Suffering is health-related
when it is associated with illness or injury of any kind.
Suffering is serious
when it cannot be relieved without medical intervention and when it compromises physical, social or emotional functioning.
20 health conditions that most commonly result either in death or in suffering that is severe enough to require a palliative care intervention for people of any age
arthrosclerosis; cerebrovascular disease; chronic ischaemic heart diseases; congenital malformations; degeneration of the CNS; dementia; diseases of the liver; haemorrhagic fevers; HIV disease; inflammatory disease of the CNS; injury, poisoning, and external causes; leukaemia; lung diseases; malignant neoplasms (cancers); musculoskeletal disorders; non-ischaemic heart diseases; premature birth and birth trauma; protein energy malnutrition; renal failure; and tuberculosis.
Most common and severe symptoms or types of suffering generated by these health conditions:
- Physical suffering (moderate or severe pain, mild pain, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, dry mouth, itching, and
wounds and bleeding)
- Psychological suffering (anxiety and worry, depressed mood, delirium or confusion, and dementia referring to disorientation, agitation, or memory loss).
Indicators of the duration of SHS
: total number of days with any type of suffering; it was estimated by summing the duration in days of each symptom.
: number of days with the symptom of longest duration.
See reference for more information.
Adapted from Knaul FM et al. Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief—an imperative of universal health coverage: the Lancet Commission report. Internet. Accessed on January 27, 2017.