Palliative Care in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: From Diagnosis to Bereavement

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David Oliver, Gian Domenico Borasio, Declan Walsh
Oxford University Press, 2006 - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - 352 pages
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Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (or motor neurone disease) is a rare disease but one that can cause profound suffering for both the patient and their family. Whilst new treatments for ALS are being developed, these are not curative and offer only the potential to slow its progression. Palliative care must therefore be integral to the clinical approach to the disease. Palliative Care in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: From diagnosis to bereavement reflects the wide scope of this care; it must cover not just the terminal phase, but support the patient and their family from the onset of the disease. Both the multidisciplinary palliative care team and the neurology team are essential in providing a high standard of care and allowing quality of life (both patient and carer) to be maintained. Clear guidelines are provided to address care throughout the disease process. Control of symptoms is covered alongside the psychosocial care of patients and their families, culminating in discussion of bereavement. The experience of patients and families is considered and case studies are provided to show the practical application of the theoretical knowledge. Different models of care are explored, and this new edition utilises the increase in both the evidence-base and available literature on the subject. Additional chapters on nursing, spiritual care, decision making, and ethical issues surrounding end of life care ensure that this new edition remains the essential guide topalliative care in ALS.

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About the author (2006)

David Oliver was awarded the Humanitarian Award of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations in 2003, in recognition of his work in this area. He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Zagreb Medical Faculty in Croatia. Gian Domenico Borasio co-authored the first ever article on Palliative Care in Neurology in 1994, and organised the first symposium on the subject in 1996. With his team, he runs the Interdisciplinary Center for Palliative Medicine at the Munich University Hospital, which won the Annual University Award of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care in 2004. Professor Borasio was co-editor of Palliative Care in Neurology, OUP 2004. Dr Walsh is a founding member of both the European Association of Hospice and Palliative Care, and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer and serves on the Editorial Boards for The American Journal of Hospiceand Palliative Medicine, Palliative Medicine, Journal of Supportive Oncology, and Supportive Cancer Therapy. He is also on the Board of Directors for MASCC, the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer.

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