Over the past few years the Taskforce of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) on neurology has been working on the writing of a guideline on palliative care for neurological patients in collaboration with the European Federation of Neurological Societies, and later the EAN. This collaboration was strengthened earlier this year when the Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the EAPC and EAN.
It became clear that there was very limited evidence and so a Consensus document was been published in the European Journal of Neurology (1) and a summary has been published in the European Journal of Palliative Care (2), so that health and social care professionals within palliative care services can learn more of the role of palliative care for neurological patients.
Within neurology many patients groups have diseases that cannot be cured, may have treatments that, at best, only slow progression and for which palliative care would be appropriate. The main recommendations made are:
- · The early integration of palliative care
- · Involvement of the wider multidisciplinary team
- · Communication with patients and families including advance care planning
- · Symptom management
- · End of life care
- · Carer support and training
- · Education for all professionals involved in the care of these patients and families
This paper, we hope, will be a start for further discussion about the role of palliative care within neurology and help to develop the care for many patients as the beginning of a developing collaboration between palliative care and neurology.
Collaboration continues between EAN and EAPC
Consensus paper on palliative care in neurology
Palliative care for neurological patients needs to be considered
1. Oliver DJ, Borasio GD, Caraceni A, de Visser M, Grisold W, Lorenzl S, Veronese S, Voltz R. A consensus review on the development of palliative care for patients with chronic and progressive neurological disease. Eur J Neurol 2016; doi:10.1111/ene.12889
Oliver D, Borasio GD, Caraceni A, Grisold W, Lorenzl S, Veronese S, Voltz R. Palliative care in chronic and progressive neurological disease: summary of a consensus review. Eur J Pall 2016; 23: 232-235.