Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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   2011| January  | Volume 17 | Issue 4  
    Online since January 28, 2011

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A timely referral to palliative care team improves quality of life
P Saraswathi Devi
January 2011, 17(4):14-16
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76233  PMID:21811360
In the trajectory of disease progress and treatment plan, patients and the family members are confronted with challenging situations like unsurmountable physical distress, inadequate coping patterns,unanswered spiritual issues in the background of serious threat to very existence of life leads to a debilitating Quality of life.The Palliative Care team approach addresses all the issues and also sees the patient to go through the protocols of Palliative care management as well as Oncological treatment plan. Further, this fecilitates a smooth transition from the hospital to home and hospice care. Various studies conducted globally revealed that patients received palliative care intervention along with oncological treatments had higher scores of Quality of life compared to patients received onlyoncology care alone.This article discusses the various factors contributing to late referrals to palliative care team and also care giver's views pertaining to need for early referral. Timely referral to palliative care minimises the patient's and care giver's distress,ensures modest Quality of life and appropriate measures at the end of life care.
  4 5,232 287
Spirituality and palliative care
Bert Broeckaert
January 2011, 17(4):39-41
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76241  PMID:21811369
This paper shows how palliative care developed as a reaction to the compartimentalized technical approach of modern medicine. But what does it mean if we say palliative care wants to treat patients as whole persons? A few pitfalls need to avoided. All disciplines involved in palliative care should act within the limits of their own specific professional role. Physicians and nurses should certainly not force patients into spiritual or religious discussions or practices. They should understand that religion and spirituality also influence the ethical (and thus medical) choices people make, respect their own conscience and worldview too and cultivate conscious compassion.
  4 5,592 267
Moving toward a national policy on palliative and end of life care
Stanley C Macaden
January 2011, 17(4):42-44
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76242  PMID:21811371
Indian Palliative Care has developed over the past 17 years but it has also developed disabilities due to lack of a National Policy and hence has compromised its effectiveness. It is true that we have come a long way but we still have many miles to go and we will get there only if we have a proper road map and sign posts. This article attempts to suggest some specific measures in establishing such a National Policy
  3 5,774 261
Incorporating person centred care principles into an ongoing comprehensive cancer management program: An experiential account
Vallath Nandini, CN Sridhar, MR Usharani, John Preshanth Kumar, Naveen Salins
January 2011, 17(4):61-67
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76245  PMID:21811374
Recent research indicates a definite positive impact on treatment outcomes when an integrative approach that focuses on symptom control and quality of life is provided along with the standard therapeutic regimens. However implementation or practice of this approach is not seen widely due to the culture of medical training and practice. This article presents the initial development of a program for incorporating integrative care principles into an ongoing comprehensive cancer care program at a tertiary centre. The key purpose of the program being to develop, facilitate, and establish comprehensive and holistic processes including palliative care principles, that would positively enhance the quantity and quality of life of the person with disease, as well as create an environment that reflects and sustains this approach. The vision, objectives, goals, strategies, activities and results within the 7 months of implementation are documented. The new learnings gained during the process have also been noted in the hope that the model described may be used to conceptualize similar care giving facilities in other centres.
  3 4,569 178
Pain in Children: Neglected, unaddressed and mismanaged
Lulu Mathews
January 2011, 17(4):70-73
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76247  PMID:21811376
Pain is one of the most misunderstood, under diagnosed, and under treated/untreated medical problems, particularly in children. One of the most challenging roles of medical providers serving children is to appropriately assess and treat their pain. New JCAHO regulations regard pain as "the fifth vital sign" and require caregivers to regularly assess and address pain. Pain being a personal experience, many different terms are used to describe different sensations. Assessment of pain in children is linked to their level of development. Children of the same age vary widely in their perception and tolerance of pain.
  3 6,908 298
Research focus in palliative care
Bidhu K Mohanti
January 2011, 17(4):8-11
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76231  PMID:21811378
This brief article on pre-conference CME topic 'How to plan Research in Palliative Care' is aimed to provide an overview of the background, concept, domains, present research activities and the future prospect for research opportunities. Advances in Palliative Care are made with a focus to address the quality of medical practice and 'quality of death', in those patients who have advanced stage diseases where cure may or may not be possible. The issues which can improve the palliative care delivery and the areas where evidence of practice is still weak can be identified by forming network and collaborative groups for the application of study and research methods in India.
