Symptomatic Events in a Community Palliative Care Population: A Prospective Pilot Study

Timothy H.M. To, Aileen Collier, Meera R. Agar, Debra Rowett, David C. Currow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The palliative care population is prescribed a large number of drugs, increasing as patients deteriorate. The cumulative effects of these medications combined with underlying symptom burden can result in significant morbidity. There is an urgent need to describe possible symptomatic events that could be exacerbated by commonly prescribed drugs in palliative care and their impact. Objectives: To trial the feasibility and acceptability of determining baseline symptomatic event rates for community palliative care patients from which a composite measure of symptomatic events can be developed. Design: This prospective pilot study of patient-reported symptomatic events recruited a convenience cohort of 27 community palliative care patients in a metropolitan specialist palliative care service in Australia. Results: This study has demonstrated a high prevalence rate of symptomatic events (total crude event/participant day rate 0.87) in the study population. Conclusion: Data collection of patient-centered symptomatic events was acceptable and feasible to participants. This pilot supports a fully powered study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1223-1226
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number9
Early online date8 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • adverse events
  • anticholinergic load
  • palliative care
  • patient safety
  • prescribing


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