L’HAD permet de prodiguer au domicile des soins lourds et techniques et/ou requérant une importante coordination pluridisciplinaire, non réalisables par les seuls professionnels de ville, dans des conditions de sécurité et de qualité comparables à celles d’un hébergement en établissement de santé, dès lors que sont remplies des conditions de faisabilité. Elle est nécessairement prescrite par un médecin, en accord avec le patient et son entourage. Considérablement développée depuis 20 ans, elle intervient sur tous les départements de métropole et d’outre-mer (en 2019 : 295 établissements).
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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: To determine the feasibility of conducting a cluster randomized controlled trial providing individualized feedback reports to increase advance care planning (ACP) engagement in the primary care setting.
DESIGN: Pilot cluster randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: Two primary care practices selected for geographic colocation.
PARTICIPANTS: Adults aged 55 years and older.
INTERVENTION: Brief assessment of readiness to engage in (stage of change for) three ACP behaviors (healthcare agent assignment, communication with agent about quality vs quantity of life, and living will completion) generating an individualized feedback report, plus a stage-matched brochure.
MEASURES: Patient recruitment and retention, intervention delivery, baseline characteristics, and stage of change movement.
RESULTS: Recruitment rates differed by practice. Several baseline sociodemographic characteristics differed between the 38 intervention and 41 control participants, including employment status, education, and communication with healthcare agent. Feedback was successfully delivered to all intervention participants, and over 90% of participants completed a 2-month follow-up. More intervention participants demonstrated progression in readiness than did control participants, without testing for statistical significance.
CONCLUSIONS: This pilot demonstrates opportunities and challenges of performing a clustered randomized controlled trial in primary care practices. Differences in the two practice populations highlight the challenges of matching sites. There was a signal for behavior change in the intervention group.
Delivery of end-of-life care has gained prominence in the UK, driven by a focus upon the importance of patient choice. In practice choice is influenced by several factors, including the guidance and conduct of healthcare professionals, their different understandings of what constitutes 'a good death', and contested ideas of who is best placed to deliver this. We argue that the attempt to elicit and respond to patient choice is shaped in practice by a struggle between distinct 'institutional logics'. Drawing on qualitative data from a two-part study, we examine the tensions between different professional and organisational logics in the delivery of end-of-life care. Three broad clusters of logics are identified: finance, patient choice and professional authority. We find that the logic of finance shapes the meaning and practice of 'choice', intersecting with the logic of professional authority in order to shape choices that are in the 'best interest' of the patient. Different groups might be able to draw upon alternative forms of professionalism, and through these enact different versions of choice. However, this can resemble a struggle for ownership of patients at the end of life, and therefore, reinforce a conventional script of professional authority.
Background: Over the past two decades, the number of hospitals with palliative care has increased significantly.
Objective: This study analyzes the availability of palliative care in U.S. hospitals and examines the variation by hospital characteristics, community-level socioeconomic demographics, health care markets, and geographic characteristics.
Methods: Data were obtained from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey Database for 2017 and supplemented with 2016 for nonresponders, the United States Census Bureau's 2017 American Community Survey, the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care's 2016 Spending and 2011 Hospital and Physician Capacity datasets, the National Palliative Care Registry™, state-level directories on palliative care, and web-based searches. Multivariable logistic regression and average marginal effects were used to examine predictors of hospital palliative care programs.
Results: Seventy-two percent of hospitals with 50 or more beds had palliative care programs. Hospital and geographic characteristics were significantly associated with the presence of palliative care. Most notably, nonprofit hospitals were 24.5 percentage points more likely than for-profit hospitals to have palliative care, and metropolitan areas were 15.4 percentage points more likely than rural areas, controlling for other variables.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that availability of palliative care in U.S. hospitals is determined by where patients live and the type of hospital to which they are admitted. Equitable and reliable availability to quality palliative care must improve across the nation.
Objective: To examine perceptions of facilitators and barriers to quality measurement and improvement in palliative care programs and differences by professional and leadership roles.
Methods: We surveyed team members in diverse US and Canadian palliative care programs using a validated survey addressing teamwork and communication and constructs for educational support and training, leadership, infrastructure, and prioritization for quality measurement and improvement. We defined key facilitators as constructs rated =4 (agree) and key barriers as those =3 (disagree) on 1 to 5 scales. We conducted multivariable linear regressions for associations between key facilitators and barriers and (1) professional and (2) leadership roles, controlling for key program and respondent factors and clustering by program.