  3 5,084 302
Pain and opioid dependence: Is it a matter of concern
Agar Meera
January 2011, 17(4):36-38
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76240  PMID:21811368
Opioids are extremely effective in managing cancer pain, and now are utilized for longer periods of time in cancer patients as the treatment for malignancies has become more successful. [1] The goals in cancer pain treatment includes maintaining function in patients with cancer pain (especially in earlier stage disease), and palliation in advanced disease. [1] The perception of the lay public and inexperienced clinicians that addiction is inevitable, often leads to an inappropriate fear to utilize opioids to appropriately manage pain; resulting in persistent under-treatment of cancer pain internationally. [2],[3] There is much confusion about the phenomenon of physical dependence and how this can be differentiated from the maladaptive behaviors that constitute a diagnosis of substance abuse. The burden of cancer and associated cancer pain is projected to continue to rise, and is often at an advanced stage at diagnosis in less developed countries. [4] To be able to provide quality care for this patient population availability of opioids and skilled clinicians in pain management is paramount. In the majority of cases, the main concern is to abate concerns about risks of opioid addiction; to allow adequate pain relief. To understand the infrequent phenomenon of substance abuse in the setting of cancer pain management clear definitions are needed, and review of the epidemiology of occurrence in cancer populations is needed. It is also important to clearly separate the issues of substance abuse at the patient level and diversion of prescribed opioids. There are principles of managing cancer pain in the rare clinical scenario when the risk of substance abuse is high, which can still allow safe management of cancer pain with opioids.
  2 5,603 267
Paediatric palliative care: Theory to practice
Maryann Muckaden, Manjiri Dighe, PD Balaji, Sunil Dhiliwal, Prajakta Tilve, Sunita Jadhav, Savita Goswami
January 2011, 17(4):52-60
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76244  PMID:21811373
Paediatric palliative care is a holistic approach aimed at addressing the complex issues related to the care of children and families facing chronic life limiting illnesses. The needs of children are unique and often quite different from those of adults receiving palliative care. This review article outlines some of the salient features of paediatric palliative care which are relevant to all professionals caring for children with life limiting illnesses in their practice.
  2 7,429 319
Recent advances in the management of breathlessness
Katrina Breaden
January 2011, 17(4):29-32
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76238  PMID:21811366
Breathlessness is a frightening symptom to both witness and experience. It is common in many conditions, especially in the palliative setting, profoundly affecting the quality of the person's life. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the recent advances in the management of breathlessness in the areas of, knowledge of disease trajectories, assessment, pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions and the use of oxygen.
  2 5,529 253
Teaching palliative care across cultures: The singapore experience
Katrina Breaden
January 2011, 17(4):23-25
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76236  PMID:21811364
Palliative care is a growing area of practice throughout the world and its promotion relies on adequately trained health care professionals. However, there are only a limited number of postgraduate academic courses or clinical training opportunities available, especially in resource challenged areas of the Asia Pacific region. This article outlines a creative endeavour between Flinders University, Adelaide Australia, the Singapore National Cancer Centre and the Asia Pacific Hospice and Palliative Care Network to provide an educational opportunity for students from the region. The strengths of the programme include its strong theoretical and evidenced-based framework, its multidisciplinary inclusiveness and its innovative and interactive teaching style. The main teaching challenge for the teaching team is to deliver culturally appropriate curricula to students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. This postgraduate programme is an important initiative for the region and for the development of future leaders and pioneers in the discipline.
  2 3,945 162
Team networking in palliative care
Odette Spruyt
January 2011, 17(4):17-19
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76234  PMID:21811361
"If you want to travel quickly, go alone. But if you want to travel far, you must go together". African proverb. The delivery of palliative care is often complex and always involves a group of people, the team, gathered around the patient and those who are close to them. Effective communication and functional responsive systems of care are essential if palliative care is to be delivered in a timely and competent way. Creating and fostering an effective team is one of the greatest challenges for providers of palliative care. Teams are organic and can be life giving or life sapping for their members.
  1 4,730 219
Computerized clinical database development in oncology
January 2011, 17(4):2-3
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76229  PMID:21811362
In the era of evidence based medicine documentation of clinical data is extremely important. The field of Health informatics is a discipline at the intersection of information science, computer science and health science. Current health informatics field is mainly catering to the general needs of hospital setups. Development of disease / organ/ specialty based computerized clinical data base is still in its infancy and there is a need for clinicians to actively involve in this field to generate authentic and analyzable clinical data. In this article we present our experience of computerized oncology clinical data base development.
  1 3,447 198
Gynaecological malignancies from palliative care perspective
Kamlesh Mishra
January 2011, 17(4):45-51
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76243  PMID:21811372
Of the approximately 80,000 new cases of all cancers detected every year in India, 10-15% are gynecological malignancies. As per population-based registries under the National Cancer Registry Program, the leading sites of cancer among women are the cervix uteri, breast, and oral cavity. About 50-60% of all cancers among women in India are mainly of the following four organs: cervix uteri, breast, corpus uteri, and ovaries. Over 70% of these women report for diagnostic and treatment services at an advanced stage of disease, resulting in poor survival and high mortality rates. Among all gynecological cancers, ovarian cancer is the deadliest one and, in 2/3 rd of the cases, is detected in an advanced stage. But, in India and in other developing countries, due to inadequate screening facilities for the preventable cancer cervix, this kills more women than any other cancer in females. Gynecology Oncologist as a sub-specialist has an immensely important role in curtailing the menace of gynecological malignancies by providing comprehensive preventive, curative, palliative and follow-up services, with the aim of assuring a good quality of life to women as a cornerstone of cancer management.
