In 2022, we awarded four one-year-long grants of $20,000. Here are the abstracts from our winners.

Palliative care Awareness and Referral patterns of Adolescents and young adults with Life Limiting illness at End of Life (PARALLEL study)

Dr. Mohamed Abdelaal
The Ottawa Hospital

Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA), aged 15-39 years old in North America, represent approximately 7600 patients of the annual Canadian cancer population. Similarly, AYA patients with HIV, another life-threatening disease, have 30 times higher mortality rates than the general population of the same age. AYA patients face different psychosocial, medical and supportive care challenges during their illness trajectory. Palliative care is a medical specialty that aims to improve the quality of life of patients with life limiting illnesses and their families, by providing physical and psychosocial support. Despite its proven benefits, establishing AYA-specific palliative care services is limited. Moreover, there is resistance to early palliative care referrals.

This study will describe the referral patterns of AYA patients to palliative care, and define the factors associated with the incidence and timing of these referrals. Studying the referral patterns will help define the optimal time for palliative care referral, which will improve the treatment outcomes at end of life. Also, understanding who the referral teams are and classifying them as to their referral frequency will help allocate more focus to promote adequately timed palliative care referrals from the low and intermediate referring services.

Patients and Caregivers