Distress at End of Life Seminar

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Distress at End of Life Seminar

Professor Richard Fielding recently presented an academic seminar and discussion on distress at the end of life. Hosted by Hospice Isle of Man's Scholl Academic Centre at Greniagh Court on July 10th the main premise of the talk was to extend ideas that have been developed on the different natural histories of psychosocial distress in cancer patients generally, and patients with advanced, late-stage disease.

The four broad “natural histories” of distress discussed were;

  • Distress associated with the abrupt impact of unsuspected diagnosis in previously well individuals.
  • Distress arising from treatment impacts and unresolved symptoms interfering with return to normality.
  • Distress associated with existential issues.
  • A separate category of distress involving people who have longstanding histories of poor coping, often associated with adverse childhood experiences.

Professor Fielding delved into his research and discussed with the attendees his findings and how this related to palliative carers and their settings, often noting the triggers for distress, leading to depression and anxiety. The discussion continued on to recognising these symptoms in patients and being aware of how to care for and help those effected to avoid underdiagnosis and ensure palliative treatment is adjusted.

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