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Dear Dr Walsh,
We read with great interest the systematic review by Kim et al who summarised the barriers encountered by clinicians for the referral of patients with interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) to specialist palliative care services.1
ILDs are a heterogeneous group of more than 200 lung diseases that result in involvement of the alveolar interstitium, in addition to alveolar structures and small airways potentially leading to an impairment of gas exchange. The different clinical course, prognosis and available treatments make it challenging for clinicians to identify the need and the correct timing for palliative care referral in patients with ILDs.2
However, even in those characterised by disease progression, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the referral is late or lacking in most of the cases.
Therefore, an objective tool would be helpful in identifying patients who require palliative care.1
In this …
Contributors All authors contributed to the idea of the letter, actively participated in writing the manuscript and revised the final version of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.