Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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   2016| July-September  | Volume 22 | Issue 3  
    Online since June 30, 2016

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Effect of music therapy on pain and anxiety levels of cancer patients: A pilot study
Priyadharshini Krishnaswamy, Shoba Nair
July-September 2016, 22(3):307-311
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185042  PMID:27559260
Background: The pain associated with cancer is highly detrimental to the quality of life of the affected individuals. It also contributes to the anxiety of the patient. There is a need for a nonpharmacological approach in addition to the pharmacological therapy for the management of the pain for a more holistic improvement in the individual. With this study, we wish to achieve this through music. Objective: To assess the effect of music therapy on pain scores and anxiety levels of cancer patients with pain. Study Design: In this quantitative study, a comparative study was done on fourteen cancer patients admitted for pain relief under the Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, of a tertiary care hospital, having moderate to severe pain (numerical pain rating scale [NRS] - of 4 to 10). Subjects and Methods: Convenience sampling was used. Patients were allocated to test group or control group nonrandomly. The test group patients were subjected to music therapy for 20 min while the control group patients were kept occupied by talking to them for 20 min. The NRS scale was used to assess the pre- and post-interventional pain scores and the Hamilton anxiety rating scale was used to assess the pre- and post-interventional anxiety scores in the two groups. Statistics: Student's t-test was used for comparing the pre- and post-interventional data. Two sample t-test was used to compare the data obtained from the control and study groups. Results: Statistically significant reduction seen in the pain scores in the test group after music therapy (P = 0.003). No statistically significant reduction seen in the pain score in the control group (P = 0.356). There was a statistically significant reduction in the postintervention pain scores in the test group compared to the control group (P = 0.034). The reduction in anxiety levels in both groups after intervention was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Music therapy was found to lower the pain score of a patient who had received standard palliative care for pain reduction. It was also more effective than the act of talking in reducing the pain score. A study with a larger sample size should be undertaken to conclude that, music therapy can be used in addition to morphine and other painkillers to reduce pain as a part of a more holistic approach to palliative care strategies.
  11,110 323 -
Integration of early specialist palliative care in cancer care and patient related outcomes: A critical review of evidence
Naveen Salins, Raghavendra Ramanjulu, Lipika Patra, Jayita Deodhar, Mary Ann Muckaden
July-September 2016, 22(3):252-257
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185028  PMID:27559252
Introduction: World Health Organization and American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend early integration of specialist palliative care in patients with cancer. This paper focuses on critical review of evidence on integration of early specialist palliative care in cancer care and patient-related outcomes. Methods: The question for the literature search was - Does integration of early specialist palliative care in cancer care influences patient-related outcomes? 31 articles related to literature search review question were included in this paper. Results: Ten patient-related outcomes of early specialist palliative care in adult cancer care was studied. Studies by Temel et al. (2012), Bakitas et al. (2009), Zimmermann et al. (2014), Rugno et al. (2014), Lowery et al. (2013) and Walker et al. (2014) showed early specialist palliative care improves health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Studies by Pirl et al. (2012), Lowery et al. (2013), and Walker et al. (2014) showed early specialist palliative care improved mood depression and anxiety. Studies by Zimmermann et al. and Rugno et al. (2014) showed symptom control benefit of early specialist palliative care. Studies by Temel (2010), Bakitas (2015) and Rugno et al. (2014) showed survival improvement with early specialist palliative care. All these studies were carried in ambulatory palliative care setting. No survival benefit of palliative care intervention was seen in inpatient palliative care setting. The studies by Geer et al. (2012), Rugno et al. (2014), and Lowery et al. (2013) showed that early palliative care intervention positively influences treatment decision making. All the studies showed that palliative care intervention group received less intravenous chemotherapy in last few weeks of life. Studies by Yoong et al. and Temel et al. (2011) shows early specialist palliative care improves advanced care planning. Studies by Temel et al. (2010), Greer et al. (2012), McNamara et al. (2013), Hui et al. (2014), and Kwon et al.(2013) showed that early specialist palliative care improves health care utilization, planned discharge, less emergency room visits, and better hospice utilization. Studies by Wiese et al. (2013), Hui et al. (2014) and Temel et al. (2010) showed that early specialist palliative care improves end-of-life care outcomes. Study by Rugno et al. (2014) showed that early specialist palliative care improves health-related communication. Studies by Wallen et al. (2012) and Zimmermann et al. (2014) shows early specialist palliative care improves patient and family satisfaction. There is a lack of robust evidence at present to support role of early specialist palliative care interventions in pediatric and geriatric oncology. Qualitative studies have demonstrated few negative outcomes of early specialist palliative care intervention. Conclusions: In adult oncology, there is evidence to suggest early specialist palliative care improves HRQOL, mood, treatment decision-making, health care utilization, advanced care planning, patient satisfaction, and end-of-life care. There is moderate evidence to support the role of early specialist palliative care intervention in improvement of symptoms, survival, and health-related communication. There is limited evidence at present to support role of early specialist palliative care interventions in pediatric and geriatric oncology. Qualitative studies on barriers and negative patient outcomes may provide useful insights toward restructuring early specialist palliative care interventions.
