Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Support Care Cancer. 2007 Jun;15(6):577-582. doi: 10.1007/s00520-006-0202-y. Epub 2006 Dec 13.

Telephone consultation in palliative care for cancer patients: 5 years of experience in The Netherlands.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Oncology, F02.126, University Medical Center Utrecht, P.O. Box 85500, 3508 GA, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
2
Comprehensive Cancer Center Middle Netherlands, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
3
ZonMW, The Hague, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Medical Oncology, F02.126, University Medical Center Utrecht, P.O. Box 85500, 3508 GA, Utrecht, The Netherlands. a.degraeff@umcutrecht.nl.

Abstract

GOALS OF WORK:

To analyze cancer patient-related consultations of a telephone helpdesk (TH) for palliative care over a period of 5 years in the region of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A descriptive analysis was performed of consultations over a period of 5 years (2001-2006). The discipline and location of requesting professionals, patient characteristics, reasons for calling, symptoms, palliative care problems and needs for support were registered.

MAIN RESULTS:

A total of 1,794 consultations were analyzed. There was an increasing number of consultations during the study period. Of the patients, 51% were male and their median age was 65 years (range 0-104). Eighty-four percent were treated at home by their general practitioner. Two thirds of the patients had a life expectancy <4 weeks. Most questions referred to pain (49%), delirium (20%), nausea and vomiting (16%) and dyspnea (12%). The median number of symptoms was 1 (0-6). Of the questions, 54% were related to pharmacological problems, 19% to psychological problems and 21% to the organization of care. Of the requesting professionals, 17% asked for support for themselves. Of the consultations, 14% were related to end-of-life issues: palliative sedation (11%) and euthanasia (3%).

CONCLUSION:

After more than 5 years, the 24-h telephone consultation service fulfills a need for general practitioners dealing with daily dilemmas in palliative care treatment for cancer patients at home during the last period of their life.

PMID:
17165090
DOI:
10.1007/s00520-006-0202-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center