Sunday, February 20, 2011

State of the Science in Palliative Care

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine just completed its annual meeting in Vancouver over the weekend and here is the list of the 8 most important papers of the year as presented in the state of the science plenary session. Here is a new op-ed on the role of palliative care in health reform/the transformation of the health care system by Diane Meier, one of the top palliative medicine leaders.

Also, this year I enjoyed following the conference from afar (I could not attend) via twitter. Here is a list of #hpm tweets from the conference. Each Wed at 9pm EST, there is hospice and palliative medicine tweetchat, where 2 to 3 questions are discussed via twitter. You should check this out if you are interested in hospice and palliative care.

Of particular note in the 8 best papers is the paper by my Duke colleague Amy Abernethy and others that reported on a RCT of oxygen v. forced room air to treat breathlessness, a common (distressing) symptom for persons who have advanced life-limiting illness. They found that oxygen did not produce better symptom relief than forced room air, meaning less intensive therapy could produce the same results.

Amy and I recently got a palliative care/hospice focused grant but I can't talk about it publicly until March 1....more later on that.

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