ERS | monograph Preface Robert Bals Palliative care has developed in the last decades. While many of its concepts have been part of respiratory medicine for a long time, the concept of structured palliation for patients with lung diseases is still evolving. The term “palliative care” describes a multidisciplinary approach to offer relief to patients with severe diseases for which causal therapy is limited. Historically, palliative care in its basic form has always been a part of medicine, but many of its aspects have taken a back seat due to the development of technical medicine at the beginning of the 20th century. Modern palliative care has been linked to the hospice movement, an important root of which can be seen in the St Christopher’s Hospice, founded by Cicely Saunders in London in 1967. In the last decades, the field has undergone many developments in its methods and structures. While the primary focus of palliative care has been on patients with cancer, this view has widened and palliation is seen today to be an integral part of the care of patients with many other diseases. In fact, numerous lung diseases currently cannot be cured and progress to a stage where symptom load drastically reduces the quality of life of the patient. While most respiratory physicians deal with aspects of palliation every day, palliative medicine is rarely integrated in a systematic curriculum for medical students or residents. In addition, palliative care as part of a structured programme is in many cases only available at more specialised centres. This ERS Monograph focuses on palliative care for patients with lung diseases. The first section covers general items, such as definitions, epidemiology and access structures. The second section provides detailed information on individual symptoms and care in special settings, such as in low-resource settings, and the third section focuses on care of the dying. The Guest Editors, Claudia Bausewein, David C. Currow and Miriam J. Johnson, have worked very successfully to select these Copyright ©ERS 2016. Print ISBN: 978-1-84984-071-2. Online ISBN: 978-1-84984-072-9. Print ISSN: 2312-508X. Online ISSN: 2312-5098. ERS Monogr 2016 73: v–vi. DOI: 10.1183/2312508X.10014216 v
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