To investigate the effect of multidisciplinary interventions on pain management in cancer inpatients.
Four hundred thirty eight patients with cancer pain, who performed the multidisciplinary intervention were recruited. Before and after intervention, the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI) score as the primary endpoints and QOL scores as the secondary endpoint were all evaluated. To investigate the factors that led to different responses to multidisciplinary interventions, patients were classified as non-responders or responders.
Finally, 92 patients (63 male and 29 female) scheduled for cancer pain management by inter-professional team were studied. After individualized multidisciplinary therapy, both pain and symptom severity was improved, as demonstrated by lowered BPI worst and average pain scores, as well as symptom severity score measured by MDASI (P = .017, P = .003, and P = .011, respectively). The proportion of patients with mild pain increased regarding the BPI worst and average pain at baseline and after treatment (P < .05). The QOL analyses showed multidisciplinary interventions could significantly improve the function and symptom scores (P < .001). More patients in responder group received chemotherapy (58, 70.7%, P = .003), while fewer received mini-invasive therapy (6, 7.32%, P = .011).
Multidisciplinary interventions had certain beneficial effect on cancer pain management, especially in patients with moderate or severe pain.
BACKGROUND: Progress in advance care planning (ACP) in China has been hindered for decades compared with other countries.
AIMS: To describe knowledge of ACP, end-of-life care preferences and the predictors of their preference for ACP and who should mention ACP among Chinese lung cancer patients.
METHODS: Questionnaire-based interview were carried out. 258 lung cancer patients were recruited when first admitted in Tongji Hospital from October 2017 to November 2018. Social-demographic factors, which may influence patients' preference on ACP decisions and who should mention ACP, were evaluated by multivariate Logistic Regression analysis.
RESULTS: 91.1% of the patients (n = 235) favoured ACP on End of life (EOL) issues. 160 (60%) patients wish to make EOL decisions on their own. Only 10% of patients were familiar with Advance Directions. 82 (31.8%) patients were familiar with Do not resuscitate/Do not intubate (DNR/DNI) directions. ACP was not mentioned in 92.2% of patients. Gender (men, OR = 4.87 (2.16-5.83)), tumour stage (Stage III, OR = 0.108 (0.06-0.51); Stage IV, OR = 1.780 (1.02-2.11)) and the number of children (every increase in the number of children, OR = 0.267 (0.09-0.93)) were the significant predictors of the preference for autonomous ACP. Female patients and patients currently receiving treatment are 2.743 and 1.8 times respectively, more willing to need ACP initiated by doctors.
CONCLUSIONS: Chinese patients showed preferences toward ACP but with inadequate knowledge. More assistance is needed on ACP among those patients especially for females, patients with one child and early-stage lung cancer. For female patients and patients receiving treatment, doctors may initiate ACP dialogue first.
Professional values reflect nurses' understanding of how to deliver professional care, which might influence nurses' attitudes and caring behaviors during end-of-life care. However, limited research has been conducted to explore nurses' experiences of professional development during end-of-life care, and theoretical explanations are scarce about how nurses enact their professional values during the caring process. This study explored the social process of professional values involved in end-of-life care in the Chinese cultural context by adopting a constructivist grounded theory approach. Twenty semi-structured in-depth interviews among 15 nurses from three hospitals in southeastern China were conducted. A theoretical framework emerged when focusing on the social process of "reframing the meaning of life and professional values" to facilitate professional care for dying patients. Three main categories were sequentially identified as "recognizing the dilemmas when caring for dying patients," "applying strategies to deal with values conflict," and "reconstructing values." This theoretical framework may be applied as a practical framework for equipping nurses with effective strategies to cultivate professional values, including the provision of adequate end-of-life knowledge, and a supportive workplace environment.
Background: The predictive value of the prognostic tool for patients with advanced cancer is uncertain in mainland China, especially in the home-based palliative care (HPC) setting. This study aimed to compare the accuracy of the Palliative Prognostic Index (PPI), the Performance Status–Based Palliative Prognostic Index (PS-PPI), and the Chinese Prognosis Scale (ChPS) for patients with advanced cancer in the HPC setting in mainland China.
Methods: Patients with advanced cancer admitted to the hospice center of Yuebei People’s Hospital between January 2014 and December 2018 were retrospectively calculated the scores according to the three prognostic tools. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to compare survival times among different risk groups. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to assess the predictive value. The accuracy of 21-, 42- and 90-day survival was compared among the three prognostic tools.
Results: A total of 1863 patients were included. Survival time among the risk groups of all prognostic tools was significantly different from each other except for the PPI. The AUROC of the ChPS was significantly higher than that of the PPI and PS-PPI for 7-, 14, 21-, 42-, 90-, 120-, 150- and 180-day survival (P < 0.05). The AUROC of the PPI and PS-PPI were not significantly different from each other (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: The ChPS is more suitable than the PPI and PS-PPI for advanced cancer patients in the HPC setting. More researches are needed to verify the predictive value of the ChPS, PPI, and PS-PPI in the HPC setting in the future.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to understand the attitudes of front-line clinical nurses toward hospice care in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide a source of reference for hospice care education and training in hospitals treating patients with COVID-19.
METHOD: Front-line nurses from a designated COVID-19 hospital in Wuhan, China, participated. Participants completed the Chinese versions of the General Information Questionnaire, the Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying Scale, the Jefferson Scale of Empathy, and the General Self-Efficacy Scale.
RESULTS: A total of 149 questionnaires were included in the analysis. The median total hospice care attitudes score was median 102.00 (interquartile range, 95.5-120.50). The nurses' attitudes toward hospice care were significantly associated with their age, knowledge of hospice care, level of empathy, and self-efficacy.
CONCLUSION: The attitudes of front-line nurses toward hospice care need to be improved. Hospital departments should establish an effective public health emergency strategy, provide training to increase front-line nurses' knowledge and practical experience of hospice care, cultivate nurses' empathy, and enhance their sense of self-efficacy, in order to improve the quality of hospice care for patients and their families.
Life-sustaining treatments (LSTs) and end-of-life (EOL) care's goal for prolonging one's life are defined as aggressive EOL care among critically ill patients. They have limited effects and add unnecessary financial burden to advanced cancer patients. A questionnaire survey was conducted to collect information on demographics, disease conditions, preference for LSTs, and goal of EOL care among advanced cancer patients of comprehensive grade-A tertiary hospitals in Wuhan, mainland China. Most patients preferred to accept LSTs when they were in a critical condition, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (89.9%), mechanical ventilation support (85.7%), nasogastric tube feeding (84.1%), blood transfusion (89.8%), general surgery (87.5%), and hemodialysis (85.8%). Most (88%) preferred prolonging life as the goal of EOL care. Logistic regression showed common influencing factors were participants who completed junior high/high school or below and were financially adequate had higher reference for aggressive EOL care. Patients whose physician had accurately disclosed prognosis; however, showed a decrease trend for aggressive EOL care. Most advanced cancer patients preferred to accept aggressive EOL care. Discussions about prognosis disclosure among physicians and patients should be improved. Education about LSTs' limitations and comfort-oriented care's benefits should be promoted among the advanced cancer patients in mainland China.
Background: A systematic understanding of socio-economic inequalities in end-of-life (EOL) suffering among advanced cancer patients is required to inform efforts to reduce these inequalities as part of Universal Health Coverage goals.
Aims: To assess inequalities in multiple domains of EOL suffering among advanced cancer patients – physical, functional, psychological, social, and spiritual –, using two socio-economic status (SES) indicators, education and perceived economic status of the household.
Methods: We used cross-sectional data from surveys of stage IV cancer patients (n = 1378) from seven hospitals across five countries (China, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam and Myanmar). We conducted separate multivariable linear regression models for each EOL suffering domain. We also tested interactions between the two SES indicators and between each SES indicator and patient age.
Results: Patients living in low economic status households /with fewer years of education reported greater suffering in several domains. We also found significant interaction effects between economic status of the household and years of education for all EOL suffering outcomes. Age significantly moderated the association between economic status of the household and social suffering and between years of education and psychological, social, and spiritual suffering (p < 0.05 for all).
Conclusion: Results highlight that SES inequalities in EOL suffering vary depending on the suffering domain, the SES indicator assessed, and by patient age. Greater palliative care resources for patients with low SES may help reduce these inequalities.
CONTEXT: There is rapidly increasing need for palliative care in Greater China due to rapidly aging populations.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to systematically review and appraise evidence for palliative care needs, models of care, interventions, and outcomes in Greater China.
METHODS: Four databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO) were searched, with hand searching of local journals and databases. Narrative synthesis was applied to the qualitative and quantitative evidence.
RESULTS: Nineteen qualitative studies and 47 quantitative studies were retained. With respect to care needs, nine themes were synthesised: pain control, reduced aggressive end-of-life care, truth telling, physical, emotional and spiritual support, and achieving preferred place of care/death. Informal caregivers expressed their needs for education and burden reduction. Healthcare professionals called for training and national policy support. Twenty-four studies evaluated interventions, mostly among advanced cancer patients. Positive effects were suggested for improvements in quality of life, pain, anxiety and depression, readmission rate, and costs. Models of care evaluated were mostly specialist palliative care delivered in various settings (hospitals, residential care and home). Outcome measures used were grouped into six categories of construct: quality of life, pain, physical assessment, psycho-spiritual assessment, quality of care, and implementation assessment. Limited rigorous randomised controlled trials is available to document intervention outcomes, and some problems (such as high attrition rates) reduced the strength of the evidence.
CONCLUSION: Palliative care services within Greater China should pay more attention to management of non-malignant disease, and to integration into primary services. Policy support is key to establishing culturally appropriate person-centred services.
Background: Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) is a new mental health disorder included in the WHO ICD-11 however, the operationalization of the disorder criteria still needs to be empirically validated, particularly in different cultural contexts. Here we provide a preliminary validation study of the new International Prolonged Grief Disorder Scale (IPGDS) that serves to be the first self-report questionnaire directly based on the ICD-11 PGD and contains culturally adapted items.
Methods: In addition to core symptom items new culturally specific items were developed in two phases. Phase 1: key informant interviews with 10 German-speaking and 14 Chinese experts in grief and mental health, followed by a focus group with four bereaved German-speaking participants. Phase 2: 214 German-speaking and 325 Chinese bereaved participants completed self-report questionnaires.
Results: Phase 1 resulted in 19 potential culturally relevant items (e.g. feeling stuck in grief). Phase 2 exploratory factor analysis confirmed the one-dimensional nature of the IPGDS, additionally the 32-item scale revealed two factors (core grief and culturally specific symptoms). Psychometric analysis revealed strong internal consistency, concurrent validity and criterion validity.
Limitations: The German-speaking and Chinese samples significantly differed in terms of several demographic variables including age, gender and type of loss.
Conclusions: This preliminary validity study confirms that the IPGDS is a valid and reliable measure of the new ICD-11 PGD guidelines. This is the first scale of disordered grief to contain both core items and culturally specific supplementary items and aims to improve the clinical utility of the ICD-11 narrative approach.
Background: Medical staff may have difficulties in using conventional medicine to manage symptoms among terminally ill patients, including adverse effects of the treatment. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is regarded as a complementary or alternative medicine, and has been increasingly used in the field of palliative medicine in recent years. This study aimed to investigate the experiences of and attitudes toward using TCM among palliative care professionals, and to provide preliminary information about its use in palliative care.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey study conducted in eight inpatient hospice wards in Taiwan between December 2014 and February 2016. The questionnaire was self-administered, and was analyzed with descriptive statistics including Pearson’s Chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test.
Results: A total of 251 palliative care professionals responded to the questionnaire, of whom 89.7% and 88.9% believed that the use of TCM could improve the physical symptoms and quality of life in terminally ill patients, respectively. Overall, 59.8%, of respondents suggested that TCM had rare side effects, and 58.2% were worried that TCM could affect the liver and kidney function of patients. In total, 89.7% and 88.0% of professionals agreed there were no suitable clinical practice guidelines and educational programs, respectively, for TCM use in palliative care.
Conclusions: Most of the respondents agreed there was insufficient knowledge, skills-training, and continuing education on the use of TCM in terminally ill patients in Taiwan. These results show that to address patient safety considerations, guidelines about use of TCM in palliative care should be established.
BACKGROUND: Disparities in the utilization, expenditures, and quality of care by insurance types have been well documented. Such comparisons have yet to be investigated in end-of-life (EOL) settings in China, where public insurance covers over 95% of the Chinese population. This study examined the associations between health insurance and EOL care in the last six months of life: outpatient visits, emergency department (ED) visits, inpatient services, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, expenditures, and place of death among the cancer patients.
METHODS: A total of 398 patients diagnosed with cancer who survived more than 6 months after diagnosis and died from July 2015 to June 2017 in urban Yichang, China, were included. Descriptive analysis and multivariate regression models were used to investigate the bivariate and independent associations, respectively, between health insurance with EOL healthcare utilization, expenditures and place of death.