  4,221 190 -
Patients with end-stage interstitial lung disease may have more problems with dyspnea than end-stage lung cancer patients
Ryo Matsunuma, Hazuki Takato, Yoshihiro Takeda, Satoshi Watanabe, Yuko Waseda, Shinya Murakami, Yukimitsu Kawaura, Kazuo Kasahara
July-September 2016, 22(3):282-287
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185035  PMID:27559256
Introduction: Patients with end-stage interstitial  lung disease (ILD) do not appear to receive adequate palliative care despite apparent suffering before death. The aim of this study was to evaluate their signs, symptoms, and treatment received before death. Methods: Patients with ILD and lung cancer (LC) who were hospitalized and died in our hospital were enrolled retrospectively. Signs and symptoms and treatments at 7 days, 3 days, and 1 day before death were evaluated and compared between the two groups of patients. Results: A total of 23 patients with ILD and 59 patients with LC group were eligible for participation. Significantly more LC patients had loss of consciousness than ILD patients on 7 days (ILD: LC = 1 [5.6%]:24 [41%], P = 0.013), 3 days (1 [5.6%]:33 [56%], P < 0.001). Significantly more ILD patients had dyspnea than LC patients on 3 days (16 [89%]:38 [64%], P = 0.047) 1 day before death (21 [91%]:33 [56%], P = 0.001). On 1 day before death, significantly more LC patients received morphine than ILD patients (2 [8.7%]: 14 [24%], P = 0.015). More ILD patients received sedation (11 [48%]: 11 [19%], P = 0.007). Conclusions: End-stage ILD patients may experience dyspnea more frequently than terminal LC patients, and they need sedation. Morphine should be administered to ILD patients who have dyspnea. Additional prospective studies are needed.
  4,214 115 -
The efficacy of oral melatonin in improving sleep in cancer patients with insomnia: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study
Madhuri S Kurdi, Sindhu Priya Muthukalai
July-September 2016, 22(3):295-300
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185039  PMID:27559258
Background: The natural hormone melatonin has sleep inducing properties. Insomnia in cancer patients is common. So far, melatonin has been seldom tried for the improvement of sleep in patients with malignancies. Keeping this in mind, we planned and conducted a double-blind study to test the efficacy of melatonin in promoting sleep in patients with malignancies suffering from insomnia. Objective: To assess the hypnotic efficacy of oral melatonin in cancer patients with insomnia. Materials and Methods: After Ethical Committee approval, 50 patients (age range 20-65 years) from our pain clinic "NIVARANE" who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4 th edition criteria for primary insomnia were randomized to receive melatonin 3 mg or placebo at 7 pm orally every day for 14 days from our pharmacist. After 1, 7, 14 days, the patients were reviewed with the Athens insomnia scale oral questionnaire to document the subjective sleep quality. The patients and we, the investigators were blinded to the study drug. Results: There were 2 drop outs (one from each group) as they failed to complete visit on day 14. Significant differences in favor of melatonin treatment were found in clinically relevant improvements in insomnia (46.53%; P = 0.00001 vs. 11.30%; P = 0.1026) There was improvement in sleep from 1 to 7 days (19.91%; P = 0.00001 vs. 0.98%; P = 0.2563). More significant improvements were seen between 7 and 14 days (33.24%; P = 0.00001 vs. 10.42%; P = 0.1469). Conclusion: We conclude that daily intake of oral melatonin 2 h before bedtime improves sleep induction and quality in cancer patients with insomnia.
