Attitude of Italian medical oncologists toward palliative care for patients with advanced cancer: Results of the SIO project

Sandro Barni, Marco Maltoni, Guido Tuveri, Paolo Pronzato, Enrico Cortesi, Bruno Massidda, Giuseppe Colucci, Carmelo Iacono, Vito Lorusso, Cesare Gridelli, Enrico Aitini, Lucia Simoni, Riccardo Torta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this survey was to describe the attitude of Italian oncologists towards palliative care. Methods: A survey on palliative care was carried out among 400 Italian oncologists. Results: Seventy-two percent indicated that the management of patients with advanced stage cancer represents the majority of their practice. They are often involved in the management of pain (78%) and complications of chemotherapy (61%), and frequently, in the treatment of terminal patients (60%). Only 8.5% reported having frequent collaboration with psychiatrists in support of emotional and psychological patients' disturbances. About 40% are often directly involved in the management of existential or spiritual distress. Discussions on euthanasia and assisted suicide, which are illegal in Italy, took place never (68%) or occasionally (27%). Conclusions: Respondents agreed that all oncology centres should have access to palliative care service. These results are in line with those of the European Society of Medical Oncology survey and may be usefully employed to improve the organisation of palliative care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-389
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • Advanced cancer
  • End-of-life care
  • Palliative care
  • Psychological distress
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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