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December 28, 2012
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • Parkinson's patients benefit from palliative care, study finds
    An assessment of patients with late-stage Parkinson's disease found they had symptom levels consistent with patients who had metastatic cancer and responded similarly to palliative care, according to a study in the journal Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. University of Toronto researchers said Parkinson's patients should be given the same palliative services as cancer patients through programs that include a neurologist working with the palliative care team. MedWire News (U.K.) (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • Lack of training means lack of spiritual care at end of life
    Attending to the spiritual care of patients is important, but a lack of training is an obstacle to providing it, according to a survey of nurses and doctors at Boston hospitals. The findings appear in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. "We can't practice what we don't know. Physicians and nurses have never been taught to access and respond to spiritual need," said nursing professor Betty Ferrell, who leads End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium workshops and who was not involved in the survey. Reuters (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Few cancer patients are advised on fatigue treatments
    Researchers surveyed 160 cancer patients who experienced moderate to severe fatigue and found that just 10% of them were advised to be more physically active or to try other nondrug measures of reducing fatigue. Cancer types played a major role in whether or not patients get fatigue treatments, the study in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer found. HealthDay News (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Caregivers may affect Alzheimer's trials, study says
    Alzheimer's disease trials do not include enough patients who have caregivers other than their spouses, which could affect study outcomes, U.S. researchers reported in the journal Neurology. Alzheimer's patients who had caregivers other than a spouse had a 70% higher dropout risk in studies than those who were cared for by a spouse. HealthDay News (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Research  
  • More people may have fibromyalgia, study suggests
    Fibromyalgia may be more common than health officials currently believe, and it often goes undiagnosed, especially in men, Mayo Clinic researchers reported in the journal Arthritis Care & Research. The study looked at the population of Olmsted County, Minn., and found the prevalence of fibromyalgia was 6.4% but that only 1.1% of cases were diagnosed. Medscape (free registration) (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • MRIs can diagnose dementia type, study finds
    A University of Pennsylvania study found MRI scans can determine if a patient has Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia called frontotemporal lobar degeneration. A study in the journal Neurology compared the imaging tests with invasive procedures that measure biomarkers for the conditions, and the researchers said MRIs could be used to track disease progression as well as for diagnosis. NetDoctor (U.K.) (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • Hospice plans study before renovating inpatient unit
    Increasing federal regulations and a shortage of nurses can be taken into account while planning the renovation of an inpatient unit, according to HospiceMidland at Midland Memorial Hospital in Texas. Hospice director Mitch Mikkonen said inpatient units are a challenge to run and the number of prospective patients will rise as the population ages. Midland Reporter-Telegram (Texas) (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • Your input is needed to develop a certification program for hospice physicians
    Participate in the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board's Job Analysis Survey and help define the performance domains, tasks and skills of a hospice physician. The Board will use the data to begin defining the certification process for physicians who work in hospice settings. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Looking for an introductory book on hospice and palliative care?
    The Primer of Palliative Care, 5th edition, is the essential introductory text for medical students, residents, practicing physicians, and others who care for patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses. New to this edition is a companion Workbook for users to apply the knowledge gained and for instructors to track progress. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart."
Greek philosopher

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