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My choice for September is Paddy Stone and colleagues' observational study that follows their first paper on the Prognosis in Palliative care Scale (PiPS), published in the BMJ and previously reprinted in full by this journal. This paper reports a planned subanalysis of the PiPS dataset to determine whether patient reports or clinician estimates of symptom severity and performance status were superior in terms of prognostic accuracy. The authors conclude that a prognostic model derived using observer-rated data was more accurate at predicting survival than a similar model derived using patient self-report measures. Patient-rated data can be burdensome and difficult to obtain in patients with terminal illnesses, so this finding may increase the utility of the PiPS in clinical practice or when characterising populations of patients in palliative care services.
We have an editorial from Simon Noble on the vicissitudes of the academic life. His thoughts turn to the antipodes as he contemplates the importance to supportive and palliative care of research capacity and more randomised controlled trials.
Mark Taubert and others' feature on guidance from the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on opioid use in adult palliative care patients asks whether it is a useful document for specialised services as well as for general use. They note that this is the first …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.