years. The predominant symptoms found were pin-and-needle sensation (99%) followed by tingling sensation (98.66%). The most common diagnosis was head-and-neck cancers (37.3%) followed by bone cancers (17.3%) and lung cancers (15.3%). Among the first-line drugs recommended in NeuPSIG for CRNP, pregabalin (78.7%) was the most common drug prescribed followed by amitriptyline (67%). The most common co-prescribed drugs were acid suppressants drugs (50.7%). Tapentadol, which is not part of the NeuPSIG guidelines, was prescribed on 51 occasions for neuropathic pain. Underdosing was observed in 272 prescriptions. Only 12 prescriptions completely adhered, while 275 had partial, and 13 prescriptions had poor adherence to NeuPSIG guidelines.

The most commonly used drugs in the treatment of CRNP were pregabalin and amitriptyline. Most physician partially or did not adhere to the NeuPSIG guideline in the management of CRNP.

HealthCare-Related Quality of Life and Lived Existential Experiences among Young Adults Diagnosed with Cancer: A Mixed-Method Study.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

As cancer is a noncommunicable disease and it is a major global burden in terms of finances. It is also affecting quality of life of a person completely.

The aim of the present study was to identify the effect of cancer on quality of life of an individual as a whole.

The present study was triangulation study, and we examined 30 young adult cancer patients of age group 20-44 years who were admitted in different oncological units of our hospital in 2018. We included all their case datasheets for identifying clinical variables. Data collection tools used were the European organization for research and treatment for cancer quality of life questionnaire (version 3-Hindi). Qualitative data were collected using open-ended questionnaire regarding young adult cancer patient's experiences, feelings, and difficulties faced during cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Results concluded that young adult cancer patient's global health status score were average. Their physical function as well as social function score depicted that both were affected significantly, whereas cognitive functions were not affected anymore. Most commonly symptoms faced by young adult's cancer patients were pain, insomnia, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss. Financial burden was major burden faced by patient as well as caregiver during the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. From qualitative data of the study, it was concluded that when patient were first told about cancer diagnosis first, they feel sad. Their primary relatives were first informed about their diagnosis. Most of patient's cancer were diagnosed in first stage. Cancer had affected patient's personal as well as social life completely. Nobody helps them during the diagnosis and treatment of their disease. Majority of cancer treatment options were chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery and majority of them were getting chemotherapy from AIIMS, Rishikesh. The most common difficulty the patient's faced during the diagnosis of cancer was financial. Patient's opinion for cancer and its treatment were that everybody who had any symptoms of cancer they should immediately come to hospital for treatment. When we asked them about effect of cancer as a whole their responses were disturbed family role, disturbed attachment with family and friends, disturbed social role, financial burden as well as disturbed education, respectively.

From this study, we concluded that quality of life of young adult cancer patients were affected badly in terms of physical, social, symptomatically, and financially. It may also help to plan ahead by patients as well as health professionals to improve the patient's quality of life.

A Study on the Motivations of Korean Hospice Volunteers.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

Volunteers play a key role in hospice and palliative service. This study was performed to investigate the motivations of Korean hospice volunteers and to identify the predictors that affect their service period.

The accomplished questionnaire sheets of 93 subjects were included in the analysis. Inventory of Motivations for Hospice Palliative Care Volunteerism to measure the motivations of the hospice volunteers was used. The collected data were subjected to a statistical analysis of the mean and standard deviation, a t-test, and multinomial logistic regression analysis.

The motivation score of the hospice volunteers in South Korea is 75.57 ± 10.97, and the top three in the motivation list were altruism, civic responsibility, and self-promotion. Among the subdomains, altruism, 1-4-year working experience (B = 0.79, standard error (SE) = 0.26, P = 0.002, Exp (B) =0.45), and more than 10-year working experience (B = 1.00, SE = 0.30, P = 0.001, Exp (B) =0.36) had statistically significant influences.

The finding of this study can be used as basic information for the recruitment and management of hospice volunteers in South Korea.

Disclosure Deficit Experienced by People Living with HIV/AIDS in Alice and Its Environs in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: Perceptions of Selected Stakeholders.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

This article investigated the underpinnings of low HIV disclosure among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Alice town and its environs in South Africa.

This article adopted qualitative methodologies of interviews and focus groups involving 38 selected stakeholders to tap their insights and perceptions on the position of disclosure rate in Alice town and its environs.

The findings indicated that disclosure rate was confounded by state of immense stigma; state of conflict faced by the PLWHA from their kins and community; PLWHA fearing job victimization; and lack of adequate psychosocial support.

