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August 10, 2012
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • Study analyzes pain medication compliance in cancer patients
    Older cancer patients initially have high compliance rates for pain medication regimens, but adherence drops as pain subsides, according to University of Iowa researchers who interviewed 65 hospice patients or their caregivers. The study team wrote in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management that hospices should emphasize compliance "to ensure that pain does not redevelop or exacerbate, if pain relief is a patient priority." News-Medical.Net/Medwire (8/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • End-of-life care discussion is more important than survival estimates
    Physicians try to give terminally ill patients and their families survival estimates but experts said they also should talk about end-of-life wishes, including palliative and hospice care. Palliative physician Dr. Steven Pantilat said doctors can give useful information using time ranges rather than hard estimates and should begin discussions by asking open-ended questions about what patients hope will happen in the future. The Hospitalist (8/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Success of OncoTalk program leads to GeriTalk, IntensiveTalk
    The success of OncoTalk to guide physician-patient communications has spawned GeriTalk for doctors who care for seniors with serious illnesses and IntensiveTalk for critical care providers. Mount Sinai School of Medicine's Geritalk program is the first specifically for geriatric and palliative medicine fellows. GeriPal blog (8/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  Medical Research  
  • Dementia patients benefit from nonpharmaceutical therapies
    Nonpharmacologic therapies can provide meaningful benefits and target specific symptoms in nursing home patients with dementia, say researchers from King's College London who analyzed 56 studies. The studies included data on specific therapies such as reminiscence, use of pleasant activities, personalized music, person-centered care and exercise. Family Practice News (8/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • Scientists aren't giving up on curing Alzheimer's disease
    Recent failures of experimental Alzheimer's disease drugs may be disheartening, but researchers are not giving up the quest for a cure. Drugs under development include some that interrupt amyloid beta formation before it can accumulate in brain plaques. Researchers are also testing drugs in very early stages of the disease instead of after symptoms appear. National Public Radio/Shots blog (8/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Rep. Paul proposes bill to open terminally ill's access to drugs
    Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, proposed the Compassionate Freedom of Choice Act, which would overrule the FDA's capacity to block terminally ill patients' access to drug candidates. The bill is necessary because the FDA should not hinder development of drugs that might serve as a last resort for patients, Paul said. "Denying these patents a possible opportunity to cure their illness -- or at least reduce their suffering -- is nonsensical and cruel," Paul said. The Hill/Floor Action Blog (8/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends & Technology  
  • Multi-country project pushes care of patients with Parkinson's
    Great Lakes Neurotechnologies has added an automatic medication administration feature to its wireless Kinesia HomeView system through a multi-country initiative funded by the European Union. The project, called REMPARK, or Personal Health Device for the Remote and Autonomous Management of Parkinson's Disease, integrates a control tool that processes movement information with Bluetooth low-energy sensors and wirelessly links them to a smartphone. (8/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • UNIPAC 4th edition now available
    Are you looking for the foundational resource in hospice and palliative care? Each volume in this 9-volume set has been thoroughly reviewed and updated by experts in the field to include the latest evidence and best practices. Visit to purchase your copy. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • "Doctor, Exactly What is Palliative Care?"
    It's a fair question—and a common one that takes considerable time to answer thoughtfully and thoroughly. Patients and families can find practical information on palliative and hospice care by visiting LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts."
--Blaise Pascal,
French mathematician, physicist, inventor and writer

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