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.
BACKGROUND: Group visits can support health behavior change and self-efficacy. In primary care, an advance care planning (ACP) group visit may leverage group dynamics and peer mentorship to facilitate education and personal goal setting that result in ACP engagement.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the ENgaging in Advance Care Planning Talks (ENACT) group visits intervention improves ACP documentation and readiness in older adults.
METHODS: This randomized clinical trial was conducted among geriatric primary care patients from the University of Colorado Hospital Seniors Clinic, Aurora, CO, from August 2017 to November 2019. Participants randomized to ENACT group visits (n = 55) participated in two 2-hour sessions with discussions of ACP topics and use of ACP tools (i.e., Conversation Starter Kit, Medical Durable Power of Attorney form, and PREPARE videos). Participants randomized to the control arm (n = 55) received the Conversation Starter Kit and a Medical Durable Power of Attorney form by mail. The primary outcomes included presence of ACP documents or medical decision-maker documentation in the electronic health record (EHR) at 6 months, and a secondary outcome was ACP readiness (validated four-item ACP Engagement Survey) at 6 months.
RESULTS: Participants were a mean of 77 years old, 60% female, and 79% white. At 6 months, 71% of ENACT participants had an advance directive in the EHR (26% higher) compared with 45% of control arm participants (P < .001). Similarly, 93% of ENACT participants had decision-maker documentation in the EHR (29% higher) compared with 73% in the control arm (P < .001). ENACT participants trended toward higher readiness to engage in ACP compared with control (4.56 vs 4.13; P = .16) at 6 months.
CONCLUSION: An ACP group visit increased ACP documentation and readiness to engage in ACP behavior change. Primary care teams can explore implementation and adaptation of ACP group visits into routine care, as well as longer-term impact on patient health outcomes.
CONTEXT: Many advanced cancer patients have unrealistic prognostic expectations.
OBJECTIVES: We tested whether offering life expectancy (LE) statistics within palliative chemotherapy (PC) education promotes realistic expectations.
METHODS: In this multicenter trial, patients with advanced colorectal and pancreatic cancers initiating first or second line PC were randomized to usual care versus a PC educational tool with optional LE information. Surveys at 2 weeks and 3 months assessed patients' review of the LE module and their reactions; at 3 months, patients estimated their LE and reported occurrence of prognosis and end-of-life (EOL) discussions. Wilcoxon tests and proportional odds models evaluated between-arm differences in LE self-estimates, and how realistic those estimates were (based on cancer type and line of treatment).
RESULTS: From 2015-2017, 92 patients were randomized to the intervention and 94 to usual care. At baseline most patients (80.9%) wanted "a lot" or "as much information as possible" about the impact of chemotherapy on LE. Among patients randomized to the intervention, 52.0% reviewed the LE module by 2 weeks and 66.7% by 3 months - of whom 88.2% reported the information was important, 31.4% reported it was upsetting, and 3.9% regretted reviewing it. Overall, patients' LE self-estimates were very optimistic; 71.4% of colorectal cancer patients estimated >5yrs; 50% pancreatic patients estimated >2yrs. The intervention had no effect on the length or realism of patients' LE self-estimates, or on the occurrence of prognostic or EOL discussions.
CONCLUSIONS: Offering LE information within a PC educational intervention had no effect on patients' prognostic expectations.
OBJECTIVE: This pilot study set out to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of an interactive, peer-led, health engagement workshop to improve confidence and comprehension related to advance care planning (ACP) among young adults. Secondarily, this study evaluated if such workshops could promote ACP related behavior changes within this population.
METHODS: This observational cohort study utilized a repeated measures, mixed-method design. Six hour-long, in-person workshops were conducted with undergraduate students during meetings of university student organizations. Participants were evaluated across 3 mixed-method surveys, evaluating confidence, knowledge, and behaviors related to ACP prior to participation, directly after, and during a 2-week follow-up.
RESULTS: Workshop participation improved the average participant confidence and knowledge related to ACP as well as encouraged some participants to engage in discussions related to end-of-life care with friends and family. Alongside the impact of the workshops on knowledge and confidence, participants positively evaluated the design of the workshops through collected qualitative feedback.
CONCLUSION: These results are encouraging in assessing this population's willingness to learn about end-of-life care planning. The tools developed and the corresponding results should be used for further exploration of engaging the young adult population in ACP to promote improved healthcare outcomes.
INTRODUCTION: The collaboration between palliative care and neurology has developed over the last 25 years and this study aimed to ascertain the collaboration between the specialties across Europe.
