Background: Heart failure (HF) afflicts 6.5 million Americans with devastating consequences to patients and their family caregivers. Families are rarely prepared for worsening HF and are not informed about end-of-life and palliative care (EOLPC) conservative comfort options especially during the end stage. West Virginia (WV) has the highest rate of HF deaths in the U.S. where 14% of the population over 65 years have HF. Thus, there is a need to investigate a new family EOLPC intervention (FamPALcare), where nurses coach family-managed advanced HF care at home.
Methods: This study uses a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design stratified by gender to determine any differences in the FamPALcare HF patients and their family caregiver outcomes versus standard care group outcomes (N = 72). Aim 1 is to test the FamPALcare nursing care intervention with patients and family members managing home supportive EOLPC for advanced HF. Aim 2 is to assess implementation of the FamPALcare intervention and research procedures for subsequent clinical trials. Intervention group will receive routine standard care, plus 5-weekly FamPALcare intervention delivered by community-based nurses. The intervention sessions involve coaching patients and family caregivers in advanced HF home care and supporting EOLPC discussions based on patients’ preferences. Data are collected at baseline, 3, and 6 months. Recruitment is from sites affiliated with a large regional hospital in WV and community centers across the state.
Discussion: The outcomes of this clinical trial will result in new knowledge on coaching techniques for EOLPC and approaches to palliative and end-of-life rural home care. The HF population in WV will benefit from a reduction in suffering from the most common advanced HF symptoms, selecting their preferred EOLPC care options, determining their advance directives, and increasing skills and resources for advanced HF home care. The study will provide a long-term collaboration with rural community leaders, and collection of data on the implementation and research procedures for a subsequent large multi-site clinical trial of the FamPALcare intervention. Multidisciplinary students have opportunity to engage in the research process.
Background: Advance care planning (ACP) is a process that enables individuals to describe, in advance, the kind of health care they would want in the future, and has been shown to reduce hospital-based interventions at the end of life. Our goal was to describe the current state of ACP in a home-based primary care program for frail homebound older people in Vancouver, Canada. We did this by identifying four key elements that should be essential to ACP in this program: frailty stage, documentation of substitute decision-makers, and decision-making with regard to both resuscitation (i.e., do not resuscitate (DNR)) and hospitalization (i.e., do not hospitalize (DNH)). While these elements are an important part of the ACP process, they are often excluded from common practice.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional, observational study of data abstracted from 200 randomly selected patient electronic medical records between July 1 and September 30, 2017. We describe the association between demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and four key elements of ACP documentation and decision-making as documented in the clinical record using bivariate comparison, a logistic regression model and multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results: In 73% (n=146) of the patient records, there was no explicit documentation of frailty stage. Sixty-four per cent had documentation of a substitute decision-maker. Of those who had their preferences documented, 90.6% (n=144/159) indicated a preference for DNR, and 23.6% (n=29/123) indicated a preference for DNH. In multiple regression modeling, a diagnosis of dementia and older age were associated with documentation of a DNR preference, adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 4.79 (95% CI 1.37, 16.71) and AOR = 1.14 (95% CI 1.05, 1.24), respectively. Older age, male sex, and English identified as the main language spoken were associated with a DNH preference. AOR = 1.17 (95% CI 1.06, 1.28), AOR = 4.19 (95% CI 1.41, 12.42), and AOR = 3.42 (95% CI 1.14, 10.20), respectively.
Conclusions: Clinician documentation of some elements of ACP, such as identification of a substitute decision-maker and resuscitation status, have been widely adopted, while other elements that should be considered essential components of ACP, such as frailty staging and preferences around hospitalization, are infrequent and provide an opportunity for practice improvement initiatives. The significant association between language and ACP decisions suggests an important role for supporting cross-cultural fluency in the ACP process.
BACKGROUND: Only a small number of patients have utilized the home-based end-of-life care service in Shanghai that has been offered since 2012. This study explores how home-based end-of-life care is delivered in community health service centers in Shanghai and examines the difficulties in the delivery of the care.
METHODS: This was a qualitative study in which data were collected from interviews and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Nineteen health care providers with experience in delivering home-based end-of-life care in 12 community health service centers were recruited. The interviews were conducted between August 2018 and February 2019.
