We are presently starting a new project in palliative end-of-life cancer care financed by the Kamprad Foundation. Project leader in Sweden is Ásgeir R. Helgason and Dr. Bragi Skúlason heads the project in Iceland. The project, is called “Meeting men and their significant others in palliative cancer care”.
A systematic non-confrontative and evidence-based training program for communication, based on Motivational Interviewing, will be offered to practicing contact nurses in palliative cancer care.
Collaboration has been established with the Motivational Interviewing Coding Laboratory (Mic-Lab) for training and supervision purposes.
The project is a development of a recently finished a research project on gender differences in palliative care focusing on dying cancer patients and their closest relatives. An intervention was developed and tested in 192 patients in end of life care, aiming to facilitate communication between patients and specialized health personnel regarding patients impending death.
The results showed that only 30% of men initiated discussions about own impending death with specialized health care personnel, compared with 70% of women. After the intervention 60% of the men and 90% of the women had participated in a discussion on own impending death.
We concluded from the study that while men are much less likely than women to initiate a discussion on own impending death, the men responded positively to a relatively simple intervention based on Motivational Interviewing.
Another important conclusion from our study was that the men needed support to enter into communication regarding own impending death and this could be achieved without compromising ethical principles regarding personal integrity.
Skulason B, Hauksdottir A, Ahcic K, Helgason AR. Death talk: Gender differences in talking about one´s own impending death. BMC Palliative Care. 2014 Mar 11;13(1):8. doi: 10.1186/1472-684X-13-8.
Helgason AR, Skulason B. Motivational Interviewing in Palliative Care (Editorial). Palliative Medicine and Nursing.2014.
Helgason AR. Män har svårare än kvinnor att prata om sin egen död. DN debatt, 10 mars 2013. (Men find it more difficult than women to talk about their own coming death) – in Swedish.
Skulason B, Jonsdottir LS, Sigurdardottir V, Helgason AR.Assessing survival in widowers and controls – A nationwide, six- to nine-year follow-up. BMC Public Health. 2012 Feb 2;12(1):96.
Skulason B, Helgason AR. Identifying obstacles to participation in a questionnaire survey on widowers’ grief. BMC Palliat Care. 2010 Apr 29;9:7.
Valdimarsdottir U, Helgason AR, Furst C-J, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Need for and access to bereavement support after loss of a husband to urologic cancers: a nationwide follow-up of Swedish widows.Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2005;39(4):271-6.
Valdimarsdottir U, Helgason AR, Furst C-J, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Awareness of husbands impending death from cancer and long-term anxiety in widowhood: a nationwide follow-up. Palliative Medicine 2004: 18:432-433.
Valdimarsdottir U, Helgason AR, Furst CJ, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Long-term effects of widowhood after terminal cancer: a Swedish nationwide follow-up. Scand J Public Health 2003:31(1):31-6.
Valdimarsdottir U, Helgason AR, Furst CJ, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. The unrecognised cost of cancer patients unrelieved symptoms: A nationwide follow-up of their surviving partners. Br J Cancer 2002: 86:1540-1545.
Steineck G, Bergmark K, Henningsohn L, Massoud A, Dickman P and Helgason A. Symptom documentation in Cancer Survivors as a Basis for Therapy Modifications. Acta Oncologica 2002: 41:244-252.
Helgason ÁR, Dickman PW, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Emotional isolation : Prevalence and the effect on well-being among 50-80 year old prostate cancer patients. Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology 2001 :35;97-101.
Al-Abany M, Steineck G, Agren Cronqvist AK, Helgason ÁR. Improving the preservation of erectile function after external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Radiotherapy and Oncology 2000: 57:201-206.
Helgason ÁR, Adolfsson J, Dickman P, Fredrikson M, Steineck G. Distress due to unwanted side-effects of prostate cancer treatment is related to impaired well-being (quality of life). Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. 1998: 1:128-133.
Helgason ÁR. The importance of intact sexual function for elderly men. The J Icel Med Ass 1999: 85:125-128.
Helgason ÁR, Götberg M. The importance of intact sexual function for elderly men (Sexualiteten och dess betydelse för äldre svenska män). Nordisk Geriatrik. 1999: 2:43-47.
Helgason ÁR, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Disease specific quality of life in men with prostate cancer - A three level epidemiological approach. Journal of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. 1997: 4:213-218.
Helgason ÁR, Arver S, Adolfsson J, Dickman P, Granath F, Steineck G. “Potency” - validation of self-administered questionnaire information with an objective measure of night-time erections and test-retest reliability. Br. J. Urol. 1997: 81:135-141.
Helgason ÁR, Adolfsson J, Dickman P, Arver S , Fredrikson M, Steineck G. Factors associated with waning sexual function among elderly men and prostate cancer patients. J. Urol. 1997: 158: 155-159.
Helgason ÁR, Adolfsson J, Dickman P, Arver S, Fredrikson M, Göthberg M, Steineck G. Sexual desire, erection, orgasm and ejaculatory functions and their importance to elderly Swedish men: A population-based study. Age and Ageing. 1996: 25: 285-291.
Helgason ÁR, Adolfsson J, Dickman P, Fredrikson M, Arver S, Steineck G. Waning sexual function - the most important disease-specific distress for patients with prostate cancer. Br. J. Cancer. 1996: 73: 1417-1421.
Helgason ÁR, Fredrikson M, Adolfsson J, Steineck G. Decreased sexual capacity after external radiation therapy for prostate cancer impairs quality of life. Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 1995: 32: 33-39.
Cancerrehabilitering: Nationellt vårdprogram - ett kunskapsunderlag. Regionala Cancercentrum i samverkan. ISBN: 978-91-87587-04-7. Maj 2014. Regionalt cancercentrum Syd.
Toward a definition of a threshold for harmless doses to the anal-sphincter region and the rectum. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005: 61(4):1035-44.
Dose-Response Relations for Anal Sphincter Regarding Fecal Leakage and Blood or Phlegm in Stools after Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer Radiobiological Study of 65 Consecutive Patients. Strahlenther Onkol. 2005: 181(5):293-306
The importance of assessing the readiness to change sun-protection behaviours: a population-based study. Eur J Cancer. 2004:40(18):2773-80.
Dose to the anal sphincter region and risk of fecal leakage. Acta Oncol. 2004: 43:117-118.
You and your skin": A short duration presentation of skin cancer prevention for teenagers. Health Education Research 2003: 18:88-97.
Long-term symptoms after external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer with three or four fields. Acta Oncol 2002: 41:532-542.
Reliability of assessment of urgency and other symptoms indicating anal spincter, large bowel or urinary dysfunction. Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2006;40:397-408.