METHODS: This online survey aimed to look at collaboration across Europe, using the links of the European Association for Palliative Care and the European Academy of Neurology.
RESULTS: 298 people completed the survey-178 from palliative care and 120 from neurology from over 20 countries across Europe. They reported that there was good collaboration in the care for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and cerebral tumours but less for other progressive neurological diseases. The collaboration included joint meetings and clinics and telephone contacts. All felt that the collaboration was helpful, particularly for maintaining quality of life, physical symptom management, psychological support and complex decision making, including ethical issues.
DISCUSSION: The study shows evidence for collaboration between palliative care and neurology, but with the need to develop this for all neurological illness, and there is a need for increased education of both areas.
BACKGROUND: While many Aotearoa/New Zealanders are receiving excellent palliative care the Pacific populations have limited access to available hospice and palliative care services. Little research has been conducted to identify barriers unique to Pacific populations accessing these services. The purpose of this study was to explore key stakeholders' perspectives on the determinants of low access among Pacific populations to these services.
METHODS: Forty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted face-to-face with hospice patients and their families, hospice/health providers and key informants from the Auckland and Wellington region of Aotearoa/New Zealand. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim and a thematic analysis was carried out by identifying, coding and categorising patterns in the data. Identified themes were then discussed further to determine the relevance of the data grouped by theme.
RESULTS: Five interrelated themes affecting access emerged: perception of hospice (often negative) through lack of accurate information, but changing; families' role to look after their own and sick elderly; hospice experiences; continuity of care in the community and the need for information and communication.
CONCLUSION: Hospice and associated palliative care services are under-utilised and commonly misunderstood among Pacific populations in Aotearoa/New Zealand. There is active support following appropriate information received, hence the need for community education and culturally appropriate hospice and palliative services. Inadequate inter-professional communication contributes to polypharmacy and inefficiency in continuity of care across all levels. The Pacific individual is one component of a collective that is critical in major decisions in end-of-life and life changing situations. The findings may guide policies and further research to improve Hospice and Palliative services in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Background: Patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers have substantial misperceptions regarding hospice, which contributes to its underuse.
Methods: The authors conducted a single-site randomized trial of a video educational tool versus a verbal description of hospice in 150 hospitalized patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers. Patients without a caregiver were eligible. Intervention participants (75 patients and 18 caregivers) viewed a 6-minute video depicting hospice. Control participants (75 patients and 26 caregivers) received a verbal description identical to the video narrative. The primary outcome was patient preference for hospice. Secondary outcomes included patient and/or caregiver knowledge and perceptions of hospice, and hospice use.
Results: Between February 2017 and January 2019, approximately 55.7% of eligible patients (150 of 269 eligible patients) and 44 caregivers were enrolled. After the intervention, there was no difference noted with regard to patients' preferences for hospice (86.7% vs 82.7%; P = .651). Patients in the video group reported greater knowledge regarding hospice (9.0 vs 8.4; P = .049) and were less likely to endorse that hospice is only about death (6.7% vs 21.6%; P = .010). Among deceased patients, those assigned to the intervention were more likely to have used hospice (85.2% vs 63.6%; P = .01) and to have had a longer hospice length of stay (median, 12 days vs 3 days; P < .001). After the intervention, caregivers assigned to view the video were more likely to prefer hospice for their loved ones (94.4% vs 65.4%; P = .031), reported greater knowledge concerning hospice (9.7% vs 8.0%; P = .001), and were less likely to endorse that hospice is only about death (0.0% vs 23.1%; P = .066).
Conclusions: A hospice video did not significantly impact patients' preferences for hospice care. Patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers who were assigned to view the video were more informed regarding hospice and reported more favorable perceptions of hospice. Patients were more likely to use hospice and to have a longer hospice length of stay.
Background: Communities have limited understanding of palliative care, creating barriers to informed choice around consideration of a full range of care options in the event of serious illness. Few empirically tested interventions are available to educate community about palliative care, and ultimately improve timely access to these services.
Aim: To test the acceptability (primary outcome), and feasibility of a narrative approach to public health communication seeking to improve attitudes to possible access to palliative care in the event of serious illness.
Design: Randomised phase II trial with six parallel experimental conditions. Outcomes tested included measures of acceptability, feasibility and change in attitudes to possible access to palliative care post-intervention. Contrasts planned for exploratory testing included format, message content and narrator.
Setting/participants: Community-based sample of consecutive English-speaking adults who volunteered their participation in response to a study advertisement distributed online through established community groups.
Results: A narrative approach to public health communication was found to be acceptable to community members, and feasible to deliver online. Exploratory data suggested it immediately improved attitudes towards possible access to palliative care in the event of serious illness, with the narrative detailing a description of the evidence delivered by a healthcare professional appearing to be the most promising strategy.
Conclusions: This study provides preliminary data to inform a future, longitudinal trial evaluating effectiveness and ultimately other evidence-based, public health approaches to improve community engagement with palliative care. Further studies are required to confirm the generalisability of findings to a broader representative sample and other settings including internationally.
Given the need for organs, public organizations use social marketing strategies to increase the number of donors. Their campaigns employ a variety of moral appeals. However, their effects on audiences are unclear. We identified 14 campaigns in Germany from over the last 20 years. Our approach combined a multimodal analysis of categorized posters with a qualitative analysis of responses, collected in interviews or focus groups, of 53 persons who were either skeptical or undecided about organ donation. The combined analyses revealed that the posters failed to motivate laypersons in general to donate, and were even less effective on skeptical or undecided individuals. We explain this in terms of the types of moral messages found on posters and the limits of such social marketing strategies. Furthermore, we discuss certain ethical aspects of organ donation campaigns pertaining to communicating norms and trust in public institutions.
Background: Substitute decision-makers (SDMs) make decisions on behalf of patients who do not have capacity, in line with previously expressed wishes, values and beliefs. However, miscommunications and poor awareness of previous wishes often lead to inappropriate care. Increasing public preparedness to communicate on behalf of loved ones may improve care in patients requiring an SDM.
Methods: We conducted an online survey in January 2019 with a representative sample of the Canadian population. The primary outcome was self-reported preparedness to be an SDM. The secondary outcome was support for a high school curriculum on the role of SDMs. The effect of socio-demographics, known enablers and barriers to acting as an SDM, and attitudes towards a high school curriculum were assessed using multivariate analysis.
Results: Of 1,000 participants, 53.1% felt prepared to be an SDM, and 75.4% stated they understood their loved one’s values. However, only 55.6% reported having had a meaningful conversation with their loved one about values and wishes, and only 61.7% reported understanding the SDM role. Engagement in advance care planning for oneself was low (23.1%). Age, experience, training and comfort with communication were associated with preparedness in our multivariate analysis. A high school curriculum was supported by 61.1% of respondents, with 28.3% neutral and 10.6% against it.
Interpretation: There is a gap between perceived and actual preparedness to be an SDM. Many report understanding their loved one’s values yet have not asked them about wishes in illness or end of life. The majority of respondents support high school education to improve preparedness.
Studio DöBra is a community-based initiative in which children (9 y/o) and older adults (mostly 80+) engaged with topics related to dying, death and loss through shared arts activities (e.g. collage, sculpture, games). In an ageing society, Sweden's end-of-life (EoL) care is increasingly professionalised and specialised, but there is little community involvement. One goal of Studio DöBra was therefore to support community engagement with EoL-related topics. Another goal was to create opportunities for interaction between children and older adults as there are few intergenerational meeting places. Two iterations of Studio DöBra were developed (2016, 2018) in different Swedish cities, utilising a community-based participatory research approach. Project groups comprised first author MK and representatives of community organisations such as meeting places for older adults, after-school centres and artistic organisations. Each iteration engaged eight children and eight older adults in a series of five workshops. This article investigates how children and older adults motivate their participation, their experiences of participating and ways in which they were affected by participation. We also investigate how parents reflect on their child's participation in Studio DöBra. Older adults, children and their parents were interviewed after each Studio DöBra. An inductive qualitative process guided by interpretive description was used to analyse the transcripts. Findings indicate that participants acted as individuals with agency in connecting across generations and in creating spaces for engaging with EoL-topics, not only in Studio DöBra but also in their social networks. Participants reflected on a changing sense of community through new intergenerational connections and social activities, and expressed a desire to maintain these. However, participants indicated sustainability challenges related to lacking agency in maintaining these spaces and sense of intergenerational community, as they rely on support from community organisations.
CONTEXT: Providing hospice and palliative care (HPC) early in the course of care for patients with life-threatening illness is important for improving patient quality of life. However, little literature exists for factors affecting to the intention to use early palliative care (EPC) of general population.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to identify the sources of information about HPC, investigate whether they affect intention to use HPC and EPC, and examine the relationship between the components of a good death and the intention to use HPC and EPC.
METHODS: A stratified nationwide cross-sectional survey including 1,500 participants, 20 to 74 years old, was conducted to investigate their intentions to use HPC and EPC, available information sources, and perceived components of a good death.
RESULTS: The main sources of information about HPC were television and radio. Information acquired from health professionals was positively associated with the intention to use EPC. While regarding a good relationship with family as a component of a good death was related to low intention to use EPC, being able to trust medical staff, being involved in decisions about care, and being respected as an individual were associated with high intention to use EPC.
CONCLUSION: Information from healthcare providers and public awareness through education and publicity efforts are necessary to inform the public about the benefits of EPC. Furthermore, it is essential that medical staff cultivate the skills necessary to secure public trust and provide care that respects patients until the end of their lives.
Background: Advance care planning conversations and preparations do not occur as frequently as they should. Framing advance care planning as a health behavior and an opportunity for community engagement can help improve community-dwellers’ intentions to have discussions and preparations regarding facing serious illness, death and dying.
Methods: A multi-setting confidential pre/post paper survey assessing advance care planning discussions and preparation intentions was given to community-dwelling citizens residing in the New York metropolitan area. Survey items were adapted from a previous end of life survey to include questions on chronic illnesses, important conversations, comfort levels and concerns about end of life. The intervention was a 1-hour presentation on advance care planning (importance, laws, effective communication and audience questions)
Results: Our study found significant interest in discussing advanced care planning across age groups. There were significant changes for participant intentions regarding: having conversations with loved ones, a health care proxy or similar document and none; as well as differences in participant intentions for discussions with caregiver, family, friends, primary physician and no-one.
Conclusion: Educating individuals on the importance of advance care planning may be effective in changing community dwellers’ intentions to start the conversation and put advanced care planning measures in place.
OBJECTIVES: Palliative care services have, up to now, paid insufficient attention to social aspects of dying and bereavement and this has affected how patients and their families experience end of life and bereavement within their communities. New public health approaches to palliative care offer a different way forward by seeking to develop communities that support death and bereavement. Such approaches are now a priority for the majority of hospices in the UK and work with schools has been identified as a key area of work. Practice that engages schools and children on issues concerning end-of-life care is, however, underdeveloped and underdocumented. This research explored the role of hospices in working with schools to promote education and support around end-of-life and bereavement experiences.
METHODS: Action research was used to explore the potential for hospices to work with schools and engage participants in change processes. The research was conducted in 1 hospice and 2 primary schools in Scotland. Participants included children, parents and school and hospice staff.
RESULTS: Seven innovations were identified that were found to be useful for the school curriculum and the relationship between hospices, school communities and wider society. A model for integrated practice between hospices and schools is suggested.
CONCLUSIONS: This research adds to knowledge about how hospices might engage in community engagement activities that encourage school staff to develop greater openness and support around end-of-life and bereavement care for their children. This will require a rethinking of normal hospice services to also participate in community capacity building.
Les difficultés financières, l’absence de couverture sociale et la pénurie médicale contribuent à ce que, en Ouganda, de nombreux malades et leurs familles soient livrés à eux-mêmes. Pourtant les équipes soignantes et les associations se mobilisent pour diffuser la culture palliative dans le respect des diversités culturelles. Très autonomes dans leur expertise clinique, les infirmières dispensent des soins et vont à la rencontre des patients à domicile.
Chronic pain is among problems of old people and causes changes in their life pattern and processes. Teaching palliative care can help old people suffering from chronic pain to live an active life. The aim of this research was to determine effects of educating of palliative care on life pattern of elderly women with chronic pain. The present study was a Quasi-experimental design with pre-test and post test was conducted on 30 elderly women suffering from chronic pain in 2018 in Iran. The Questionnaire for evaluating the Pattern of Life with Pain in the elderly was filled before the intervention, group educating of palliative care was carried out using an educational package, and the questionnaire was completed again immediately and one and three months after. The data was analyzed using mean, standard deviations, Fisher's F test, and Greenhouse-Geisser and Bonferroni post-hoc test by employing SPSS- 16. Mean changes before teaching palliative care significantly differed from those of immediately and one and three months after the educational program (p = 0.0), (p = 0.004). There were significant differences between the stages of immediately and one month after the educational program and that of three months after it (p = 0.001), (p = 0.002). Concerning the personal life patterns, there were statistically significant differences between the stage immediately after the educational program and those before the intervention and three months after it (p = 0.005), (p = 0.000). Regarding the social life pattern, only the stage of one month after the educational program significantly differed from that of three months (p = 0.005). Mean growth in life pattern of the old women suffering from chronic pain in the stages after the intervention indicated the importance of and the necessity for palliative care during old age. Moreover, the success of this education three months after the educational program as compared to immediately and one month after it indicates that allocation of sufficient time plays a very important role in transferring information and in teaching methods of palliative care to old people.
BACKGROUND: Advance care planning (ACP) is a process of reflection and discussion wherein a patient, in consultation with a health-care provider, family, and/or loved ones, clarifies values and treatment preferences and establishes goals, including a plan for end-of-life (EOL) care. Advance care planning encompasses appreciating and understanding illness and treatment options, elucidating patient values and beliefs, and identifying a substitute decision maker (SDM) or designating a power of attorney (POA) for personal care. These discussions have proven to be effective in improving patient-family satisfaction, reducing anxiety regarding EOL care in patients and family members, and improving patient-centered care by empowering patients to direct their care at EOL. However, ACP conversations are often difficult to have due to the sensitive nature of such discussions.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether group facilitation for teaching and discussing ACP enhances participants' understanding of ACP and allows them to feel comfortable and supported when discussing these sensitive issues.
METHODS: Patients who were registered in North York General Hospital's (NYGH) pulmonary rehabilitation program from June 2016 until August 2017 were given the opportunity to attend two 1-hour sessions related to ACP. The first session was dedicated to educating patients on ACP, explaining the hierarchy of the SDM and the role of the POA for personal care. The second session, provided a short time later, was devoted to discussions of values, wishes, fears, and trade-offs for future medical and EOL care. These discussions led by the supportive care nurse practitioner and a physician who are members of the NYGH Freeman Palliative Care Team were held in a group-facilitated format. Anonymous feedback forms, including both qualitative and quantitative feedback, were completed by the participants and analyzed.
PARTICIPANTS: Analysis of a sample of 30 participants who attended 1 or 2 of the ACP sessions revealed that 21 identified as female and 9 identified as male. The average age of the participants was 76 years.
FINDINGS: Participants felt the content was relevant to their needs and were comfortable asking questions with all feedback averages ranging from good to very good. Participants appreciated the opportunity to share their thoughts in an open and interactive format.
CONCLUSION: Discussing issues relevant to ACP, including providing information about ACP, sharing fears, wishes, and tradeoffs, were well-received in a group-support environment. Future studies should assess the impact of ACP group discussion on the individual, such as identifying a POA, having discussions regarding wishes and values with the SDM/POA, and examining the clinical impact of such sessions.
Depuis le début des années 2000, les soins palliatifs se sont considérablement développés au Québec et ailleurs dans le monde. Toutefois, avec les bouleversements démographiques qui transforment le paysage social de la plupart des pays occidentaux, le modèle actuel des soins palliatifs modernes pourrait être insuffisant pour faire face aux besoins grandissants de la population vieillissante. L'objectif de cet article est d'offrir un aperçu d'une vision complémentaire aux soins palliatifs modernes : le modèle des Communautés compatissantes. Développée par Allan Kellehear dans les années 2000, l'approche des Communautés compatissantes conçoit la fin de vie en tant qu'enjeu de santé publique, s'inspire de la promotion de la santé et propose un modèle sociocommunautaire aux soins de fin de vie. Dans cet article, les principaux fondements de l'approche des Communautés compatissantes seront présentés et illustrés par des exemples internationaux et locaux. Les défis et l'avenir de cette approche seront également évoqués.
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.
The organ transplantation enterprise is morally flawed. "Brain-dead" donors are the primary source of solid vital organs, and the transplantation enterprise emphasizes that such donors are dead before organs are removed-or in other words that the dead donor rule is followed. However, individuals meeting standard diagnostic criteria for brain death-unresponsiveness, brainstem areflexia, and apnea-are still living, from a physiological perspective. Therefore, removing vital organs from a heart-beating, mechanically ventilated donor is lethal. But neither donors nor surrogates nor the public in general are typically informed of this obviously relevant information. Therefore, donors or surrogates do not provide valid consent for a lethal medical procedure. This is a serious moral failing on the part of the transplant community. To address this concern, I advocate for accurate and fully transparent communication of information to the public to allow for an informed civic dialogue about the ethics and legality of lethal organ procurement. Furthermore, I advocate that systems be put in place by the transplant community to allow for valid consent for lethal organ procurement.