This project aimed to improve the quality of care for palliative cancer patients in the Calgary Regional Health Authority. Researchers established clinical practice guidelines (CPG) for palliative sedation; facilitated the transition to palliative care by adopting standardized consultation notes for physicians; conducted an educational needs assessment of care providers, patients, and family members; and disseminated palliative care information in a brochure. The study found that families and patients wanted information on alternative and complementary cancer therapies. The assessment of the CPG on palliative sedation indicated high rates of inappropriate sedation and problems with managing delirium in patients. However, communication initiatives were well received by palliative care providers, who said it helped identify expectations of providers, patients, and families.
The full report for this project is available on the Alberta Health and Wellness web site at http://www.health.gov.ab.ca/system/key/phc/projects/Calgary/EnhancingPalliative/description.htm
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.