European Journal of Palliative Care - 2007

Comment: Palliative care development: a challenge for the future
Marilène Filbet
pp 91-91
The main goal of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) is to increase awareness and promote the development and dissemination of palliative care at scientific, clinical and social levels, within Europe. Our motto is, ‘One voice, one vision’. The EAPC is still a young association, but from the beginning, our individual and collective members have been increasing, and we now represent more than 50,000 people.
Managing severe pruritus in cancer patients
Zbigniew Zylicz and Malgorzata Krajnik
pp 93-95
While mild itch (pruritus or prurigo) is common in the everyday lives of the young and old, severe itch is an uncommon complaint. Some people see itch as a minor and ‘benign’ complaint; however, most patients suffering from severe itch say they would prefer to be in pain. There are no precise statistics, but, among cancer patients, less than 1% suffer severe itch. Itching is an unpleasant sensation transmitted by a network of dedicated neurons to the spinal cord1 and scratching is a motor response to it.
Cancer-related fatigue during the cancer journey
Sheikh Moeen ul Haq and Mehmood Butt
pp 96-98
Cancer-related fatigue is the persistent and subjective sensation of tiredness, related to cancer or its treatment, that leads to interference with usual functioning. It is one of the most common symptoms experienced by patients during their cancer journey. Indeed, fatigue is more prevalent than pain in patients with cancer. In recent years, there has been a greater awareness among healthcare professionals of the importance of cancer-related fatigue as an important determinant of quality of life and such measures are now routinely incorporated into many clinical cancer trials.
The pitfalls of visual analogue scales in palliative medicine
Katherine Hauser, Declan Walsh, Mellar P Davis, Ruth L Lagman and Susan B LeGrand
pp 99-102
Objective symptom assessment in palliative medicine is important for both clinical practice and research. Symptoms are multiple and often underreported. Individual, clinical and cultural factors influence the reporting of pain and other symptoms. Therefore, it is important that symptoms are measured systematically. In research, symptom assessment is important.
Case study masterclass 32: Complex end-of-life care: cultural issues
Carol Davis and Barry Evans
pp 103-104
One Saturday afternoon, you receive a telephone call from an out-of-hours GP. She is at the house of a 66-year-old Chinese man, Mr Tsung.* She tells you that Mr Tsung does not speak English. She has talked to several members of his family, who have explained that he has recently moved, from his home several hundred miles away, to live with them because he has been feeling ill. The family are very distressed but have a piece of paper with his name on it and the words ‘cancer of the stomach’. On examination he is cachectic, dehydrated and there is a large epigastric mass.
Case study masterclass 31 answers: A palliative care emergency: neuroleptic malignant syndrome
Kumaraja Chandrarajan and Craig Gannon
pp 104-104
Family meetings as a means of support for patients
Isabel Galriça Neto and Nélia Trindade
pp 105-108
In addition to controlling symptoms, doctors and team members need to communicate effectively with patients and families alike. This is extremely important in relation to the quality of care received. There is a wealth of evidence to show that the support needs of carers are not being met. Families’ satisfaction with the care given depends on honest, timely communication.
IMPaCCT: standards for paediatric palliative care in Europe
Steering Committee of the EAPC task force
pp 109-115
In March 2006, a group of healthcare professionals from Europe, Canada, Lebanon and the USA met in Trento, Italy to discuss the current situation of paediatric palliative care in Europe. The group was called the International Meeting for Palliative Care in Children, Trento (IMPaCCT) and is sponsored by the Maruzza Lefebvre d’Ovidio Foundation (Rome), Fondazione Livia Benini (Florence) and the No Pain for Children Association (Trento). In 2007 the IMPaCCT group became an EAPC task force.
Information on palliative care from the family’s perspective
Jairo R Moyano, Carlos E Guerrero and Sofía C Zambrano
pp 117-119
In Latin America, terminally ill patients’ care is mainly provided at acute care hospitals. Some oncology institutions include specific palliative care units, or specialists with different levels of training. However, for most patients, access to this service is not optimal, not only due to the economic limitations existing in the region, but also because of the structure and operation of this type of institution, whose orientation is more towards curative than palliative care.
Using oxygen therapy in the palliative care setting
Rebecca Goody, Jolyne O’Hare, Max Watson and Tim Warke
pp 120-123
This article will address the indications and contraindications for supplemental oxygen therapy in palliative care and look at the costs of oxygen use, methods of supply and administration and the need for monitoring. It will also suggest guidelines on oxygen use in the palliative context.
The role of music therapy in children’s hospices
Sanka Amadoru and Katrina McFerran
pp 124-127
Paediatric palliative care has only emerged as a distinct field in healthcare in the early 1990s and an understanding of music therapy in this context is still developing. Music therapy has numerous forms and applications, depending on the context in which it is being used. In a seminal paper on its application in palliative care, Munro and Mount define music therapy as ‘the controlled use of music, its elements and their influences on the human being to aid in the physiologic, psychologic and emotional integration of the individual during the treatment of an illness or disability’