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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 293-297

An experience with 156 patients attending a newly organized pain and palliative care clinic in a tertiary hospital

1 Department of Radiotherapy, Safdarjung Hospital and VMMC, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Anaesthesia, Safdarjung Hospital and VMMC, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
M Lal
Department of Radiotherapy, Safdarjung Hospital and VMMC, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.104491

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Context: Pain and palliative care clinic (PCC). Aims: The primary object of this study was to enumerate the demographic characteristics of patients attending a newly organized PCC. The secondary purpose was to detect symptom prevalence and frequency of different cancers in these patients. Settings and Design: Prospective cross-sectional descriptive study. Materials and Methods: A prospective cross-sectional descriptive study was done on patients referred to the PCC of a tertiary hospital in North India. Comprehensive details of all patients were recorded systematically on the first visit on a proforma specially prepared for the newly established palliative care clinic. Statistical Analysis Used: The descriptive statistics of palliative care data was presented in terms of frequencies and percentages (%) for categorical variables. Results: The data collected at our PCC showed that out of 156 patients, 87 were males and 69 were females. Patients of all ages varying from 6 to 85 years were seen. Most patients (82.1%) lived with their families, and 28 (17.1%) patients lived alone and had no financial support. The most common primary diagnoses were head and neck cancers (38.5%), carcinoma cervix (15.4%), breast cancer (10.3%), colorectal cancer (6.4%), and lung cancer (4.5%). Frequency of seven most common symptoms was pain (100%), insomnia (64.1%), loss of appetite (34.6%), nausea (32.7%), vomiting (32.1%), constipation (31.4%) and sore mouth (28.8%). Conclusions: Population-based studies determine the actual magnitude of sufferers and suffering and show that palliative care services should be included as an essential component in a tertiary care hospital. The objective should be to reach out to the patient and help in improving the patent's quality of life in every way possible.


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