PALIAŢIA – a Journal on Palliative Care – is an on-line journal, started in 2008. It is founded by Marinela Olaroiu, MD, PhD and Prof. Wim van den Heuvel, PhD, with support of SOAZ/RACE, a Dutch foundation for stimulating research and innovation in health care.
It is an international, peer-reviewed journal with a special interest on palliative care in Central-Eastern European countries. The journal is supervised by an international Editorial Board. PALIAŢIA appears quarterly, plus supplements.
The mission of PALIATIA is to promote scientific and practical knowledge in the field of palliative care for the betterment of care for patients and their beloved ones. The objectives of PALIATIA are to publish scientific work, to present clinical lessons, to show best practices, to report on new relevant innovations and publications in the field of palliative care. The journal publishes independent information and discloses vested interests. It intends to be a forum for information exchange and debate. The journal is interdisciplinary, primarily focusing on professionals in the field of palliative care. A special part of the journal’s website is available for patients, their families and volunteers, involved in palliative care.
Palliative is derived from the Latin word pallium, which means coat or cloak. Symbol for care, which protects persons in need: relief hunger, pain, anxiety. Related to the concept palliative care is the concept of ‘hospice. ‘Hospice’ is derived from another Latin word hospitium, meaning hospitality. This concept was used in the Middle Ages in Europe and Mediterranean regions to describe a place of rest for travellers and pilgrims. These places offered hospitality and care to travellers who were far from home and to people who were ill or dying.
Edvard Munch 1895 ‘Death in the Sickroom’
The term hospice was ‘reinvented’ in 1967 by Dr Cicely Saunders, when St Christopher’s Hospice in London was opened. It refers to the growing awareness that cure from illnesses was not always possible and that people suffering from a terminal disease still needed (medical) care, not directed to cure but to protect and improve quality of life. The term ‘palliative care’ was first used in 1975 by Canadian surgeon Balfour Mount, based on his experience with Cicely Saunders.
The World Health Organization describes palliative care as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a multidisciplinary team (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, psychologists).