CareSearch Blog: Palliative Perspectives

The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
 

Highlighting Pain: World Hospice Day 2016

A guest blog post from Dr Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Associate Professor, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services

  • 8 October 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 3485
  • 0 Comments

Elderly sick man with a dripWorld Hospice and Palliative Care Day is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. It is organised by a committee of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance. The purpose of this day is:

  • To share WHPCA's vision of increasing the availability of hospice and palliative care throughout the world by creating opportunities to speak out about the issues
  • To raise awareness and understanding of the needs – medical, social, practical, spiritual – of people living with a life limiting illness and their families
  • To raise funds to support and develop hospice and palliative care services around the world.

People around the world are encouraged to get involved by promoting the day or by holding events.

The theme for 2016 is LIVING AND DYING IN PAIN: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN. The organising committee highlights that 75% of the world population does not have adequate access to controlled medications for pain relief. As a result, millions of people suffer from pain which is avoidable and could be managed with proper access to the correct medications. The World Day campaign is highlighting three major barriers for access to pain relief:  restrictive regulations, poor education and knowledge, and economic barriers.

Pain that is not well controlled causes significant distress and disability. Fear of pain and the experience of pain is a major concern for patients who have terminal illnesses. Poor education and knowledge may mean that some health professionals are not sure how to assess and manage the pain of their palliative care patients. They may not be confident in prescribing for pain. They not be familiar with the changing evidence around pharmacological and non-pharmacological management that could inform their practice.

To highlight this important area of practice, CareSearch is releasing a poster for World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (337kb pdf). It highlights Cancer Council Australia's Australian Clinical Pathway for screening, assessment and management of cancer pain in adults. It also reminds people that it is important to keep up to date with the evidence.

This is where CareSearch can help. We provide evidence summaries and information specific to health professional groups including GPs, nurses and allied health. CareSearch also compiles information on systematic reviews and structured literature reviews on care and service issues relevant to palliative care including pain. Over 200 pain reviews are included in the collection. Pre-written searches for use in PubMed to get you to the latest literature quickly and easily with a single click.

So, while this poster reminds people that pain is a concern for palliative care patients, it also highlights the value of a structured approach to pain assessment and management and shows how to find evidence that can support clinical care.

Other CareSearch pain resources include:

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Dr Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Associate Professor, Disipline Palliative and Supportive Services

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The CareSearch blog Palliative Perspectives informs and provides a platform for sharing views, tips and ideas related to palliative care from community members and health professionals. 
 

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