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Community palliative tool awarded funding

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The tool allows nurses to assess cancer pain The tool allows nurses to assess cancer pain

A tool designed for use in community settings to assess the level of palliative care and pain relief needed for terminally ill cancer patients has been awarded £137,000 of funding by the Marie Curie Foundation.

The Edinburgh Pain Assessment Tool was created by a team led by Professor Marie Fallon, the St Columba's Hospice chair of palliative medicine at the University of Edinburgh. It is a bedside tool for community use which assesses which patients are most likely to benefit from palliative radiotherapy for cancer-induced bone pain.

The tool uses a checklist of questions to ask a patient, such as what type of pain they are feeling, if movement exacerbates their pain, and if there is anything which alleviates the pain. This supports nurses and doctors to quickly assess how severe a patient's pain is, and if they need additional palliative care.

Professor Bill Noble, medical director at Marie Curie, said: 'We're funding a diverse range of studies to address gaps in understanding of important research topics. We were delighted with the level of high-quality grant applications that we received. It not only demonstrates the growing recognition of the need for more research in this area but also the need for more investment to improve care for terminally ill people and their families.'

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The evidence-based development and implementation of any tool that prompts the early recognition and management of pain should be welcomed with open arms.
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