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BMJ Support Palliat Care 3:34-36 doi:10.1136/bmjspcare-2012-000438
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  1. Jason Boland
  1. Senior Lecturer And Honorary Consultant In Palliative Medicine, Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, Hull, UK

Longitudinal changes in function, symptom burden and quality of life in patients with early-stage lung cancer

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This study evaluated the longitudinal changes (up to 1 year) in physical function, symptom burden, psychological distress and quality of life (QOL) in 103 patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (34 stage I, 20 stage II and 49 stage III). At baseline, there were no differences between these groups of patients demographically, clinically and functionally; however, compared with stage III patients, stage I–II patients were more likely to complete the study. All groups were very symptomatic throughout the study, although over time there was a decrease in the number of symptoms and a decrease in physical QOL, whereas physical function and family QOL fluctuated irrespective of the stage of disease. Based on these findings a multidisciplinary palliative care intervention was developed, which included patient education and a multidisciplinary team meeting from which referrals to supportive care services are made.

An open-label extension study to investigate the long-term safety and tolerability of THC/CBD oromucosal spray and oromucosal THC spray in patients with terminal cancer-related pain refractory to strong opioid analgesics

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This open-label, multicentre follow-up study investigated the long-term safety and tolerability of Sativex (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)/cannabidiol (CBD)) oromucosal spray (n=39) and THC spray (n=4) in patients with cancer-related pain despite taking opioids who had participated in a previous Sativex/THC/placebo RCT. There was a maintained improvement in insomnia, pain, fatigue and QOL in the patients using Sativex spray, without any new safety concerns associated with its extended use. Patients who kept using Sativex spray did not increase their dose of this or other analgesics, suggesting that cannabinoids could have a role in cancer-related pain.

Preferences for end-of-life care: a nominal group study of people with dementia and their family carers

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