RESULTS: Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI) beneficiaries visited EDs more frequently than Urban Resident-based Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI) and New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme (NRCMS) beneficiaries (marginal effects [95% Confidence Interval]: 2.15 [1.81-2.48] and 1.92 [1.59-2.26], respectively). NRCMS and UEBMI beneficiaries had more hospitalizations than URBMI beneficiaries (1.01 [0.38-1.64] and 0.71 [0.20-1.22], respectively). Compared to URBMI beneficiaries, NRCMS beneficiaries and UEBMI beneficiaries had ¥15,722 and ¥43,241 higher expenditures. Similarly, UEBMI beneficiaries were most likely to die in hospitals, followed by NRCMS (UEBMI vs. NRCMS: 0.23 [0.11-0.36]) and URBMI (UEBMI vs. URBMI: 0.67 [0.57-0.78]) beneficiaries.
CONCLUSIONS: The disproportionately lower utilization of EOL care among NRCMS and URBMI beneficiaries, compared to UEBMI beneficiaries, raised concerns regarding quality of EOL care and financial burdens of NRCMS and URBMI beneficiaries. Purposive hospice care intervention might be warranted to address EOL care for these beneficiaries in China.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review was undertaken to analyze the main reasons behind the limited development of hospice care in China, and to put forward some suggestions.
RECENT FINDINGS: Although the Chinese government has increased its support for hospice care in recent years, however, owing to the lack of education around hospice care and the heavy influence of the traditional Chinese Confucian concept of "filial piety," many individuals resist hospice care. Moreover, due to impaired patient rights, inadequate composition of hospice care teams, unbalanced geographical distribution, and limited service range, the development of hospice care in China is hindered. Hospice care education and continued training should be popularized and the government should strengthen the legal structure of the medical system to protect the rights of patients, families, and medical staff to promoting social support for hospice care. Through graded diagnosis and referral systems in medical institutions to integrate medical resources and expand the range of hospice care services.
Aims of the study: Blood coagulation parameters are colossally important for clinical evaluation of palliative chemotherapy; however, this niche was not explored earlier for advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Study focuses to explore the clinical relevancy of Coagulation parameters; prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombin time (TT), fibrinogen (FIB), D-dimer and international normalised ratio (INR) and their response to palliative chemotherapy in advanced-stage NSCLC.
Methods: A retrospective study was conducted between 2013 and 2019 in Jiangsu Cancer hospital, Nanjing, PR. China. Medical records of 5445 patients were succinctly reviewed and classified accordingly to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total of 216 advanced NSCLC patients who used a first-line chemotherapy and antiangiogenic therapy regimen were enrolled in this study under ethical approval (JSCH-2020C-009). Blood samples were collected from these patients to measure the response levels of these coagulation parameters at time of admission to hospital and at the beginning of 4 cycles of Palliative therapy. We find the clinical value of all these coagulation parameters by using SPSS 24. Univariate Cox regression and Multivariate Cox regression models were used to identify the factors that were associated with progression-free survival (PFS) and the response to palliative chemotherapy.
Results: In the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis for overall median (95% CI) survival of high pre-treatment coagulation parameters showed shorter PFS compared with normal pre-treatment except TT and their overall median (95% CI) follow-up was 3.3 (3.12-3.47). Coagulation parameters have showed clinical relevance as a potential independent prognostic factor of PFS in the Univariate Cox regression. In multivariable model, Age (=60 years vs < 60 years), cancer differentiation (Unknown vs Poor), PT (High vs Normal) range, FIB (High vs Normal) range and D-dimer (High vs Normal) range, (P = .025, P = .045, P = .029, P = .049 and P = .011, respectively) were associated as a prognostic factor of PFS in NSCLC. Patients on 3-drugs regimen found to have better PFS compared with the ones taking the 2-drugs treatment regimen (P = .043).
Conclusion: The high range of PT, FIB and D-dimers was associated with poor prognosis of advanced-stage NSCLC. Our findings also confirmed that patients on 3-drugs regimen showed longer PFS compared with 2-drugs regimen.
Background: For patients with metastatic cancer, treatment with palliative chemotherapy can lead to more aggressive end-of-life (EOL) care. This retrospective study aimed to assess the time from the last
chemotherapy treatment to death and investigate the variables associated with the delivery of palliative chemotherapy near the end of life.
