Subscribe Blog Contact
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.
Advances in medicine mean health care professionals can prolong life, yet some treatments have a low chance of providing tangible benefits to some patients, can result in a ‘bad death’, and represent a multi-million dollar cost to the public. Professor Adrian Barnett from the Queensland University of Technology discusses the study he is involved in which looks to increase awareness among hospital clinicians of the extent of non-beneficial treatment at the end-of-life and stimulate action to reduce it.
The internet has provided a mechanism to make palliative care information freely accessible. However, the complexity of palliative care and situational stresses can influence a person’s ability to easily find, navigate and understand online information. It is for this reason that many developers of websites providing palliative care information conduct a usability evaluation during the development process. Amanda Adams discusses her research into evaluation of usability and accessibility during the development stage of an online resource or toolkit and whether this improves access and value.
General practices provide ongoing care for a large number of patients with chronic, progressive, and eventually fatal illnesses, and so have an essential role in providing palliative care to patients and their families. Professor Josephine Clayton, Senior Staff Specialist Physician in Palliative Medicine and Associate Professor Joel Rhee, General Practitioner, discusses the Advance Project and how it aims to support general practices with the tools to identify people early who might need a palliative approach to their care and enables general practice teams to thoroughly assess the persons’ symptoms, concerns and priorities as well as the needs of their carers.
In spring each year, postgraduate students from all around Australia leave family and work responsibilities to spend 2 intensive days at Flinders University in Adelaide. These professionals come to interact with peers and facilitators to learn more about communication at the end of life, the topic covered as core in all of our courses.
Communication, the cornerstone of excellent end-of-life care, is that delicate skill that can flourish in the fertile environment of mindful practice and supportive critique.