Top Ten Tips Palliative Care Clinicians Should Know About Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy in the Context of Serious Illness
Journal of palliative medicine
Psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT) is a burgeoning treatment with growing interest across a variety of settings and disciplines. Empirical evidence supports PAT as a novel therapeutic approach that provides safe and effective treatment for people suffering from a variety of diagnoses, including treatment-resistant depression, substance use disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Within the palliative care (PC) field, one-time PAT dosing may lead to sustained reductions in anxiety, depression, and demoralization-symptoms that diminish the quality of life in both seriously ill patients and those at end of life. Despite a well-noted psychedelic renaissance in scholarship and a renewed public interest in the utilization of these medicines, serious illness-specific content to guide PAT applications in hospice and PC clinical settings has been limited. This article offers 10 evidence-informed tips for PC clinicians synthesized through consultation with interdisciplinary and international leading experts in the field with aims to: (1) familiarize PC clinicians and teams with PAT; (2) identify the unique challenges pertaining to this intervention given the current legalities and logistical barriers; (3) discuss therapeutic competencies and considerations for current and future PAT use in PC; and (4) highlight critical approaches to optimize the safety and potential benefits of PAT among patients with serious illness and their caregivers.
Rosa WE, Sager Z, Miller M, et al. Top Ten Tips Palliative Care Clinicians Should Know About Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy in the Context of Serious Illness [published online ahead of print, 2022 Mar 14]. J Palliat Med. 2022;10.1089/jpm.2022.0036. doi:10.1089/jpm.2022.0036