Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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   2010| January-April  | Volume 16 | Issue 1  
    Online since May 11, 2010

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Perspectives on Yoga inputs in the management of chronic pain
Nandini Vallath
January-April 2010, 16(1):1-7
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63127  PMID:20859464
Chronic pain is multi-dimensional. At the physical level itself, beyond the nociceptive pathway, there is hyper arousal state of the components of the nervous system, which negatively influences tension component of the muscles, patterns of breathing, energy levels and mindset, all of which exacerbate the distress and affect the quality of life of the individual and family. Beginning with the physical body, Yoga eventually influences all aspects of the person: vital, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. It offers various levels and approaches to relax, energize, remodel and strengthen body and psyche. The asanas and pranayama harmonize the physiological system and initiate a "relaxation response" in the neuro endocrinal system. This consists of decreased metabolism, quieter breathing, stable blood pressure, reduced muscle tension, lower heart rate and slow brain wave pattern. As the neural discharge pattern gets modulated, hyper arousal of the nervous system and the static load on postural muscle come down. The function of viscera improves with the sense of relaxation and sleep gets deeper and sustained; fatigue diminishes. Several subtle level notional corrections can happen in case the subject meditates and that changes the context of the disease, pain and the meaning of life. Meditation and pranayama, along with relaxing asanas, can help individuals deal with the emotional aspects of chronic pain, reduce anxiety and depression effectively and improve the quality of life perceived.
  8,027 433 2
Quality of life in cancer patients receiving palliative care
Divya Pal Singh
January-April 2010, 16(1):36-43
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63133  PMID:20859470
Background: The main focus of palliative care services is to improve the patient's quality of life (QOL), which is defined as the subjective evaluation of life as a whole or the patient's appraisal and satisfaction with their current level of functioning compared with what they perceive to be possible or ideal. Aims: In this prospective study we attempt to validate the Hindi version of a questionnaire designed by the functional assessment of chronic illness therapy (FACIT) measurement system; to measure the subjective QOL of cancer patients receiving home-based palliative care, determine ease of use of the questionnaire and correlate the QOL of these patients with the objective assessment of their Karnofsky's performance status and their numerical pain score. Settings and Design: One hundred cancer patients receiving free home-based palliative care in New Delhi, India. Materials and Methods: A multidisciplinary palliative home care team using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G ) questionnaire in Hindi. Statistical Analysis Used: Microsoft Excel Correlation. Results: The FACT-G questionnaire in Hindi is a useful tool in measuring QOL and can be used to monitor the patient's progress and symptom control during the course of the disease. It is simple to use and does not take too much time to complete. The results are tabulated in English and can be used for comparison purposes globally; the scoring process is very simple. Conclusions: Increasing QOL and KPS showed a positive correlation whereas increasing pain and better QOL show negative correlation, as do better performance status and increasing pain score.
  7,565 539 9
How can we improve outcomes for patients and families under palliative care? implementing clinical audit for quality improvement in resource limited settings
Lucy Selman, Richard Harding
January-April 2010, 16(1):8-15
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63128  PMID:20859465
Palliative care in India has made enormous advances in providing better care for patients and families living with progressive disease, and many clinical services are well placed to begin quality improvement initiatives, including clinical audit. Clinical audit is recognized globally to be essential in all healthcare, as a way of monitoring and improving quality of care. However, it is not common in developing country settings, including India. Clinical audit is a cyclical activity involving: identification of areas of care in need of improvement, through data collection and analysis utilizing an appropriate questionnaire; setting measurable quality of care targets in specific areas; designing and implementing service improvement strategies; and then re-evaluating quality of care to assess progress towards meeting the targets. Outcome measurement is an important component of clinical audit that has additional advantages; for example, establishing an evidence base for the effectiveness of services. In resource limited contexts, outcome measurement in clinical audit is particularly important as it enables service development to be evidence-based and ensures resources are allocated effectively. Key success factors in conducting clinical audit are identified (shared ownership, training, managerial support, inclusion of all members of staff and a positive approach). The choice of outcome measurement tool is discussed, including the need for a culturally appropriate and validated measure which is brief and simple enough to incorporate into clinical practice and reflects the holistic nature of palliative care. Support for clinical audit is needed at a national level, and development and validation of an outcome measurement tool in the Indian context is a crucial next step.
