EU-funded research project presents survey and recommendations on palliative care
An EU-funded research project is presenting today at a symposium in Brussels its findings on tailoring palliative healthcare to the needs and preferences of patients and their families. These findings will be available to policymakers and clinicians who choose to make use of them. This is a concrete example of how EU-funded research on health issues can make a real difference to patients, not only by developing new treatments but also by providing data and other tools to support clinical decision-making and management.
This research project, led by the PRISMA Consortium, sets out a five-pronged approach: symptom control; emotional well-being; family support; choice of where to be cared for; and meeting information needs. It has also launched new guidance on how to measure the effectiveness of end-of-life care, and developed a novel system - known as the "POS-S hand-held symptom card and booklet" - to help improve measurement of clinical care. One element of this research project was a survey identifying and comparing the attitudes of 9000 people in seven EU-countries: for example, 71% told researchers that if they were terminally ill with less than one year to live, they would prefer to improve the quality of life rather than extend it. From a list of nine possible issues at the end of life, feeling pain was the top concern in all seven countries surveyed. The second most important worry in most countries was ‘being a burden to others’.
PRISMA is receiving €1 651 000 from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7). It is led by King's College London and brings together experts from ." UK (England only), Belgium (Flanders only), Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. Respondents from Nairobi in Kenya also participated, supported by the African Palliative Care Association.
The findings and survey results can be found at www.prismafp7.eu