A symptom support and palliative care special interest group just approved by the TSANZ Board is believed to be the first SIG of its kind in respiratory societies around the world.
The multidisciplinary SIG aims to improve the care of patients with life-limiting lung diseases such as COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension.
According to its convenor Dr Natasha Smallwood, a respiratory physician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the SIG has a number of objectives including:
- the development of curriculum, such as training in communications skills for end-of-life care
- education to improve the quality and consistency of patient care – both pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies
- increased access to palliative care for patients with non-malignant diseases
- establishing a research network.
The SIG has developed out of concern that beyond optimal treatment of the lung condition, refractory symptoms such as chronic breathlessness were not being well managed.
Deputy co-convenors of the SIG are palliative care specialist Professor Jennifer Philip and respiratory nurse consultant Mary Roberts.
TSANZ members with an interest in end-of-life and palliative care are encouraged to join the SIG. [email protected]