Results: We surveyed 103 respondents in 11 programs; 45.6% were physicians and 50% had leadership roles. Key facilitators across sites included teamwork, communication, the implementation climate (or environment), and program focus on quality improvement. Key barriers included educational support and incentives, particularly for quality measurement, and quality improvement infrastructure such as strategies, systems, and skilled staff. In multivariable analyses, perceptions did not differ by leadership role, but physicians and nurse practitioners/nurses/physician assistants rated most constructs statistically significantly more negatively than other team members, especially for quality improvement (6 of the 7 key constructs).
Conclusions: Although participants rated quality improvement focus and environment highly, key barriers included lack of infrastructure, especially for quality measurement. Building on these facilitators and measuring and addressing these barriers might help programs enhance palliative care quality initiatives’ acceptability, particularly for physicians and nurses.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its sequelae have created scenarios of scarce medical resources, leading to the prospect that healthcare systems have faced or will face difficult decisions about triage, allocation and reallocation. These decisions should be guided by ethical principles and values, should not be made before crisis standards have been declared by authorities, and, in most cases, will not be made by bedside clinicians. Do not attempt resuscitation (DNAR) and withholding and withdrawing decisions should be made according to standard determination of medical appropriateness and futility, but there are unique considerations during a pandemic. Transparent and clear communication is crucial, coupled with dedication to provide the best possible care to patients, including palliative care. As medical knowledge about COVID-19 grows, more will be known about prognostic factors that can guide these difficult decisions.
COVID-19 continues to impact older adults disproportionately with respect to serious consequences ranging from severe illness and hospitalization to increased mortality risk. Concurrently, concerns about potential shortages of healthcare professionals and health supplies to address these issues have focused attention on how these resources are ultimately allocated and used. Some strategies, for example, misguidedly use age as an arbitrary criterion, which disfavors older adults in resource allocation decisions. This is a companion manuscript to the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) position statement, "Resource Allocation Strategies and Age-Related Considerations in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond." It is intended to inform stakeholders including hospitals, health systems, and policymakers about ethical considerations that should be considered when developing strategies for allocation of scarce resources during an emergency involving older adults. This review presents the legal and ethical background for the position statement and discusses the following issues that informed the development of the AGS positions: (1) age as a determining factor; (2) age as a tiebreaker; (3) criteria with a differential impact on older adults; (4) individual choices and advance directives; (5) racial/ethnic disparities and resource allocation; and (6) scoring systems and their impact on older adults. It also considers the role of advance directives as expressions of individual preferences in pandemics.
Since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 (also called COVID-19) outbreak in the Hubei province in China, half a million people have been infected and more than 25,000 died worldwide by the end of March 2020. In Europe, the third most infected country is France (after Italy and Spain) with more than 26,000 cases and about 1500 deaths by the end of the last week of March. One of the first French regions hit by the outbreak was Picardy, located at the northeast of the country. The first case in Picardy was diagnosed on February 26th, 2020 in the Cardiac Thoracic and Respiratory ICU of the Amiens-Picardy University Hospital. The number of patients admitted to the region's ICUs rapidly increased after that first case. To tackle this surge, an organisation was set in order to coordinate and facilitate the admission of critically ill COVID-19 infected patients, and to avoid or at least delay the overrun of ICU capacities in the region. The organisation has been based on a centralised on-call dispatch ICU consultant and efficient bed manager software.
Objective: Patients in the last year of life experience medical emergencies which may lead to an emergency attendance by ambulance clinicians and some patients having a transfer to hospital even when this is unwanted by patients, carers or professionals. Here we report the patient characteristics and outcomes of a 24-hour hospice nursing telephone advice service to support an ambulance service.
Method: An evaluation of the outcomes of ambulance calls to a nursing telephone advice service for people living in northwest London, UK, attended at home during a 6-month period by the London Ambulance Service, whose clinicians then sought advice from the hospice’s 24 hours’ telephone line.
Results: Forty-five attendances of 44 acutely ill people with palliative care needs resulted in a telephone call. Thirteen patients (30%) were male and the median age was over 80 years. Thirty-two attendances (71%) were managed without a transfer to hospital, with telephone advice from the hospice and in some cases arrangements for another clinician to visit. Seven attendances (16%) resulted in a transfer to hospital, of which at least five led to an admission. Six attendances (13%) resulted in a notification of the patient’s death.
Conclusions: This preliminary study shows the feasibility, outcomes and acceptability of telephone advice to support ambulance clinicians attending patients with palliative care needs. The service was associated with low rates of subsequent transfer to hospital. Further controlled research is needed to assess the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the service.
Although palliative care as a discipline in high income countries is maturing, it is still somewhat in its infancy in sub-Saharan Africa, an area where this type of care is needed the most: more than 80% of people in urgent need of palliative care live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We will describe why the development of palliative care in LMICs is increasingly essential, and how it is currently still underdeveloped. In this manuscript, we discuss the challenges in organizing palliative care in LMICs in regard to the four WHO palliative care pillars: policy, education, medication, and implementation. We will illustrate how several Sub-Saharan African countries are increasingly able to provide palliative care analyzed in terms of these pillars. Ultimately, scientific research and cost-effectiveness analyses of well-developed palliative programs, should encourage both local and international governments and au-thorities to provide more capital and human recourses for palliative care in the future.
Whether it is through enlisting primary providers, building a champion workforce, or hiring more specialist consultants, there is no question that palliative programming must be at the heart of our healthcare system’s quality transformation.
Covid-19 is officially a pandemic. It is a novel infection with serious clinical manifestations, including death, and it has reached at least 124 countries and territories. Although the ultimate course and impact of Covid-19 are uncertain, it is not merely possible but likely that the disease will produce enough severe illness to overwhelm health care infrastructure. Emerging viral pandemics “can place extraordinary and sustained demands on public health and health systems and on providers of essential community services.” Such demands will create the need to ration medical equipment and interventions.
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Good coordination of healthcare services is vital for ensuring health cost efficiency and high-quality care for patients. It is especially important in the context of palliative care as services are often highly fragmented due to a combination of diverse professional groups, organizations, and approaches to care. However, the coordination of services in this field is often evaluated as insufficient. Little is known about the challenges to coordination in this sector in Switzerland. The present study addresses this gap in research by investigating the challenges to coordination at the interface of palliative care services in Switzerland. Interviews (n = 24) with 38 healthcare practitioners working in palliative care in four cantons (Basel-City, Lucerne, Ticino, and Vaud) form the basis for this investigation. The selected cantons not only represent French, Italian, and German language regions of Switzerland but also represent diverse rural, urban, and historical contexts. Expert interviews are analyzed using structural content analysis. Three clusters of challenges to coordination were identified in the data: (1) organizational challenges to coordination, which relate to explicit forms of coordination; (2) relational challenges to coordination; and (3) structural challenges to coordination, which relate to implicit forms of coordination. The study reveals a need for better financial support for coordination in palliative care and a stronger focus on interprofessional coordination in educating professionals in palliative care. Future research on how to further foster good team coordination practices between primary and specialized palliative services merits further investigation. Since these findings are indicative of areas for improvement for coordination at the interface of Swiss palliative care services, they are of particular interest for healthcare practitioners, policymakers, and researchers involved in the evolution of coordinative practice.
BACKGROUND: In Canada, access to palliative care is a growing concern, particularly in rural communities. These communities have constrained health care services and accessing local palliative care can be challenging. The Site Suitability Model (SSM) was developed to identify rural "candidate" communities with need for palliative care services and existing health service capacity that could be enhanced to support a secondary palliative care hub. The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility of implementing the SSM in Ontario by generating a ranked summary of rural "candidate" communities as potential secondary palliative care hubs.
METHODS: Using Census data combined with community-level data, the SSM was applied to assess the suitability of 12 communities as rural secondary palliative care hubs. Scores from 0 to 1 were generated for four equally-weighted components: (1) population as the total population living within a 1-h drive of a candidate community; (2) isolation as travel time from that community to the nearest community with palliative care services; (3) vulnerability as community need based on a palliative care index score; and (4) community readiness as five dimensions of fit between a candidate community and a secondary palliative care hub. Component scores were summed for the SSM score and adjusted to range from 0 to 1.
