Evidence-Based Practice of Palliative Medicine

This content has been reposted with permission from GeriPal, a Geriatrics and Palliative Care blog, at GeriPal is a forum for discourse, recent news and research, and freethinking commentary. Opinions expressed in these posts solely represent the views of the author, and are not to be constructed as representative of any academic institution or medical center associated with GeriPal or of Clinical Geriatrics.

I just got my hands on a copy of a fabulous new book by Drs. Goldstein and Morrison and felt compelled to write a quick review about it. The title of the book is Evidence-Based Practice of Palliative Medicine and its 528 pages are chock-full of useful palliative care topics. 

The most interesting aspect of the new book is the chapter format. The editors put together what can be best described as a detailed FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on palliative medicine. There are 81 questions that are addressed in depth in the corresponding chapters.  Some of my favorite questions from the book include:

Symptom Management Section:

  1. How should patient-controlled analgesia be used in patients with serious illness and those experiencing post-op pain?
  2. Which opioids are safest and most effective in renal failure? 
  3. How should methadone be started and titrated in opioid-naïve and opioid-tolerant patients? 
  4. When should corticosteroids be used to manage pain? 
  5. When should radiopharmaceuticals be considered for pain management? 
  6. What nonopioid treatments should be used to manage dyspnea associated with COPD? 
  7. What interventions are effective for relieving acute bowel obstruction in cancer and other conditions? 
  8. What treatments are effective for anxiety in patients with serious illness?

Communication Section: 

  1. What is a useful strategy for estimating survival for persons with advanced non-cancer related illness in palliative care settings? 
  2. What do palliative care clinicians need to know about teaching communication?

Disease Specific Topics

  1. What special considerations are needed for treatment of patients with chronic liver disease? 
  2. What special considerations are needed for individuals with ALS, MS, or Parkinson’s Disease? 
  3. How are the patients who stop dialysis best managed? 
  4. Which patients with end-stage renal disease should not be started on dialysis?

Special Topics 

  1. What techniques can be used in the hospital or home setting to best manage uncontrolled bleeding? 
  2. What can be done to improve outcomes for caregivers of patients with serious illness? 
  3. How can palliative care be integrated into home-based primary care programs?

The other nice thing about this book is that it is pretty easy to access all the chapters online via the publishers’ web-portal,

If you want to take a closer look at the book, you can find it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

By: Eric Widera (@ewidera)

Disclosure: I was an author on 2 chapters in this book, but I received, nor will receive, any royalties except for a copy of the book (I have though requested it be autographed by Sean and Nate).