Media Watch

2015; Volume 16, No 2, February

Media Watch: an annotated list of recent articles about palliative care in the news media and the literature

A review on problems of China's hospice care and analysis of possible solutions

CHINESE MEDICAL JOURNAL, 2015; 128(2): 279-281. Taiwan scholar Xie Mei introduced the concept of hospice care to the mainland of China in 1982... Tianjin Medical University had set up the Institute of Hospice Care. Major state-owned hospitals have established hospice wards. There are also some hospice agencies set up through private fund raising. However, after all these years of development, the supply of the hospice care service in China is still much less than the demand, between which the gap is big. There are three main reasons for this: 1) the obstructions from traditional Chinese culture; 2) the lack of support from the government; and, 3) the scarcity of hospice care specialists. The author goes on to propose a number of possible solutions.
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Dying to be heard: Hearing healthcare at the end of life

HEARING JOURNAL, 2015; 68(1):18-22. Good hearing healthcare is essential for people facing the end of life, and yet it often goes overlooked by care providers and families focused on the many other medical, financial, social, legal, and additional concerns that come up when someone is dying. "Advance planning, management of emotional distress, counseling the patient and caregivers, attention to psychological and social needs, personalized revision of care plans – all of this involves hearing," said Barbara E. Weinstein ... of Health Sciences Doctoral Programs at the City University of New York Graduate Center. "Hearing and communication are so critical at the end of life because at this stage, what people are left with is the need to communicate with family, physicians, and other caregivers. Doctors are so concerned with patient-centered care, but they often have not been educated to appreciate the role that better hearing can play in that care."
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Authors and readers beware the dark side of Open Access

JOURNAL OF ADVANCING NURSING | Online – 13 December 2014 – The concept of predatory publishing has emerged from the open access publishing movement. The term "predatory open access," was introduced by University of Colorado librarian and researcher Jeffrey Beall, identifying the practices of some "publishing companies" of soliciting papers from authors for "publication" in journals that lack acceptable peer review, editorial oversight, or established procedures to protect against plagiarism, data duplication or other unethical practices. The difference between acceptable open access publishers and predatory publishers is that, while both operate on a pay-to-publish business model, predatory publishers do not follow many, if not all, acceptable publication standards. Predatory publishers have been known to claim to be "leading" publishers even though they may be just starting. They list contact information that does not clearly indicate where they are located or use free email services for contact. Often, multiple journals from the same publisher will have the same editor and editorial board, and there have been reports of board members being appointed to these panels without their application or knowledge.
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What can we do to help Australians die the way they want to?

MEDICAL JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIA, 2015; 202(1): 10-11. Australians are not dying as they would wish. Surveys consistently show that between 60% and 70% of Australians would prefer to die at home, and that residential care facilities are their least preferred option. Dignity, control and privacy are important for a good death. Choice over who will be present, where people will die and what services they will get, matters. People want their symptoms to be well managed, and they want personal, social and psychological support. It is important to have the opportunity to say goodbye and leave when it is time to go without pointlessly prolonging life. But dying is now highly institutionalized. Over the past century, the proportion of deaths at home has declined and that of deaths in hospitals and residential aged care has increased. Today only about 14% of people die at home in Australia. Fifty-four per cent die in hospitals and 32% in residential care. Home and other non-institutional deaths are about half as prevalent in Australia as they are in New Zealand, the U.S., Ireland and France.
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Current challenges in palliative care provision for heart failure in the U.K.: A survey on the perspectives of palliative care professionals

OPEN HEART | Online – 16 January 2015 – This is the first study, to the authors' knowledge, to document the difficulties surrounding implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) deactivation throughout the U.K. It is disappointing to find that difficulties still persist in palliative care (PC) provision for heart failure (HF) in 2014. They hope that their findings will reinvigorate the debate on PC in HF among cardiologists, particularly on: reassessment of contemporary PC needs as new HF therapies emerge, optimal timing for initiating PC discussions or needs assessment, and ideal interdisciplinary working arrangements to deliver efficient care. The fact remains that cardiologists are often the gatekeepers to PC services for the patient with HF. Therefore, improvement of PC provision in HF must first start with raising awareness of its benefits among cardiologists and encouraging interdisciplinary dialogue.
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Media Watch is intended as an advocacy and research tool. The weekly report, published by Barry R. Ashpole, a Canadian communications consultant and educator, monitors the literature and the lay press on issues specific to the quality of end-of-life care. It is international in scope and distribution. Each month, this section of the IAHPC will publish an abstract or summary of an article or report of special interest noted in a recent issue of Media Watch (see below).

The current and back issues of the weekly report.

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