RESULTS: Population scores for the 12 communities ranged widely (0.19-1.00), as did isolation scores (0.16-0.94). Vulnerability scores ranged more narrowly (0.27-0.35), while community readiness scores ranged from 0.4-1.0. These component scores revealed information about each community's particular strengths and weaknesses. Final SSM scores ranged from a low of 0.33 to a high of 0.76.
CONCLUSIONS: The SSM was readily implemented in Ontario. Final scores generated a ranked list based on the relative suitability of candidate communities to become secondary palliative care hubs. This list provides information for policy makers to make allocation decisions regarding rural palliative services. The calculation of each community's scores also generates information for local policy makers about how best to provide these services within their communities. The multi-factorial structure of the model enables decision makers to adapt the relative weights of its components.
In Spain, health competencies are decentralized, and each autonomous community implements its own plans. Our aim is to determine if the existence of regional palliative care plans implies an improvement in health care coverage. We reviewed regional palliative care plans published in Spain and analyzed the following variables: number and profile of palliative care resources, guidelines and objectives of implementation of resources of these plans, and compliance with European standards. The publication of regional plans is associated with an increase in specific resources in the following years. From 2004 to 2009, the implementation of plans in 6 autonomous communities was associated with an increase in palliative care resources compared to those without a strategy (odds ratio: 1.58, P = .02) or with a settled plan (odds ratio: 1.40, P = .07). The same phenomenon was observed between 2009 and 2015 in 4 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities compared with those without a strategy (odds ratio: 2.49, P = .001) and those that implemented a plan before 2009 (odds ratio: 2.62, P < .001). Updating and evaluating these regional plans are also associated with the growth of palliative care resources.
CONTEXT: Opportunities for the use of palliative care services are missed in African-American communities, despite Level I evidence demonstrating their benefits.
OBJECTIVE: Single-institution, stakeholder-engaged study to design an intervention to increase palliative care use in African-American communities.
METHODS: Two-phased qualitative research design guided by the Behavior Change Wheel (BCW) and Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) models. In phase one, focus group sessions were conducted to identify barriers and facilitators of palliative care use, and the viability of community health workers (CHWs) as a solution. After applying the BCW and TDF to data gathered from phase one, phase two consisted of a stakeholder meeting to select intervention content and prioritize modes of delivery.
RESULTS: A total of 15 stakeholders participated in our study. Target behaviors identified were for patients to gain knowledge about benefits of palliative care, physicians to begin palliative care discussions earlier in treatment, and to improve patient-physician interpersonal communication. The intervention was designed to improve patient capability, physician capability, patient motivation, physician motivation, and increase patient opportunities to use palliative care services. Strategies to change patient and physician behaviors were all facilitated by CHWs and included: creation and dissemination of brochures about palliative care to patients, empowerment and activation of patients to initiate goals of care discussions, outreach to community churches, and expanding patient social support.
CONCLUSION: Use of a theory-based approach to facilitate the implementation of a multi-component strategy provided a comprehensive means of identifying relevant barriers and enablers of CHWs as an agent to increase palliative care use in African-American communities.
BACKGROUND: We have undertaken a systematically searched literature review using a realist logic of analysis to help synthesise the diverse range of literature available on hospice at home services.
AIM: To find out in the existing literature what features of hospice at home models work best, for whom and under what circumstances.
DESIGN: A realist logic of analysis was applied to synthesise the evidence focusing on mechanisms by which an intervention worked (or did not work). An initial programme theory was developed using the National Association for Hospice at Home standards, Normalisation Process Theory and through refinement using stakeholder engagement.
DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Science Direct, AMED, BNI, CINAHL, EMBASE, Health Business Elite, HMIC, Medline, PsychINFO, SCOPUS, Web of Science, DARE, Google Scholar, NHS Evidence, NIHR CRN portfolio database, NIHR journal library of funded studies, including searches on websites of relevant professional bodies (August 2014, June 2017, June 2019).
RESULTS: Forty-nine papers were reviewed, of which 34 contributed evidence to at least one of the eight theory areas: marketing and referral, sustainable funding model, service responsiveness and availability, criteria for service admission, knowledge and skills of care providers, integration and coordination, anticipatory care, support directed at carers.
CONCLUSIONS: Our literature review showed how it was possible to develop a coherent framework and test it against 34 published papers and abstracts. Central to this review was theory building, and as further evidence emerges, our programme theories can be refined and tested against any new empirical evidence.