End-of-Life Education Matters

A guest blog post from Kim Devery, Head of Discipline, Senior Lecturer and End-of-Life Essentials Lead, Flinders University, South Australia

  • 7 June 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 4939
  • 0 Comments
End-of-Life Education Matters

As a course coordinator of the palliative care courses at Flinders University I have seen our post graduate student population change over time. Ten years ago, students were primarily health professionals who worked in specialist palliative care services. These students worked to expand and update their knowledge, sharpen their skills and improve their own professional capacity to deliver palliative care. 

Today Flinders’ students still work to grow, change and develop, but the student profile is changing. We work with students who are employed across a range of health services including, aged care, emergency departments, pain clinics, medical wards, adult and neonatal intensive care units, and respiratory wards. These professionals are proactively seeking to expand their skills to meet the needs of the growing number of Australians (up to 52%) with a life-limiting illness and who die in acute hospitals. 
 

Knowledge translation in end-of-life care: a new My Learning module on moving evidence from page to practice

A guest blog post from Raechel Damarell, Research Librarian, CRE ELC and CareSearch, Flinders University, South Australia

  • 24 May 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 5510
  • 0 Comments
Knowledge translation in end-of-life care: a new My Learning module on moving evidence from page to practice

New healthcare research is being produced at an exponential rate and the challenges for clinicians to keep abreast of it are well documented. Perhaps less frequently discussed is the question of what happens once relevant evidence has been identified. How does it move from the page to have a tangible influence on patient care or health system outcomes?  

Despite the abundance of research evidence available, we know that it is often slow to reach those that need it, and even slower to be implemented. An oft cited time lag is a staggering 17 years! The implication is that patients may be receiving ineffectual treatments, out of step with best practice recommendation, in the meantime. This must inevitably impact on patient safety, quality improvement processes, and healthcare costs across the sector. 
 

Four easy steps to help GPs use the palliative care resources on CareSearch

A guest blog post from Dr Christine Sanderson, Staff Specialist, Neringah Community Palliative Care Service, NSW

  • 22 February 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 5963
  • 0 Comments
Four easy steps to help GPs use the palliative care resources on CareSearch


CareSearch is an online resource for palliative care. It has evidence-based resources for both clinicians and for patients, and their families and friends. As it is now a very large repository of evidence-based information, I would like to point you to four of the best sections for GPs to start off in.

These sections include the GP Hub, the Clinical Evidence pages, the Finding and Using Evidence pages, and the Education pages. You can also find information specially written for your patients in the Patients, Carers, and Families section. 

Assessing and managing chronic breathlessness

A guest blog post from Professor of Palliative Care David Currow

  • 16 February 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 8707
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Assessing and managing chronic breathlessness

Chronic breathlessness is highly prevalent across the community. One in 100 Australians have significant impairment of their activities of daily living and one in 300 people are housebound because of breathlessness.

Chronic breathlessness is systematically under-recognised by health professionals. When taking a history about breathlessness, the question ‘are you breathless?’ is not going to elicit the problem nor its magnitude. ‘What do you have to avoid in order to minimise breathlessness?’ is a far more important question, or this can also be phrased as ‘what have you given up in order not to be breathless?’ With these questions, we start to get a picture of the net impact of breathlessness on individual patients.

5 tips for opioid prescribing in palliative patients

A guest blog post from Lead Palliative Care Pharmacist Paul Tait

  • 9 February 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 11552
  • 0 Comments
5 tips for opioid prescribing in palliative patients

People living with a life-limiting illness, such as cancer, frequently report moderate to severe pain and describe in detail how it affects activities of daily living and quality of life. What matters most – be it spending quality time with grandchildren, time in the garden, or writing down their favourite life anecdotes – becomes hard work and wearisome in the face of uncontrolled pain. Yet in managing this beast that is pain, management with opioids has its own share of issues. Fortunately, with some thought at the point of prescribing, whether initiating or reviewing therapy, general practitioners (GPs) can anticipate these issues. Here are five tips to improve confidence with opioid use in the terminally ill.

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