Getting to palliative care is a still painful step

Garrone, Paola and Prandi, Cesarina and Resta, Daniela and Boggio Gilot, Chiara and Peruselli, Carlo and Bertetto, Oscar (2012) Getting to palliative care is a still painful step. UNSPECIFIED. Palliative medicine, 26 (4).

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Abstract

There are factors that play a crucial role in the transition from active treatment to palliative care: the clinical complexity in determining with certainty the prognosis of the patient and the practitioner’s ability to identify the most appropriate time to discontinue the active treatment. The latency period in the transition from active treatment to palliative care seems to be placed in the departments of oncology, surgical oncology and medicine. Objectives: Identify and understand which meaning doctors and nurses assign to the procedures and the barriers that determine the latency period in the transition from active to palliative care within the Operating Units of the Oncology Centre of Piedmont and Aosta Valley. Understand and analyze the field of knowledge and the behaviors of staff physicians who deal with end-stage cancer patients. Tools and methods: Qualitative study carried out at two levels (target 1: professionals; target 2: patients and caregivers). Target 1: nurses and physicians working in Oncological Medicine and Oncological Surgery Units of 4 hospitals in Piedmont. Target 2: patients and caregivers of 4 hospices in Piedmont. The instrument used at both levels is the in-depth interview. Data will be processed according to the indicators of good practice of qualitative research, with traceability of interpretations. We will use the software N-Vivo to analyze the narratives and detect the emerging issues. Expected outcomes: To understand which are the obstacles that determine a latency period in the transition from active treatment to palliative care Explore and describe the position taken by practitioners in hospital units. Identify the barriers to the reporting of terminally ill patients. Identify possible areas for improvement in order to reduce the waiting days in the transition to palliative care. The study is still ongoing and results will be available from February 2012. Funding: Oncological Network of Piedmont and Aosta Valley

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