RESULTS: Four themes emerged from the interviews: (i) Patients under home-based end-of-life care: Patients receiving the care were cancer patients with less than 1 year of life expectancy. The criteria for patients were broad. (ii) Service structure: The service was delivered regularly by the physicians and nurses using the approaches of home visits and/or telephone follow-ups. (iii) Service process: The service consisted of multiple components, including monitoring the patient's condition, managing the patient's symptoms, giving daily care instructions, performing nursing procedures, and giving psychological support. However, most of the care focused on monitoring the patients and managing their physical discomfort. (iv) Difficulties in delivering care: Being unable to provide the service and feeling powerless when facing psycho-spiritual problems were the two major difficulties. Three factors contributed to the suspension of the service: The gap between the service and the needs of the patients, a lack of patients, and low work motivation. The demand that the truth be concealed from the families and their attitude of avoiding talking about death were the key factors of the failure of psycho-spiritual care.
CONCLUSIONS: Several issues should be addressed before the service can be further developed, including fully understanding the needs and preferences of local patients and their families, securing more financial support and a better supply of drugs, delivering better training for staff, and ensuring greater rewards for individuals and institutions providing the service.
Background: The World Health Assembly urges members to build palliative care (PC) capacity as an ethical imperative. Nurses provide PC services in a variety of settings, including the home and may be the only health care professional able to access some disparate populations. Identifying current nursing services, resources, and satisfaction and barriers to nursing practice are essential to build global PC capacity.
Objective: To globally examine home health care nurses' practice, satisfaction, and barriers, regarding existing palliative home care provision.
Design: Needs assessment survey.
Setting/Subjects: Five hundred thirty-two home health care nurses in 29 countries.
Measurements: A needs assessment, developed through literature review and cognitive interviewing.
Results: Nurses from developing countries performed more duties compared with those from high-income countries, suggesting a lack of resources in developing countries. Significant barriers to providing home care exist: personnel shortages, lack of funding and policies, poor access to end-of-life or hospice services, and decreased community awareness of services provided. Respondents identified lack of time, funding, and coverages as primary educational barriers. In-person local meetings and online courses were suggested as strategies to promote learning.
Conclusions: It is imperative that home health care nurses have adequate resources to build PC capacity globally, which is so desperately needed. Nurses must be up to date on current evidence and practice within an evidence-based PC framework. Health care policy to increase necessary resources and the development of a multifaceted intervention to facilitate education about PC is indicated to build global capacity.
While care is often either implicitly or explicitly conceived in terms of "doing good," the morality of care is more complex than this association would suggest. Nursing home care, in particular, is both characterized by institutional demands for regulation and standardization, and the subjective practices of care workers. These can represent different notions of good care. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among people with dementia, family members and professional caregivers in nursing homes in the Netherlands, I present a case of a resident's sudden death, which revealed a fallacy of care. A fallacy of care refers to an uncritical approach to the "good" in care that overlooks its potentially harmful outcomes. I show that recognizing such fallacies is not only a matter of recognizing the "bad" that may result from "good" care, but of the friction between multiple "goods." In this case, protocols and care practices advocate different notions of the good that coexist, compete, and exclude one another, producing moral distress and forming hierarchical, if contested relations.
Self-expandable metallic stent (SEMS) is a preferred option to relieve dysphagia and to palliate patients with incurable esophageal or gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Health Related Quality of Life (QoL) represents a clinically relevant outcome measure in research focused on palliation of patients with advanced GI cancer. In this context, home visits by a nurse carry the potential to offer important advantages. Eighty patients with incurable esophageal or GEJ cancer were randomized to either standard follow up or to an intervention containing regular home visits by a nurse. The primary outcome variable QoL was assessed by EORTC QLQ-C30 and OES-18 before insertion of SEMS, and at 2, 7 and 12 weeks thereafter. Secondary outcomes were; need for re-interventions, number of patients receiving palliative oncological therapy and overall survival. Sixty-six males and 13 females, with a median age of 71, were included. Self-reported overall QoL was significantly higher in the intervention group (P = 0.03). The organ specific module OES-18 revealed a significant reduction in dysphagia by the intervention (P = 0.03) as well as fewer eating disabilities (P = 0.04). No differences were observed in secondary outcomes except for overall survival, where the median survival was increased from 114 to 183 days by the active intervention (P = 0.02). Home visits by a nurse seem to play an important palliative role after placement of SEMS in patients with incurable esophageal or GEJ cancer by improving QoL and may carry the potential to increase overall survival.
BACKGROUND: Little is known regarding healthcare for cancer patients treated mainly at home during the month before they die. The aim of this study was to provide information on how they were treated and what were their causes of death.
