A pinboard by
Mohamed Hablas

Medical Oncologist , Gharbia Cancer Society


Palliative care in developing countries

Background and Context: The need for palliative care in middle and low resources countries, including Egypt, is emerging .The Gharbiah Cancer Society (GCS) is a nonprofit, nongovernmental hospital, located in Tanta, the Capital of the Gharbiah governorate in the mid-Nile Delta. The Society provides acute care to patients with cancer including surgery, chemo-, and radiotherapy. Review of 9 year-data of Gharbiah population-based cancer registry from 1999 to 2007 revealed 3480 cancer cases/year, with Age Standardized Rate (ASR) of 161.7/100,000 for males & 120.8/100.000 for females. Aim: About 70 % of cases present in advanced stages (III&IV) with liver cancer the most frequent cancer in male and breast cancer as the most frequent cancer in females. The GCS started a comprehensive palliative care services in April 2011 with 10-bed inpatient unit and 6 days/week outpatient clinic. All palliative care equipment were provided by public donations. Strategy/Tactics: Through collaboration with National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland and the San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine and Middle East Cancer Consortium , a fellowship training program was developed for a medical oncologist in palliative medicine and End-of-Life Care training course for nurses. Programme/Policy Process: The program succeeded in convincing local health authorities to increase the recommended opioids dose and to allow more physicians to prescribe opioids for cancer pain. In a period of 24 months, symptom management and palliative care were provided to 195 patients with advanced malignancies. The opioids consumption was increased by 30 folds. Outcomes/What was learned: The Major challenges for the program were inadequate public and health professionals awareness of palliative care services and lack of vehicles and finances to cover home visits. The initial results of the program warrant allocating more resources for coverage of a large number of trainees and instituting a home visits program.


Development of Palliative Care in China: A Tale of Three Cities.

Abstract: China is the most populous country in the world, but access to palliative care is extremely limited. A better understanding of the development of palliative care programs in China and how they overcome the barriers to provide services would inform how we can further integrate palliative care into oncology practices in China. Here, we describe the program development and infrastructure of the palliative care programs at three Chinese institutions, using these as examples to discuss strategies to accelerate palliative care access for cancer patients in China.Case study of three palliative care programs in Chengdu, Kunming, and Beijing.The three examples of palliative care delivery in China ranged from a comprehensive program that includes all major branches of palliative care in Chengdu, a program that is predominantly inpatient-based in Kunming, and a smaller program at an earlier stage of development in Beijing. Despite the numerous challenges related to the limited training opportunities, stigma on death and dying, and lack of resources and policies to support clinical practice, these programs were able to overcome many barriers to offer palliative care services to patients with advanced diseases and to advance this discipline in China through visionary leadership, collaboration with other countries to acquire palliative care expertise, committed staff members, and persistence.Palliative care is limited in China, although a few comprehensive programs exist. Our findings may inform palliative care program development in other Chinese hospitals.With a population of 1.3 billion, China is the most populous country in the world, and cancer is the leading cause of death. However, only 0.7% of hospitals offer palliative care services, which significantly limits palliative care access for Chinese cancer patients. Here, we describe the program development and infrastructure of three palliative care programs in China, using these as examples to discuss how they were able to overcome various barriers to implement palliative care. Lessons from these programs may help to accelerate the progress of palliative cancer care in China.

Pub.: 26 Jul '17, Pinned: 29 Jul '17

What are the differences among occupational groups related to their palliative care-specific educational needs and intensity of interprofessional collaboration in long-term care homes?

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare the differences across occupational groups related to their end-of-life care-specific educational needs and reported intensity of interprofessional collaboration in long-term care (LTC) homes.A cross-sectional survey, based on two questionnaires, was administered at four LTC homes in Ontario, Canada using a modified Dilman's approach. The first questionnaire, End of Life Professional Caregiver Survey, included three domains: patients and family-centered communication, cultural and ethical values, effective care delivery. The Intensity of Interprofessional Collaboration Scale included two subscales: care sharing activities, and interprofessional coordination. In total, 697 LTC staff were given surveys, including personal support workers, support staff (housekeeping, kitchen, recreation, laundry, dietician aids, office staff), and registered staff (licensed nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, pharmacists, physicians).A total of 317 participants completed the survey (126 personal support workers, 109 support staff, 82 registered staff) for a response rate of 45%. Significant differences emerged among occupational groups across all scales and subscales. Specifically, support staff rated their comfort of working with dying patients significantly lower than both nurses and PSWs. Support staff also reported significantly lower ratings of care sharing activities and interprofessional coordination compared to both registered staff and personal support workers.These study findings suggest there are differing educational needs and sense of interprofessional collaboration among LTC staff, specific to discipline group. Both the personal support workers and support staff groups appeared to have higher needs for education; support staff also reported higher needs related to integration on the interdisciplinary team. Efforts to build capacity within support staff related to working with dying residents and their families are needed. Optimal palliative care may require resources to increase the availability of support for all staff involved in the care of patients.

Pub.: 20 May '17, Pinned: 29 Jul '17