Providing information of imminent death to cancer patients does not increase pain or anxiety, but is associated with improved care and to increase the likelihood of fulfilling the principles of a good death, a Swedish study found.
Informed patients significantly more often had parenteral drugs prescribed as needed, died in his or her preferred place, and had an informed family who were offered bereavement support. There was no difference between informed and uninformed patients in control of pain, anxiety, nausea, and respiratory tract secretions, although there was a difference in management of confusion. Results appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Since 2000, there has been an increasing focus on palliative care in Sweden, the study authors wrote. In 2001, the Swedish Government identified breakpoints for Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*
The National Institute for Healthcare Management Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on healthcare. The foundation just published an excellent report on the distribution of healthcare costs in the population.
The results indicate that reducing healthcare cost is all about reducing and managing chronic diseases.
U.S. healthcare spending has sharply increased between 2005 and 2009 by 23 percent from $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion per year.
This is a result of a combination of factors. Chief among them is the increasing incidence of obesity.
Who spends the money? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*
There are plenty of “survivalists” out there who stock their basements with canned goods, getting ready for some unexpected (and unlikely) apocalypse. Meanwhile there are things that are much more likely to happen to you — like getting sick — which many of us don’t prepare for at all. So to help you get started, here are five important tips on how you can become a healthcare survivalist:
1. Take care of your chronic conditions. Whether it’s high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, depression, asthma or any other kind of ailment, do what it takes to manage your own care. Take your medications and follow your doctors’ instructions. Why? Because if you don’t, your condition can get worse and lead to even more serious problems. As much of a pain as it may (literally) be, there’s a reason the old saying “an ounce of prevention” still resonates today — because it’s true.
2. Live a healthy lifestyle. Everyone gives you this advice, but with studies showing that 42% of Americans will be obese by 2050, it doesn’t seem to be getting through. Denial can wonderfully appealing; but when it comes to your health, it can also kill you. Stop smoking, exercise, and eat right. You may find that your employer has programs in place that will help you do all of those things, and many of them work. Why not give one of them a try? You can’t improve your life all at once, but you can start. Your life will be happier if you keep yourself healthy. So rather than whistling past the graveyard, jog past it. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*
As a medical professional who often treats children with chronic diseases, my patients turn to me not only for treatment advice but often for advice on how to improve their quality of life. I often have difficulty addressing the latter as there is a paucity of research on quality of life outcomes as compared to biomedical outcomes.
However, preliminary data from DR Walker et al. (1) have shown that comprehensive disease management improves quality of life and thereby reduces medical costs for some common chronic illnesses. Recently, a patient shared a story with me that was written by an anonymous author which demonstrates the powerful effect of seemingly small efforts on the quality of life of a disabled child. Read more »