  1 6,085 307
Hospital-based palliative care: A case for integrating care with cure
Priya Darshini Kulkarni
January 2011, 17(4):74-76
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76248  PMID:21811377
The reason that probably prompted Dame Cicely Saunders to launch the palliative care movement was the need to move away from the impersonal, technocratic approach to death that had become the norm in hospitals after the Second World War. Palliative care focuses on relieving the suffering of patients and families. Not limited to just management of pain, it includes comprehensive management of any symptom, which affects the quality of life. Care is optimized through early initiation and comprehensive implementation throughout the disease trajectory. Effective palliative care at the outset can help accelerate a positive clinical outcome. At the end of life, it can enhance the opportunity for the patient and family to achieve a sense of growth, resolve differences, and find a comfortable closure. It helps to reduce the suffering and fear associated with dying and prepares the family for bereavement.
  1 3,886 246
Free Paper Session

January 2011, 17(4):77-90
  - 6,285 196
Free Poster Session

January 2011, 17(4):91-103
  - 5,086 150
From Editor's Desk
Sushma Bhatnagar
January 2011, 17(4):1-1
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76228  PMID:21811358
  - 2,813 196
Training programs in communication skills for health care professionals and volunteers
KC Rajashree
January 2011, 17(4):12-13
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76232  PMID:21811359
Communication skills are as important as vital needs. Health care professionals have to be aware of their own communication practices and need to undergo periodic appraisal of the same. Training programmes in communication skills are unfortunately not part of our academic curriculum. The article highlights the need and the overview of such training programmes.
  - 5,777 221
Back to the future, current trends in breakthrough pain treatments
Max Watson
January 2011, 17(4):26-28
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76237  PMID:21811365
The importance of effectively managing breakthrough pain for patients on long term background analgesia has recently lead to the development of a range of new products aimed at filling this need. This review article looks at the reasons behind these developments and their implications for clinical practice in resource limited situations.
  - 4,052 199
Networking of palliative care at the corporate level
Kishore Rao, Nagesh Simha
January 2011, 17(4):20-22
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76235  PMID:21811363
This article is a story of networking of palliative care at the corporate level. This gives an insight that if you have will and dedication then you can imagine and make it true that networking can start even before the birth of an organization.
  - 3,151 156
Networking and training in palliative care - Challenging values and changing practice
Mhoira EF Leng
January 2011, 17(4):33-35
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76239  PMID:21811367
What make a good doctor is a question posed by the public and profession and is key when designing training programmes. The goal of training is to change practice not simply acquire knowledge yet too often curriculums and assessment focuses on knowledge and skills. Professional practice is underpinned by beliefs and values and therefore training may need to challenge deeply held values in order to result in a change in practice. Palliative care offers an opportunity to challenge values at a deeply personal level as it brings experiences of pain and suffering alongside clinical knowledge and skills. Palliative care is holistic and so real scenarios where physical, psychological, social and spiritual issues are evident can be presented in an interactive, learner centered environment. Training in ethics alongside clinical skills will assist the development of judgment which should also be assessed. Communication skills enable the clinician to hear and understand the needs and wishes of those facing life limiting illness. Training should include aspects of modeling and mentorship to demonstrate and integrate the learning with the realities of clinical practice and include those who lead and influence policy and advocacy.
  - 3,299 155
How to plan research in palliative care
Santosh K Chaturvedi
January 2011, 17(4):4-7
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76230  PMID:21811370
Research in palliative care has its challenges. However, research in different aspects of palliative care is important. This paper gives simple methods of planning and conducting a research in the area of palliative care in India.
  - 3,818 258
Total pain management
Agnes Panikulam
January 2011, 17(4):68-69
DOI:10.4103/0973-1075.76246  PMID:21811375
We CanSupport provide holistic care to the patients and family. This means, physical, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual care. The objective of this article is to implement a plan for improved high quality care, within a dynamic and complex health care system for palliative care. Twelve years of working experience with palliative care in CanSupport 'India' and 10 years of working palliative care aboard (USA). High level satisfaction of the patient of the patient and families due to the psycho, socio, spiritual model and help for income generation and vocational training. We suggest and encourage, to we this model for all palliative care centre and institutions
  - 5,053 251
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