The article recommends that the disclosure process takes place amid an environment of equilibrium between the PLWHA's intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, as well as when environment promises adequate psychosocial support. Moreover, the role of the members of social service profession is critical in advocating and preparing PLWHA for disclosure, as well as putting a conducive environment to allow disclosure.

Translation, Cultural, and Age-Related Adaptation and Psychometric Properties of Persian Version of "Quality of Dying and Death" in Nurses Working in Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

Death and dying care is an area with less attention in nursing. This even is evidenced as more challenging in some populations such as neonates. Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses should be aware of the quality of care they provide for dying neonates and their families to find the areas which need attention.

The aim of this study was to assess the psychometric features of the Quality of Dying and Death (QODD) questionnaire in NICU nurses in Tehran, the capital city of Iran.

This methodological study was conducted in 2017. For this purpose, using census method, 130 NICU nurses working in selected hospitals participated. After the backward-forward translation, based on the method proposed by the International Test Commission, the psychometric properties of the Persian QODD were examined through the assessment of the face, content and construct validity, internal consistency, and stability.

Final Persian QODD's content and face validity were accepted through a qualitative method. In the confirmatory factor analysis, the original version of QODD was not confirmed. Subsequently, an exploratory factor analysis was carried out in which phrases were included in three dimensions (symptom control, preparation for death of neonate, and professional attention) that explained 75% of the variance. Cronbach's alpha values ranged from 0.82 to 0.88 for these three dimensions. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was ICC = 0.94 between two tests performed with a 2-week interval on twenty eligible nurses.

The Persian version of QODD has acceptable psychometric properties in nurses working with the neonatal population and can be used to investigate the NICU nurses' opinion on the QODD provided in NICU patients.

Assessment of Distress among Patients and Primary Caregivers: Findings from a Chemotherapy Outpatient Unit.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

Chemotherapy is one of the treatment modalities for cancer. The side effects of treatment, at times, can affect the emotional well-being of patients and their caregivers, thereby leading to distress. This paper aims at screening and identifying levels of distress among patients undergoing chemotherapy and their caregivers.

A cross-sectional study design was used. Patients (n = 102) undergoing chemotherapy in the outpatient daycare unit and their caregivers (n = 101) were screened for distress using the National Comprehensive Cancer Network distress thermometer and the problem checklist. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Patients (53.4%) and their caregivers (22.2%) reported experiencing moderate-to-severe levels of distress. Patients reported significant distress in the areas of physical (P = 0.000) and emotional problems, whereas caregivers reported distress in the areas of family (P = 0.000) and emotional problems. There was no significant difference in emotional problems (P ≥ 0.05) between the patients and their caregivers. There was a positive correlation between physical and emotional problems (r = 0.760, P = 0.000). Majority of patients (85.2%) and caregivers (80.1%) showed interest to avail psycho-oncology services.

Distress is prevalent among patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy and their caregivers. Clinical implications highlight the need to identify and address caregiver distress during routine distress screening for patients using specific psychosocial interventions. Future research warrants the use of administering specific assessments to identify severe psychological issues, such as depression and anxiety for patients reporting severe levels of distress on the screening tool.

Assessment of Quality of Life among End-Stage Renal Disease Patients Undergoing Maintenance Hemodialysis.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

Renal failure is a chronic disease that can seriously affect quality of life (QOL). Health-Related QOL represents the physical, psychological, and social domains of health that are influenced by a person's experience, beliefs, expectations, and perceptions. The aim of this study is to explore QOL of Stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) in South India.

This was a cross-sectional observational study conducted among patients with CKD undergoing MHD at 11 major centers in South India. Demographic data were collected using a predesigned questionnaire. QOL index was measured using the 26-item WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire, and statistical analysis was carried out using the SPSS version 24 (Academy of Medical Sciences, Kannur, Kerala, India).

Five hundred and three patients undergoing MHD were enrolled, and the following QOL scores were recorded: social relationship (51.65 ± 21.03), environmental (46.91 ± 19.29), psychological (41.07 ± 20.30), and physical health (40.17 ± 17.05). QOL of patients declined with aging in all four domains. Being male, younger, educated, and unmarried appeared to have a favorable effect on several aspects of patients' QOL.

The evaluation of QOL in CKD patients undergoing hemodialysis showed that it was relatively compromised. Because the patients had a chronic, progressive irreversible disease, the most affected was physical domain. Age, education, employment, and marital status were found to affect one or more domains of QOL. Age and education are significant independent variables; as the age increases, QOL decreases, and higher the education better the QOL.

Quality of Life, Anxiety, and Depression in the Head-and-Neck Cancer Patients, Undergoing Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy Treatment.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

The aim of this study is to investigate and compare distress and quality-of-life parameters among head-and-neck cancer patients who underwent intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).

The patients' sample consists of 55 individuals under IMRT treatment. Three questionnaires (Quality of Life Questionnaire [QLQ]-C30 and QLQ-H and N35) of the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer and the Greek Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales were used.

Functioning and symptoms scales measured a week before the scheduled treatment worsen significantly until the end of the treatment and at the 3-month follow-up, tend to revert to their pretreatment values.

Our results showed that all parameters (functioning scales, symptoms scales, and G-HAD subscales) worsen from the start to the end treatment and tend to revert to their pretreatment values after a 3-month period.

Lived Experience of Spouses of Persons with Motor Neuron Disease: Preliminary Findings through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

Motor neuron disease (MND) is a progressive neuromuscular disorder that can have significant and debilitating impact on the affected patient and families. Spouses are the primary carers for persons with MND in India, and the life of the person with MND and their spouse is never the same after the diagnosis.

The objective was to explore the lived experience of spouses of persons diagnosed with MND.

A qualitative exploratory study with three-point interviews was conducted with spouse caregivers of two persons diagnosed with MND who were receiving treatment from a national tertiary referral care center for neurological disorders. All the patients were diagnosed as definite MND according to the modified El Escorial criteria. With the spouses, in-depth interviews were conducted at their home, lasting on an average of 1 hour using a semi-structured interview guide (prompts). Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to derive themes from the interviews.

The major themes emerged from the analysis were meaning of MND which contained the subthemes of delay in diagnosis and deterioration, psychological response across illness trajectory, relationship with the subthemes of changing roles in being acarer, marital relationship, to be seen as doing "right," and communication; adaptation with the subthemes of coping strategies and support system and life without the loved one.

The changes in the lives of spouses and in strategies for caring the partner with deterioration of symptoms in the illness trajectory are explained in this study. The palliative approach in the management of MND has to take into account, the experiences and needs of carers since care happens at home.

Factors Influencing the Initiation of Strong Opioids in Cancer Patients on Palliative Care: An Audit from a Tertiary Cancer Center in India.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

This audit was done to analyze the factors influencing the use of strong opioids in cancer patients receiving comprehensive palliative care from a tertiary institute.

Case records of patients registered for palliative care at our center in 3 months were retrospectively reviewed and followed up throughout the course of their illness. Demographic factors, prior treatments, social support system, analgesic use at registration, and use of radiation and adjuvant analgesics were recorded. Strong opioid use and their time of initiation were evaluated, and multivariate analysis was used to identify the factors correlating with the above.

After registration, strong opioids were initiated in 16% of the patients. It was observed that patients younger than 55 years and those with visceral metastases and history of use of weak opioids at the time of registration had a higher probability of being started on strong opioids. Factors associated with a significantly longer strong opioid-free interval were having spouse as primary caregiver, presence of skeletal metastases, use of palliative radiotherapy, and low socioeconomic status.

It is certain that the use of strong opioids for adequate analgesia is a necessity for palliative-care patients. However, optimal utilization of adjunctive analgesic modalities, coupled with good supportive care, can minimize the requirement and duration of strong opioid use, especially in developing countries with limited access to specialist palliative care.

How Cancer Supportive and Palliative Care is Developed: Comparing the Policy-Making Process in Three Countries from Three Continents.

Indian Journal of Palliative Care

Supportive and palliative care worldwide is recognized as one of the six main cancer control bases and plays an important role in managing the complications of cancer. Limited studies have been published in the field of this policy analysis in the world.

This study aimed to analysis the policy-making process of supportive and palliative cancer care in three countries.

This qualitative study is a part of a comparative study. The data were collected through reviewing scientific and administrative documents, the World Health Organization website and reports, government websites, and other authoritative websites. Searches were done through texts in English and valid databases, in the period between 2000 and 2018. To investigate the policy process, heuristic stages model is implemented consisting of the four stages: agenda setting, policy formulation, policy implementation, and policy evaluation.

The findings of the study were categorized based on the conceptual model used in four areas related to the policy process, including agenda setting, policy formulation, policy implementation, and evaluation of cancer palliative care policies.

Several factors are involved in how cancer palliative care policy is included in policy-makers' agenda, understanding a necessity, raising public awareness, and acceptance as a result of sensing the physical and nonphysical care outcomes. The stages of development, implementation, and evaluation of palliative care in countries regardless of existing differences are a function of the health system and context of each country.