Navigation Links
Palliative care skills training needed for health-care staff in sub-Saharan Africa

A new study, led by Lucy Selman and colleagues from King's College London, has found that patients with incurable, progressive diseases and their family carers in sub-Saharan Africa often do not receive enough information about the patient's disease and its management, which impacts negatively on their ability to cope with illness. The results of the study have been published online by the BMJ today.

The study was conducted in collaboration with five palliative care services in South Africa and Uganda and the palliative care associations of South Africa (HPCA) and Africa (APCA).

A major finding from interviews with 90 patients and 38 family carers was that healthcare staff did not provide enough information to help patients and carers understand the disease, its causes and symptoms, as well as its treatment and management. Patients and carers also felt insufficiently informed about the financial and social support available to them. These information gaps can cause anxiety for the patient and affect the family's ability to provide good patient care.

Patients and carers drew on a wide range of sources for information, including friends and family, peers with a similar condition and the media. Although patients and carers appreciated efforts made by their palliative care team to provide information, many still had unanswered questions.

For example, a patient with HIV reported that hospital staff never properly explained his diagnosis, likely symptoms and future care. Other patients talked about not receiving the results of blood tests, and described the trauma of being broken bad news in an insensitive manner. Carers reported not being told the patient's diagnosis directly, but learning it from his or her medical notes or from simply being sent on an HIV education course.

'The poor knowledge and lack of information provided impacted negatively on patients' and carers' ability to cope with their situation. For both groups, not having the information they needed was related to anxiety regarding the disease and the future', said Lucy Selman, Research Associate in the Department of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation at King's.

'The study highlights that it is crucial for all clinical staff to receive generalist training in palliative care skills, including communication and basic counselling. Communication with patients and carers should be open and honest, and records be kept of the discussions between healthcare staff and patients regarding their condition. It is also essential that services work closely with families and volunteer carers in the community, empowering them to provide the care the patient needs, including sensitive and accurate communication.'

This study is the first to explore the information needs of patients and carers attending palliative care services in Africa, identify information needs and understand past experiences of communicating with healthcare staff. Patients' diagnoses included cancer (28 cases), HIV infection (61) and motor neurone disease (1).


Contact: Melanie Haberstroh
King's College London

Related medicine news :

1. Missouri Hospice & Palliative Care Association Recognizes Volunteers in Hospice With Heart of Hospice Awards Luncheon
2. The Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center is Named 2009 Center of Excellence Award Winner by the American Pain Society
3. Grants to Increase Access to Hospice and Palliative Care for Rural and Homeless Veterans Awarded by National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
4. San Diego Medical Community Receives First-Ever Accredited Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program
5. New Palliative Medicine Hotline to Call San Diego Home
6. Most Off-Label Cancer Drug Use for Palliative Care
7. Palliative Care Programs Could Boost Hospitals Bottom Line
8. Integrating palliative care for dementia into primary care
9. End-stage dementia patients deserve the same access to palliative care as people with cancer
10. The Norma F. Pfriem International Fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing
11. Beyond the terminal: Palliative care
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes ... titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... for all, Water For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together who want to ... by empowering women as key stakeholders in the process. The non-profit launched its ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... TyloHelo Inc , North America’s ... Sauna accessories help improve the bather experience in the sauna, and the accessories ... the purist looking for simplicity in design to accessories that encourage a greater ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... For the first time, Vitalalert ... Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the two groups began in 2014 ... MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in 1954 and is an international ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 25, 2015, officials of Narconon Arrowhead , the drug ... a new cutting edge recovery program that has been 50 years in the making. ... individuals with the purpose to free addicts from the symptoms and negative behaviors of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nederland, November 26, 2015 ... Een nieuwe aanpak combineert immunotherapie met Bremachlorin-photodynamische ... ) --> ...      (Photo: ) ... Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) blijkt ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Japanese ... Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report ... --> This new 247-page report ... drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... potential att använda SyMRI för att hitta ... patienter med multipel skleros (MS) eller hjärntumörmetastaser ... AB för att kunna använda SyMRI Research ... SyMRI kan man generera flera konstrastbilder från ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: