OBJECTIVE: With increasing evidence from controlled trials on benefits of early palliative care, there is a need for studies examining implementation in real-world settings. The INTEGRATE Project was a 3-year real-world project that promoted early identification and support of patients with cancer who may benefit from palliative care. This study assesses feasibility, stakeholder experiences, and early impact of the INTEGRATE Project
METHODS: The INTEGRATE Project was implemented in four cancer centres in Ontario, Canada, and consisted of interdisciplinary provider education and an integrated care model. Providers used the Surprise Question to identify patients for inclusion. A mixed methods evaluation of INTEGRATE was conducted using descriptive data, interviews with providers and managers, and provider surveys.
RESULTS: A total of 760 patients with cancer (lung, glioblastoma, head and neck, gastrointestinal) were included. Results suggest improvement in provider confidence to deliver palliative care and to initiate the Advanced Care Planning (ACP) conversation. The majority of patients (85%) had an ACP or goals of care (GOC) conversation initiated within a mean time to conversation of 5-46 days (SD 20-93) across centres. A primary care report was transmitted to family doctors 48-100% of the time within a mean time to transmission of 7-54 days (SD 9-27) across centres. Enablers and barriers influencing success of the model were also identified.
CONCLUSIONS: A standardized model for the early introduction of palliative care for patients with cancer can be integrated into the routine practice of oncology providers, with appropriate education, integration into existing clinical workflows, and administrative support.
Background: Many patients who receive chronic hemodialysis have a limited life expectancy comparable to that of patients with metastatic cancer. However, patterns of home palliative care use among patients receiving hemodialysis are unknown.
Objectives: We aimed to undertake a current-state analysis to inform measurement and quality improvement in palliative service use in Ontario.
Methods: We conducted a descriptive study of outcomes and home palliative care use by Ontario residents maintained on chronic dialysis using multiple provincial healthcare datasets. The period of study was the final year of life, for those died between January 2010 and December 2014.
Results: We identified 9611 patients meeting inclusion criteria. At death, patients were (median [Q1, Q3] or %): 75 (66, 82) years old, on dialysis for 3.0 (1.0-6.0) years, 41% were women, 65% had diabetes, 29.6% had dementia, and 13.9% had high-impact neoplasms, and 19.9% had discontinued dialysis within 30 days of death. During the last year of life, 13.1% received ⩾1 home palliative services. Compared with patients who had no palliative services, those who received home palliative care visits had fewer emergency department and intensive care unit visits in the last 30 days of life, more deaths at home (17.1 vs 1.4%), and a lower frequency of deaths with an associated intensive care unit stay (8.1 vs 37.8%).
Conclusions: Only a small proportion of patients receiving dialysis in Ontario received support through the home palliative care system. There appears to be an opportunity to improve palliative care support in parallel with dialysis care, which may improve patient, family, and health-system outcomes.