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Palliative care in pulmonary arterial hypertension

Gin-Sing, Wendy

Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care: March 2017 - Volume 11 - Issue 1 - p 7–11
doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000252
CARDIAC AND CIRCULATORY PROBLEMS: Edited by James M. Beattie
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Purpose of review Developments in the management of pulmonary arterial hypertension have significantly improved prognosis changing this from an acute to a chronic disease. Despite optimal treatment many patients still have a high-symptom burden both because of the disease and the side-effects of therapy, consequently there is an increasing need for a palliative care approach to improve the quality of life for this patient group. This review article will outline the need for palliative care support for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, discuss the barriers that currently exist and suggest how this may be improved.

Recent findings Studies have been conducted which explore the role of palliative care in pulmonary arterial hypertension including physicians attitudes and the current barriers that exist to prevent its implementation.

Summary Specialist palliative support is utilized in the minority of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension despite a need for symptom control. Patients may benefit from the introduction of a palliative care approach as part of their standard care, but to achieve this there needs to be a greater understanding of the role of palliative care by both clinicians and patients and more research into the benefits for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

Correspondence to Wendy Gin-Sing, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Pulmonary Hypertension Service, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0HS, UK. Tel: +44 203 313 8072; fax: +44 203 313 2331; e-mail: wendy.gin-sing@imperial.nhs.uk

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