Patient’s perspective plenary at the AAHPM 2013

Categories: Uncategorized.

David Oliver, a professor in gerontology, is a patient who has been diagnosed with stage IV nasopharyngeal carcinoma. When he was diagnosed, he was presented with the choices of retreating, fighting the disease or accepting it. He chose to accept the disease, and now he uses the lessons he has learned to help others to “deprive death of its strangeness”. His patient’s perspective helps us to gain a better understanding of the ways in which patients can approach their cancer diagnosis.

Debra Parker Oliver, David’s wife and a researcher in hospice care at the University of Missouri, helped to present the plenary at the AAHPM and has been supporting his open dialogue and communication. She has also features in the video blog which she and David both present, where they discuss cancer treatment and managing their approach to death. 

Their work has resulted in widespread media interest, and David and Debra both appeared on CBS’s This Morning with Charlie Rose. David has also written and published the book ‘Exit Strategy: Depriving Death of Its Strangeness‘ which features his personal story and attitude towards accepting rather than defeating or ignoring his cancer diagnosis. 

Research has shown that engaging with patients’ perspective can have many benefits, including improving recall of information, improving confidence and having a higher chance that a patient reports that their chosen treatment path is appropriate to them. 

An interview with David can be found on the GeriPal blog and information about the AAHPM plenary and an interview can be found on the Pallimed blog.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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