METHODS: This population-based observational study analysing information obtained from the French national healthcare data system (SNDS) included adult health insurance beneficiaries treated for cancer who died in 2015 after having spent at least 25 of their last 30 days at home.
RESULTS: Among the cancer patients who died in 2015, 25,463 (20%) were included [mean age (±SD) 74±13.2 years, men 62%]; 54% of them died at home. They were slightly older (75 vs. 73 years) than those who died in hospital, had less frequently received hospital palliative care during the year preceding their deaths (19% vs. 41%) and had less often used medical transport (41% vs. 73%) to an emergency department (8% vs. 62%), to hospital-based (11% vs. 17%) or community-based (16% vs. 12%) chemotherapy, to a general practitioner (73% vs. 78%) or to a community-based nursing service (63% vs. 73%). However, when they consulted a general practitioner (median 3 visits vs. 2) or a nurse (median 22 nursing procedures vs. 10) during their last month of life, visits were more frequent. The leading cause of death was tumour, which represented 69% of deaths at home vs. 74% of deaths in hospital.
CONCLUSIONS: In France, home management during the last month of life is uncommon and even when it is occurs, in one out of two cases patients pass away in a hospital setting. This study is an interrogation on medical choices, given the wish of many of the French to die at home and placing their choices in an international perspective.
BACKGROUND: Advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) is a multidimensional neurodegenerative condition with motor and non-motor symptoms contributing to increasing disability and decreasing quality of life. As the disease progresses, patients may become homebound and estranged from neurological care, with dire consequences. We describe the increasing epidemiologic burden of and individual risks faced by patients with palliative-stage PD and their caregivers.
METHODS: With the aim of mitigating these risks, we designed and iterated two models of interdisciplinary home visits to maintain continuity of care and illuminate the unmet needs and barriers to care faced by this population. We describe both models in detail, with data on feasibility and patient-centered outcomes achieved in the initial model, and baseline characteristics of participants in the ongoing expanded model. Finally, we illustrate the scope and common themes of such palliative care-informed home visits with two cases.
RESULTS: The pilot model involved over 380 visits with 109 individual patients. Among those patients, PD severity worsened by nearly 12 points annually on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), without a corresponding decline in quality of life. In an ongoing study of the second iteration of the model, 52 patient-caregiver dyads have completed their initial visit, with 44% bearing a diagnosis of dementia and the majority requiring an assistive device or being bedbound. Two cases highlight the critical importance of thorough medication reconciliation and home safety assessment in the comprehensive evaluation and management of such patients.
CONCLUSIONS: As our population ages, therapies increase, and the number of individuals living with advanced PD and related disorders grows, so too does the imperative to recognize and address the palliative care needs of such patients and families. For many, home may be a viable, and perhaps optimal, site for this care.
In Sweden, patients in early palliative stages of illness are cared for in primary care and often offered home care. Many are older and at risk for malnutrition, but little is known about their symptom burden and nutritional problems. This cross-sectional study divided older patients in home care into those with and without risk for malnutrition and compared symptom burden in the 2 groups. Participants were patients in Stockholm County (n = 121) in early palliative stages of disease cared for at home by primary care professionals from 10 health-care centers. The Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) was used to identify risk for malnutrition. Symptoms and/or nutritional status in patients with and without risk were assessed with the Functional Assessment of Anorexia/Cachexia Therapy (FAACT), Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment Short Form (PG-SGA), and Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS). Forty-two percent of the patients were at risk for malnutrition (MNA). Appetite (P = .012), tiredness (P = .003), and anxiety (P = .008) were worse in these patients than in those without risk (ESAS; significance level, P = .015). Patients at risk were also more concerned about how thin they looked (P = .006), agreed more strongly that their family or friends were pressuring them to eat (P = .000; FAACT; significance level, P = .029), had a higher symptom burden (P = .005), had lower physical activity (P = .000), and more lost weight over time (P = .032; PG-SGA; significance level, P = .040). This study adds a more detailed picture of the symptom burden in older patients at risk for malnutrition. Such information is needed to identify risk for malnutrition earlier and improve patients’ health.
