Objective: Collaboration between psychiatry and palliative medicine has the potential to enhance the quality of medical practice. The integration between palliative care and psychiatry has been attempted only in discrete medical settings and is not yet firmly established as an institution. Our objective was to determine the availability and degree of integration between psychiatric consultation-liaison services and palliative care in Japan. Methods: A survey questionnaire was mailed to consultation-liaison psychiatrists at 375 government-designated cancer hospitals regarding their consultation-liaison services. Results: A total of 375 survey questionnaires were sent to consultation-liaison psychiatrists, with a response rate of 64.8%. Designated cancer hospitals with approved palliative care teams were significantly more likely to have a consultation-liaison psychiatrist in the palliative care team than those in non-approved palliative care teams [80/80 (100%) versus 110/153 (73%); P = 0.008]. Approved palliative care teams had double the number of referrals, conducted rounds more frequently and held conferences more frequently. Psychiatrists of the approved palliative care teams spent more of their time on palliative care consultations, adhered more closely to consultation processes and contributed more actively to the integration of developmental perspectives in treatment plans. Conclusions: In Japan, most designated cancer hospitals with approved palliative care teams were more likely to integrate psychiatric consultation-liaison services into their palliative care programs. Systematic strategies for integration between palliative care and consultation-liaison psychiatry would contribute to the provision of appropriate psychosocial care for cancer patients and families at all stages.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research