Lege Artis Medicinae

[EFFECT OF END-OF-LIFE EDUCATION ON MEDICAL STUDENTS’ AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS’ DEATH ATTITUDE]

HEGEDÛS Katalin, ZANA Ágnes, SZABÓ Gábor

FEBRUARY 22, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(02)

[INTRODUCTION - The aim of our research was to evaluate the effect of courses for health care workers and medical students that deal with death, dying and bereavement and that of courses on hospice care of dying patients. The goal of the courses is to make communication on death more open by exploring critical issues related to fear of death to reduce inner anxiety and to improve attitude to dying patients. PARTICIPANTS AND METHOD - Participants (n=168) completed Neimeyer and Moore's Multi-dimensional Fear of Death Scale (MFODS) and Shortened Beck Depression Questionnaire (BDI) on the first and last day of the courses. In case of health care workers a follow-up survey was also performed 2 to 3 months after the course (n=32). RESULTS - The most significant factors of fear of death are: fear for significant others, fear of the dying process and fear of premature death. Overall fear of death scores are reduced as an effect of the courses, the alteration of the components of fear of death depends on the participants’ gender, age and profession as well. Improvement was observed in both groups in attitudes that can be related to the increase of knowledge on the quality care of dying patients like fear from the process of dying and fear from conscious experience of death. CONCLUSION - Besides education containing training as well it is important to strengthen the support function of workplaces in caring for the mental health of the health care staff. Furthermore it is important during gradual education that students participate in courses that aim to achieve opened communication in the most anxiety-evoking issues.]

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[INTRODUCTION - Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma frequently has bone involvement, but primary bone lymphoma is rare (around 4% of primary extranodal lymphomas). Long bones are most often affected, followed in frequency by the ribs, vertebrae, and pelvic bones. The main symptom is bone pain. CASE REPORT - The case of a young man is presented whose disease started with lumboischialgia. Since rheumatological treatment did not relieve the symptoms, MRI was performed, which showed a tumour with massive iliac bone destruction. Three months after the initial symptoms a surgical biopsy from the right ilium showed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Soon after acute renal insufficiency developed and the patient was put on haemodialysis. Based on the findings the disease was staged as Ann Arbor IV/B (bone and kidney), ECOG PS 3, International Prognostic Index 4. On the basis of the preliminary histological findings, reduced-dose CHOP chemotherapy was given, which resulted in a significant improvement of the renal function and haemodialysis could be abandoned. This was followed by 6 additional cycles of Rituximab-CHOP treatment and further 2 cycles of Rituximab-DHAP salvage chemotherapy with intrathecal prophylaxis, and, finally, since no response could be detected, R-IVAC treatment was given. After an initial response, the disease became progressive, and the patient died 9 months after the diagnosis was made from a disseminated chemoresistant disease. Autopsy confirmed extensive infiltration of the right iliac bone, kidneys, bone marrow, spleen, supraclavicular and abdominal lymph nodes, pancreas, scalp and brain. CONCLUSIONS - This case was chosen to be presented because of the unusual localisation of the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, the initial diagnostic difficulty, and the very rapid progression despite the application of several aggressive chemotherapy schemes. A primary bone large B-cell lymphoma represents a diagnostic challenge with its rheumatological symptoms thus delaying diagnosis.]

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