Methods: Data from patients who died from metastatic cancer after receiving palliative chemotherapy from April 2007 to June 2019 at the Department of Integrated Therapy of Fudan University, Shanghai Cancer
Center were analyzed. Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate variables including the patient’s age,Charlson comorbidities, caregivers, and the type of cancer.
Results: A total of 605 patients were included in the analysis, of whom 335 (58.7%) were treated with palliative chemotherapy during their last year of life and 16.2% were treated in their last month of life. Treatment with palliative chemotherapy in the last month was independently associated with age (P<0.001). In the last year of life, treatment with palliative chemotherapy differed significantly according to caregivers
and age (P<0.001). The interval between the last chemotherapy treatment and death was the shortest for patients whose caregivers were adult children or those aged =50 years.
Conclusions: In this study, palliative chemotherapy was used to treat 58.7% of patients in their last year, and 16.2% of patients in their last month, which is in line with international recommendations. In the last
month, palliative chemotherapy was independently associated with age (P<0.001), whereas patients were more likely to receive palliative chemotherapy in their last year if their caregivers were adult children or if
they were aged =50 years. Significant variations in EOL treatment strategies were observed according to caregivers and patient age during the last year of life.
BACKGROUND: The mortality rate of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients with respiratory failure remains high. This study aimed to identify factors contributing to death in these patients, and develop a mortality prediction model for pulmonary TB patients with respiratory failure.
METHODS: A retrospective study of patients admitted consecutively to the medical ICU of Beijing Chest Hospital, (Beijing, China), Chaoyang Fourth Hospital (Liaoning, China) and Hebi Third People's Hospital (Henan, China) from May 2018 to May 2019 was conducted. 153 patients with pulmonary TB accompanied by respiratory failure were enrolled. A multivariate analysis was performed to identify risk factors for death. A predictive fatality score was determined. The utility of the score for predicting death was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.
RESULTS: The patients' median age was 57.82±19.42 years (17.0-87.0 years) and there were 106 males (69.28%). The mortality rate was 39.22% (60 of 153). Independent predictive factors of mortality included the PaO2 (hazard ratio 0.928, 95% CI: 0.882 - 0.976, P=0.004), Albumin (hazard ratio 0.881, 95% CI: 0.792- 0.980, P=0.019), Apache II score (hazard ratio 1.120, 95% CI: 1.017-1.234, P=0.022) and C-reactive protein (hazard ratio 1.012, 95% CI: 1.004-1.019, P=0.003). Establishing a logistic model of the death risk grade of pulmonary TB with respiratory failure was Y=1.710 - 0.068*PaO2-0.163* albumin + 0.215* Apache II +0.012* C-reactive protein. The value was Y=-0.494. If the Y value was greater than or equal to -0.494, the patients belonged to the deceased group, and if less than -0.494 the patients belonged to the survival group. AUC=0.818, The sensitivity was 83.3%; specificity was 73.1%.
CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary TB patients with respiratory failure have a high mortality rate and poor prognosis, particularly those with high Apache II scores, high C-reactive protein levels, low PaO2 admission to ICU and low albumin level. The prediction model will help assess the risk of death in patients with TB and respiratory failure.
BACKGROUND: Few studies have specifically addressed quality of life issues for elderly hospice patients. The purpose of this study is to explore various factors and service patterns of the quality of life of end-of-life care for the elderly.
METHODS: We collect the data and make small-scale exploratory study via semi-structured individual interviews. Data were collected from the family of 2 elderly cancer patients receiving hospice services, and the data were analyzed qualitatively.
RESULTS: After investigation, we found that elderly people in hospice care, regardless of age, are suffering from physical and psychological pain and do not want to spend the rest of their lives in the hospital, but want to die in their own homes.
CONCLUSIONS: Both hospitalization and in-home care can improve resource utilization, and the key is to find various factors affecting the quality of life. Improving the quality of life is what patients and their families need most.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the factors of advance directive (AD) completion among older Chinese Americans.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Data came from 435 Chinese Americans aged 55 years and older living in 2 metropolitan areas through self-administered questionnaires and research assistant-administered interviews in 2018. Participants' average age was 75 years (standard deviation = 9.4).
METHODS: Logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with AD completion.
RESULTS: Approximately 14% of participants completed an AD. Older age [odds ratio (OR) 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.12], higher level of acculturation (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.39-3.33), higher expectation for intergenerational support (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.02-2.27), and having US citizenship (OR 3.02, 95% CI 1.26-7.23) were positively associated with AD completion. Physical and mental health needs were not significantly associated with AD completion.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This study is among the first focusing on AD completion among Chinese Americans, one of the fastest-growing older minority populations in the United States. Findings highlight the influence of socioeconomic and cultural factors on AD completion and illustrate the importance of developing culturally sensitive interventions to promote end-of-life care decision making among older Chinese Americans.
Objectives: To examine palliative care needs of advanced cancer patients and their informal caregivers and correlates of their needs within Chinese context.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey conducted in two study sites in Mainland China. Patients and caregivers were recruited in dyads. Patients completed the following questionnaires: Problems and Needs in Palliative Care-short version, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS), Medical Outcomes Study-Social Support Survey (MOS-SSS), Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Scale (Brief-COPE), and Quality-of-Life Questionnaire Core 15-Palliative Care Scale. Questionnaires for caregivers were as follows: Comprehensive Needs Assessment Tool in Cancer for Caregivers, HADS, ESAS, MOS-SSS, Brief-COPE, and Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer. All of the outcome variables were selected based on a conceptual framework of palliative care needs assessment.
Results: Four hundred nineteen patient-caregiver dyads completed this survey. Patients’ unmet palliative care needs were mainly related to financial (85.2%), informational (82.3%), physical (pain) (69.7%), and psychological (64.9%) domains. Caregivers’ commonly reported unmet needs mainly focused on the domains of healthcare staff (95.0%), information (92.1%), and hospital facilities and services (90.5%). Patients’ greater severity of symptom distress, presence of anxiety and/or depression, use of coping strategies particularly the less use of problem-focused coping, and caregivers’ poorer quality of life were identified as key negative predictors of the needs of both patients and caregivers (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Both patients and caregivers had context-bounded palliative care needs. In addition to increasing the amount of external asistance, more emphasis should be placed on screening for physical and psychological distress, the use of coping strategies, and the well-being of caregivers to help identify those in need for more clinical attention and specific interventions.
Background: Published data and practice recommendations on end-of-life care generally reflect Western practice frameworks; there are limited data on withdrawal of treatment for children in China.
Methods: Withdrawal of treatment for children in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of a regional children’s hospital in eastern China from 2006 to 2017 was studied retrospectively. Withdrawal of treatment was categorized as medical withdrawal or premature withdrawal. The guardian’s self-reported reasons for abandoning the child’s treatment were recorded from 2011.
Results: The incidence of withdrawal of treatment for children in the PICU decreased significantly; for premature withdrawal the 3-year average of 15.1% in 2006–2008 decreased to 1.9% in 2015–2017 (87.4% reduction). The overall incidence of withdrawal of care reduced over the time period, and withdrawal of therapy by guardians was the main contributor to the overall reduction. The median age of children for whom treatment was withdrawn increased from 14.5 months (interquartile range: 4.0–72.0) in 2006 to 40.5 months (interquartile range: 8.0–99.0) in 2017. Among the reasons given by guardians of children whose treatment was withdrawn in 2011–2017, “illness is too severe” ranked first, accounting for 66.3%, followed by “condition has been improved” (20.9%). Only a few guardians ascribed treatment withdrawal to economic reasons.
Conclusions: The frequency of withdrawal of medical therapy has changed over time in this children’s hospital PICU, and parental decision-making has been a large part of the change.
OBJECTIVE: China is home to one-fifth of the world's population. In the setting of a growing and aging population as well as the designation of palliative care access as a human right in 2013, the implementation of palliative care in China gains special importance. Palliative care education is an important precondition to ensure a nationwide access to palliative care. This systematic review details the status of under- and postgraduate palliative care education in China, examining both the students' and physicians' perception, knowledge, and skills in palliative care, and the available educational interventions and programs.
METHOD: Four databases were searched in September 2018, using considered search terms. Titles, abstracts, and, if necessary, full texts were scanned to identify publications matching the inclusion criteria.
RESULTS: Nine publications were included. They revealed six findings: palliative care education is lacking in both under- and postgraduate medical education, only a few programs exist. Palliative care as a concept is well known, detailed knowledge, and practical skills are less developed. Chinese physicians consider palliative care an important field to be developed in cancer care, yet the majority of healthcare professionals are not willing to work in palliative care services. Communication should be a main emphasis in palliative care education, especially in undergraduate training. Finally, there is no highly qualified research on under- or postgraduate palliative care education in Mainland China.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: These findings suggest that palliative care education in China is in demand and should be systematically integrated into medical education. Further research on the topic is urgently needed.