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Recently Published Articles
  • 2019, November

    original research

    Outpatient–Focused Advance Care Planning: Telehealth Consultation for Geriatric Primary Care PatientsOpen Access

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    Documentation of advance care planning (ACP) in the electronic health record (EHR) is a quality measure promoted by both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). There is no best practice model for promotion of ACP in primary care. Clinic prompts reminders from staff, and provision of forms and handouts modestly increase ACP completion. Targeted advance care planning and goals of care discussions for high-risk high-need older patients may help promote ACP in primary care.


    High-risk, high-need geriatric patients were identified by the clinical assessment of need (CAN) risk calculator for a telehealth intervention by an advanced practice nurse trained in palliative care and embedded in the geriatric patient-aligned care team (Geri-PACT) and provided telehealth outreach for ACP and goals of care discussions.


    At baseline the Geri-PACT panel had a 54% prevalence of ACP in the EHR. Completion of a life-sustaining treatment note (LST) increased from 39% to 74% following the telehealth intervention producing a total of 89% ACP documents in the EHR. Additionally, 9% of patients received goals of care discussions and a need for additional home and community-based services was identified for 12% of patients contacted. Outreach to three practices in an established physician referral and patient visit network which included 10 providers indicated that primary care providers desired to approach their own patients for ACP. These providers were educated and provided tools and information about CMS and VA ACP quality improvement directives.


    A focused telehealth intervention performed by a nurse trained in palliative care and embedded in a geriatric patient-centered medical home was able to significantly increase ACP documentation in the EHR for elderly patients in the practice. Primary care providers place core importance on the value of the patient-clinician relationship and prefer to approach their own patients rather than rely on consultation for ACP. Education for primary care providers and provision of resources to perform ACP and goals of care discussions for their patients may be a worthwhile strategy to improve ACP completion and documentation in the EHR.


    Advance directives; Primary care; Telehealth.

  • 2019, August

    original research

    Managing Cancer Cachexia: Multi-Disciplinary Healthcare PerspectivesOpen Access

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    Cachexia is a syndrome which is a common feature in more than 80% of patients with advanced cancer and globally accounts for over two million deaths per annum. At present there are no standard treatment guidelines for cancer cachexia management. Previous research conducted with the United Kingdom and Australia has highlighted different understanding and treatment practices of health care professionals in cachexia management, however, no study has elucidated the understanding and current practices of health care professionals in the United States.


    The aim of this research was to explore the understanding and current practices of health care professionals in the United States when providing care to an individual with advanced cancer who has cachexia.


    This is a qualitative study underpinned by symbolic interactionism. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted (n=17) with multi-disciplinary oncology staff and thematically analysed. Health care professionals were recruited from one large health care facility in the United States, until data saturation was reached. NVivo was used for data management. Criteria for upholding rigor (credibility, dependability, confirmability, transferability) were adhered to within this qualitative study. Full ethical approval was obtained prior to data collection commencing.


    Analysis determined four main themes related to (1) recognizingthe signs and symptoms of cachexia; (2) the multidimensional impact of cachexia on both patients and families; (3) complexities when treating cachexia; and (4) future direction of care delivery for patients with advanced cancer who have cachexia.


    Participants within this study recognized the multi-factorial pathophysiology of cachexia and its holistic impact which spanned biological, psychological and social domains. Additionally, they recognized the impact of cachexia on not only patients but also their family carers. In particular the feelings of helplessness family carers experience in trying to stop the progressive and involuntary weight loss associated with cachexia. Further research is required to examine how to best support the needs of patients with advanced cancer who have cachexia and their family carers and equip staff to optimize delivery of this.


    Qualitative research; Cancer cachexia; Symbolic interactionism; Multi professional care; Patients and carers.

  • 2019, July

    original research

    Music Therapy for Seniors at End-of-Life: Literature Review and a Preliminary Randomized Feasibility StudyOpen Access

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    Music therapy (MT) is part of the care plan in many end-of-life (EOL) settings, though several authors remain cautious about its effectiveness to improve EOL symptoms and patient well-being.


    Our primary goal was to design and test the feasibility of a clinical trial protocol that would address the main critiques of MT trials previously reported in the literature.


    We conducted a literature review guided by the questions: (1) What is the set of indicators and tools that can be used to measure effectiveness of MT for seniors in palliative care and EOL settings? (2) What are the characteristics of a well-designed clinical trial protocol that can measure effectiveness of MT in palliative care and EOL settings and can be used for a future large scale study? Based on best practices from the review, we developed a clinical trial protocol and tested its feasibility.


    Ten participants were accrued. Approximately 25% of eligible participants chose to participate. The consent rate was 55% with 70% of participants completing all MT sessions. All participants completed more than 60% of questionnaires.


    Although our protocol could not be considered feasible based on the parameters we originally set, we argue that our study provides enough data to make adjustments to our original trial protocol, which could lead to the collection of reliable evidence related to the effectiveness of MT for seniors at EOL. We recommend future studies to use block randomization and allocation concealment, focus on one primary outcome and conduct intention-to-treat analysis.


    Music Therapy (MT); End-of-Life (EOL); Seniors; Clinical trial; Palliative Performance Scale (PPS); Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE); Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS); Spiritual Health Assessment (SHA).

About the Journal

Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care – Open Journal (PMHCOJ) aims to publish advances in palliative care and medicine with an insight to improve the quality of life (QoL) of the patients, helping them in better physical, physiological and emotional recovery.

A small distinction is been made between hospice and palliative care wherein hospice care requires two physicians certify that the patient will not live more than six months of time should undergo this program.

However, Openventio aims to widespread all the detailed matters related to palliative and hospice research and treatment through its open journal to the scientific community for the welfare of the patients.

Aims and Scope

Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care – Open Journal (PMHCOJ) is dedicated to the open dissemination and robust discussion in the area of palliation and its related fields.

PMHCOJ covers a wide array of subjects as given below

  • Hospice Care
  • Palliative care and euthanasia
  • Palliative surgery
  • Palliative oncology
  • Palliative sedation
  • Palliative neurology
  • End-of-life care
  • Spiritual care
  • Community
  • Home care
  • Digitalization
  • Paraprofessional care givers
  • Culture
  • Faith
  • Training
  • Regulations
  • Nurses role

Submissions for this journal are accepted from the very basic palliative medicines research activities to the recent advancements.

The audience of PMHCOJ includes surgeons, physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, healthcare professionals, clinicians, physiotherapists, housekeepers, occupational therapists, complementary therapists, volunteers, investigators, practitioners, social workers, nursing assistants, educators, hospice chaplains, students, and the general community.

The journal welcomes all types of articles such as original research, review, case-report, mini-review, editorial, short-communication, book-review, opinion, commentary, letter to the editor, conference proceedings, technical report, errata, illustrations, etc.

We are open to receive comments and corrections from any subject experts to improve the quality of our journal.