Research Round-up – June 2019 – Professor Geoff Mitchell

Season Two sees Dr Kristi Milley talk to Professor Geoff Mitchell, Professor of General Practice, Primary Care Clinical Unit Faculty of Medicine at The University of Queensland. Professor Mitchell is a GP and has recently published an article on Journal of Palliative Medicine – Predicting those who are at risk of dying within 6-12 months in primary care: a retrospective case-control general practice Chart Analysis. With an aging population, and most deaths due to a non-malignant causes, Professor Mitchell believes there is an  importance to review and reflect on the nature of end-of-life care to minimise gaps in service delivery. Dr Mitchell discusses the background of the study and mentions a previous PC4 randomised trial “Using intuition or a formal palliative care needs assessment screening process in general practice to predict death within 12 months: A randomised controlled trial”. In the interview, Dr Mitchell discusses the relevance of the article with regards to providing information to carers of those patients at the end of their phase of life. He talks about preparing the patient and the carers and gives them options to manage the journey then it can be very powerful. Professor Mitchell also talks about the surprise question (“Would you be surprised if this patient died within the next χ months?”) and infers that by altering the language of the question to “Would you be surprised if the patient lived beyond X months?” does not condemn the patient to death but is more empowering and sensitive.


Woolfield, A., Mitchell, G., Kondalsamy-Chennakesavan, S. & Senior, H. (2019). Predicting Those Who Are at Risk of Dying within Six to Twelve Months in Primary Care: A Retrospective Case–Control General Practice Chart Analysis Journal of Palliative Medicine  

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