Media Watch 533

Attached is the current issue of Media Watch (#533).

Of particular Interest:

Quality hospice care in adult family homes: Barriers and facilitators

JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION | Online – 30 September 2017 – Study findings suggest that the adult family home (AFH) setting amplifies both the benefits and challenges associated with receipt of hospice. Homes that have effective working relationships with hospices enjoy an “extra set of hands,” a “lifeline,” and expertise regarding pain and symptom management. In these homes, the intimate environment provides a backdrop for rich connections, personalized care, and peace of mind for family members. In contrast, initiating hospice services for a resident in an AFH without a joint commitment to palliation or with a territorial versus collaborative approach to end-of-life care can increase stress for families and exacerbate misunderstandings or feelings of mistrust. Physicians and others providing services to older adults should remain mindful of the advice of experienced family members, who emphasized the importance of finding an AFH with a track record of positive collaborations with hospice agencies if the need for end-of-life care is anticipated. 

The strengths and challenges of palliative day-care centers: Qualitative study with the professionals involved

JOURNAL OF PALLIATIVE CARE | Online – 3 October 2017 – Palliative day-care centers are a marginal service within the palliative care landscape. Relevant research on the potential and added value of this service model is lacking, and it may therefore be underappreciated. Participants [in this study] were professional representatives of all 5 Flemish palliative day-care centers: 7 participants for the individual interviews and 6 participants for the focus group. Five strengths were identified: 1) Unique care model; 2) Contact with peers in a non-clinical environment; 3) A reliable and competent multi-professional team; 4) Care tailored to the individual; and, 5) Respite for family caregivers. The most significant challenges were: 1) Optimizing government funding; and, 2) Achieving sufficiently high occupancy and referral. According to interviewees, this latter challenge was due to the low visibility of the service to professionals and the public, unclear referral criteria, and the psychological threshold for referral among patients and professionals. Palliative day-care centers strive to provide unique services for patients with advanced illness. However, negotiating adequate funding and raising referral by changing current perceptions are paramount to unlocking their potential. Scientific analysis of cost utility and patient outcomes associated with their use is necessary