Dialog Box

Hot Topics 2020

Hot Topics in Palliative Care Webinars - 2020

Annual Lecture - Improving Palliative Care for People with Neurological Illness: National and International Perspectives (December 2020)

This lecture explored different models and strategies to better meet the palliative care needs of patients with neurological illnesses and their families drawing upon the latest evidence from Australia and overseas.

Neuropalliative care is an emerging field that recognises the need to address the unique palliative care needs affecting people living with neurologic illness and their families. Research over the past decade has demonstrated the existence of significant palliative care needs in neurologic populations, an openness to palliative approaches, and initial signs of effectiveness when incorporating palliative care. However, to create a significant impact, the field of Neuropalliative care must develop models to integrate the palliative care approach into real world everyday practice. The lecture will present a public health perspective on several models and strategies to better meet the palliative care needs of patients and families affected by neurological illness. 

The Power of Language: Perspectives From Palliative Care (October 2020)

The language used to describe illness, treatments, prognosis and death in our world is steeped in history, culture, meaning and implications. Over time, our language changes as cultural understandings and practices change, and perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the care of those who are dying.

Words can evoke fear, resentment and joy. In clinical care, though they may be intended to help patients and families, at times the words we use can create confusion and missed opportunities, while at other times a carefully chosen word may open new possibilities.

Recorded on 27 October 2020, we were very fortunate to have four experienced speakers for this webinar, who presented their reflections on language used in the care of those with advanced illness and in palliative care from their key perspectives, and offered thoughts on how we can improve our communication.

CarerHelp: Helping your family carers be prepared for end of life care (August 2020)

CarerHelp (www.carerhelp.com.au) is a new online resource for people who are caring for a friend or family member with an advanced disease during the last months of life. It helps prepare carers by providing evidence based information via fact sheets, learning modules, videos, and interactive resources. CarerHelp can also be a useful resource for health professionals who work with people with advanced disease and their families. Australians who are caring for a family member or friend at the end of life are at risk of psychosocial distress.  COVID-19 has brought more challenges to family carers including social isolation, increased reliance on telehealth, restrictions on visits to their relative or friend outside the home, and a possible increase in anxiety around the virus itself. This is in addition to the already high demands of caring and an increased risk to both physical and psychological health that carers may experience.

Planning for the COVID-19 pandemic (May 2020)

From the ICU and palliative care perspectives, this highly informative and extremely timely discussion was recorded during our live webinar on Tuesday 19 May 2020.   Associate Professors Antony Tobin and Mark Boughey discuss how the challenges of the 2003 SARS epidemic may have helped inform our practices during the current pandemic and how the emerging frameworks can be considered for palliative care need during future pandemics.  They also take a look at whether the COVID-19 pandemic planning and management process provided palliative care with a leadership opportunity, and if this has highlighted the role for palliative care in broader ethical, clinical and public health domains of care.