Early integration of palliative care in oncology practice: Results of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM) survey

Vittorina Zagonel, Riccardo Torta, Vittorio Franciosi, Antonella Brunello, Guido Biasco, Daniela Cattaneo, Luigi Cavanna, Domenico Corsi, Gabriella Farina, Luisa Fioretto, Teresa Gamucci, Gaetano Lanzetta, Roberto Magarotto, Marco Maltoni, Cataldo Mastromauro, Barbara Melotti, Fausto Meriggi, Ida Pavese, Erico Piva, Cosimo SaccoGiuseppe Tonini, Leonardo Trentin, Paola Ermacora, Antonella Varetto, Federica Merlin, Stefania Gori, Stefano Cascinu, Carmine Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Early integration of palliative care in oncology practice ("simultaneous care", SC) has been shown to provide better care resulting in improved quality-of-life and also survival. We evaluated the opinions of Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM) members. Patients and methods: A 37-item questionnaire was delivered to 1119 AIOM members. Main areas covered were: social, ethical, relational aspects of disease and communication, training, research, organizational and management models in SC. Three open questions explored the definition of Quality of Life, Medical Oncologist and Palliative Care. Results: Four hundred and forty-nine (40.1%) medical oncologists returned the questionnaires. Forty-nine percent stated they address non-curability when giving a diagnosis of metastatic tumor, and 43% give the information only to patients who clearly ask for it. Fifty-five percent say the main formative activity in palliative medicine came from attending meetings and 90% agree that specific palliative care training should be part of the core curriculum in oncology. Twenty-two percent stated they consulted guidelines for symptom management, 45% relied upon personal experience and 26% make a referral to a palliative care specialist. Seventy-four percent were in favor of more research in palliative medicine. An integration between Units of Oncology and Palliative Care Services early in the course of advanced disease was advocated by 86%. Diverse and multifaceted definitions were given for the concepts of Quality of Life, Palliative Care and Medical Oncologist. Conclusion: SC is felt as an important task, as well as training of medical oncologists in symptom management and research in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1968-1978
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cancer
Volume7
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Advanced cancer
  • Early palliative care
  • Medical oncology
  • Research
  • Simultaneous care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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    Zagonel, V., Torta, R., Franciosi, V., Brunello, A., Biasco, G., Cattaneo, D., Cavanna, L., Corsi, D., Farina, G., Fioretto, L., Gamucci, T., Lanzetta, G., Magarotto, R., Maltoni, M., Mastromauro, C., Melotti, B., Meriggi, F., Pavese, I., Piva, E., ... Pinto, C. (2016). Early integration of palliative care in oncology practice: Results of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM) survey. Journal of Cancer, 7(14), 1968-1978. https://doi.org/10.7150/jca.14634