Recommendation ID

Managing glioma: early referral to palliative care for glioblastoma:- Does early referral to palliative care improve outcomes for people with glioblastomas in comparison with standard oncology care?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why this is important:- People with grade IV brain tumours (glioblastomas) have a poor prognosis which has not improved in over a decade. Median overall survival is 14–18 months even with gold-standard chemoradiation following surgery.
From initial diagnosis people experience multiple complex symptoms resulting from neurological impairment. These can significantly impact on their quality of life, function and psychological wellbeing. Their caregivers report high levels of distress and carer burden.

The aim of palliative care is to relieve symptoms and improve people's quality of life and function – not just towards the end of life but throughout the duration of illness. There is some evidence that early palliative care referral significantly improves overall survival, quality of life and mood.
Research in this area is important because this group of people have substantial health needs, which use significant healthcare resources. Supportive care interventions such as early palliative care may improve quality of life and function throughout the duration of illness. It may also help people to manage the distress associated with a reduced life expectancy and participate in advanced care planning.
To find out why the committee made the research recommendation on the early referral to palliative care for glioblastoma, see rationale and impact.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Brain tumours (primary) and brain metastases in adults
Date issued
July 2018

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 31/07/2018