A consensus on palliative care in neurology – a collaborative approach

Professor David Oliver, Honorary Professor, University of Kent; Co-chair of Palliative Care Specialty Panel of the European Academy of Neurology and a member of the Board of Directors of the European Association for Palliative Care. Here, David explains the background to a longer article published in the current edition of the European Journal of Palliative Care.

Prof. David Oliver

Prof. David Oliver

Over the past few years, the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Taskforce on Neurology has been working on the writing of a guideline on palliative care for neurological patients. It became clear that there was very limited evidence and so a consensus document has been produced. This was published in the European Journal of Neurology 1 online early in 2016 (in print in September), and a summary is now published in the September/October edition of the European Journal of Palliative Care.

The taskforce comprised specialists in both palliative care and neurology. This has been a very important collaboration and the EAPC was able to collaborate with the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS), which amalgamated with the European Neurological Society to form the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in 2105. This collaboration is continuing and earlier this year a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the EAPC and EAN (see my previous post on the EAPC Blog).

Prof. Günther Deuschl, President of the EAN (right) and Prof. Philip Larkin, President of the EAPC, prepare to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between their respective associations

Prof. Günther Deuschl, President of the EAN (right) and Prof. Philip Larkin, President of the EAPC, prepare to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between their respective associations

How we care for people with progressive disease and help them cope with their concerns and symptoms is an essential part of all medical care. Within neurology, many patient groups have diseases that cannot be cured, may have treatments that, at best, only slow progression and for which palliative care would be appropriate. The main areas considered, and for which consensus was agreed and recommendations made, are:

  • the early integration of palliative care
  • involvement of the wider multidisciplinary team
  • communication with patients and families including advance care planning
  • symptom management
  • end-of-life care
  • carer support and training
  • education for all professionals involved in the care of these patients and families.

This paper, we hope, will be a start for further discussion about the role of palliative care within neurology and will help to develop the care that many patients, and their families, need as their disease progresses and they come towards the end of their lives. The consensus is the beginning of a developing collaboration between palliative care and neurology.

References

  1. Oliver DJ, Borasio GD, Caraceni A, de Visser M, Grisold W, Lorenzl S, Veronese S, Voltz R. A consensus review on the development of palliative care for patients with chronic and progressive neurological disease. Eur J Neurol 2016; doi:10.1111/ene.12889.

coverRead the full article in the European Journal of Palliative Care
This post relates to a longer article, ‘Palliative care in chronic and progressive neurological disease: summary of a consensus review’ by D Oliver, G D Borasio, A Caraceni, W Grisold, S Lorenzl, S Veronese, R Voltz, published in the September/October 2016 edition of the European Journal of Palliative Care (vol. 23.5; 232-235).

Download your free copy of this article from the EAPC website.

If you have a web-based subscription to the journal you’ll be able to download this issue, plus all articles in the journal archive. You can also browse the archive and download articles by taking a 10-minute or 30-minute subscription. Members of the EAPC receive discounted subscription rates to the journal – click here to subscribe online.

Read more posts relating to previously published articles in the European Journal of Palliative Care on the EAPC Blog.

This entry was posted in EAPC Board Members, EAPC COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS, EAPC Taskforces/special projects, EAPC-LINKED JOURNALS, European Journal of Palliative Care and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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