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Palliative models of care for later stages of mental disorder: Maximizing recovery, maintaining hope, and building morale

Version 2 2024-05-30, 15:37
Version 1 2014-10-28, 09:44
journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-30, 15:37 authored by Michael BerkMichael Berk, Lesley BerkLesley Berk, M Udina, Steve MoylanSteve Moylan, L Stafford, K Hallam, S Goldstone, PD McGorry
Background: The concept of staging of disease in psychiatry has developed over the past years. A neglected component of this model pertains to people in the advanced stages of a mental illness, who remain symptomatic and functionally impaired despite treatment. These patients are often high service utilizers, receiving complex multimodal treatments where the balance of risk and benefit shifts perceptibly. In this paper, we argue the need to adopt ‘palliative’ models of care for some individuals, and consider changing the therapeutic goals to follow care pathways similar to those used in other chronic and refractory medical illnesses. Method: Data was sourced by a literature search using Medline and a hand search of scientific journals. Relevant articles were selected. Results: Clinical staging can help us better define subgroups of patients who will benefit from different goals and treatment. In the most advanced stage group, we find patients with persistent symptoms and treatment resistance. In these situations, it may be preferable to follow some of the principles of palliative care, which include the setting of attainable goals, reduction of side-effects, limited symptom control, targeting identified psychological and social problems, and attempting to attain the best quality of life for these patients and their families. Conclusions: It is in the interest of those in the advanced phases of a disorder that clinicians acknowledge the limitations of treatment and actively attempt to plan treatment utilizing alternate models. It is essential to be clear that such approaches do not equate to the abandonment of care, but rather to the reconceptualizing of feasible and personalized treatment goals, a rebalancing of the risks and benefits of intervention, the management of illness behaviour, and the approaches that allow the patient to live gainfully within their limitations.

History

Journal

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry

Volume

46

Pagination

92-99

Location

England

ISSN

0004-8674

eISSN

1440-1614

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2012, Sage

Issue

2

Publisher

SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD