Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual. (WHO)
The WHO statement goes on to say that palliative care:
- provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
- integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
- offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
- offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement;
- uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;
- will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;
Increasingly physiotherapists are becoming part of the multidisciplinary team providing a palliative care approach in a range of settings and the #physiotalk on 2nd June (8pm BST) will explore the role of physiotherapists within palliative care teams.
The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Oncology and Palliative care says that rehabilitation is now recognised as an essential part of the clinical pathway, as earlier diagnosis and new treatments are enabling patients to live longer. It is generally accepted that patients should have access to an appropriate level of rehabilitation, so that they can function at a minimum level of dependency and optimise their quality of life, regardless of their life expectancy. By working as a part of a multi-disciplinary team, the Physiotherapist’s core skills can help people adapt to their changing condition.
Before the chat on Monday 2nd June at 8pm (BST) you may like to consider the following questions:
- Palliative rehabilitation: is this an oxymoron? Can someone in the palliative phase of their illness benefit from rehabilitation?
- What might the physiotherapist be able to offer a patient in the palliative phase of their illness?
- What communication skills training have you been able to access?
- Was palliative care covered as a topic in your undergraduate education? If so, did it prepare you adequately for your involvement in the care of palliative patients?
- Do you feel you have been trained, prepared and supported to cope with the existential and emotional issues raised by patients and within yourself when working with palliative patients?
The EAPC research congress is taking place from 5th June and you can access the conference abstracts here (scroll to bottom of page for pdf – you may need to sign in using Athens password) and search for those concerned with physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Access is free until 30th June if you register here
Thank you to the experts who have helped us develop the questions and will be providing some of the expertise around palliative care during the chat:
Post chat information
It was another busy night for #physiotalk! It seemed like there were a few people joining in for the first time – welcome!
327 224 Impressions
The transcript is now available here
There were quite a few links posted during the Tweetchat – here are most of them for reading at your leisure
Blog on end of life care