Position Paper of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology on Early Palliative Care in Oncology Practice (Simultaneous Care)

We present the opinion of more than 600 oncologists who helped formulate these recommendations

Vittorina Zagonel

2016

Scholarcy highlights

  • MethodsEvery year in Italy, about 364,000 people are newly diagnosed with cancer, and about 30%-35% present with advanced disease at diagnosis
  • The final document that we propose here includes the opinion of more than 600 Italian oncologists who have found agreement on simultaneous care recommendations
  • The urge for early integration of palliative care is evident as data on prevalence of severe symptoms in patients admitted to oncology units in Italy show more than 60% of patients presenting more than 3 severe symptoms
  • There were no particular barriers highlighted by oncologists for the spread of early palliative care
  • One possible drawback is related to the fact that SC require a revision of the current organizational models of health care, along with a close collaboration between communitybased and hospital services dedicated to cancer patients, and this is considered a compelling need
  • The Association of Medical Oncology priorities that emerged from the consensus conference were as follows: promotion of education of medical oncologists in palliative care, considering it an integral part of their core curriculum; increase the number of oncology units obtaining European Society for Medical Oncology-DC certification; activation of a task force with the Italian Society of Palliative Care to share the language and organizational models for patients clinical pathways; promotion of prospective clinical trials on SC; implementation of the culture of value and personalized medicine in oncology; and involvement of patient associations in order to share the objectives of care

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