Can high-quality palliative care for respiratory patients be improved?

Abstract

Respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are major causes of mortality worldwide [1], therefore high-quality palliative care for these patients is an important priority and a relevant component in the comprehensive management of these patients. Unfortunately, there is evidence that compared with cancer, patients with end-stage respiratory diseases receive poor-quality palliative care [2]. Among the reasons there is a bad or late patient-physician communication about end-of-life care. In this issue of the Journal Vitacca and Comini [3] analyze the characteristics of respiratory patients who die in a pulmonary rehabilitation Unit dedicated to advanced care, evaluating the organizational support related to the process of dying and quality of care in the last days and hours of life. Among other interesting results, the authors report that despite patient-doctor communication was deemed to be good in the majority of the cases, and patient’s and family wishes to improve their relation were obtained in an high percentage, only a minority of patients’ relatives reported to have had a discussion about end-of-life care with their physicians. Understanding and improving patient-clinician communication about end oflife care is the key to highquality palliative care [4]. Usually the quality of this communication is likely to be poor and current models for training students, physicians, nurses and non professional care-givers in communication about end-of-life care are inadequate. Therefore the need to improve such training is maybe even greater than the need for better technical skills. Improvement in communication among doctors, nurses, patients and family may contribute to a perception of better quality of care and help the patients to fit with disease and its management leading to better satisfaction and even clinical outcomes. Communication skills for appropriate communication and facing

DOI: 10.1186/2049-6958-7-19

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Ambrosino2012CanHP, title={Can high-quality palliative care for respiratory patients be improved?}, author={Nicolino Ambrosino}, booktitle={Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine}, year={2012} }