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EOL Essentials Project News

EDITION 8

Welcome to the November edition of End-of-Life Essentials news, keeping you informed with what’s happening in the project and end-of-life care. 

What’s New in the Project?

• Sector News

• Latest Evidence

• For Your Notice Board

• Next Newsletter

What's New in the Project?

 
New education and resources for you to use for free!

In the new module 'Planning End-of-Life Care - Goals of Care', you will learn about the importance of negotiating goals of care with patients and families, and why this matters in end-of-life care.

We also provide you with the resources to sharpen your skills around managing conflict or emotions, common in end-of-life conversations.

Register now for Module 4 - Planning End-of-Life Care - Goals of Care - and complete your learning at a time that suits you. 

Perhaps you have completed one module, but you want to complete more. We know things can get busy. Remember you can easily return to the website to access all the learning modules at any time with videos and quizzes available.

Sector News

The Advanced Care Planning Talk (ACPTalk) website was designed in collaboration with Australian healthcare professionals, religious and cultural leaders and organisations. It is intended to provide informational support for health professionals conducting advance care planning with people from different religious and cultural backgrounds. The website may also be utilised by members of the general public.

ACPTalk has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and developed by Cabrini Health. Content was derived from interviews and has been reviewed by representatives from religious and cultural organisations and other interested external stakeholders.

Latest Evidence

Each month we will feature a few articles that cover topics relevant to end-of-life care in hospitals:

  • Krawczyk M, Gallagher R. Communicating prognostic uncertainty in potential end-of-life contexts: experiences of family members. BMC Palliat Care. 2016 Jul 12;15(1):59.

    This study found that nearly half of all family members wanted more information about possible outcomes of care, including knowledge that the patient was 'sick enough to die'. Prognostic uncertainty was often poorly communicated, if at all. Inappropriate techniques included information being cloaked in confusing euphemisms, providing unwanted false hope, and incongruence between message and the aggressive level of care being provided. In extreme cases, these techniques left a legacy of uncertainty and suspicion.

    Family members expressed an awareness of both the challenges and benefits of communicating prognostic uncertainty. Most importantly, respondents who acknowledged that they would have resisted (or did) knowing that the patient was sick enough to die also expressed a retrospective understanding that they would have liked, and benefitted, from more prognostic information that death was a possible or probable outcome of the patient's admission.

    Family members who reported discussion of prognostic uncertainty also reported high levels of effective communication and satisfaction with care. They also reported long-term benefits of knowing the patient was sick enough to die.
     
  • Hodgkinson S, Ruegger J, Field-Smith A, Latchem S, Ahmedzai SH. Care of dying adults in the last days of life. Clin Med. 2016 Jun 1;16(3):254-8.

    Care of people in their last days of life should be based on compassion, respect and, wherever possible, on research evidence. This Concise Guideline overviews NICE Clinical Guideline (NG31), which addresses: recognising dying; communication and shared decision making; maintaining hydration; and pharmacological symptom control, including anticipatory prescribing. Doctors may need to change their attitudes to care of dying people and those important to them. Potential barriers to implementation include need for further training and 24/7 availability of specialist support to front-line clinicians.

For your Notice Board

Each month we will feature a fact sheet, a poster or other resources that you can print and share on your notice board or in your tearoom. This month we highlight a poster from Module 2 in our online education. 

Next Newsletter 

The End-of-Life Essentials News is distributed on the first Wednesday of each month.

You are welcome to forward the newsletter to others who may be interested or follow this link to subscribe to the newsletter. To share something, please email eolessentials@flinders.edu.au

 
End-of-Life Essentials is based on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care, and the Commission provides ongoing advice to the project.

End-of-Life Essentials is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health
Copyright © 2016 End-of-Life Essentials, All rights reserved.


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