CONTEXT: Although the number of studies on the economic impact of palliative care (PC) is growing, the great majority report costs from North America.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of PC hospital cost components from the perspective of a European mixed funded health care system by identifying cost drivers of PC and quantifying their effect on hospital costs compared to usual care (UC).
METHODS: We performed a retrospective, observational analysis examining cost data from the last hospitalization of patients who died at a large academic hospital in Switzerland comparing patients receiving PC versus UC.
RESULTS: Total hospital costs were similar in PC and UC with a mean difference of CHF -2'777 [95% confidence interval (CI) -12'713 to 8'506, p=0.60]. Average costs per day decreased by CHF -3'224 [95% CI -3'811 to -2'631, p<0.001] for PC patients with significant reduction of costs for diagnostic intervention and medication. Higher cost components for PC patients were catering, room, nursing, social counselling and non-medical therapists. In sensitivity analyses, when we restricted PC exposure to 3 days from admission, total costs and average costs per day were significantly lower for PC.
CONCLUSION: Studies measuring the impact of PC on hospital costs should analyze various cost components beyond total costs in order to understand wanted and potentially unwanted cost-reducing effects. An international definition of a set of cost components, specific for cost-impact PC studies, may help avoid superficial and potentially dangerous cost discussions.
Background: The term "palliative care" (PC) has often been found to have a negative connotation leading some to suggest rebranding and some services to change their name. Perceptions of the PC community about the term remain largely unexplored.
Objective: To explore how PC researchers/academics perceive the term is the objective of this study.
Design: This is a cross-sectional survey of attendees to the 10th World Research Congress of the EAPC. The questionnaire covered areas of academic activity, including the use of the term. We analyzed data through descriptive and nonparametric statistics and open responses through content analysis.
Participants: Academics and researchers in PC were the participants in this study.
Results: Of 318 respondents, the majority were women (65%), physicians (48%), and had a postgraduate degree (90%). For 40%, the term hindered the positioning of PC, 28% worried about using the term, and 55% did not discuss these difficulties. We found significant differences between responses and several demographics (e.g., younger age and higher likelihood of worrying about the term). Through open responses, we identified that the term is widely in use, and that its limitations are seen as a cultural by-product, and not as something that a name change would solve.
Conclusions: Senior PC academics, researchers, and clinicians have an onus to ensure that colleagues with limited PC experience have the opportunity to discuss and explore the impact of the term on the practice of research. Regarding the term itself, the community's views are conclusive: although using the term will remain a difficult task, the field's identity is in the name.
BACKGROUND: Intervention trials confirm that patients with advanced cancer receiving early palliative care experience a better quality of life and show improved knowledge about and use of palliative care services. To involve patients in future health-care decisions, health professionals should understand patients' perspectives. However, little is known about how patients' experience such interventions.
AIM: To explore advanced cancer patients' experiences with a structured early palliative care intervention, its acceptability and impact on the patients' life including influencing factors.
DESIGN: Qualitative content analysis of in-depth, semi-structured interviews.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Patients with various advanced cancer diagnoses were enrolled in a multicenter randomized controlled trial (NCT01983956), which investigated the impact of "Symptoms, End-of-life decisions, Network, Support," a structured early palliative care intervention, on distress. Of these, 20 patients who underwent the intervention participated in this study.
RESULTS: Participants received the intervention well and gained a better understanding of their personal situation. Patients reported that the intervention can feel "confronting" but with the right timing it can be confirming and facilitate family conversations. Patients' personal background and the intervention timing within their personal disease trajectory influenced their emotional and cognitive experiences; it also impacted their understanding of palliative care and triggered actions toward future care planning.
CONCLUSION: Early palliative care interventions like "Symptoms, End-of-life decisions, Network, Support" may provoke emotions and feel "confrontational" often because this is the first time when issues about one's end of life are openly discussed; yet, advanced cancer patients found it beneficial and felt it should be incorporated into routine care.
BACKGROUND: The Surprise Question (SQ) "would I be surprised if this patient were to die in the next 12 months?" has been suggested to help clinicians, and especially General Practitioners (GPs), identify people who might benefit from palliative care. The prognostic accuracy of this approach is unclear and little is known about how GPs use this tool in practice. Are GPs consistent, individually and as a group? Are there international differences in the use of the tool? Does including the alternative Surprise Question ("Would I be surprised if the patient were still alive after 12 months?") alter the response? What is the impact on the treatment plan in response to the SQ? This study aims to address these questions.
METHODS: An online study will be completed by 600 (100 per country) registered GPs. They will be asked to review 20 hypothetical patient vignettes. For each vignette they will be asked to provide a response to the following four questions: (1) the SQ [Yes/No]; (2) the alternative SQ [Yes/No]; (3) the percentage probability of dying [0% no chance - 100% certain death]; and (4) the proposed treatment plan [multiple choice]. A "surprise threshold" for each participant will be calculated by comparing the responses to the SQ with the probability estimates of death. We will use linear regression to explore any differences in thresholds between countries and other clinician-related factors, such as years of experience. We will describe the actions taken by the clinicians and explore the differences between groups. We will also investigate the relationship between the alternative SQ and the other responses. Participants will receive a certificate of completion and the option to receive feedback on their performance.
DISCUSSION: This study explores the extent to which the SQ is consistently used at an individual, group, and national level. The findings of this study will help to understand the clinical value of using the SQ in routine practice.
Objective: To systematically review the accuracy of physicians' clinical predictions of survival in terminally ill cancer patients.
Data soources: Cochrane Library, Medline (1996-2000), Embase, Current Contents, and Cancerlit databases as well as hand searching.
Study selection: Studies were included if a physician's temporal clinical prediction of survival (CPS) and the actual survival (AS) for terminally ill cancer patients were available for statistical analysis. Study quality was assessed by using a critical appraisal tool produced by the local health authority.
Data synthesis: Raw data were pooled and analysed with regression and other multivariate techniques.
Results: 17 published studies were identified; 12 met the inclusion criteria, and 8 were evaluable, providing 1563 individual prediction-survival dyads. CPS was generally overoptimistic (median CPS 42 days, median AS 29 days); it was correct to within one week in 25% of cases and overestimated survival by at least four weeks in 27%. The longer the CPS the greater the variability in AS. Although agreement between CPS and AS was poor (weighted kappa 0.36), the two were highly significantly associated after log transformation (Spearman rank correlation 0.60, P < 0.001). Consideration of performance status, symptoms, and use of steroids improved the accuracy of the CPS, although the additional value was small. Heterogeneity of the studies' results precluded a comprehensive meta-analysis.
Conclusions: Although clinicians consistently overestimate survival, their predictions are highly correlated with actual survival; the predictions have discriminatory ability even if they are miscalibrated. Clinicians caring for patients with terminal cancer need to be aware of their tendency to overestimate survival, as it may affect patients' prospects for achieving a good death. Accurate prognostication models incorporating clinical prediction of survival are needed.
Cet article présente les résultats d'une étude menée par le groupe de travail OPCARE 9 dont le but était d'identifier et de codifier les signes et les symptômes indiquant la survenue de la mort (les dernières heures de vie). Une revue de littérature est présentée, le principal résultat montre qu'il n'existe aucune définition à ce jour de cette ultime phase. Les auteurs préconisent la mise en place d'un protocole de recherche afin de construire un outil qui permettrait d'identifier la phase d'approche de la mort.
Objectifs : Enquête par le biais d'un questionnaire écrit sur les aspects suivants : degré d'intégration des soins palliatifs en tant que concept dans les établissements de soins et les établissements pour personnes âgées en Suisse (hôpitaux, établissements médico-sociaux et homes pour personnes âgées, secteur ambulatoire, établissements de soins spécifiques), identification de l'offre en soins palliatifs tant en prestations de base qu'en prestations spécialisées. Cette enquête vise en partie à l'établissement d'un système international de référenciation et à la poursuite du développement d'un instrument national d'évaluation périodique. [Auteurs]
Origine : BDSP. Notice produite par SAPHIR 7R0xlG79. Diffusion soumise à autorisation