Only 2.3% of patients at a Midwest home healthcare (HH) agency had documented advance directives (ADs), compared with 28% nationally. Of concern, this HH agency lacked standardized procedures for advance care planning (ACP) leading to inadequate staff knowledge regarding end-of-life, avoidable hospital readmissions, and delayed transitions into hospice care. Lack of ADs is directly correlated to higher hospital readmission rates and lower hospice length of stay. The purpose of this initiative was to develop evidence-based procedures using the Respecting Choices ACP model to: 1) educate staff, 2) increase ACP conversations offered and completed among high-risk patients, 3) increase Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) rates, 4) reduce 60-day hospital readmissions, and 5) support hospice care admissions. Staff received discipline-specific education on ACP/ADs. The Knowledge-Attitudinal-Experiential Survey on Advance Directives (KAESAD), assessed staff ACP/AD knowledge, confidence, and experiences. Standardized electronic medical record tools were created to track ACP conversations, POLST rates, 60-day hospital readmissions, and hospice admissions. Paired t-test and chi-square analyses compared changes pre- and post implementation. The KAESAD survey was analyzed for 75 staff (100%) and demonstrates improvement in knowledge, confidence, and experiences. Data also demonstrate increases in: ACP offered 6% to 80% (p < .001); ACP conversations completed 4% to 31% (p < .001); POLST rates 26% to 43.6% (p = .059); decreased 60-day hospital readmissions 40% to 20% (p = .025); whereas hospice care admissions was not impacted ranging from 10% to 5.5% (p = .381). Respecting Choices serves as an effective ACP framework to improve ACP conversations, POLST rates, and hospital readmissions.
Aim: To assess factors associated with home deaths in non-cancer elderly patients receiving home medical care by general practitioners.
Methods: A retrospective observational study was carried out in a primary care clinic in Tokyo. Patients who received home medical care and died between January 2010 and September 2017 were included in the analysis. Data from 119 non-cancer patients aged =65 years were collected between September and December 2017 using medical records. Patient characteristics, comorbidities, cognitive impairment, duration of home medical care, number of household members, patient's relationship with their primary caregiver, use of home care nursing services, and patient and family preference on place of death were obtained as independent variables. The main outcome was the place of death.
Results: Among the analyzed patients, 59.7% had impaired cognition and 47.1% expressed a preference for place of death. Patient–family congruence on the preferred place of death was 57.1% (kappa coefficient 0.39). Multivariate analysis showed that family preference for home death (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 137.0, 95% CI 13.0–1443.8), cognitive impairment (aOR 4.26, 95% CI 1.12–16.2), death by non-infectious diseases (aOR 13.7, 95% CI 2.50–74.7) and living with more than two family members (aOR 4.79, 95%CI 1.38–16.7) were significantly associated with home deaths.
Conclusions: Family preference, rather than patient preference, was a facilitating factor for home death among non-cancer older patients receiving home medical care. As many patients receiving home medical care have impaired cognition, early end-of-life discussions with patients and decision-making support for caregivers should be promoted to realize their preferences on place of death.
The purpose of this article is to synthesize the evidence on advance care planning (ACP), determine what is applicable to the home health (HH) setting, and find where gaps in knowledge may exist. An integrative review methodology was chosen. Although there is ample literature on the topic of ACP, most research has been conducted in the acute care, outpatient, and general community settings. There is limited literature regarding ACP with patients living with chronic cardiovascular and pulmonary illnesses, who comprise the majority of the HH population. Some literature has been published regarding the interprofessional team’s role in ACP in the HH setting. A gap in knowledge exists regarding ACP in HH, and recommendations for future research are provided.
Aim: Aim was to describe how Registered Nurses (RNs) and assistant nurses (ANs) working in residential care homes and home care perceived quality end-of-life care after implementation of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) in terms of subjective importance of care aspects and actual care given.
Design: Descriptive cross-sectional.
Methods: Registered Nurses (N = 22; 100% response rate) and ANs (N = 120; 59% response rate) working in a Swedish municipality. Data collection with a study-specific questionnaire (50 items) about perceived reality (PR) and subjective importance (SI). Non-parametric statistics.
Results: Implementation of the LCP ensured systematic assessment and alleviation of patients' symptoms and needs. The ANs, more than the RNs, perceived that the patients received the best possible nursing and medical care (p = .01). Both groups considered that communication with patients and families as well as the information exchange between the team members was facilitated. Areas for improvement were identified about psychological and existential support and patients and families' participation in care.
Background: Few studies have estimated planned home deaths compared to actual place of death in a general population or the longitudinal course of home nursing services and associations with place of death. We aimed to investigate trajectories of nursing services, potentially planned home deaths regardless of place of death; and associations of place of death with potentially planned home deaths and nursing service trajectories, by analyzing data from the last 90 days of life.
Methods: A retrospective longitudinal study with data from the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry and National registry for statistics on municipal healthcare services included all community-dwelling people who died in Norway 2012–2013 (n = 53,396). We used a group-based trajectory model to identify joint trajectories of home nursing (hours per week) and probability of a skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay, each of the 13 weeks leading up to death. An algorithm estimated potentially planned home deaths. We used a multinomial logistic regression model to estimate associations of place of death with potentially planned home deaths, trajectories of home nursing and short-term SNF.
Results: We identified four home nursing service trajectories: no (46.5%), accelerating (7.6%), decreasing (22.1%), and high (23.5%) home nursing; and four trajectories of the probability of a SNF stay: low (69.0%), intermediate (6.7%), escalating (15.9%), and increasing (8.4%) SNF. An estimated 24.0% of all deaths were potentially planned home deaths, of which a third occurred at home. Only high home nursing was associated with increased likelihood of a home death (adjusted relative risk ratio (aRRR) 1.29; CI 1.21–1.38). Following any trajectory with elevated probability of a SNF stay reduced the likelihood of a home death.
Conclusions: We estimated few potentially planned home deaths. Trajectories of home nursing hours and probability of SNF stays indicated possible effective palliative home nursing for some, but also missed opportunities of staying at home longer at the end-of-life. Continuity of care seems to be an important factor in palliative home care and home death.
Background: In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) cares for millions of Medicaid-eligible older adults who are often homebound and socially isolated. Advance care planning (ACP) can be challenging for this population, and IHSS programs may play an important role.
Objective: To explore the feasibility of an IHSS ACP program for frail older adults.
Design: Semistructured focus groups.
Setting/Subjects: ifty IHSS stakeholders (20 administrators, 9 case managers, 13 in-home caregivers, and 8 clients) participated in 10 focus groups in San Francisco.
Measurements: Qualitative thematic content analysis by two independent coders.
Results: Four main themes emerged: (1) Unmet needs: patients' wishes unknown during a medical crisis, lack of education/training for clients and staff; (2) Barriers: conflict of interest and potential medical overreach of IHSS caregivers, lack of billing avenues, time limitations, and cultural, literacy, and language barriers; (3) Facilitators: leveraging established workflows, available technology, and training programs; and (4) Implementation: use a tailored, optional approach based on clients' readiness, focus on case managers not caregivers to prevent conflict of interest; use established intake, follow-up, and training procedures; consider cultural and literacy-appropriate messaging; and standardize easy-to-use procedures, simple scripts, and educational guides, within established workflow to support case managers.
Conclusions: An IHSS ACP program is important and feasible for Medicaid-eligible, frail older adults. Implementation suggestions for success by IHSS stakeholders include focusing on case managers rather than in-home caregivers to prevent conflict of interest; tailoring programs to clients' readiness, literacy, and language; creating educational programs for IHSS staff, clients, and community; and standardizing easy-to-use guides and procedures into IHSS workflows.
Au Centre Mère et Enfant de la Fondation Chantal Biya au Cameroun, l’incidence annuelle des cancers pédiatriques est de 150 nouveaux cas. Tous les cancers de l’enfant sont représentés. Trente pour cent sont incurables au diagnostic, 20 % des patients abandonnent le traitement et 90 % arrivent à un stade avancé de la maladie. Les raisons majeures qui sont très souvent avancées par les familles pour justifier l’interruption des soins sont : le manque de moyens financiers et le recours à d’autres thérapies. Or, entre les diagnostics très tardifs, qui sont la conséquence des stades avancés de la maladie, et les déterminants socioculturels, il est nécessaire de mettre sur pied un système qui permette de résorber ces écueils. Ainsi, notre réflexion propose les soins palliatifs pédiatriques à domicile comme réponse à la discontinuité des soins en oncopédiatrie au Cameroun.
The problem of opioid diversion and its contribution to the opioid epidemic are well known nationally, existing even within hospice care. Proper disposal of opioids may be a critical factor in reducing diversion. In 2014, Ohio implemented legislation requiring a hospice employee to destroy or witness disposal of all unused opioids within a patient’s plan of care. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of Ohio Revised Code 3712.062 on hospice programs’ policies and procedures to prevent opioid diversion in the home. Directors of Ohio-licensed hospices were surveyed to assess the percentage of programs with a written policy in place for disposal of opioids and to calculate a compliance score based on responses to survey questions assessing compliance with legislation components. Fifty-two surveys were completed (39.4%). All survey respondents reported having a written policy in place. A 95.5% average compliance score was calculated, with the largest disparity occurring with timing of opioid disposal. While Ohio Revised Code 3712.062 requires opioid disposal at the time of patient’s death or when no longer needed by the patient, only 84% of respondents report disposing opioids upon discontinuation. Overall, a high compliance rate was seen among hospice programs indicating such regulation is manageable to meet.