  3,256 156 -
Motivation of volunteers to work in palliative care setting: A qualitative study
MA Muckaden, Sachi Sanjay Pandya
July-September 2016, 22(3):348-353
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185083  PMID:27559267
Background: Volunteers are an integral part of the palliative care services in the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. These volunteers are an important resource for the department. Thus, it is necessary for the department to determine what motivates these volunteers to continue to work in the setting, acknowledge them and direct efforts toward retaining them and giving them opportunities to serve to the best of their desire and abilities. Aims: The current study aimed at understanding the motivation of volunteers to work in palliative care, to identify the challenges they face and also the effect of their work on their self and relationships. Methodology: In-depth interviews were conducted using semistructured interview guide to study above mentioned aspects. Themes were identified and coding was used to analyze the data. Results: The results suggested that the basic motivation for all the volunteers to work in a palliative care setting is an inherent urge, a feeling of need to give back to the society by serving the sick and the suffering. Other motivating factors identified were team spirit, comfort shared, warm and respectful treatment by the team, satisfying nature of work, experience of cancer in the family, and aligned values and beliefs. Some intrinsic rewards mentioned by volunteers were joy of giving, personal growth, enriching experiences, and meaningful nature of work. Conclusion: The study attempted to improve opportunities of working for these volunteers. Although limited in scope, it offers insight for future research in the area of volunteerism in palliative care setup.
  3,263 136 -
The attitude of medical students toward death: A cross-sectional study in Rafsanjan
Mohammad Asadpour, Laya Sabzevari, Asadollah Ekramifar, Reza Bidaki
July-September 2016, 22(3):354-361
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185084  PMID:27559268
Aim: Attitude toward death is one of the most important factors that can influence the behavior related to the health profession. It is thought that physicians are afraid of death more than other groups of specialist. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the attitudes of the medical students of Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences toward death. Materials and Methods: This study is a cross-sectional study on 308 medical students of Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences in the academic year of 2015. Attitudes were assessed through the questionnaire of death attitude profile-revised. The collected data were analyzed upon arrival to a computer with SPSS version 14, and descriptive and inferential statistical methods. Results: Attitude toward death was investigated in the 5 dimensions including the fear of death, death avoidance, approach acceptance, neutral acceptance, and escape acceptance. The results showed that the mean and standard deviations of fear of death, death avoidance, natural acceptance, approach acceptance, and escape acceptance were 3.76 ± 1.15, 3.54 ± 1.33, 5.14 ± 0.86, 4.66 ± 0.95, and 3.73 ± 1.25, respectively. It was found that people who have had the experience in dealing with death had less escape of the death attitude. Conclusion: Totally, the results of this study demonstrated that the medical students had good attitudes through 5 dimensions of attitudes toward death. This is probably due to the religious beliefs and also dealing with dying patients. However, it is recommended that training programs should be provided for students in the field of attitudes toward death.
  3,032 208 -
Palliative care in musculoskeletal oncology
Ashish Gulia, Suman Byregowda, Pankaj Kumar Panda
July-September 2016, 22(3):244-251
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185026  PMID:27559251
Patients in advanced stages of illness trajectories with local and widespread musculoskeletal incurable malignancies, either treatment naive or having recurrence are referred to the palliative care clinic to relieve various disease-related symptoms and to improve the quality of life. Palliative care is a specialized medicine that offers treatment to the disease-specific symptoms, places emphasis on the psychosocial and spiritual aspects of life and help the patients and their family to cope with advance stage cancer in a stronger and reasonable way. The overall outcome of musculoskeletal malignancies has improved with the advent of multidisciplinary management. Even then these tumors do relapse and leads to organ failures and disease-specific deaths in children and young adults in productive age group thus requiring an integrated approach to improve the supportive/palliative care needs in end-stage disease. In this article, we would like to discuss the spectrum of presentation of advanced musculoskeletal malignancies, skeletal metastasis, and their management.
