Objectives: This study aims to identify factors among British community-based adults associated with advance care planning engagement. Factors are then compared among six domains of wishes: medical care, spiritual and religious needs, privacy and peace, dignified care, place of death and pain relief.
Methods: Cross-sectional data were analysed from a stratified random sample of adults across Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) who were interviewed on their attitudes towards death and dying. Weighted multivariable logistic regression tested for associations with expressing any end-of-life wishes and then for each separate domain.
Results: Analysis of 2042 respondents (response rate: 53.5%) revealed those less likely to have discussed their wishes were: male, younger, born in the UK, owned their residence, had no experience working in health or social care, had no chronic conditions or disabilities, had not experienced the death of a close person in the last 5 years and feel neither comfortable nor uncomfortable or uncomfortable talking about death. Additional factors among the six domains associated with having not discussed wishes include: having less and more formal education, no religious beliefs, lower household income and living with at least one other person.
Conclusions: This study is the first to be conducted among a sample of community-dwelling British adults and the first of its kind to compare domains of end-of-life wishes. Our findings provide an understanding of social determinants which can inform a public health approach to end-of-life care that promotes advance care planning among compassionate communities.
Background: A better understanding of differences between the preferences of the general public and the recommendations of healthcare providers with regard to end-of-life (EOL) care may facilitate EOL discussion.
Methods: The aim of this study was to clarify differences between preferences of the general public and recommendations of healthcare providers with regard to treatment, EOL care, and life-sustaining treatment (LST) based on a hypothetical scenario involving a patient with advanced cancer. This study comprised exploratory post-hoc analyses of “The Survey of Public Attitude Towards Medical Care at the End of life”, which was a population based, cross-sectional anonymous survey in Japan to investigate public attitudes toward medical care at the end of life. Persons living in Japan over 20 years old were randomly selected nationwide. Physicians, nurses, and care staff were recruited at randomly selected facilities throughout Japan. The general public data from the original study was combined to the data of healthcare providers in order to conduct exploratory post-hoc analyses. The preferences of the general public and recommendations of healthcare providers with regard to EOL care and LST was assessed based on the hypothetical scenario of an advanced cancer patient.
Results: All returned questionnaires were analyzed: 973 from the general public, 1039 from physicians, 1854 from nurses, and 752 from care staff (response rates of 16.2, 23.1, 30.9, and 37.6%, respectively). The proportion of the general public who wanted “chemotherapy or radiation”, “ventilation”, and “cardiopulmonary resuscitation” was significantly higher than the frequency of these options being recommended by physicians, nurses, and care staff, but the general public preference for “cardiopulmonary resuscitation” was significantly lower than the frequency of its recommendation by care staff.
Conclusion: Regarding a hypothetical scenario for advanced cancer, the general public preferred more aggressive treatment and more frequent LST than that recommended by healthcare providers.
Using the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare national data on perspectives toward medical care at the end of life, this study examined the current status of engagement in advance care planning (ACP) activities among physicians and nurses in Japan and associated factors. Only 28.7% of physicians and 27.6% of nurses answered that they were engaging their patients/clients in ACP. Multinomial regression analysis revealed that more frequent involvement in caring for dying patients was associated with ACP engagement for both physicians and nurses. Increased years of clinical practice experience and working in a hospital were associated with decreased likelihood of nurses' ACP engagement. Completion of training designed to promote patient self-determination at the end of life was associated with both physicians' and nurses' ACP engagement. It is recommended that health care professionals be encouraged to complete such training to promote patients' autonomy through ACP.
AIM: The purpose of the present study was to clarify the current state of awareness-raising activities to educate residents about decision-making regarding end-of-life care using a nationwide survey of municipalities in Japan.
METHODS: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey of all municipalities in Japan (n = 1741) was carried out. We asked one representative from each municipality whether or not there were ongoing municipality-led activities to raise awareness and educate the community about end-of-life care decisions. A logistic regression analysis was carried out to examine the regional characteristics associated with running municipality-led awareness-raising activities. Additionally, we investigated the creation and contents of awareness-raising materials targeting residents.
RESULTS: The questionnaire was completed by 1145 municipalities (valid response rate 65.8%). We found that 39.4% of the municipalities surveyed were currently running or planning activities about end-of-life care. Municipalities with active public awareness campaigns had a significantly higher financial capability index than inactive municipalities. Awareness-raising materials targeting residents were created in 134 of the municipalities. The most frequently mentioned components of the materials were the importance of articulating one's intentions with regard to end-of-life care services in advance, sharing those feelings with the family and revisiting them repeatedly (73.9%), and the explanation of home healthcare and long-term care services (47.7%).
