Nurses under pressure: do risk assessment tools help prevent pressure ulcers?

Tools to help assess a patient’s risk of developing a pressure ulcer have been in use for half a century, but do they actually result in fewer pressure ulcers, or do they take up nurses’ time which could be better spent with the patient? An updated Cochrane review gives us the current state of the evidence. Continue reading

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A good death at home: home palliative care services keep people where they want to be

Key message: There is good evidence that home palliative care increases the chance of dying at home and reduces symptom burden, especially for people with cancer, without increasing caregiver grief.

Where would you prefer to die, if you had an advanced illness? More than 50% of people say they would like to die at home, given the choice, but in many countries relatively few people do; just 21% in England in 2010, for example. The need for home palliative care services is increasing as the ageing population expands and an understanding of their impact on death at home and on things that matter to patients and their carers, such as how well symptoms are controlled and how they feel about their care, is important in working out how current services need to be expanded or improved. Continue reading