  3,011 180 -
Specialist pediatric palliative care referral practices in pediatric oncology: A large 5-year retrospective audit
Arunangshu Ghoshal, Naveen Salins, Anuja Damani, Jayita Deodhar, MaryAnn Muckaden
July-September 2016, 22(3):266-273
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185031  PMID:27559254
Purpose: To audit referral practices of pediatric oncologists referred to specialist pediatric palliative care services. Patients and Methods: Retrospective review of medical case records of pediatric palliative care patients over a period of 5 years from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2014. Descriptive summaries of demographic, clinical variables, and patient circumstances at the time of referral and during end-of-life care were examined. Results: A total of 1135 patients were referred from pediatric oncology with a gradual increasing trend over 5 years. About 84.6% consultations took place in the outpatient setting. In 97.9% of the cases, parents were the primary caregivers. Availability of specialist pediatric health-care services at local places was available in 21.2% cases and 48% families earned <5000 INR (approximately 73 USD) in a month. Around 28.3% of the referrals were from leukemia clinic and maximum references were late with 72.4% patients having advanced disease at presentation. 30.3% of the referrals were made for counseling and communication and 54.2% had high symptom burden during referral. After referral, 21.2% patients continued with oral metronomic chemotherapy and 10.5% were referred back to oncology services for palliative radiotherapy. Only 4.9% patients had more than 2 follow-ups. 90.8% of the patients were cared for at home in the last days of illness by local general practitioners. 70.6% of the deaths were anticipated. Conclusions: Oncologists referred patients late in the course of disease trajectory. Most of the referrals were made for counseling and communication, but many patients had high symptom burden during referral.
  3,011 140 -
We have a responsibility
MR Rajagopal
July-September 2016, 22(3):239-243
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185025  PMID:27559250
  2,949 178 -
Integration of early specialist palliative care in cancer care: Survey of oncologists, oncology nurses, and patients
Naveen Salins, Lipika Patra, MR Usha Rani, SO Lohitashva, Raghavendra Rao, Raghavendra Ramanjulu, Nandini Vallath
July-September 2016, 22(3):258-265
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185030  PMID:27559253
Introduction: Palliative care is usually delivered late in the course of illness trajectory. This precludes patients on active disease modifying treatment from receiving the benefit of palliative care intervention. A survey was conducted to know the opinion of oncologists, oncology nurses, and patients about the role of early specialist palliative care in cancer. Methods: A nonrandomized descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at a tertiary cancer care center in India. Thirty oncologists, sixty oncology nurses, and sixty patients were surveyed. Results: Improvement in symptom control was appreciated by oncologists, oncology nurses, and patients with respect to pain (Z = −4.10, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.84, P = 0.001), (Z = −6.20, P = 0.001); nausea and vomiting (Z = −3.75, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.3, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.1, P = 0.001); constipation (Z = −3.29, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.96, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.49, P = 0.001); breathlessness (Z = −3.57, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.03, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.99, P = 0.001); and restlessness (Z = −3.68, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.23, P = 0.001), (Z = −3.22, P = 0.001). Improvement in end-of-life care management was appreciated by oncologists and oncology nurses with respect to communication of prognosis (Z = −4.04, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.20, P = 0.001); discussion on limitation of life-sustaining treatment (Z = −3.68, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.53, P = 0.001); end-of-life symptom management (Z = −4.17, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.59, P = 0.001); perimortem care (Z = −3.86, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.80, P = 0.001); and bereavement support (Z = −3-80, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.95, P = 0.001). Improvement in health-related communication was appreciated by oncologists, oncology nurses, and patients with respect to communicating health related information in a sensitive manner (Z = −3.74, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.47, P = 0.001), (Z = −6.12, P = 0.001); conducting family meeting (Z = −3.12, P = 0.002), (Z = −4.60, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.90, P = 0.001); discussing goals of care (Z = −3.43, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.49, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.61, P = 0.001); maintaining hope (Z = −3.22, P = 0.001), (Z = −4.85, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.61, P = 0.001); and resolution of conflict (Z = −3.56, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.29, P = 0.001), (Z = −5.28, P = 0.001). Patients appreciated improvement in continuity of care with respect to discharge planning (Z = −6.12, P = 0.001), optimal supply of essential symptom control medications on discharge (Z = −6.32, P = 0.001), follow-up plan (Z = −6.40, P = 0.001), after hours telephonic support (Z = −6.31, P = 0.001), and preferred place of care (Z = −6.28, P = 0.001). Conclusion: Oncologists, oncology nurses, and patients felt that integration of early specialist palliative care in cancer improves symptom control, end-of-life care, health-related communication, and continuity of care. The perceptions of benefit of the palliative care intervention in the components surveyed, differed among the three groups.
