Most chronic lung disease patients want end-of-life talks | Disrupted sleep-wake cycles common in advanced cancer, study says | Dyspnea is serious for patients with advanced cancer
December 6, 2017
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously ill
Top Story
Most chronic lung disease patients want end-of-life talks
An analysis of 21 studies that included almost 2,000 chronic lung disease patients showed most were interested in end-of-life care discussions with practitioners but only 12% to 32% could recall having that talk, researchers wrote in the journal Thorax. Among practitioners asked if they engaged patients in end-of-life discussions, only 20% to 33% said they did.
Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (12/4) 
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Palliative & Hospice Care Update
Disrupted sleep-wake cycles common in advanced cancer, study says
Disturbed sleep-wake cycles are common among advanced cancer patients in palliative care, and less-rhythmic cycles are associated with a shorter time to death from the first home visit, according to a Canadian study published in Chronobiology International. Lower levels of 24-hour light exposure were linked to greater sleep-wake cycle disruption.
Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (12/1) 
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Dyspnea is serious for patients with advanced cancer
Dyspnea is a serious problem for advanced cancer patients, and especially those with lung cancer, but experts said there is little research on the condition and a lack of routine screening using validated outcomes. Breathing problems can worsen at the end of life, causing significant patient distress, and palliative care physician Dr. Gudrun Marie Ilse Kreye said dyspnea is an "absolute emergency" for palliative care patients.
Medscape (free registration) (11/29) 
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Caution signal: Rewards of life review come with pain
Conducting life reviews with patients and families in geriatric, palliative and hospice settings can be highly therapeutic but must be done with care as negative memories arise, hospice social worker J. Scott Janssen advises. Janssen recommends training in trauma, relational conflict and grief therapy.
Social Work Today (12/2017) 
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Other News
LG Commercial Displays for Healthcare
LG offers best-in-class in-room commercial-grade TVs, cross-property digital displays, desktop monitors, wayfinders and DICOM compliant 8MP clinical review and surgical monitors, all designed to enhance the employee, patient and guest experience.
Patient & Family Perspective
Patients find horticulture therapy makes chemo treatments easier
When colon cancer patient Lauren Underhill and liver cancer patient Susan Bussen get their chemotherapy treatments at the Siteman Cancer Center near St. Louis, they also participate in the Missouri Botanical Garden's therapeutic horticulture program. Bussen finds the program makes her treatment regimen easier to bear because it is "more like I've done something fun today, rather than something I had to do."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (12/4) 
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Medical Research
Higher Alzheimer's death risk tied to benzodiazepines
A study in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found use of benzodiazepines and related drugs among patients with Alzheimer's disease was linked to a 41% increased mortality risk. The findings, based on data for 31,140 community-dwelling Finnish patients diagnosed with the disease between 2005 and 2011, showed that the association, although significant, did not last after 120 days.
Medscape (free registration) (11/28) 
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Register Now for the 2018 Assembly
The 2018 Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care will be held March 14-17, 2018 in Boston, MA. This Assembly will bring fresh ideas, a chance to connect and meet with new professionals, and the ability to become re-energized in your practice. See what you can discover at the Assembly.
Health Policy & Practice
Doctors worry ACA repeal may affect pediatric palliative care
End-of-life care physicians are concerned about the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act because the 2010 law contains a provision allowing terminally ill children to receive both hospice care and medical treatment. Pediatric palliative care has increased since passage of the ACA, as Sarah Friebert of the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center at Akron Children's Hospital in Ohio says people want to keep all options available.
The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.) (free registration) (12/3) 
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More physicians specializing in nursing home-based care
A University of Pennsylvania study of Medicare billing data showed the number of physicians and other advanced practitioners with a specific focus on nursing home-based care increased by more than one-third from 2012 to 2015. Researchers said 21% of all physicians and advanced practitioners doing any work in nursing homes specialize in nursing home care.
Healthcare Finance News (12/1) 
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Trends & Technology
App lets patients disseminate their own health data
Health Wizz has reintroduced a platform and app that together enable patients to aggregate their EHR information and sell it to drugmakers, researchers and others. The app is blockchain-enabled and compatible with EHRs.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (11/30) 
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Upcoming prognostication webinar: Dec. 14
Join Dr. Vincent "Jay" Vanston on Dec. 14 for his upcoming webinar, "Knowing the Future: The Challenge of Prognostication in Hospice and Palliative Care." This webinar will focus on developing a framework around how to effectively utilize prognostication in the care of patients near the end of life. Register now!
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Call for volunteers now open
AAHPM members are able to sign up to be a volunteer with AAHPM for the 2018 year! We are currently seeking energetic volunteers to serve on committees, working groups, and advisory groups. Simply visit and login to My Account, then select Volunteer Opportunities on the left hand side. Apply now at
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