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Palliative care services in families of males with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Journal title
Muscle & nerve
Publication year
Arias, R.; Andrews, J.; Pandya, S.; Pettit, K.; Trout, C.; Apkon, S.; Karwoski, J.; Cunniff, C.; Matthews, D.; Miller, T.; Davis, M. F.; Meaney, F. J.

INTRODUCTION: Palliative care services that address physical pain and emotional, psychosocial, and spiritual needs may benefit individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). METHODS: The objective of this study was to describe the palliative care services that families of males with DMD report they receive. A questionnaire was administered to families of males with DMD born prior to January 1, 1982. Thirty-four families responded. RESULTS: Most families (85%) had never heard the term palliative care. Only attendant care and skilled nursing services showed much usage, with 44% and 50% indicating receipt of these services, respectively. Receipt of other services was reported less frequently: pastoral care (27%); respite care (18%); pain management (12%); and hospice care (6%). Only 8 respondents (25%) reported having any type of directive document in place. CONCLUSION: The data suggest a need for improved awareness of palliative care and related services among families of young men with DMD.

Research abstracts