  2,932 153 -
Parent's perspectives on the end-of-life care of their child with cancer: Indian perspective
Sneha Magatha Latha, Julius Xavier Scott, Satish Kumar, Suresh M Kumar, Lalitha Subramanian, Aruna Rajendran
July-September 2016, 22(3):317-325
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185047  PMID:27559262
Context: Parents report that end-of-life decisions are the most difficult treatment-related decisions that they face during their child cancer experience. Research from the parent's perspective of the quality of end-of-life care of their cancer children is scarce, particularly in developing countries like India. Aims: This study aimed to identify the symptoms (medical/social/emotional) that most concerned parents at the end-of-life care of their cancer child and to identify the strategies parents found to be helpful during this period. Settings and Design: We wanted to conduct this to focus on the parents perspectives on their cancer child's end-of-life care and to address the issues that could contribute to the comfort of the families witnessing their child's suffering. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted at Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, a Tertiary Care Pediatric Hemato Oncology Unit. Parents who lost their child to cancer, treated in our institution were interviewed with a validated prepared questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using SAS statistical software package. Results: Toward death, dullness (30%), irritability (30%), and withdrawn from surroundings (10%) were the most common symptoms encountered. About 30% of the children had fear to be alone. About 50% of the children had the fear of death. Pain, fatigue, loss of appetite were the main distressful symptoms that these children suffered from parents' perspective. Though the parents accepted that the child was treated for these symptoms, the symptom relief was seldom successful. Conclusion: The conclusion of the study was that at the end of their child's life, parents value obtaining adequate information and communication, being physically present with the child, preferred adequate pain management, social support, and empathic relationships by the health staff members.
  2,842 144 -
Comparative evaluation of retrocrural versus transaortic neurolytic celiac plexus block for pain relief in patients with upper abdominal malignancy: A retrospective observational study
Saipriya Tewari, Anil Agarwal, Sanjay Dhiraaj, Sujeet K Gautam, Sandeep Khuba, Rajashree Madabushi, Chetna Shamshery, Sanjay Kumar
July-September 2016, 22(3):301-306
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185041  PMID:27559259
Aim: To compare retrocrural versus transaortic techniques for neurolytic celiac plexus block (NCPB) in patients suffering from upper abdominal malignancy. Methods: In this retrospective observational study between October 2013 and April 2015, 64 patients with inoperable upper abdominal malignancy received fluoroscopy-guided percutaneous NCPB in our institute. Their case files were reviewed and the patients were divided into two groups depending on the technique used to perform NCPB: retrocrural (Group R; n = 36) versus transaortic (Group T; n = 28). The primary outcome measure was pain as assessed with a numeric rating scale (NRS) from 0 to 10; the secondary outcome measures were morphine consumption per day (M), quality of life (QOL) as assessed by comparing the percent of positive responses in each group, and complications if any. These were noted and analyzed prior to intervention and then on day 1, weeks 1, 2, 3, and months 1, 2, 3, 6 following NCPB. Results: Patients in Group R had significantly reduced NRS pain scores at week 1, 2, 3, month 1 and 2 as compared to Group T (P < 0.05). Morphine consumption also reduced significantly in Group R at day 1, week 1, 2, and 3 (P < 0.05). QOL was found to be comparable between the groups, and no major complications were noted. Conclusion: Retrocrural NCPB provides superior pain relief along with a reduction in morphine consumption as compared to transaortic NCPB in patients with pain due to upper abdominal malignancy.
