Author(s): Sirois F
Abstract Share this page
Abstract This article emphasizes the shifting paradigm of palliative care from cancer patients to vital organ failure in chronic diseases. It offers a view about a type of palliative care for patients reaching the pre-terminal phase of a chronic illness. Unlike cancer patients, time is not as sharply delineated and physical pain is not a major factor, but psychological distress is often a major component of the clinical condition. Starting from the perspective of a psychiatric consultant on medical and surgical wards, I present short clinical vignettes to introduce a discussion about psychological manifestations in patients with chronic vital organ failure. The objective is to help patients find meaning to the last stage of their life. To that effect, four key sensitive areas are presented for clinicians to assess end-of-life coping: pressure on character organization, the management of hope, mourning problems, and ill health as a screen for psychological distress.
This article was published in Palliat Support Care
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine