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Vol 7, No 3 (2008)
Original articles
Published online: 2008-10-10
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Integration of palliative care with other medical specialties - opinions of nephrologists

Monika Lichodziejewska-Niemierko
Advances in Palliative Medicine 2008;7(3):137-142.

open access

Vol 7, No 3 (2008)
Original articles
Published online: 2008-10-10

Abstract

The palliative and hospice care in Poland is offered mostly to patients with cancer in its terminal stages. According to the modern definition of palliative care, it should include patients with other chronic and advanced diseases. The goal of the study was to evaluate the knowledge and awareness in Polish nephrology specialists, concerning the problems of palliative care in patients with chronic renal failure. Anonymous surveys were carried out among 59 nephrologists (30 men and 29 women, with an average age of 42). Sixty percent of the respondents claimed that the quality of life is the criteria for effective treatment, while only 25% put biochemical parameters in the first position. Almost 80% of the respondents believe that dialysis patients do not receive proper psychological care and almost 90% state the same in relation to social care. Similar answers are given in relation to satisfying the spiritual needs and family support. More than 66% of nephrologists believe that doctors and nephrology nurses should be involved in the palliative care. More than half of nephrologists were forced to make the decision to abandon the dialysis therapy in patients with chronic haemodialysis and most of them think that there should be clear rules of conduct for such situations. More than 96% of the respondents believe that palliative care can be applied in nephrology, albeit 40% of nephrologists objected to putting palliative care training in the nephrology specialisation programme. After a presentation aimed at introducing the aspects of palliative care in nephrology, the percentage of specialists with a critical attitude was reduced to 16%.
Palliative hospice care is not offered to chronic renal failure patients, although they would most probably benefit from it. Nephrologists acknowledge the necessity of training in the aspects concerning such care, as well as defining the ethical and legal guidelines concerning the withdrawal of dialysis therapy.

Abstract

The palliative and hospice care in Poland is offered mostly to patients with cancer in its terminal stages. According to the modern definition of palliative care, it should include patients with other chronic and advanced diseases. The goal of the study was to evaluate the knowledge and awareness in Polish nephrology specialists, concerning the problems of palliative care in patients with chronic renal failure. Anonymous surveys were carried out among 59 nephrologists (30 men and 29 women, with an average age of 42). Sixty percent of the respondents claimed that the quality of life is the criteria for effective treatment, while only 25% put biochemical parameters in the first position. Almost 80% of the respondents believe that dialysis patients do not receive proper psychological care and almost 90% state the same in relation to social care. Similar answers are given in relation to satisfying the spiritual needs and family support. More than 66% of nephrologists believe that doctors and nephrology nurses should be involved in the palliative care. More than half of nephrologists were forced to make the decision to abandon the dialysis therapy in patients with chronic haemodialysis and most of them think that there should be clear rules of conduct for such situations. More than 96% of the respondents believe that palliative care can be applied in nephrology, albeit 40% of nephrologists objected to putting palliative care training in the nephrology specialisation programme. After a presentation aimed at introducing the aspects of palliative care in nephrology, the percentage of specialists with a critical attitude was reduced to 16%.
Palliative hospice care is not offered to chronic renal failure patients, although they would most probably benefit from it. Nephrologists acknowledge the necessity of training in the aspects concerning such care, as well as defining the ethical and legal guidelines concerning the withdrawal of dialysis therapy.
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Keywords

chronic renal failure; dialysis; palliative and hospice care; dialysis withdrawal

About this article
Title

Integration of palliative care with other medical specialties - opinions of nephrologists

Journal

Advances in Palliative Medicine

Issue

Vol 7, No 3 (2008)

Pages

137-142

Published online

2008-10-10

Bibliographic record

Advances in Palliative Medicine 2008;7(3):137-142.

Keywords

chronic renal failure
dialysis
palliative and hospice care
dialysis withdrawal

Authors

Monika Lichodziejewska-Niemierko

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