  2,794 111 -
Specialist pediatric palliative care prescribing practices: A large 5-year retrospective audit
Anuja Damani, Naveen Salins, Arunangshu Ghoshal, MaryAnn Muckaden
July-September 2016, 22(3):274-281
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185033  PMID:27559255
Introduction: There is a gradual increasing trend in childhood cancers in India and pediatric palliative care in India is an emerging specialty. Prescribing pain and symptom control drugs in children with cancer requires knowledge of palliative care formulary, dosing schedules, and prescription guidelines. This study is a retrospective audit of prescribing practices of a specialist palliative care service situated in a tertiary cancer center. Methods: A total of 1135 medication records of children receiving specialist pediatric palliative care services were audited for 5 years (2010-2014) to evaluate prescribing practices in children with advanced cancer. Results: A total of 51 types of drugs were prescribed with an average of 4.2 drugs per prescription. 66.9% of the prescriptions had paracetamol, and 33.9% of the prescriptions had morphine. Most common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed was ibuprofen (23.9%), and more than 50% of the prescriptions had aperients. The most commonly prescribed aperient was a combination of liquid paraffin and sodium-picosulfate. Dexamethasone was prescribed in 51.9% of patients and in most cases this was part of oral chemotherapy regimen. Generic names in prescription were used only in 33% of cases, and adverse effects of the drugs were documented in only 9% of cases. In 25% of cases, noncompliance to the WHO prescription guidelines was seen, and patient compliance to prescription was seen in 40% of cases. Conclusions: Audit of the prescribing practices in specialist pediatric palliative care service shows that knowledge of pediatric palliative care formulary, rational drug use, dosing, and prescribing guidelines is essential for symptom control in children with advanced life-limiting illness. Noncompliance to WHO prescribing guidelines in one fourth of cases and using nongeneric names in two-thirds of prescription indicates poor prescribing practices and warrants prescriber education. Prescription noncompliance by almost two-thirds of patients is alarming and necessitates intense patient, family, and caregiver education and empowerment.
  2,757 146 -
Self-image of the patients with head and neck cancer: A mixed method research
Shalini G Nayak, Mamatha Shivananda Pai, Linu Sara George
July-September 2016, 22(3):331-334
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185050  PMID:27559264
Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the self-image of the patients with head and neck cancers (HNCs) by using a mixed method research. Subjects and Methods: A mixed method approach and triangulation design was used with the aim of assessing the self-image of the patients with HNCs. Data was gathered by using self-administered self-image scale and structured interview. Nested sampling technique was adopted. Sample size for quantitative approach was 54 and data saturation was achieved with seven subjects for qualitative approach. Institutional Ethical Committee clearance was obtained. Results: The results of the study showed that 30 (56%) subjects had positive self-image and 24 (44%) had negative self-image. There was a moderate positive correlation between body image and integrity (r = 0.430, P = 0.001), weak positive correlation between body image and self-esteem (r = 0.270, P = 0.049), and no correlation between self-esteem and integrity (r = 0.203, P = 0.141). The participants also scored maximum (24/24) in the areas of body image and self-esteem. Similar findings were also observed in the phenomenological approach. The themes evolved were "immaterial of outer appearance" and "desire of good health to all." Conclusion: The illness is long-term and impacts the individual 24 h a day. Understanding patients' self-concept and living experiences of patients with HNC is important for the health care professionals to improve the care.
  2,614 135 -
Why newly diagnosed cancer patients require supportive care? An audit from a regional cancer center in India
Sushmita Ghoshal, Raviteja Miriyala, Arun Elangovan, Bhavana Rai
July-September 2016, 22(3):326-330
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185049  PMID:27559263
Purpose: The present study was planned to record the distressing symptoms of newly diagnosed cancer patients and evaluate how the symptoms were addressed by the treating oncologists. Materials and Methods : All newly diagnosed cancer patients referred to the Department of Radiotherapy during May 2014 were asked to complete a questionnaire after taking their consent. The Edmonton symptom assessment scale-regular questionnaire was used to assess the frequency and intensity of distressing symptoms. The case records of these patients were then reviewed to compare the frequency and intensity documented by the treating physician. The difference in the two sets of symptoms documented was statistically analyzed by nonparametric tests using SPSS software version 16. Results: Eighty-nine patients participated in this study, of which only 19 could fill the questionnaire on their own. Anxiety was the most common symptom (97.8%) followed by depression (89.9%), tiredness (89.9%), and pain (86.5%). The treating physicians recorded pain in 83.1% whereas the other symptoms were either not documented or grossly underreported. Anxiety was documented in 3/87 patients, but depression was not documented in any. Tiredness was documented in 12/80 patients, and loss of appetite in 54/77 patients mentioning them in the questionnaire. Significant statistical correlation could be seen between the presence of pain, anxiety, depression, tiredness, and loss of appetite in the patients. Conclusion: The study reveals that the distressing symptoms experienced by newly diagnosed cancer patients are grossly underreported and inadequately addressed by treating oncologists. Sensitizing the oncologists and incorporating palliative care principles early in the management of cancer patients could improve their holistic care.
  2,514 110 -
Knowledge of palliative care among medical interns in a tertiary health institution in Northwestern Nigeria
Daniel Chukwunyere Nnadi, Swati Singh
July-September 2016, 22(3):343-347
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185080  PMID:27559266
Background: Palliative care is the proactive care which seeks to maximize quality of life for people and families facing life-threatening illnesses. Objectives: To ascertain the existing knowledge of palliative care among medical interns and determine the effect of a structured educational intervention on improvement of their knowledge levels. Subjects and Methods: This is a quasi-experimental, interventional study with a one group pre- and post-test design involving medical interns rotating through the various departments of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto. The study population was chosen by convenience sampling method. The interns completed a pre- and a post-test assessment following a structured educational intervention for the evaluation of knowledge of palliative care. Knowledge was evaluated by a self-administered structured questionnaire. Results: A total number of 49 medical interns were recruited, among whom were 41 males and 8 females. Their ages ranged from 21 to 36 years with a mean of 27.7 (standard deviation 2.14) years. In the pretest, 11/49 (22.5%) of the respondents had poor knowledge level of palliative care; however, in the postintervention, only 2/49 (4.1%) of the respondents had poor knowledge. Similarly, good knowledge levels appreciated from 9/49 (18.4%) to 14/49 (28.6%) while very good knowledge increased from 10/49 (20.4%) to 19/49 (38.8%). This effect was statistically significant (Chi-square test 11.655 df = 3, P = 0.009). Conclusion: There is poor knowledge of palliative care among the interns due to ignorance. Following an educational intervention, the knowledge levels appreciated significantly. Palliative care should be part of the medical curriculum.
  2,445 135 -
Development of specialist palliative care in Indian cancer care setting: A personal journey of three decades
Kailash S Sharma
July-September 2016, 22(3):237-238
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185024  PMID:27559249
  2,338 212 -
The influence of demographic and psychosocial factors on the intensity of pain among chronic patients receiving home-based nursing care
T Antony, Tarig Hakim Merghani
July-September 2016, 22(3):362-365
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185085  PMID:27559269
Aim: To determine the influence of the demographic and the psychosocial factors on the intensity of pain manifestation among the chronic ill patients. Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was carried out among 328 chronic patients under home-based nursing care in Southern State of Kerala, India, from July to August 2015. Each patient was interviewed during a scheduled home visit by a trained health professional. The translated version of the assessment tool questionnaire "Medical Outcome Study-Short Form Health Survey" was used for the data collection. Results: Sixty-four (19.5%) out of 328 patients reported pain as one of the primary symptoms of their disease. The percentage of the patients who were suffering from pain increases with the improvements in both the educational level and the monthly income (P = 0.002 and 0.019, respectively). The social interaction with the relatives and other community members was significantly related to pain manifestation (P = 0.013). A higher degree of social interaction was associated with lower pain intensity (P = 0.019). Conclusion: The results of this study showed that certain demographic and psychosocial factors carry a significant level of influence on the pain manifestation and its intensity among the chronic patients. Hence, improvements in education, economic status, and psychosocial support should be considered for the management of the chronic patients.
