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End-of-Life Care of Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

  • A. Micco
  • A. Di Sorbo
  • M. Del Donno
Chapter

Abstract

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic disease of unknown etiology characterized by a deterioration of the structure of the lung parenchyma resulting in a severe and progressive decline of respiratory function and early mortality. The median overall survival of patients with IPF varies from 2 to 7 years in several studies, which is comparable to many malignant diseases. The combination of poor prognosis, the uncertainty of the course of the disease, and the severe burden of symptoms heavily affect the quality of life of patients and their families. The progress of the disease is unpredictable, some patients have periods prolonged by slow and progressive decline, and others instead have sometimes fatal exacerbations. By virtue of this varying trend, physicians, patients, and caregivers often face high levels of stress and anxiety, and this makes patients with IPF a group to be entrusted early to palliative care, this becomes even more important in patients who are not candidates for lung transplantation. Most patients with IPF died in hospital, with ongoing life-prolonging procedures until death. Frequent use of opioids is an indicator of intention to relieve symptoms, but end-of-life decisions are still made very late. Early integrated palliative care with advanced care plan could improve end-of-life care (EoL) in patients with end-stage IPF.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Micco
    • 1
  • A. Di Sorbo
    • 1
  • M. Del Donno
    • 1
  1. 1.U.O.C. di Pneumologia - A. O. “G. Rummo”BeneventoItaly

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