Health care professionals' experience, understanding and perception of need of advanced cancer patients with cachexia and their families: the benefits of a dedicated clinic

Scott, David, Reid, Joanne, Hudson, Peter, Martin, Peter and Porter, Sam 2016, Health care professionals' experience, understanding and perception of need of advanced cancer patients with cachexia and their families: the benefits of a dedicated clinic, BMC palliative care, vol. 15, no. 1, doi: 10.1186/s12904-016-0171-y.

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Title Health care professionals' experience, understanding and perception of need of advanced cancer patients with cachexia and their families: the benefits of a dedicated clinic
Author(s) Scott, David
Reid, Joanne
Hudson, Peter
Martin, PeterORCID iD for Martin, Peter orcid.org/0000-0002-1214-5149
Porter, Sam
Journal name BMC palliative care
Volume number 15
Issue number 1
Article ID 100
Total pages 6
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-12-30
ISSN 1472-684X
1472-684X
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Health Care Sciences & Services
Health Policy & Services
WEIGHT-LOSS
PROGNOSIS
Summary BACKGROUND: Cachexia is defined as the on-going loss of skeletal muscle mass that cannot be fully reversed by conventional nutritional support. It is found in up to 80% of patients with advanced cancer and has profound psycho-social consequences for patients and their families. Previous studies demonstrate that many healthcare professionals receive little formal education in cachexia management leading them to feel that they have limited understanding of the syndrome and cannot intervene effectively. This study aims to examine the value of a dedicated cachexia clinic and its influence on staff understanding and practice. METHODS: An exploratory qualitative study was conducted. The study employed semi-structured interviews with a range of healthcare professionals responsible for designing and delivering cancer care in a large teaching hospital in Australia. This hospital had a dedicated cachexia clinic. RESULTS: In-depth interviews were conducted with 8 healthcare professionals and senior managers. Four themes were identified: formal and informal education; knowledge and understanding; truth telling in cachexia and palliative care; and, a multi-disciplinary approach. Findings show that improved knowledge and understanding across a staff body can lead to enhanced staff confidence and a willingness to address cancer cachexia and its consequences with patients and their families. CONCLUSION: Comparisons with similar previous research demonstrate the advantages of providing a structure for staff to gain knowledge about cachexia and how this can contribute to feelings of improved understanding and confidence necessary to respond to the challenge of cachexia.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12904-016-0171-y
Field of Research 1117 Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30122081

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Medicine
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