Background: Although recent attention to palliative care for patients with cardiovascular diseases has been increasing, there are no specific recommendations on detailed palliative care practices. We proceed on a discussion of the appropriateness and applicability of potential quality indicators for acute cardiovascular diseases according to our previous systematic review.
Methods: We created a multidisciplinary panel of 20 team members and 7 external validation clinicians composed of clinical cardiologists, a nutritionist, a physiotherapist, a clinical psychologist, a critical and emergent care specialist, a catheterization specialist, a primary care specialist, a palliative care specialist, and nurses. After crafting potential indicators, we performed a Delphi rating, ranging from “1 = minimum” to “9 = maximum”. The criterion for the adoption of candidate indicators was set at a total mean score of seven or more. Finally, we subcategorized these indicators into several domains by using exploratory factor analysis.
Results: Sixteen of the panel members (80%) were men (age, 49.5 ± 13.7 years old). Among the initial 32 indicators, consensus was initially reached on total 23 indicators (71.8%), which were then summarized into 21 measures by selecting relatively feasible time variations. The major domains were “symptom palliation” and “supporting the decision-making process”. Factor analysis could not find optimal model. Narratively-developed seven sub-categories included “presence of palliative care team”, “patient-family relationship”, “multidisciplinary team approach”, “policy of approaching patients”, “symptom screening and management”, “presence of ethical review board”, “collecting and providing information for decision-maker”, and “determination of treatment strategy and the sharing of the care team’s decision”.
Conclusion: In this study we developed 21 quality indicators, which were categorized into 2 major domains and 7 sub-categories. These indicators might be useful for many healthcare providers in the initiation and enhancement of palliative care practices for acute cardiovascular diseases in Japan.
Background: Palliative care is highly relevant for patients with heart failure (HF), and there is a need for quantitative information on quality of care. Accordingly, this study aimed to develop a set of quality indicators (QIs) for palliative care of HF patients, and to conduct a practical pilot measurement of the proposed QIs in clinical practice.
Methods and Results: We used a modified Delphi technique, a consensus method that involves a comprehensive literature review, face-to-face multidisciplinary panel meeting, and anonymous rating in 2 rounds. A 15-member multidisciplinary expert panel individually rated each potential indicator on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest) for appropriateness. All indicators receiving a median score =7 without significant disagreement were included in the final set of QIs. Through the consensus-building process, 35 QIs were proposed for palliative care in HF patients. Practical measurement in HF patients (n=131) from 3 teaching hospitals revealed that all of the proposed QIs could be obtained retrospectively from medical records, and the following QIs had low performance (<10%): “Intervention by multidisciplinary team”, “Opioid therapy for patients with refractory dyspnea”, and “Screening for psychological symptoms”.
Conclusions: The first set of QIs for palliative care of HF patients was developed and could clarify quantitative information and might improve the quality of care.
BACKGROUND: Advance care planning (ACP) is recommended as part of the management of patients with heart failure (HF).
AIMS: To develop and validate ACP support tools for patients with HF.
METHODS: An ACP support tool was developed based on a systematic literature review. A multi-center, prospective before and after study was conducted to evaluate the usefulness of the support tool. This study included 21 patients with HF, 11 patients formed the control group and 10 patients were part of the intervention group who received ACP from medical staff using the ACP support tools developed for this study. Participants of the study were surveyed about their experience of ACP using a 6-point Likert scale.
FINDINGS: All of the healthcare professionals (n=9) involved in the study found the ACP tool useful and about 90% of patients considered the support tool useful. The score for 'the patient did not feel anxious about the future after receiving ACP discussion' was significantly higher (3.5 [3.0, 4.0] vs 2.0 [1.0, 3.0]; P=0.04) in the intervention group that used the ACP tool.
CONCLUSION: ACP support tools are useful to manage patients with HF and could enable effective ACP without increasing patient anxiety.
Background:Little is known about palliative sedation in terminally ill heart failure (HF) patients.
Methods and Results:We retrospectively reviewed terminally ill HF patients who received palliative sedation from September 2013 to August 2018. Among 95 terminally ill HF patients, 25 were prescribed dexmedetomidine and 12 were prescribed midazolam at the end of life. Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale was significantly reduced (P<0.01), but blood pressure and heart rate were unaltered after treatment in both the dexmedetomidine and midazolam groups.
Conclusions:Prescription of dexmedetomidine and/or midazolam might be feasible in selected terminally ill HF patients.
In spite of the increasing interest in palliative care for heart disease, data on the detailed methods of palliative care and its efficacy specifically in heart disease are still lacking. A structured PubMed literature review revealed no quality indicators of palliative care in heart disease. Therefore, we performed a narrative overview of the potential quality indicators in heart disease by reviewing previous literature concerning quality indicators in cancer patients. We summarize seven potential categories of quality indicators in heart disease: (1) presence and availability of a palliative care unit, palliative care team, and outpatient palliative care; (2) human resources such as number of skilled staff; (3) infrastructure; (4) presence and frequency of documentation or family survey; (5) patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) data and disease-specific patient quality of life such as The Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ); (6) questionnaires and interviews about the quality of palliative care after death, including bereaved family surveys; and (7) admission-related outcomes such as place of death and intensive care unit length of stay. Although detailed measurements of palliative care quality have not been validated in heart disease, many indicators developed in cancer patients might also be applicable to heart disease. This new categorization might be useful to determine quality indicators in heart disease patients.