End of Life Care

February, 2013 | Vol: 11 Issue: 2

In this issue

Learning Objective

Article

A Primer on Palliative Care

End of Life Care, TCPR, March 2013

With its goals of relieving suffering and improving patients’ quality of life, psychiatry plays a central role in palliative care. In fact, psychiatry was one of the 10 specialty boards involved in the creation of the new subspecialty of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM), approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties in 2006.

Existential Psychotherapies: An Introduction

Psychotherapy provided near the end of a patient’s life focuses on existential themes. While the term “existential” conjures up questions like “why am I here?” and issues about meaninglessness, death, and our limited lifespan, existential therapy is about much more: an awareness of oneself, one’s freedom to make choices, and one’s capacity to remove obstacles to “authentic existence.”

Expert Q&A

The Role of Psychiatry in Palliative Care

Dr. William Breitbart describes how psychiatric palliative care expands the focus beyond pain and physical symptom control to include psychiatric, psychosocial, existential, and spiritual aspects of the end of life.

Research Update

Is Low Dose Lithium Effective in Bipolar Disorder?

Although it remains one of our oldest and most effective drugs, lithium has become less popular for the treatment of bipolar disorder in the last two decades.

Drugs Acting on Glutamate

You’re probably hearing a lot of talk about glutamate receptors as a new target for psychiatric therapeutics. As the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, glutamate is thought to play a role in many psychiatric conditions.