February 2024 News Digest

Categories: Education.
Every month, the PACED team prepares a digest of international materials and news about palliative care.

Profit or quality of care? Commercial hospices are gaining market share in palliative care services

The article examines the differences between nonprofit and commercial hospices in terms of the quality of care provided to patients nearing the end of life. The growing number of commercial facilities over the past two decades has raised concerns among experts about the potential profit motive impacting patient care. While some families have positive experiences with paid hospices, research shows that, on average, nonprofit organisations provide better care, with higher visit frequencies and fewer discharges before death.

Families seeking hospice care are advised to carefully research service providers and consider quality ratings and other factors to ensure the best care for their loved ones.


Non-invasive ventilation of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: comfort or prolongation of suffering?

A review of 33 publications on the use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) poses a number of complex ethical and practical questions for healthcare professionals. Professional opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of NIV application are contradictory, and patients often lack complete and impartial information about this method to provide informed consent for its use. Read the article to learn about the differences in perception of NIV between medical staff and patients revealed by the analysis of included studies.


Early palliative care “did not show a benefit” for patients undergoing oncological surgery

A randomised study involving over 200 adult patients who underwent surgical procedures related to abdominal cancer showed that early palliative care did not affect the quality of life of patients.

This raises doubts about the thesis of the necessity to provide such assistance at the earliest stage of serious illnesses, and also suggests a more rational use of the limited resources of palliative care specialists.

Read the article to find out what services were included in early palliative care.


Palliative sedation. Clinical practice in Sweden

This research-based publication provides a detailed overview of how palliative sedation is applied by Swedish specialists. What proportion of palliative patients died under sedation? Who initiated and discussed the decision to use sedation? What medications and dosages are used? What is the average duration of patient sedation? The study’s authors conclude that the procedure for conducting palliative sedation is currently suboptimal and consider further work on developing clinical recommendations important.


What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on the development of palliative care?

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in protocols for treating severe illnesses, highlighting the growing role of palliative care in the healthcare systems of many countries. Brynn Bowman, CEO of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), emphasised the increased demand for assistance with serious illnesses and the need for stronger support for interdisciplinary palliative care teams. However, despite the increased value of palliative care services, adequate resources have not followed the demand.

The pandemic underscored the importance of collaborative approaches to providing care for serious illnesses, with palliative care serving as a model for coordination and integration among medical specialties.


PACED are always looking for contributors. If you would like to write about what matters to you, please contact info@paced.org.uk


ehospice is pleased to be working in partnership with PACED. This article is republished with permission





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *