Media Watch 523

Of special interest in the current issue of the weekly report:

One size does not fit all: Disease profiles of serious illness patients receiving specialty palliative care

JOURNAL OF PAIN & SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT | Online – 24 July 2017 – This study is one of the first to describe symptom burden and functional scores by diagnostic categories and care settings across a community-based interdisciplinary specialty palliative care program. Results demonstrate statistically significant and clinically relevant differences among settings of care, functional status, and symptom profiles between patients with various serious illnesses. The authors evaluated the first visit consultation records of 1,615 patients. Most prevalent diagnosis was neurologic (564; 35%), followed by cardiovascular (266; 16%), pulmonary (229; 14%), and cancer (208; 13%). Patients in the study with the highest symptom burden were those diagnosed with cancer or pulmonary disease, with 45% and 37% of cancer and pulmonary patients, respectively, having two or more moderate to severe symptoms. 26% of cardiovascular disease patients reported two or more moderate to severe symptoms while 11% reported three or more. Patients with a neurologic or infectious diagnosis had less symptom burden, but a large percentage of neurologic patients were unable to respond