Nursing & Primary Care


The Core Information Tools for Palliative Care Symptom Management in Patients with Cancer

Richard R. Love, Kazi Shafiul Alam, Kazi Zawad Arefin, Sheikh I. Ahamed.

Purpose: For most patients globally needing palliative-symptom-focused-management care, specialists are not available. Written guidelines are lengthy and impractical for general application when care is needed. Basic tools that address the essential information requirements may help better meet needs of both clinician caregivers and patients.

Methods: Focusing on care for underserved cancer populations, who often received limited treatments, we developed information tool prototypes of 3 types: symptom identification and intensity measurement, key medical problem enumeration, and management algorithms and basic educational materials.

Results: A 15-item symptom identification and intensity assessment instrument and a key medical problem template for cancer were defined and placed on cell phone platforms. Symptom management algorithms based on input from these tools were developed for the most common malignancies in their progressive states, with important recommendation components for each, and specific basic oft-needed patient educational materials.

Conclusion: These information tools provide starting materials for busy clinicians challenged with offering successful palliative care.

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