Media Watch 550

Attached is the current issue of Media Watch (#550).


Of particular interest in this week's issue:

End-of-life care for infants, children and young people with life-limiting conditions: Planning and management – the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence guideline 2016

ARCHIVES OF DISEASE IN CHILDHOOD: EDUCATION & PRACTICE | Online – 6 February 2018 – The guideline highlights the importance of a holistic approach to the care of infants, children and young people with life-limiting illnesses. It recognises that care delivery to the infant, child and wider family needs to be consistent, responsive and seamless throughout childhood, despite unpredictable and variable disease trajectories. This needs to involve coordinated interdisciplinary team-working by health, education and social care providers from the public sector and non-statutory organisations, in geographically distinct care settings. Today, there are 49,000 infants, children and young people (0-18 years) living with life-limiting conditions in the U.K. The recommendations aim to support a wide variety of professionals, and infants, children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families, with issues regarding end-of-life and palliative care. Guidance on basic symptom management, communication, advance care planning and service delivery is included. This is the first U.K. published guideline on this subject, but there have been several published frameworks, care pathways, drug formularies and symptom management guidelines in this. 


Integrated palliative care networks from the perspectives of patients: A cross-sectional explorative study in five European countries


PALLIATIVE MEDICINE | Online – 5 February 2018 – Although examining perspectives of patients on integrated palliative care (PC) organisation is essential, available literature is largely based on administrative data or healthcare professionals’ perspectives. The authors recruited 157 patients from 23 integrated PC initiatives in Belgium, Germany, the U.K., Hungary and The Netherlands. About 33% reported contact with a PC specialist and 48% with a PC nurse. Relationships with PC specialists were rated significantly higher than other physicians. Compared to patients with cancer, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic heart failure had significantly lower odds of reporting contact with PC specialists and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had significantly lower odds of reporting contact with PC nurses. Perceptions of main responsible healthcare professionals or caregivers in patient’s care networks varied across countries. Perceived integration was significantly associated with overall satisfaction. Expert PC involvement needs to be explicated especially for non-cancer patients. One healthcare professional should support patients in understanding and navigating their PC network. Patients seem satisfied with care provision as long as continuity of care is provided.


Family meetings in in-patient specialist palliative care: A mechanism to convey empathy

JOURNAL OF PAIN & SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT | Online – 5 February 2018 – Families [i.e., study participants] reported more empathy from staff following a family meeting... Some families with relatives who do not speak with each other reported that meeting facilitators were unable to manage the pre-existing dynamics. It would be beneficial to have more specific preparation and planning by the clinical team for meetings with people who have a history of familial conflict, and those where the staff’s agenda is around discharge planning. Published guidelines could be adapted to better support staff to run meetings where there are complex family dynamics. Adoption of family meetings in outpatient settings has the potential to improve perceptions of empathy with a larger patient group.