METHODS: We conducted a parallel-group, blinded, randomized controlled study at the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Malaysia from February 2019 to April 2019. Sixty adult palliative care patients with an overall suffering score of 4/10 or above based on the Suffering Pictogram were recruited and randomly assigned to either the 5-min mindfulness of love group (N = 30) or the 5-min supportive listening group (N = 30).
RESULTS: There were statistically significant improvements in the overall suffering score (mean difference = -2.9, CI = -3.7 to -2.1, t = -7.268, p = 0.000) and the total FACIT-Sp-12 score (mean difference = 2.9, CI = 1.5 to 4.3, t = 4.124, p = 0.000) in the intervention group compared to the control group.
CONCLUSION: The results provided evidence that 5-min mindfulness of love could affect the actual state of suffering and the spiritual quality of life of palliative care patients.
METHODS: We first reviewed the literature on the major types, severity, prevalence, and duration of suffering associated with cervical cancer. We then conducted a modified Delphi process with experts in cervical cancer care to supplement the literature. For each type of suffering, we distinguished between decedents (those who die from cervical cancer in a given year) and nondecedents (those who have cervical cancer in a given year but do not die). By applying the suffering prevalence and duration estimates to the number of decedents, nondecedents, and family caregivers in 2017, we were able to estimate their palliative care needs and the intensity of palliative care needed to respond adequately to this suffering.
RESULTS: There is a high prevalence among decedents of moderate or severe pain (84%), vaginal discharge (66%), vaginal bleeding (61%), and loss of faith (31%). Among both decedents and nondecedents, there is a high prevalence of clinically significant anxiety (63% and 50%, respectively), depressed mood (52% and 38%, respectively), and sexual dysfunction (87% and 83%, respectively). Moderate or severe financial distress is prevalent among decedents, nondecedents, and family caregivers (84%, 74%, and 66%, respectively). More than 40% of decedents and nondecedents are abandoned by their intimate partners. Most patients experience some combination of moderate or severe physical, psychological, social, and spiritual suffering. In total, 258,649 decedents and 2,558,857 nondecedents needed palliative care in 2017, approximately 85% of whom were in low- and middle-income countries where palliative care is rarely accessible.
CONCLUSION: Among women with advanced cervical cancer, suffering is highly prevalent and often severe and multifaceted.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of our study was to determine the efficacy of a single session of 20 min mindful breathing in alleviating multiple symptoms in palliative care.
METHODS: Adult palliative care in patients with at least one symptom scoring ≥5/10 based on the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) were recruited from September 2018 to December 2018. Recruited patients were randomly assigned to either 20 min mindful breathing and standard care or standard care alone.
RESULTS: Forty patients were randomly assigned to standard care plus a 20 min mindful breathing session (n=20) or standard care alone (n=20). There was statistically significant reduction of total ESAS score in the mindful breathing group compared with the control group at minute 20 (U=98, n 1 = n 2 = 20, mean rank 1 = 15.4, mean rank 2 = 25.6, median reduction 1 = 6.5, median reduction 2 = 1.5, z=-2.763, r=0.3, p=0.005).
CONCLUSION: Our results provided evidence that a single session of 20 min mindful breathing was effective in reducing multiple symptoms rapidly for palliative care patients.
Aim: This study aims to study the efficacy of 5-min mindful breathing for rapid reduction of pain in a palliative care setting.
Methods: This is a sub-analysis of the previous randomized controlled study on distress reduction. Sixty patients were recruited and randomly assigned to either the intervention (5-min mindful breathing) or the control (5-min normal listening) group. Participants reported their pain on a 10-item analog scale at baseline, immediately after intervention and 10 min postintervention. Changes in pain scores were further analyzed.
Results: Pain scores decreased for both the intervention and control groups. However, the reduction of pain did not reach statistical difference in both groups (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Five-minute mindful breathing is a quick and easy to administer therapy but does not have significant effects in terms of pain reduction in palliative settings. Future research and directions are nonetheless suggested and encouraged to look for short-term mindfulness-based therapies on pain reduction for this population.
OBJECTIVE: To understand the psychological processes involved in the experiencing of suffering at the end phase of life.
METHODS: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 palliative care inpatients from an academic medical centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The transcripts were thematically analysed with NVIVO9.
RESULTS: 5 themes of psychological processes of suffering were generated: (1) perceptions, (2) cognitive appraisals, (3) hope and the struggles with acceptance, (4) emotions and (5) clinging. A model of suffering formation was constructed.
CONCLUSION: The findings may inform the development of mechanism-based interventions in the palliation of suffering.
METHOD: Twenty terminally ill patients were interviewed with semi-structured questions. The results were thematically analyzed.
RESULTS: Eight themes were generated: the meaning of happiness, connections, mindset, pleasure, health, faith, wealth, and work. Our results showed that happiness is possible at the end of life. Happiness can coexist with pain and suffering. Social connections were the most important element of happiness at the end of life. Wealth and work were given the least emphasis. From the descriptions of our patients, we recognized a tendency for the degree of importance to shift from the hedonic happiness to eudaimonic happiness as patients experienced a terminal illness.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: To increase the happiness of palliative care patients, it is crucial to assess the meaning of happiness for each patient and the degree of importance for each happiness domain to allow targeted interventions.
PURPOSE: To explore the experiences of hope of palliative care patients.
METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted at University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Adult palliative care in-patients were recruited and interviewed with semi structured questions on hope. Transcripts from the interviews were thematically analyzed with qualitative data management software NVIVO.
FINDINGS: 20 palliative care patients participated in the study. The themes generated from thematic analysis were (1) The notions of hope, (2) The sources and barriers of hope and (3) The contents of hope.
CONCLUSION: Hope is an ever-present source of energy that gives people strength to carry on even in the most adverse situations. Understanding hope from the palliative care perspective may allow healthcare providers to develop strategies to better foster hope in the terminally ill.
METHODS: This is a population-based secondary data analysis using the national mortality registry from 2004 to 2014. Past trend estimation was conducted using Murtagh's minimum and maximum methods and Gómez-Batiste's method. The estimated palliative care needs were stratified by age groups, gender and administrative states in Malaysia. With this, the projection of palliative care needs up to 2030 was conducted under the assumption that annual change remains constant.
RESULTS: The palliative care needs in Malaysia followed an apparent upward trend over the years regardless of the estimation methods. Murtagh's minimum estimation method showed that palliative care needs grew 40% from 71 675 cases in 2004 to 100 034 cases in 2014. The proportion of palliative care needs in relation to deaths hovered at 71% in the observed years. In 2030, Malaysia should anticipate the population needs to be at least 239 713 cases (240% growth from 2014), with the highest needs among age group ≥80-year-old in both genders. Sarawak, Perak, Johor, Selangor and Kedah will become the top five Malaysian states with the highest number of needs in 2030.
CONCLUSION: The need for palliative care in Malaysia will continue to rise and surpass its service provision. This trend demands a stepped-up provision from the national health system with advanced integration of palliative care services to narrow the gap between needs and supply.