CONCLUSIONS: The present findings suggest that cities with tight budgets are unable to carry out activities to raise awareness and educate residents about end-of-life care. Thus, it is important to pursue the implementation of further national-level initiatives and funding support for municipalities.
OBJECTIVES: Evidence on associations between marital status and frailty is limited. The objectives of this study were to perform a systematic review for associations between marital status and physical frailty and to perform a meta-analysis to combine findings.
DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling older people with mean age =60 years.
METHODS: Systematic literature search using 5 databases was conducted in February 2019 to identify longitudinal and cross-sectional studies examining associations between marital status and Fried's phenotype-based frailty status. Additional studies were searched for by reviewing the reference lists of relevant articles and conducting forward citation tracking of included articles. Odds ratio (OR) of marital status and frailty was pooled using a random-effects meta-analysis. Subgroup analysis and analyses stratified by gender and marital status (married, widowed, divorced or separated, and never married) were completed.
RESULTS: A total of 1565 studies were found, from which 3 studies with longitudinal data and 35 studies with cross-sectional data were included. Although longitudinal studies suggested that married men had lower frailty risks than unmarried men while married women had higher frailty risks than widowed women, meta-analysis was not possible because of different methodologies. Meta-analyses of cross-sectional data from 35 studies including 80,754 individuals showed that unmarried individuals were almost twice more likely to be frail than married individuals (pooled odds ratio = 1.88, 95% confidence interval = 1.70-2.07). A high degree of heterogeneity was observed (I2 = 69%) and was partially explained by reasons for not being married and study location. Stratified analyses showed that pooled risks of frailty in the unmarried compared with the married were not statistically different between women and women (P for difference = .62).
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Three and 35 studies, respectively, were found providing longitudinal and cross-sectional data regarding associations between marital status and frailty among community-dwelling older people. A meta-analysis of cross-sectional data showed almost twice higher frailty risk in unmarried individuals compared with married individuals. Marital status should be recognized as an important factor, and more longitudinal studies controlling for potential confounding factors are needed.
Objectives: To assess the association between receiving the certified care workers’ home care service, which is provided by non-medical professionals prior to a patients’ death and the probability of a home death.
Design: Observational research using the full-time translated number of certified care workers providing home care service per member of the population aged 65 or above, during the year prior to patient’s death per municipality as an instrumental variable.
Setting:: The certified care workers’ home care service covered by the public long-term care insurance (LTCI) system in Japan.
articipants In total, 1 613 391 LTCI beneficiaries aged 65 or above who passed away, except by an external cause of death, between January 2010 and December 2013 were included in the analysis.
Primary outcome measures: Death at home or death at other places, including hospitals, nursing homes and clinics with beds.
Results: Out of all participants, 173 498 (10.8%) died at home. The number of patients who used the certified care workers’ home care service more than once per each month during 1, 2 or 3 months prior to the month of death numbered 213 848, 176 686 and 155 716, respectively. This was associated with an increased probability of death at home by 9.1% points (95% CI 2.9 to 15.3), 10.5% points (3.3 to 17.6) and 11.4% points (3.6 to 19.2), respectively.
Conclusions: The use of the certified care workers’ home care service prior to death was associated with the increased probability of a home death.
AIM: The purpose of the present study was to collate examples of end-of-life care guidelines from various counties, examine their contents, and gain an overall picture of how end-of-life care guidance is offered to physicians and care providers internationally.
METHODS: In this study, eight researchers worked independently to source and examine national-level end-of-life care guidelines from different countries and regions. Data collected by each researcher were gathered into a unified table. The items in the table included basic information (publisher, year, URL etc.) and more specific items, such as the presence/absence of legal information and family's role in decision-making. These data were then used to identify trends, and examine the mechanics and delivery of guidance on this topic.
RESULTS: A total of 54 guidelines were included in the study. All the guidelines were published between 2000 and 2016, and 60% (n = 33) were published after 2012. The length of the guidelines varied from two to 487 pages (median 38 pages), and had different target audiences - both lay and professional. A total of 38 (70%) of the guidelines included information about the relevant laws and legal issues, 47 (87%) offered advice on withholding and withdrawing treatment, 46 (85%) discussed the family's role in decision-making and 46 (85%) emphasized the teamwork aspect of care.
CONCLUSIONS: The present findings show that end-of-life care guidelines are generally made reactively in response to the trend toward patient-centered care, and that to create effective guidelines and implement them requires multilevel cooperation between governmental bodies, healthcare teams, and patients and their families.