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GeriPal - A Geriatrics and Palliative Care Podcast

Mar 28, 2024

One marker of the distance we’ve traveled in palliative care is the blossoming evidence base for the field. Ten years ago we would have been hard pressed to find 3 clinical trial abstracts submitted to the annual meeting, much less high quality randomized trials with robust measures, sample sizes, and analytics plans.  Well, as a kick off to this year’s first in-person State of the Science plenary, held in conjunction with the closing Saturday session of the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly, 3 randomized clinical trials were presented.

Today we interview the authors of these 3 abstracts about their findings:

  • Tom LeBlanc about a multisite trial of palliative care for patients undergoing Stem Cell Transplant for blood cancers (outcomes = quality of life, depression, anxiety)

  • Kate Courtright about a pragmatic trial of electronic nudges to prognosticate and/or offer comfort-focused treatment to mechanically ventilated ICU patients/surrogates (outcomes = lengths of stay, hospice, time to discontinuation of life-support)

  • Corita Grudzen on a pragmatic trial of two palliative care approaches for patients with advanced cancer or organ failure discharged from the ED: a nurse-led telephone intervention or outpatient specialty palliative care clinic (outcomes = quality of life, symptom burden, loneliness, healthcare utilization)

Wow! I’m just stunned even writing that! We’ve come so far as a field. This isn’t to say we’ve “made it” - more to say that we’ve reached a new stage of maturation of the field - in which the evidence we are discussing is frequently high quality randomized trial level data. 

We recorded this on Friday during the annual assembly, and Eric and I were a littttttle off our game due to the residual effects of the GeriPal pub crawl the night before, which were only compounded by technical difficulties.  I believe these issues were more than made up for by our guests' forced accompaniment to the song “Feel Like Making Science.” (Credit to the Beeson singing crew for coming up with that one).

Enjoy! -@AlexSmithMD