BACKGROUND: Immigrants to North America receive more interventions at end of life potentially due to knowledge gaps. The primary objective of this study was to measure and describe levels of perceived knowledge about palliative care among immigrants to the United States (US) compared to those born in the US. Our secondary objective was to identify trusted sources for seeking information about palliative care among immigrants and compare these trusted sources with those born in the US. We hypothesized that immigrants would have less knowledge of palliative care than those born in US and would trust different sources for information about palliative care.
METHODS: We analyzed data from the nationally representative 2018 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 5, cycle 2). Questionnaires were administered via mail between January and May 2018 to a population-based sample of adults. The primary outcome of interest was assessed using the item "How would you describe your level of knowledge about palliative care?" The secondary outcome of interest was determined using the item "Imagine you had a strong need to get information about palliative care, which of the following would you most trust as a source of information about palliative care?" Descriptive statistics were calculated, and bivariate analyses run between the outcomes of interest and sociodemographic characteristics (age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, nativity, fluency with English). Multivariable logistic regressions were conducted to assess the role of nativity, controlling for relevant sociodemographic variables. Jackknife weighting was used to generate population-level estimates.
RESULTS: About 70% of those born in the US and 77% of immigrants (weighted) responded that they had "never heard of palliative care." Trusted sources of palliative care were very similar between the groups (all P>0.05). Both groups' preferred trusted source of palliative care knowledge was "health care provider," with over 80% of respondents in each group selecting this option. Printed materials and social media were the least popular trusted sources among both groups. After adjusting for relevant sociodemographic characteristics, we found no association between poor knowledge of palliative care and nativity (P=0.22). Female respondents had 2.5-fold increased odds of reporting low levels of perceived knowledge of palliative care (OR =2.58, 95% CI, 1.76-3.78; P<0.001). Education was an important predictor of perceived knowledge of palliative care; as education level increased, so did perceived knowledge of palliative care (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Perceived knowledge of palliative care is poor generally, regardless of birthplace. Trusted sources for palliative care are similar between immigrants and those born in the US. Education is important and is a strong predictor of perceived knowledge of palliative care. Women perceive they have lower levels of knowledge of palliative care (PC) than men. Differences in end of life care between immigrants and non-immigrants cannot be explained by knowledge differences.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) oxygen may provide tailored benefits in patients with preset treatment limitations. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of HFNC oxygen in patients with do-not-intubate (DNI) and/or do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of interventional and observational studies. A search was performed using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Scopus, and Web of Science, from inception to October 15, 2018.
RESULTS: We included six studies evaluating 293 patients. All studies had a high risk of bias. The hospital mortality rates of patients with DNI and/or DNR orders receiving HFNC oxygen were variable and ranged from 40% to 87%. In two before and after studies, the initiation of HFNC oxygen was associated with improved oxygenation and reduced respiratory rates. One comparative study found no difference in dyspnea reduction or morphine doses between patients using HFNC oxygen versus conventional oxygen. No studies evaluated quality of life in survivors or quality of death in nonsurvivors. HFNC was generally well tolerated with few adverse events identified.
CONCLUSIONS: While HFNC oxygen remains a viable treatment option for hospitalized patients who have acute respiratory failure and a DNI and/or DNR order, there is a paucity of high-quality, comparative, effectiveness data to guide the usage of HFNC oxygen compared with other treatments, such as noninvasive ventilation, conventional oxygen, and palliative opioids.
OBJECTIVES: Research indicates that the increasing population of over 25 million people in the United States who have limited English proficiency experience differences in decision-making and subsequent care at end of life in the ICU when compared with the general population. The objective of this study was to assess the perceptions of healthcare team members about the factors that influence discussions and decision-making about end of life for patients and family members with limited English proficiency in the ICU.
DESIGN: Qualitative study using semistructured interviews with ICU physicians, nurses, and interpreters.
SETTING: Three ICUs at Mayo Clinic Rochester.
