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What is the best approach in managing respiratory symptoms?
Presentation by Prof. David Currow at MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting June 23-25 2016, Adelaide
David Currow, Professor of Palliative and Support Services at Flinders University Adelaide Australia followed on from Prof Keefe’s introduction of the case study. His goal was to highlight the advantages of multi-specialty assessment and multi-disciplinary care to ensure the best possible health-related outcomes for the patient. The multi-disciplinary approach begins at diagnosis and staging and carries through to treatment and management of side effects. At the core of any treatment strategy is taking into account each patient’s circumstances such as individual diagnosis, co-morbidities and social situations. Prof Currow stressed the importance of the multi-disciplinary team as a valuable environment for staying up-to-date with treatment advances and for achieving consensus in decision-making and support (between 5-40% of initial treatment strategies change once a multi-disciplinary team becomes involved). Both cough and breathlessness have a substantial impact on quality of life, and it is pivotal that these challenging symptoms are not ignored. For Isabella, managing her respiratory symptoms requires a team approach to provide effective non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments.