Position Paper Of The Italian Association Of Medical Oncology On Early Palliative Care In Oncology Practice (Simultaneous Care)
One of the priorities of personalized medicine regards the role of early integration of palliative care with cancer-directed treatments, called simultaneous care. This article, written by the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM) Simultaneous and Continuous Care Task Force, represents the position of Italian medical oncologists about simultaneous care, and is the result of a 2-step project: a Web-based survey among medical oncologists and a consensus conference. We present the opinion of more than 600 oncologists who helped formulate these recommendations. This document covers 4 main aspects of simultaneous care: 1) ethical, cultural, and relational aspects of cancer and implications for patient communication; 2) training of medical oncologists in palliative medicine; 3) research on the integration between cancer treatments and palliative care; and 4) organizational and management models for the realization of simultaneous care. The resulting recommendations highlight the role of skills and competence in palliative care along with implementation of adequate organizational models to accomplish simultaneous care, which is considered a high priority of AIOM in order to grant the best quality of life for cancer patients and their families.