Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 289--299

Specialized palliative care and the quality of life for hospitalized cancer patients at a low-resource hospital in India


1 Palliative Access (PAX) Program, MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre, Hyderabad, Telungana, India; Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration-INCTR, Canada; Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre, Hyderabad, Telungana, India
2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden
3 Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration-INCTR, Canada; Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre, Hyderabad, Telungana, India
4 Medical Oncology, MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre, Hyderabad, Telungana, India
5 Palliative Care Program, MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre, Hyderabad, Telungana, India
6 Lund University, Skane University Hospital, Department of Clinical Sciences and Paediatrics, Lund, Sweden
7 Lund University, Skane University Hospital, Department of Clinical Sciences and Oncology, Lund, Sweden
8 Lund University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute for Palliative Care, Lund, Sweden

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mikael Segerlantz
Palliative Care and Advanced Home Health Care, Sankt Lars Väg 81, 221 85 Lund
Sweden
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_95_18

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Aim: This study aimed to compare the quality of life (QoL) of cancer patients, with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance of 3–4, in contact with or without contact, with a specialized palliative care unit (PCU) at a low-resource governmental cancer hospital, as well as studying the impact of this contact on the QoL in their caregivers. Materials and Methods: Hospitalized patients with an ECOG performance of 3 or 4 and their primary caregiver were asked to participate in this observational study. Patients in contact with the specialized PCU and their closest caregivers formed Group A, while patients and families without this contact formed Group B. Contact was mainly one consultation. The patients were asked to complete the Palliative Care Outcome Scale (POS), and the caregivers were asked to complete the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the distress thermometer (DT). Results: There was no statistically significant difference between the median POS values of the patient groups, neither regarding the total sum nor per any item. There were also no statistically significant differences between the median HADS values and median DT values when comparing the caregivers to Group A and B. Conclusion: Consultation with a specialized PCU at this tertiary referral center did not alter the QoL of patients with an ECOG performance of 3–4 nor did it affect the psychological well-being of their caregivers. We argue that monitoring prescribed treatment and follow-up is a necessary component of PC.






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