Virtual Conference
Dr. Elham Hamid Ghabashi

Dr. Elham Hamid Ghabashi

East Jeddah Hospital, Saudi Arabia

Title: The Magnitude and Effects of Early Integration of Palliative Care Into Oncology Service Among Adult Advanced Cancer Patients at a Tertiary Care Hospital


A retrospective cohort study was conducted at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The objective of the study is to investigate the timing of the first palliative consultation and referral of advanced cancer patients to the palliative care service and their determinants. It included 210 advanced cancer patients who died between January 1, 2019, and Jun 30, 2020. More than half of patients (56.7%) had a history of first palliative consultation. Among them, palliative care consultation was described as late in 60.5% of patients. However, concerning the timing of transfer to palliative care service among advanced cancer patients, it was too late and much too late 25.7% and 58.1%, respectively. Among 28.8% of patients whose palliative performance status (PPS) ranged between 30% and 50% compared to 14.9% of those whose PPS ranged between 10% and 20% expressed too late referral time to palliative care, p=0.040. Length of survival was significantly higher with p<0.001 as well as those who referred to home health care referral (p=0.005) were more likely to consult palliative care early. Therefore, future considerations to facilitate early integration of palliative care in cancer patients are highly recommended through mainly improving staff education in communication skills and palliative care approach.


Elham Ghabashi completed her MBBS at the age of 23 years from King Abdul-Aziz University, KSA. She was a certified double boarded family physician and Saudi board of palliative medicine. She is a trainer of the family medicine board and a palliative care leader at Jeddah First Health Cluster at East Jeddah Hospital, MOH, KSA. She was a sector director in the Ministry of Health, Jeddah, KSA. She is a member of the Saudi society of Palliative Care, the Saudi society of family & community medicine, and the American Academy of family physicians.