Digges, M, Hussein, A, Wilcock, A, Crawford, GB, Boland, JW, Agar, MR, Sinnarajah, A, Currow, DC & Johnson, MJ 2018, 'Pharmacovigilance in Hospice/Palliative Care: Net Effect of Haloperidol for Nausea or Vomiting.', Journal of Palliative Medicine, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 37-43.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Haloperidol is widely prescribed as an antiemetic in patients receiving palliative care, but there is limited evidence to support and refine its use.To explore the immediate and short-term net clinical effects of haloperidol when treating nausea and/or vomiting in palliative care patients.A prospective, multicenter, consecutive case series.Twenty-two sites, five countries: consultative, ambulatory, and inpatient services.When haloperidol was started in routine care as an antiemetic, data were collected at three time points: baseline; 48 hours (benefits); day seven (harms). Clinical effects were assessed using the National Cancer Institute's Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI CTCAE).Data were collected (May 2014-March 2016) from 150 patients: 61% male; 86% with cancer; mean age 72 (standard deviation 11) years and median Australian-modified Karnofsky Performance Scale 50 (range 10-90). At baseline, nausea was moderate (88; 62%) or severe (11; 8%); 145 patients reported vomiting, with a baseline NCI CTCAE vomiting score of 1.0. The median (range) dose of haloperidol was 1.5 mg/24 hours (0.5-5 mg/24 hours) given orally or parenterally. Five patients (3%) died before further data collection. At 48 hours, 114 patients (79%) had complete resolution of their nausea and vomiting, with greater benefit seen in the resolution of nausea than vomiting. At day seven, 37 (26%) patients had a total of 62 mild/moderate harms including constipation 25 (40%); dry mouth 13 (21%); and somnolence 12 (19%).Haloperidol as an antiemetic provided rapid net clinical benefit with low-grade, short-term harms.
Hanchanale, S, Kerr, M, Ashwood, P, Curran, E, Ekstrom, M, Allen, S, Currow, D & Johnson, MJ 2018, 'Conference presentation in palliative medicine: predictors of subsequent publication.', BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 73-77.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Concerns have been raised about poor-quality palliative care research and low publication rate from conference abstracts. The study objectives: to estimate the publication rate for European Association for Palliative Care research conference abstracts (2008) and explore associated characteristics and to understand reasons for non-publication.Full published papers were searched to March 2015 (Medline; Pubmed; Google Scholar) and data extracted: country of origin, study design/population/topic. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify predictors of publication.Members of two different palliative care associations were surveyed to understand reasons for non-publication. χ2 statistic was used to explore associations with publication.Overall publication rate of the 445 proffered abstracts was 57%. In the final model, publication was more likely for oral presentations (OR 2.13; 95% CI 1.28 to 3.55; P=0.003), those from Europe (3.24; 1.09 to 9.56; P=0.033) and much less likely for non-cancer topics (0.21; 0.07 to 0.64; P=0.006). Funding status, academic unit or study design were not associated with publication.407/1546 (26.3%) physicians responded of whom 254 (62%) had submitted a conference abstract. Full publication was associated with: oral presentation (P<0.001), international conference abstracts (P=0.01) and academic clinicians versus clinicians (P<0.001). Reasons for non-publication included: low priority for workload (53%) and time constraints (43%).The publication rate was similar to 2005 clinical conference. Probable quality markers were associated with publication: oral presentations selected by conference committee, international conference abstracts and abstracts from those with an academic appointment. Publication was given a low priority among clinical time pressures.
Sandberg, J, Johnson, MJ, Currow, DC & Ekström, M 2018, 'Validation of the Dyspnea Exertion Scale of Breathlessness in People With Life-Limiting Illness.', Journal of pain and symptom management, vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 430-435.e2.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Although chronic breathlessness is common in life-limiting illnesses, validated feasible instruments to measure functional impact of the symptom in this population are scarce. We aimed to validate the Dyspnea Exertion Scale (DES) compared with the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) breathlessness scale for test-retest reliability, concurrent validity, and responsiveness in people with life-limiting illness.A total of 188 participants, 66% males, with chronic breathlessness, mostly (70%) because of chronic pulmonary disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) self-reported evening scores of mMRC, DES, Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group during nine days.About 44% (n = 81) scored the highest score on mMRC indicating a ceiling effect not seen with DES. Both scales had moderate-to-good test-retest agreement (89% DES; 84% mMRC; P < 0.001 for both). Analyses for concurrent validity showed that higher DES and mMRC scores were correlated with higher NRS breathlessness intensity scores and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group scores throughout the nine days. In longitudinal analyses, DES (r = 0.30; P < 0.001) was more responsive to change in NRS score during nine days than the mMRC (r = 0.16; P = 0.03).Compared with mMRC, DES had comparable or better measurement properties in terms of test-retest reliability and concurrent validity and could be used as a discriminative tool in this population, but both scales are too insensitive to change to be used as an outcome in clinical trials.