Background: It is reported that, given the right support, most people would prefer to die at home, yet a very small minority of people with dementia do so. At present, knowledge gaps remain on how best to support end-of-life care at home for people with dementia.
Aim: To identify and understand the challenges and facilitators of providing end-of-life care at home for people with dementia.
Design: Narrative synthesis of qualitative and quantitative data.
Data sources: The review adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. A systematic literature search was conducted across six electronic databases (AMED, BNI, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE and PsycINFO) and reference lists of key journals were searched up to July 2017.
Results: Searches returned 1949 unique titles, of which seven studies met all the eligibility criteria (four quantitative and three qualitative). Six key themes were identified – four facilitators and two challenges. Facilitators included ‘support from health care professionals’, ‘informal caregiver resilience and extended social networks’, ‘medications and symptom management’ and ‘appropriate equipment and home adaptations’. Challenges included ‘issues with professional services’ and ‘worsening of physical or mental health’.
Conclusion: People with dementia may not always require specialist palliative care at the end of life. Further research is required to overcome the methodological shortcomings of previous studies and establish how community development approaches to palliative care, such as compassionate communities, can support families to allow a greater number of people with dementia to die at home.
Objectives: To assess the association between receiving the certified care workers’ home care service, which is provided by non-medical professionals prior to a patients’ death and the probability of a home death.
Design: Observational research using the full-time translated number of certified care workers providing home care service per member of the population aged 65 or above, during the year prior to patient’s death per municipality as an instrumental variable.
Setting:: The certified care workers’ home care service covered by the public long-term care insurance (LTCI) system in Japan.
articipants In total, 1 613 391 LTCI beneficiaries aged 65 or above who passed away, except by an external cause of death, between January 2010 and December 2013 were included in the analysis.
Primary outcome measures: Death at home or death at other places, including hospitals, nursing homes and clinics with beds.
Results: Out of all participants, 173 498 (10.8%) died at home. The number of patients who used the certified care workers’ home care service more than once per each month during 1, 2 or 3 months prior to the month of death numbered 213 848, 176 686 and 155 716, respectively. This was associated with an increased probability of death at home by 9.1% points (95% CI 2.9 to 15.3), 10.5% points (3.3 to 17.6) and 11.4% points (3.6 to 19.2), respectively.
Conclusions: The use of the certified care workers’ home care service prior to death was associated with the increased probability of a home death.
BACKGROUND: The clinical component of medical education for students and resident doctors in Japan occurs almost entirely in the hospital setting. Because of this inpatient focus, graduate medical education clinical training often fails to expose physicians-in-training to the challenges that patients may face in the outpatient or home setting. This is a descriptive study in which we explore what participating students and resident doctors learned through our brief home-based teaching experience.
METHODS: From June 2016 to December 2017, attending physicians on the internal medicine service had medical students and resident doctors accompany them on home care visits. Participants were selected by convenience sampling based on their rotation availability. After the home visit and the interactive discussion, the participants were expected to prepare a reflective journal on their experience and learning. Thematic analysis was applied, and key themes were developed based on Kolb's ELT (Experiential learning theory). Three months after completion of the experience, semi-structured interviews were individually conducted assessing participants' self-perceived changes.
RESULTS: Thirty-two medical students(10) or residents(22)participated in a home visit. Thirty of these learners were able to complete a reflective journal. Using thematic analysis, we identified 2 domains and 6 key themes from the participants' perceptions. Participants recognized the importance of patient-centered care, inter-professional collaboration of the home care team, and reconceptualized the meaning of medical practice and their professional identity as a doctor. Three month post-experience interviews were completed on 12 of the original 30 participants who completed the reflective journal. 2 domains and 6 key themes from the residents' experiences and perceptions were generated. The participants reported an increased attention to the daily lives and social situations of their hospitalized patients, and an extension of their focus beyond the clinical medical treatment of the patient.
CONCLUSION: The experience of a brief visit to a patient's home is a novel educational approach that may potentially provide medical students and resident doctors with opportunities to learn about out-of-hospital, patient-centered, home-based medical care.