Advancing treatment for palliative care

22/Sep/2020     Health

Mater Palliative Care Specialist Dr Phillip Good has recently been promoted to Professor by The University of Queensland, acknowledging his innovative work across both clinical care and research.

Professor Good’s recent research has been focused on the role of medicinal cannabis in palliative care working alongside Mater’s Director of Palliative and Supportive Care Professor Janet Hardy.

Professor Good said he felt lucky to work in an organisation which values research into palliative care.

“Following an award of a Medical Research Futures Fund Grant, Janet and I have been progressing with Queensland trials of medicinal cannabis to explore the role of this popular plant extract in symptom control,” Professor Good said.

“These trials are seeking to determine the role, if any, that cannabinoids could possibly have in palliative care such as easing patient symptoms like pain and discomfort. There are many misconceptions about the role of medicinal cannabis in palliative care at present.

“Our research takes time and needs to be evidence-based to be proven successful. It is the first step in the pathway to have medicinal cannabis added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme making it more affordable for patients who need it.”

Following a successful pilot study Professor Good has two more years of patient trials with medicinal cannabinoids to complete before any conclusive results can be shown.

Professor Good said he is hopeful results from the trial will help improve quality of life for palliative patients.

“Despite the challenging and emotional nature of palliative care, I love my job and helping my patients,” Professor Good said.

“I love connecting with people, hearing about their lives and learning from them. I feel that I am able to connect with every patient and they each have a wonderful story to tell, I want to know how I can help them.

“Mater has a fantastic model of patient-centred, individualised care and it has been wonderful to incorporate such innovative research into our clinical practice. We are also lucky to have two professors in the same department.”

Director of Palliative and Supportive Care Professor Janet Hardy said she was proud of Professor Good’s accomplishment as it was reflective of the passion and dedication he had to caring for his patients and improving their outcomes through research.

“Phillip is one of the first people to receive this title through the University of Queensland clinical pathway which acknowledges the research and education achievements of working clinicians. It is a fantastic effort for which he should be commended,” Janet said.

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