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1.
BMC Palliat Care ; 21(1): 10, 2022 Jan 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1619914

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, general and specialist Palliative Care (PC) plays an essential role in health care, contributing to symptom control, psycho-social support, and providing support in complex decision making. Numbers of COVID-19 related deaths have recently increased demanding more palliative care input. Also, the pandemic impacts on palliative care for non-COVID-19 patients. Strategies on the care for seriously ill and dying people in pandemic times are lacking. Therefore, the program 'Palliative care in Pandemics' (PallPan) aims to develop and consent a national pandemic plan for the care of seriously ill and dying adults and their informal carers in pandemics including (a) guidance for generalist and specialist palliative care of patients with and without SARS-CoV-2 infections on the micro, meso and macro level, (b) collection and development of information material for an online platform, and (c) identification of variables and research questions on palliative care in pandemics for the national pandemic cohort network (NAPKON). METHODS: Mixed-methods project including ten work packages conducting (online) surveys and qualitative interviews to explore and describe i) experiences and burden of patients (with/without SARS-CoV-2 infection) and their relatives, ii) experiences, challenges and potential solutions of health care professionals, stakeholders and decision makers during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The work package results inform the development of a consensus-based guidance. In addition, best practice examples and relevant literature will be collected and variables for data collection identified. DISCUSSION: For a future "pandemic preparedness" national and international recommendations and concepts for the care of severely ill and dying people are necessary considering both generalist and specialist palliative care in the home care and inpatient setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Germany , Humans , Palliative Care , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Cancer ; 128(2): 215, 2022 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606885
5.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e21615, 2021 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573721

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a harsh light on a critical deficiency in our health care system: our inability to access important information about patients' values, goals, and preferences in the electronic health record (EHR). At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), we have integrated and systematized health-related values discussions led by oncology nurses for newly diagnosed cancer patients as part of routine comprehensive cancer care. Such conversations include not only the patient's wishes for care at the end of life but also more holistic personal values, including sources of strength, concerns, hopes, and their definition of an acceptable quality of life. In addition, health care providers use a structured template to document their discussions of patient goals of care. OBJECTIVE: To provide ready access to key information about the patient as a person with individual values, goals, and preferences, we undertook the creation of the Patient Values Tab in our center's EHR to display this information in a single, central location. Here, we describe the interprofessional, interdisciplinary, iterative process and user-centered design methodology that we applied to build this novel functionality as well as our initial implementation experience and plans for evaluation. METHODS: We first convened a working group of experts from multiple departments, including medical oncology, health informatics, information systems, nursing informatics, nursing education, and supportive care, and a user experience designer. We conducted in-depth, semistructured, audiorecorded interviews of over 100 key stakeholders. The working group sought consensus on the tab's main content, homing in on high-priority areas identified by the stakeholders. The core content was mapped to various EHR data sources. We established a set of high-level design principles to guide our process. Our user experience designer then created wireframes of the tab design. The designer conducted usability testing with physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. Data validation testing was conducted. RESULTS: We have already deployed the Patient Values Tab to a pilot sample of users in the MSK Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology Service, including physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, and administrative staff. We have early evidence of the positive impact of this EHR innovation. Audit logs show increasing use. Many of the initial user comments have been enthusiastically positive, while others have provided constructive suggestions for additional tab refinements with respect to format and content. CONCLUSIONS: It is our challenge and obligation to enrich the EHR with information about the patient as a person. Realization of this capability is a pressing public health need requiring the collaboration of technological experts with a broad range of clinical leaders, users, patients, and families to achieve solutions that are both principled and practical. Our new Patient Values Tab represents a step forward in this important direction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Electronic Health Records/organization & administration , Medical Informatics/methods , Palliative Care/methods , Quality of Life/psychology , User-Centered Design , Humans
6.
Workplace Health Saf ; 69(12): 580-584, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571726

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic poses challenges for palliative care. Terminal patients cannot wear masks and may demonstrate unspecific symptoms reminiscent of those caused by COVID-19. This report is about a terminally ill patient with lung cancer who displayed fever, cough, and fatigue. During hospital admission screening, the patient tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. When admitting his wife to stay with him, she also had to test for SARS-CoV-2 and displayed a positive test result. Until the positive results were reported, six staff members were infected with SARS-CoV-2, even though they were routinely wearing respirators. This resulted in the palliative care unit having to be closed. Hospitals need strict and adequate testing and re-testing strategies even for intra-hospital transfers. Workers must strictly adhere to recommended respirator practices. Ventilation of patient rooms is essential due to the possible enrichment of particle aerosols containing viruses, as negative pressure rooms are not recommended in all countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lung Neoplasms , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Lung Neoplasms/complications , Male , Palliative Care , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Terminally Ill
7.
BMC Med Educ ; 21(1): 585, 2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526627

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Globally, the need for palliative care will increase as a result of the ageing of populations and the rising burden of cancer, non-communicable diseases as well as some communicable diseases. Physicians and registered nurses working in palliative care should have a sufficient level of education and competence in managing the changing needs and requirements of palliative care. There is, however, need for evidence-based palliative care training and education of physicians and registered nurses. The purpose of this study was to describe the views of physicians and registered nurses regarding future competence needs within palliative care. METHODS: The study was conducted through use of a cross-sectional qualitative design. A total of 54 physicians and 110 registered nurses completed an open-ended questionnaire about the future competence needs of palliative care. The data were analyzed using inductive content analysis. RESULTS: The results revealed four main competence needs within palliative care for the coming decade: palliative care competence at all levels within healthcare and social welfare services; individualized palliative care competence; person-centered encounters competence; and systematic competence development within palliative care. CONCLUSIONS: The results offer cues for education and professional development, which can be used to support physicians and registered nurses when future palliative care competences are included in educational programs. Seamless cooperation between palliative care services and educational institutions is recommended to ensure that undergraduate and postgraduate education is based on a continuous assessment of competence requirements within the field of palliative care. Therefore, online multi-professional simulations, for example, could be used to enhance future competencies within palliative care; undergraduate medical, nursing and allied healthcare students as well as postgraduate palliative care professionals and experts of experience could work together during simulations.


Subject(s)
Nurses , Physicians , Clinical Competence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Palliative Care
8.
BMJ Support Palliat Care ; 11(4): 440-443, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526512

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: When people are dying and unable to take oral medication, injectable medication is commonly used, usually administered by healthcare professionals. There may be delays to symptom relief due to travel to the person's home. In a randomised controlled trial (RCT) previously reported, nasal fentanyl (NF) or buccal midazolam (BM) were administered by lay carers in a hospice. OBJECTIVE: (1) To report experiences of lay carers who administered NF and BM for symptom control and (2) To use feedback to develop guidance informing a future definitive RCT to determine whether NF and BM administered by lay carers can lead to timely, improved symptom control for people dying at home and fewer 'emergency' community nursing visits than standard breakthrough medication administered by healthcare professionals. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Semistructured interviews with lay carers who gave trial medication were conducted. Interview data were analysed using a stage by stage method to code and categorise transcripts. FINDINGS: The six themes were: (1) Participation-lay carers welcomed the opportunity to administer medication; (2) Ease of use-lay carers found preparations easy to use; (3) How things could have been done differently-lay carers would have liked access to trial drugs at home; (4) Training-lay carers were happy with the training they received; (5) Timing-lay carers liked the immediacy of trial drugs and (6) Evaluation-assessing symptom intensity and drug efficacy. CONCLUSIONS: Participation was acceptable to patients and lay carers, and beneficial for symptom relief. The findings will inform planning for a future community-based study.


Subject(s)
Caregivers , Midazolam , Fentanyl , Humans , Palliative Care , Qualitative Research
9.
Curr Opin Support Palliat Care ; 15(4): 199-204, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511115

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this paper is (1) to provide insight in the palliative care needs of patients with COVID-19; (2) to highlight the challenges of COVID-19 for palliative care; and (3) to highlight developments in COVID-19 palliative care. RECENT FINDINGS: Patients with serious COVID-19 have palliative care needs in all domains: physical, psychological, social and spiritual. COVID-19 palliative care is confronted with many challenges, including: the uncertain prognosis, resource limitations, challenges regarding advance care planning, lack of guidance, limited multidisciplinary collaboration, need for remote communication, restrictions in family visits, and burden for clinicians. Palliative care responded with many developments: development of services; integration of palliative care with other services; tools to support advance care planning, (remote) communication with patients and families, or spiritual care; and care for team members. SUMMARY: Palliative care has an important role in this pandemic. Palliative care rapidly developed services and opportunities were found to support patients, families and clinicians. Further developments are warranted to face future demands of a pandemic, including integrated palliative care and education in palliative care skills across all specialties. Intervention studies are needed to enable evidence-based recommendations for palliative care in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Advance Care Planning , COVID-19 , Humans , Palliative Care , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 40(11): 1811-1812, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502082
11.
BMJ Open Qual ; 10(4)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495478

ABSTRACT

This article described our experience in implementing a quality improvement project to overcome the bed overcapacity problem at a comprehensive cancer centre in a tertiary care centre. We formed a multidisciplinary team including a representative from patient and family support (six members), hospice care and home care services (four members), multidisciplinary team development (four members) and the national lead. The primary responsibility of the formulated team was implementing measures to optimise and manage patient flow. We used the plan-do-study-act cycle to engage all stakeholders from all service layers, test some interventions in simplified pilots and develop a more detailed plan and business case for further implementation and roll-out, which was used as a problem-solving approach in our project for refining a process or implementing changes. As a result, we observed a significant reduction in bed capacity from 35% in 2017 to 13.8% in 2018. While the original length of stay (LOS) was 28 days, the average LOS was 19 days in 2017 (including the time before and after the intervention), 10.8 days in 2018 (after the intervention was implemented), 10.1 days in 2019 and 16 days in 2020. The increase in 2020 parameters was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, since many patients did not enrol in our new care model. Using a systematic care delivery approach by a multidisciplinary team improves significantly reduced bed occupancy and reduces LOS for palliative care patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Palliative Care , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Pandemics , Policy Making , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2
12.
BMJ Open ; 11(10): e053124, 2021 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495470

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Communicable disease epidemics and pandemics magnify the health inequities experienced by marginalised populations. People who use substances suffer from high rates of morbidity and mortality and should be a priority to receive palliative care, yet they encounter many barriers to palliative care access. Given the pre-existing inequities to palliative care access for people with life-limiting illnesses who use substances, it is important to understand the impact of communicable disease epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19 on this population. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a scoping review and report according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews reporting guidelines. We conducted a comprehensive literature search in seven bibliographical databases from the inception of each database to August 2020. We also performed a grey literature search to identify the publications not indexed in the bibliographical databases. All the searches will be rerun in April 2021 to retrieve recently published information because the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing at the time of this writing. We will extract the quantitative data using a standardised data extraction form and summarise it using descriptive statistics. Additionally, we will conduct thematic qualitative analyses and present our findings as narrative summaries. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval is not required for a scoping review. We will disseminate our findings to healthcare providers and policymakers through professional networks, digital communications through social media platforms, conference presentations and publication in a scientific journal.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Humans , Palliative Care , Pandemics , Research Design , Review Literature as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Systematic Reviews as Topic
14.
J Palliat Med ; 24(11): 1603-1605, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493633

ABSTRACT

As many hospitals scaled back integrative therapies during the COVID-19 pandemic, we instead turned to the multifaceted qualities of music to bridge physical and social divides. In this report, we describe palliative care music therapists as frontline providers utilizing evidence-based approaches to support healing and recovery for patients in the intensive care unit, patient and family care at end of life, and staff wellness. We provide examples of music therapy (MT) to promote successful weaning from mechanical ventilation, create bedside rituals and legacy gifts for dying patients and their families, and provide real-time support for overwhelmed staff. Despite barriers brought on by the pandemic, the sensory and emotional immediacy of music bridged social distances at critical moments and addressed "suffering beyond words" among patients, families and health care workers. Our experience reinforced the need for MT as standard of interdisciplinary care during the pandemic and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Music Therapy , Palliative Care , COVID-19/therapy , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics
15.
JAMA ; 326(14): 1373-1374, 2021 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1490617
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488547

ABSTRACT

AIM: This study aims to assess the influence of training on nurses' attitudes toward end-of-life care during the COVID-19 pandemic alarm state in Spain. DESIGN: Cross-sectional descriptive study. Data collection was carried out by means of an ad hoc questionnaire using Google Forms in April and May 2020. The score of attitudes toward end-of-life care was used, to which sociodemographic variables and training in palliative care were added. METHODS: Data were collected from 238 nursing professionals who had cared for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 adult patients at the end-of-life stage in a hospital or nursing home. RESULTS: Results showed that 51% of the nurses in the sample had training in palliative care. However, the percentage decreased to 38.5% among those who cared for COVID-19 patients and to 44.5% in those who cared for non-COVID-19 patients. In relation to attitudes about end-of-life care, more positive attitudes and a higher mean score were found in the trained group. CONCLUSIONS: Palliative care training is a key element in end-of-life care and is even more important in times of COVID-19. IMPACT: Although end-of-life accompaniment has been studied, few studies have included the influence of training on this during the pandemic. This study identifies key elements of accompaniment and training in a comparison of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. In relation to attitudes toward end-of-life care, the results showed a more positive attitude and a higher mean score in the trained group (3.43 ± 0.37 versus 3.21 ± 0.32), the difference being statistically significant (p < 0.001).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nurses , Terminal Care , Attitude , Attitude of Health Personnel , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Palliative Care , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
17.
Int J Palliat Nurs ; 27(8): 383-384, 2021 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485530
18.
Nurs Stand ; 36(11): 61-65, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481194

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a significant increase in the demand for palliative and end of life care, particularly in the community. Furthermore, palliative and end of life care services face growing pressures due to the increasing number of older people and increasing prevalence of chronic illness. Palliative and end of life care cannot be provided solely by specialists but needs to be integrated into mainstream healthcare. All nurses have a role in supporting patients with life-limiting conditions, and their families, by providing what is termed 'generalist palliative care'. However, some nurses may feel unprepared, unsupported or lacking the confidence and skills for that role. This article explores the definitions of palliative and end of life care, as well as the changes and challenges in service provision brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also considers how nurses who have not specialised in this area of practice can be supported to care effectively for patients with life-limiting conditions, and their families, notably through workforce development initiatives such as training programmes and clinical supervision. This could not only increase the skills of the nursing workforce but also improve patient care.


Subject(s)
Community Health Nursing/organization & administration , Nurse's Role , Nurses/psychology , Nursing Staff/education , Palliative Care/methods , Aged , COVID-19 , Clinical Competence , Hospice Care , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Terminal Care
19.
Med J Aust ; 215(10): 479-484, 2021 11 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481136

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Driven by the need to reduce risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and optimise use of health system resources, while maximising patient outcomes, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted unprecedented changes in cancer care. Some new or modified health care practices adopted during the pandemic will be of long term value in improving the quality and resilience of cancer care in Australia and internationally. The Cancer Australia consensus statement is intended to guide and enhance the delivery of cancer care during the pandemic and in a post-pandemic environment. This article summarises the full statement, which is available at https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/covid-19/covid-19-recovery-implications-cancer-care. MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS: The statement is informed by a desktop literature review and input from cancer experts and consumers at a virtual roundtable, held in July 2020, on key elements of cancer care that changed during the pandemic. It describes targeted strategies (at system, service, practitioner and patient levels) to retain, enhance and embed high value changes in practice. Principal strategies include: implementing innovative models of care that are digitally enabled and underpinned by clear governance, policies and procedures to guide best practice cancer care; enabling health professionals to deliver evidence-based best practice and coordinated, person-centred cancer care; and empowering patients to improve health literacy and enhancing their ability to engage in informed, shared decision making. CHANGES IN MANAGEMENT AS A RESULT OF THIS STATEMENT: Widespread adoption of high value health care practices across all levels of the cancer control sector will be of considerable benefit to the delivery of optimal cancer care into the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Australia , Decision Making, Shared , Early Detection of Cancer , Health Literacy , Humans , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/prevention & control , Palliative Care , Patient Care Team , Patient-Centered Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Scholarly Communication , Social Support , Telemedicine
20.
Acad Psychiatry ; 45(5): 651-652, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1474187
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