SUBJECTS: Sixteen ICU physicians, 12 ICU nurses, and 12 interpreters.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We conducted 40 semistructured interviews. We identified six key differences in end-of-life decision-making for patients with limited English proficiency compared with patients without limited English proficiency: 1) clinician communication is modified and less frequent; 2) clinician ability to assess patient and family understanding is impaired; 3) relationship building is impaired; 4) patient and family understanding of decision-making concepts (e.g., palliative care) is impaired; 5) treatment limitations are often perceived to be unacceptable due to faith-based and cultural beliefs; and 6) patient and family decision-making styles are different. Facilitators of high-quality decision-making in patients with limited English proficiency included: 1) premeeting between clinician and interpreter; 2) interpretation that communicates empathy and caring; 3) bidirectional communication of cultural perspectives; 4) interpretation that improves messaging including appropriate word choice; and 5) clinician cultural humility.
CONCLUSIONS: End-of-life decision-making is significantly different for ICU patients with limited English proficiency. Participants identified several barriers and facilitators to high-quality end-of-life decision-making for ICU patients and families with limited English proficiency. Awareness of these factors can facilitate interventions to improve high-quality, compassionate, and culturally sensitive decision-making for patients and families with limited English proficiency.
BACKGROUND: Socioeconomic status (SES) is an important determinant of disparities in health care and may play a role in end-of-life care and decision-making. The SES is difficult to retrospectively abstract from current electronic medical records and data sets.
OBJECTIVE: Using a validated SES measuring tool derived from home address, the HOUsing-based SocioEconomic Status index, termed HOUSES we wanted to determine whether SES is associated with differences in end-of-life care and decision-making.
DESIGN/SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: This cross-sectional study utilized a cohort of Olmsted County adult residents admitted to 7 intensive care units (ICUs) at Mayo Rochester between June 1, 2011, and May 31, 2014.
MEASUREMENTS: Multiple variables that reflect decision-making and care at end of life and during critical illness were evaluated, including presence of advance directives and discharge disposition. The SES was measured by individual housing-based SES index (HOUSES index; a composite index derived from real property as a standardized z-score) at the date of admission to the ICU which was then divided into 4 quartiles. The greater HOUSES, the higher SES, outcomes were adjusted for age, 24-hour Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III score, sex, race/ethnicity, and insurance.
RESULTS: Among the eligible 4134 participants, the addresses of 3393 (82%) were successfully geocoded and formulated into HOUSES. The adjusted odds ratios comparing HOUSES 1 versus 2, 3, and 4 demonstrated lower likelihood of advance directives -0.77(95% CI: 0.63-0.93) and lower likelihood of discharge to home -0.60(95% CI: 1.0.5-0.72).
CONCLUSION: Lower SES, derived from a composite index of housing attributes, was associated with lower rates of advance directives and lower likelihood of discharge to home.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether code status, advance directives, and decisions to limit life support were different for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) in the intensive care unit (ICU) as compared with patients whose primary language was English.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study in adult patients admitted to 7 ICUs in a single tertiary academic medical center from May 31, 2011, through June 1, 2014.
RESULTS: Of the 27,523 patients admitted to the ICU, 779 (2.8%) had LEP. When adjusted for severity of illness, sex, education level, and insurance status, patients with LEP were less likely to change their code status from full code to do not resuscitate during ICU admission (odds ratio [OR], 0.62; 95% CI, 0.46-0.82; P<.001) and took 3.8 days (95% CI, 1.9-5.6 days; P<.001) longer to change to do not resuscitate. Patients with LEP who died in the ICU were less likely to receive a comfort measures order set (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.16-0.91; P=.03) and took 19.1 days (95% CI, 13.2-25.1 days; P<.001) longer to transition to comfort measures only. Patients with LEP were less likely to have an advance directive (OR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.18-0.29; P<.001), more likely to receive mechanical ventilation (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.07-1.48; P=.005), and more likely to have restraints used (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.11-1.65; P=.003). The hospital length of stay was 2.7 days longer for patients with LEP. Additional adjustment for religion, race, and age yielded similar results.
CONCLUSION: There are important differences in end-of-life care and decision making for patients with LEP.