Context: Early integration of palliative care (PC) into adult oncology practice has been shown to improve quality of life and health care utilization; however, little is known about PC in young adults with cancer.
Objectives: Our primary objective was to determine rates and timing of PC consultation in young adult patients with advanced solid tumor cancer at a single institution.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of young adults of age 18–39 years with advanced solid tumor malignancy at an urban academic medical center between June 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015.
Results: Of 129 patients identified, 70 of 129 (54%) had a PC consult and 34 of 70 were inpatient-only consults. PC consults occurred for a median of 104 days before death, and for those with inpatient-only consults, PC consults occurred for a median of 18 days. Patients with worse recent Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status were more likely to have had a PC consult (p < 0.001). Of the patients who died during the study period, patients with PC consults were more likely to have been hospitalized (72% vs. 47%), in the intensive care unit (21% vs. 0%), in the emergency room (ER) (72% vs. 47%), and have received chemotherapy (17% vs. 0%) within 30 days of death compared with those who did not have a consult; however, these differences were not statistically significant.
Conclusion: In this analysis, over half of young adults with advanced solid tumors received PC consults. PC consult typically occurred for one year after diagnosis and about three months before death. Additional research is needed to identify how to better integrate PC early in this patient population and assess the resulting impact.
Background: The location of death is an important component of end-of-life care. However, contemporary trends in the location of death for cardiovascular deaths related to heart failure (CV-HF) and comparison to cancer deaths have not been fully examined.
Methods: We analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Control Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database between 2003 and 2017 to identify location of death for CV-HF and cancer deaths. The proportions of deaths that occurred in a hospice facility, home, and medical facility were tested for trends using linear regression. Odds ratios were calculated to determine the odds of death occurring in a hospice facility or home (versus a medical facility) stratified by sex and race.
Results: We identified 2 940 920 CV-HF and 8 852 066 cancer deaths. Increases were noted in the proportion of CV-HF deaths in hospice facilities (0.2% to 8.2%; Ptrend<0.001) and at home (20.6% to 30.7%; Ptrend<0.001), whereas decreases were noted in the proportion of deaths in medical facilities (44.5% to 31.0%; Ptrend<0.001) and nursing homes (30.8% to 25.7%; Ptrend<0.001). The odds of dying in a hospice facility (odds ratio, 1.79 [1.75–1.82]) or at home (odds ratio, 1.55 [1.53–1.56]) versus a medical facility was higher for whites versus blacks. The rate of increase in proportion of deaths in hospice facilities was higher for cancer deaths (ß=1.05 [95% CI, 0.97–1.12]) than for CV-HF deaths (ß=0.61 [95% CI, 0.58–0.64]).
Conclusions: The proportion of CV-HF deaths occurring in hospice facilities is increasing but remains low. Disparities are noted whereby whites are more likely to die in hospice facilities or at home versus medical facilities compared with blacks. More research is needed to determine end-of-life preferences for patients with HF and identify the basis for these differences in location of death.
INTRODUCTION: In 2013 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a mandate requiring that all patients undergoing destination therapy ventricular assist device (DT VAD) implantation have access to a palliative care team prior to surgery. Subsequently, many VAD programs implemented a mandatory pre-implantation palliative care consultation for patients considering DT VAD. However, little is known about the quality of these consults.
METHODS: All patients undergoing DT VAD at Northwestern Memorial Hospital from October 30, 2013 (the CMS decision date) through March 1, 2018 were included. Palliative care consultation notes were qualitatively analyzed for elements of "palliative care assessment" and preparedness planning.
RESULTS: Sixty-eight pre-implantation palliative care consultations were analyzed. Fifty-six percent of the consults occurred in the intensive care unit, and the median time from consult to VAD implant was 6 days. General palliative care elements were infrequently discussed. Further, the elements of preparedness planning - device failure, post VAD health-related quality of life, device complications, and progressive comorbidities - were discussed in only 10%, 54%, 49%, and 12% of consultations, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: One-time pre-implantation palliative care consultations at our institution do not lead to completion of preparedness planning or even general palliative care assessment. Further work is needed to determine the most effective way to integrate palliative care into pre-implantation care.