Palliative Care for Cancer Patients
Palliative Care for Cancer Patients

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Research Draft: ‘Patients and relatives/carers Perspectives on Palliative Care for Cancer Patients’

The World Health Organization defines palliative care as care that focuses on patients with life-threatening illnesses. The goal of palliative care is to prevent and alleviate the suffering of patients with cancer and offer the best quality of life possible, regardless of age, stage of cancer and treatment plans.

Many people believe that hospice care is only for patients with cancers that cannot be treated or are near the end of life. In fact, palliative care is most useful when initiated with treating cancer. This can help treat common symptoms caused by drugs and ensure the best quality of life. Palliative care is care which provides relief to the patient having a severe or fatal illness such as cancer, to improve their quality of life. The goal of palliative care is to prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms and side effects of a disease and its treatment, and psychological, social and spiritual related. The goal is not to cure the disease. Palliative care is also called comfort care, supportive care and symptom control.

The objective of writing this report is to understand the patients and relatives/carers perspectives on palliative care for cancer treatment. In order to do so, 15 research papers, both qualitative and quantitative in nature will be analysed in order to evaluate the information and to discuss critically the application of research to adult nursing practice.

Report Structure

The main research paper will be divided in to four chapters that will present analysis of the researches that are being evaluated (see table 1). This draft paper provides the skeleton of the report which is discussed below.

Chapter 1: Introduction and Methodology

The aim of this chapter is to introduce the topic and provide a background of the thesis statement. This chapter will also discuss the methodology used for the search of research papers from the web.

Recent studies indicate that palliative care that have been shown to improve the quality of life in patients with advanced cancer, may also help patients live longer. Patients with cancer or other life threatening illness face a wide variety of physical, spiritual, emotional and financial.

Several investigations agree that 80-90% of patients spend most of their time last year of life at home. Besides being the area of patient and family preference coincide choose care at the end of life of the patient, for caretakers also suitable for this space is usually either because it facilitates the maintenance of family ties, reduce feelings of guilt resulting in hospitalization or because they can achieve better adaptation to eventual duel, among other reasons.

From international organizations and from the field of health policy also encourages community care in the terminal phase of the disease. However, some studies indicate that in the period immediately preceding death is difficult to stay at home, because it complicates the care and why now usual in institutions, a trend that will continue to consolidate in the coming decades.

Both in the literature in the field of clinical and social sciences can be seen that various aspects of the care of the dying have been the focus of research since the mid-twentieth century. By contrast, those who bear the responsibility to meet the demands and assist the sick and the negative impact on the stability of the family was not the subject of interest to public and academic agendas until recent decades.

It is from the 70’s that the term “caregiver” or “informal caregiver” begins to be defined in the literature. It has since been formalized from government policy documents such as the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act, Department of Health and Human Services 1997 UK. Despite these efforts, the approach on the subject is still in its infancy, especially at the local level, where the prevailing studies relate to caregivers of seniors. Several studies agree that the area is home to patients and families prefer to care for the terminally ill and where he spent most of the last year of life. Informal caregivers have become an important component of palliative care.

However, to develop a better understanding of the topic, the researchers that were analysed are as follows:

#Author’s NameJournalLink
Qualitative Research
1Julie Hearn & Irene J HigginsonSage Journalslink
2Agneta Wennman-Larsen & Carol TishelmanScandinavian Journal of Caring Scienceslink
3Sonja McIlfatrickJournal of Advanced Nursinglink
4Bernard Lo, Timothy Quill and James Tulsky,American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicinelink
5Peter A. Singer, Douglas K. Martin & Merrijoy KelnerJAMA: Journal of American Medical Associationlink
E K Wilkinson, C Salisbury, N Bosanquet, P J Franks, S Kite M Lorentzon &A NaysmithSAGE Journalslink
Quantitative Research
7Hung YS, Chang H, Wu WS, Chen JS, Chou WC.PubMedlink
8Peter L. Hudson, Sanchia Aranda & Karla Hayman-White,Journal of Pain and Symptom Managementlink
9Ireen M. Proot, Huda Huijer Abu-Saad, Harry F.J.M. Crebolder, Minke Goldsteen, Karen A. Luker & Guy A.M. WiddershovenScandinavian Journal of Caring Scienceslink
10Allison Worth, Kirsty Boyd, Marilyn Kendall, David Heaney, Una Macleod, Paul Cormie, Jo Hockley and Scott MurrayThe British Journal of General Practicelink
11G. BROBÄCK and  C. BERTERÖEuropean Journal of Cancer Carelink
12Marie Bakitas, Kathleen Doyle Lyons, Mark T. Hegel, Stefan Balan, Frances C. Brokaw, Janette Seville, Jay G. Hull, Zhongze Li, Ira R. Byock, Tor D. Tosteson and Tim A. AhlesJAMA: Journal of American Medical Associationlink
13C Peruselli, P Di Giulio, F Toscani, M Gallucci, C Brunelli, M Costantini, M Tamburini, E Paci, G Miccinesi, J M Addington-Hall and I J HigginsonSAGE Journalslink
14Walter O. Spitzera, Annette J. Dobsona, Jane Halla, Esther Chestermana, John Levia, Richard Shepherda, Renaldo N. Battistaa, Barry R. CatchloveaJournal of Chronic Diseaseslink
15Cantwell P, Turco S, Brenneis C, Hanson J, Neumann CM, Bruera EJournal of Palliative Carelink

The keywords used for the research of these papers were: palliative care Informal care, home care, and care at end of life.

Chapter 2: Themes

The chapter makes the main by of the research and is based on three themes, the themes that are chosen for the research are:

1)      Body image,

2)       Pain and symptom control,

3)       Eating and drinking.

It is always important to critique a paper regardless of the journals or source it is being published it. Critiquing simply means that a researcher is ensuring the reliability of the source and enhancing their knowledge about the research being reviewed, and in order to critique the researches, the following parts will in focus:

  • What is the purpose of the research?
  • Do the problem statement and/or purpose specify the nature of the population being studied?
  • What significance of the problem, if any, has the investigator identified?
  • Does the literature review make the relationships among the variables explicit or place the variables within a theoretical/conceptual framework?
  • What hypotheses or research questions are stated in the study?
  • What type of sampling method is used? Is it appropriate to the design?
  • Does the design seem to flow from the proposed research problem, theoretical framework, literature review, and hypothesis?
  • What level of measurement is used to measure each of the major variables?
  • If hypothesis testing was done, was/were the hypotheses supported or not supported?

These questions will be answered according to the critical appraisal tool (CASP)

Chapter 3: Implications for Adult Nursing

This chapter will analyse that how these researchers and their results are able to be implied in the nursing practices and make them either effective or easier for both patients and their carers.

Chapter 4: Conclusion and Recommendations

This chapter includes the conclusion according to the understanding of the researcher after evaluating the researches mentioned above along with the recommendations that can be used in order to make the research in palliative care more effective for patients suffering from cancer and their carers.

References and Appendices

All sources used for the completion of the research will be referred and cited adequately throughout the paper along with a list of references at the end of the paper. Also, in the Appendices, a matrix in the form of the table will be presented which will cover the following parts:

  • Paper, Author and qualifications, publication year and setting;
  • Design type
  • Major findings;
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses/Limitations
  • Applicability to Adult nursing practice