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05 November 2021

Research poster makes top three in integrated care category at EAPC Congress 2021

Work part of the ASSET project at the Cicely Saunders Institute has been recognised by the 17th World Congress of The European Association for Palliative Care

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An abstract presented at the EAPC Congress in October 2021 has been recognised as one of the top three submitted in the category of integrated care. Prevalence, burden and predictors of physical and psychological symptoms in a chronic lung disease population. A cross-sectional study from South Africa, is part of the ASSET project which aims to strengthen health systems in Sub Saharan Africa.

I am delighted to see our ASSET project work on integrated palliative care in primary care in COPD population being recognised at EAPC 2021 Congress

Dr Kennedy Nkhoma

Most deaths globally are attributable to non-communicable disease (non-infectious health conditions). Four-fifths of these deaths are in low and middle-income countries.

Researchers led by experts at the Cicely Saunders Institute conducted a cross-sectional survey of patients with chronic lung disease at eight primary care sites in Western Cape. The aim was to determine the prevalence and burden of symptoms and to assess the associating factors among patients.

The research team looked at levels of symptom distress/burden, that is perceived level of discomfort caused by a symptom. The team found that:

 •    The most burdensome symptoms were shortness of breath (70.54%), pain (55.56%), difficulty sleeping (52.45%), cough (50.65%), worry (44.93%), feeling drowsy (42.38%), lack of energy (42.38%), feeling sad (39.8%), dry mouth (31.53%), and feeling irritable (30.23%).

•    Symptom distress was associated with difficulty to perform activities of daily living, low social support and impairment on persons' life.

 •    Old age was associated with low symptom distress. 

•    Participants who missed one or more doses of medication reported higher levels of symptom distress.

This work is part of ASSET project funded by NIHR.

All abstracts accepted by the EAPC Congress 2021 (both oral and poster presentations) are available in a special online-only issue of Palliative Medicine.

In this story

Richard  Harding

Vice Dean (International) and Director and Global Lead, Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation

Kennedy Nkhoma

Global Health Research Fellow in Palliative Care