The Institute of Medicine reports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals having the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol and drug use leading to elevated cancer risks. Due to fear of discrimination and lack of healthcare practitioner education, LGBT patients may be more likely to present with advanced stages of cancer resulting in suboptimal palliative care. The purpose of this scoping review is to explore what is known from the existing literature about the barriers to providing culturally competent cancer-related palliative care to LGBT patients. This review will use the five-stage framework for conducting a scoping review developed by Arksey and O'Malley. The PubMed, Scopus, PsychINFO and Cochrane electronic databases were searched resulting in 1,442 citations. Eligibility criteria consisted of all peer-reviewed journal articles in the English language between 2007 and 2020 resulting in 10 manuscripts. Barriers to palliative cancer care for the LGBT include discrimination, criminalisation, persecution, fear, distress, social isolation, disenfranchised grief, bereavement, tacit acknowledgment, homophobia and mistrust of healthcare providers. Limited healthcare-specific knowledge by both providers and patients, poor preparation of legal aspects of advanced care planning and end-of-life care were underprovided to LGBT persons. As a result of these barriers, palliative care is likely to be provided for LGBT patients with cancer in a deficient manner, perpetuating marginalisation and healthcare inequities. Minimal research investigates these barriers and healthcare curriculums do not provide practitioners skills for administering culturally sensitive palliative care to LGBT patients.
Background: The probability of weaning and of long-term survival of chronically mechanically ventilated cancer patients is unknown, with incomplete information available to guide therapeutic decisions. We sought to determine the probability of weaning and overall survival of cancer patients requiring long-term mechanical ventilation in a specialized weaning unit.
Methods: A single-institution retrospective review of patients requiring mechanical ventilation outside of a critical care setting from 2008 to 2012 and from January 1 to December 31, 2018, was performed. Demographic and clinical data were recorded, including cancer specifics, comorbidities, treatments, and outcomes. Overall survival was determined using the Kaplan-Meier approach. Time to weaning was analyzed using the cumulative incidence function, with death considered a competing risk. Prognostic factors were evaluated for use in prospective evaluations of weaning protocols.
Results: between 2008 and 2012, 122 patients required mechanical ventilation outside of a critical care setting with weaning as a goal of care. The cumulative incidence of weaning after discharge from the intensive care unit was 42% at 21 days, 49% at 30 days, 58% at 60 days, 61% at 90 days, and 61% at 120 days. The median survival was 0.16 years (95% CI, 0.12 to 0.33) for those not weaned and 1.05 years (95% CI, 0.60 to 1.34) for those weaned. Overall survival at 1 year and 2 years was 52 and 32% among those weaned and 16 and 9% among those not weaned. During 2018, 36 patients at our institution required mechanical ventilation outside of a critical care setting, with weaning as a goal of care. Overall, with a median follow-up of 140 days (range, 0–425 days; average, 141 days), 25% of patients requiring long-term mechanical ventilation (9 of 36) are alive.
Conclusions: Cancer patients can be weaned from long-term mechanical ventilation, even after prolonged periods of support. Implementation of a resource-intensive weaning program did not improve rates of successful weaning. No clear time on mechanical ventilation could be identified beyond which weaning was unprecedented. Short-term overall survival for these patients is poor.