  6,307 368 7
Communication to pediatric cancer patients and their families: A cultural perspective
Tulika Seth
January-April 2010, 16(1):26-29
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63131  PMID:20859468
Background: Communication is a key component of palliative care. The area of pediatric palliative care is emotionally distressing for families and healthcare providers. Inadequate communication can increase the stress and lead to mistrust or miscommunication. Materials and Methods: Reviewing the literature on communication between physicians and patients, we identified several barriers to communication such as paternalism in medicine, inadequate training in communication skills, knowledge of the grieving process, special issues related to care of children and cultural barriers. In order to fill the void in area of cultural communication, a study questionnaire was administered to consecutive families of children receiving chemotherapy at a large, north Indian referral hospital to elicit parental views on communication. Results: Most parents had a protective attitude and favored collusion, however, appreciated truthfulness in prognostication and counseling by physicians; though parents expressed dissatisfaction on timing and lack of prior information by counseling team. Conclusion: Training programs in communication skills should teach doctors how to elicit patients' preferences for information. Systematic training programs with feedback can decrease physicians stress and burnout. More research for understanding a culturally appropriate communication framework is needed.
  6,075 280 4
Radio frequency ablation in drug resistant chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: A case report and review of literature
Naveen Yadav, Frenny Ann Philip, Vikas Gogia, Prakash Choudhary, Shiv Pratap Singh Rana, Seema Mishra, Sushma Bhatnagar
January-April 2010, 16(1):48-51
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63135  PMID:20859472
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a frequently encountered complication. It can result from a host of agents. Various modalities of treatment have been advocated, of which a novel method is radio frequency ablation. A 63-year-old male, a case of carcinoma prostrate with bone metastases, presented with tingling and numbness in right upper limb. He was given morphine, gabapentin and later switched to pregabalin, but medications provided only minor relief. Initially he was given stellate ganglion block, then radiofrequency ablation of dorsal root ganglion was done, but it failed to provide complete relief. Pulsed radiofrequency ablation (PRF) was then done for 90 seconds; two cycles each in both ulnar and median nerve. After the procedure the patient showed improvement in symptoms within four to five hours and 80% relief in symptoms. We conclude that PRF can be used for the treatment of drug resistant CIPN.
  5,982 227 3
Intrathecal analgesia and palliative care: A case study
Naveen S Salins, Gregory B Crawford
January-April 2010, 16(1):44-47
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63134  PMID:20859471
Intrathecal analgesia is an interventional form of pain relief with definite advantages and multiple complications. Administration of intrathecal analgesia needs a good resource setting and expertise. Early complications of intrathecal analgesia can be very distressing and managing these complications will need a high degree of knowledge, technical expertise and level of experience. Pain control alone cannot be the marker of quality in palliative care. A holistic approach may need to be employed that is more person and family oriented.
  4,627 175 -
Oral morphine solution as an oral rinse or mouth gargle for mucositis pain
G Saroja, P Saraswathi Devi, R Namrata
January-April 2010, 16(1):54-55
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63138  PMID:20859475
  4,105 201 1
Exploring states of panacea and perfidy of family and community volunteerism in palliative care giving in Kanye CHBC program, Botswana
Simon Kangethe
January-April 2010, 16(1):16-22
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63129  PMID:20859466
Aim: The study aims to explore the attitudes and perceptions of family and community palliative care givers pertaining to volunteerism. Objective: The main objective is to involve palliative caregivers and their supervisors in assessing their contribution to care and evaluate their state of volunteerism. Materials and Methods: The study attracted qualitative design and involved 82 palliative caregivers in 10 focus group discussions; one-to-one interviews with the nurses supervising them. Two slightly different interview guides were used as research instruments. Results: Findings indicate that palliative care giving volunteerism is motivated and sustained by: (1) Principles of love emanating from blood and kinship relations; (2) Patriotism and community responsibility over one another; (3) Adherence and respect of their culture and government call. Volunteerism was also found challenged by: (1) Predominance of the elderly and lowly educated women; (2) Poverty and heavy caseload; (3) Being shunned by the youth; (4) And lack of morale, recognition and motivation. Recommendations: The study recommends: (1) Socializing boys early enough in life into care giving; (2) Offering incentives to the caregivers; (3) Use of public forums to persuade men to accept helping women in carrying out care giving duties; (4) And enlisting support of all leaders to advocate for men's involvement in care giving.
  4,040 190 1
Aggressive approach in a case of cancer cervix with uremia
MG Janaki, S Mukesh, TR Arul Ponni, S Nirmala
January-April 2010, 16(1):52-53
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63136  PMID:20859473
Carcinoma of cervix is the most common cancer in developing countries. Majority of them present in locally advanced stages. A 36-year-old lady presented with bleeding and white discharge per vagina since four months, vomiting and reduced urine output since two weeks. Patient had an exophytic cervical growth. Investigation revealed elevated serum creatinine. Patient received single fraction radiation and underwent percutaneous nephrostomy. At one month follow-up, serum creatinine returned to almost normal level. Patient underwent bilateral ante grade stenting and completed concurrent chemoradiotherapy. In selected subsets of patients, aggressive management offered longer palliation and good quality of life.
  3,957 200 -
The perfidy of stigma experienced by the palliative CHBC of Kanye in Botswana
Simon Kangethe
January-April 2010, 16(1):30-35
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63132  PMID:20859469
Background/Aim: To explore and assess the magnitude of stigma and its impact to palliative care giving. Objective: To involve the palliative caregivers in exploring the impact of stigma in their care giving. Materials and Methods: The study was exploratory in nature and used attracted qualitative design and interviewed 82 palliative caregivers in 10 focus groups using an interview guide as a data collection instrument, and five CHBC nurses on one-to-one in-depth interviews, still guided by an interview guide that differed only slightly with the one for the caregivers. Results: The study findings revealed that stigma and discrimination was immensely perfidious due to: (1) Discrimination against caregivers by the service providers, especially at the Kanye referral hospital; (2) Refusal of youth to help the elderly caregivers; (3) Shunning of government assistance packages by caregivers and their clients; (4) Caregivers secretly taking away their clients to faraway places for assistance; (5) Caregivers and their clients turning to alternative therapies from the traditional healers; (6) Caregivers and clients having inadequate assistance. Recommendations: We recommend strong anti-stigma education and campaign by the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and all the civil society bodies and campaigners.
  3,967 165 2
Evaluation of the "Kosish Cocktail" in treating severe pain in "Home Care" in Morphine-naïve communities
AK Dam, Nivedita Datta, Usha Rani Mohanty
January-April 2010, 16(1):23-25
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.63130  PMID:20859467
Background: Inavailability of morphine continues to plague most parts of India. Good palliative care must, however, focus on resources that are locally available, culturally acceptable, financially affordable, and easily applicable. These factors were all integral to the development of the "Kosish cocktail" for use in severe pain. This cocktail is a mixture of ketamine, midazolam, pentazocine lactate, and other adjuvants for use in the domiciliary set-up as intermittent subcutaneous injections in a morphine-naοve community. Our aims and objectives were: (1) To assess the efficacy of the "Kosish cocktail" in treating severe pain in terminally ill patients; (2) To assess the safety profile and note any adverse effects; (3) To evaluate its use in domiciliary set-ups in terms of safety and efficacy; (4) To empower the patient and the family in the process of patient care. Materials and Methods: Eight patients with advanced cancer and severe pain, who were already on WHO Step II drug therapy, were enrolled for this study. The cocktail was administered subcutaneously in every four hours and SOS. Subjective and objective parameters were recorded and the data analyzed using Student's t-test with a P<0.05 being considered significant. Results: There was a statistically significant improvement in the subjective parameters 12 hours after the initiation of therapy, except for the persistence of fatigue. Conclusions: On the basis of this qualitative study, the authors confirm the efficacy and safety of the use of the Kosish cocktail in treating severe pain, and strongly recommend it for newly started hospices, especially for use in the domiciliary set-up.
  3,539 175 1
Pain in HIV patients
Viroj Wiwanitkit
January-April 2010, 16(1):54-54
  1,831 119 -
Online since 1st October '05
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow