Integration of early specialist palliative care in cancer care: Survey of oncologists, oncology nurses, and patients

Naveen Salins, Lipika Patra, M. R.Usha Rani, S. O. Lohitashva, Raghavendra Rao, Raghavendra Ramanjulu, Nandini Vallath

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalIndian Journal of Palliative Care
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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