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The use of the Chuang's prognostic scale to predict the survival of metastatic colorectal cancer patients receiving palliative systemic anticancer therapy
Samy A Alsirafy, Omar Zaki, Amr Y Sakr, Dina E Farag, Wessam A El-Sherief, Abha A Mohammed
July-September 2016, 22(3):312-316
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185043  PMID:27559261
Background: With the increasing number of agents active against cancer, advanced cancer patients including metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients may continue receiving palliative systemic anticancer therapy (PSAT) near the end-of-life. Validated palliative prognostic models, such as the Chuang's prognostic scale (CPS), may be helpful in identifying mCRC patients with limited survival who are unlikely to benefit from PSAT. Aim: To test the ability of the CPS to predict the survival of mCRC under treatment with PSAT. Methods: CPS was prospectively assessed in 36 mCRC patients who were receiving PSAT. The scale is based on eight items: ascites, edema, cognitive impairment, liver and lung metastases, performance status, tiredness, and weight loss. The total CPS score ranges from 0 to 8.5 with the higher score indicating worse prognosis. Results: Patients were divided into two groups using a CPS cutoff score of 5, Group 1 with a CPS score ≤5 and Group 2 with a CPS score >5. Using this cutoff value, 3-month mortality was predicted with a positive predictive value of 71%, a negative predictive value of 77%, a sensitivity of 67%, a specificity of 81% and an overall accuracy of 75%. Group 1 patients had a longer median survival of 149 days (95% confidence interval [CI]: 82-216) in comparison to Group 2 patients who had a median survival of 61 days (95% CI: 35-87). The difference in survival was statistically significant (P = 0.01). Conclusion: CPS may be useful in identifying mCRC patients with limited survival who are unlikely to benefit from PSAT.
  2,258 107 -
Development of the draft clinical guideline on how to resuscitate dying patients in the Iranian context: A study protocol
Mohammad Ali Cheraghi, Fatemeh Bahramnezhad, Neda Mehrdad, Kazem Zendehdel
July-September 2016, 22(3):335-342
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185078  PMID:27559265
Introduction: The guidelines can be used as a model to guide the implementation of the best options and a suitable framework for clinical decisions. Even a guideline can largely help in challenging problems such as not to resuscitate with high cultural and value load. The guidelines try to improve the health care quality through reducing the treatment costs and variety of care measures. This study aimed to prepare a draft of clinical guidelines with the main aim of designing and drafting the clinical guideline on resuscitation in dying patients. Methodology: After selecting the subject of this guideline, in the first meeting of the team members of drafting the guideline, the guideline scope was determined. Then, the literature review done without time limitation, through searching electronic bibliographic information and internet databases and sites such as Medline, EMBASE, Springer, Blackwell Synergy, Elsevier, Scopus, Cochran Library and also databases including SID, Iran Medex, and Magiran. The experts will be the interviewed, and the interviews are directed content analysis. Conclusion: Finally, recommendations will be formed by nominal group technique. This study protocol includes informative information for designing and conducting of health professionals intending to create a direct on qualitative, theoretical, philosophical, spiritual, and moral health aspects.
  2,164 116 -
Factors influencing compliance to radical treatment of middle thoracic esophageal cancer: An audit from a regional cancer centre
Rakesh Kapoor, Anshuma Bansal, Shikhar Kumar, Ravi Teja Miriyala
July-September 2016, 22(3):288-294
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.185037  PMID:27559257
Background: The aim of this study is to identify the factors responsible for interruption of planned treatment in patients of carcinoma mid-thoracic esophagus and also discuss the strategies for improving treatment completion rates. Materials and Methods: Patients with nonmetastatic mid-thoracic esophageal cancer who received treatment by multimodality approach using chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery were retrospectively analyzed. Factors influencing compliance with planned treatment completion were evaluated, and their significance was determined using multivariate Cox regression analysis. Results: Ninety-one patients were reviewed. Median follow-up period was 11 months. Of 15 patients planned with neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by surgery (Group 1), only 6 (40%) could complete the treatment. Similarly, only 19 out of 36 patients (52.8%) completed the planned definitive chemoradiation (Group 2). Furthermore, of forty patients planned with definitive radiotherapy (Group 3), 29 patients only (72.5%) completed this schedule. The rate of completion of therapy was worst in Group 1. The most common reason for noncompletion of planned treatment was nutritional inadequacy and excessive weight loss in all groups. In addition, chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression (P = 0.05) was the factor leading to treatment interruption in Group 2 and radiation-induced acute mucositis (P = 0.02) and lost to follow-up (P = 0.02) were the factors in Group 3. Conclusions: Rate of treatment completion significantly impacts survival rates. Nutritional inadequacy was the most common factor for noncompletion of planned treatment. A well-trained management team consisting of oncologist, dietitian, and psychotherapist can help overcome these factors and thereby improve the treatment completion rates.
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Online since 1st October '05
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