Objective: To determine the level of palliative care involvement before and after medical assistance in dying (MAID) requests, and to compare the differences between those who completed MAID and those who requested but did not complete MAID.
Design: Retrospective chart review.
Setting: The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) in Ontario.
Participants: Ninety-seven patients who requested MAID at TOH between February 6, 2016, and June 30, 2017.
Main outcome measures: Completion of MAID.
Results: Eighty-four patients were included in the study. Fifty patients (59.5%) completed MAID. The most common reasons for not completing MAID were death before completion of the required assessments (47.0%), ineligibility (26.5%), and loss of capacity (14.7%). The most common diagnoses were cancer (72.6%) and neurologic disease (11.9%). The most frequent reasons for requesting MAID were physical suffering (77.4%), loss of autonomy (36.9%), and poor quality of life (27.4%). Patients who completed MAID in this study were more likely to report physical suffering as the reason for their request than those who did not complete MAID (84.0% vs 67.6%; P = .08), yet only 23.8% of all patients requesting MAID had an Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale completed. Before MAID request, 27.4% of patients had a community palliative care physician and 59.5% had palliative care involvement in any setting. The TOH palliative care team was involved in 46.4% of patients who requested MAID.
Conclusion: There is still inadequate provision of palliative care for those requesting MAID. Guidelines, legislation, and guidance are needed to help physicians ensure patients are aware of and understand the benefits of palliative care in end-of-life decisions. However, the involvement of palliative care with patients who completed MAID was similar to those who did not complete MAID. Multicentre studies are needed to further explore the MAID process and clarify the role of palliative care in that process.
Palliative care and advance care planning (ACP) from the first diagnosis of glioblastoma are important. This questionnaire survey was conducted to understand the current status of palliative care for brain tumors in Japan. Representative characteristics of Japan in comparison with Western countries (P <0.01) are described below: (1) Gender ratio of male in physicians who treat brain tumors in Europe and the United States/Canada are about 70%, but 94% in Japan. (2) The specialty is predominantly neurosurgeon (93%) in Japan. The ratio of neurologists is predominantly 40% in Europe. In the United States/Canada, neurologist (27%) and neurosurgeon (29%) are main parts. (3) Years of medical experience over 15 in physicians is 73% in Japan. Proportions of those with over 15 years are 45% in Europe and 30% in the United States/Canada. (4) In practicing setting, the rate of academic medical centers is about 80% in Europe and the United States/Canada, and ~60% in Japan. Representative differences compared with past domestic data (2007) (p<0.01): (1) In glioblastoma, the rate of explaining about median survival time increases from 39% (2007) to 80% (2018). Explanation about medical conditions to the patient himself with his family increases from 20% (2007) to 39% (2018). (2) Place of death: The rate at hospital is decreasing from 96% (2007) to 79% (2018) and at home is increasing from 3% (2007) to 10% (2018) (3) The rate of ventilator in adult has decreased from 74% (2007) to 54% (2018), but nasal tube feeding has remained unchanged from 62% (2007) to 60% (2018). These results will be shared with physicians to make better care systems for patients with brain tumors.
BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease requiring palliative care. End-of-life care has been well studied in patients with incurable cancer, but less is known about the quality of such care for patients with ALS.
AIM: To study whether the quality of end-of-life care the last week in life for patients dying from ALS differed compared to patients with cancer in terms of registered symptoms, symptom management and communication.
DESIGN: This retrospective comparative registry study used data from the Swedish Registry of Palliative Care for 2012-2016. Each patient with ALS (n = 825) was matched to 4 patients with cancer (n = 3300).
RESULTS: Between-group differences in assessments for pain and other symptoms were significant (p < 0.01), and patients with ALS had fewer as-needed injection drugs prescribed than patients with cancer. Patients with ALS also had dyspnoea and anxiety significantly more often than patients with cancer. There was no significant difference in communication about transition to end-of-life care between the two groups. Patients dying from ALS received artificial nutrition on their last day of life significantly more often than patients with cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that patients with ALS receive poorer end-of-life care than patients dying from cancer in terms of validated symptom assessments, prescription of as-needed drugs, and timely cessation of artificial nutrition. Educational efforts seem needed to facilitate equal care of dying patients, regardless of diagnosis.
BACKGROUND: End-of-life caregiving frequently is managed by friends and family. Studies on hastened death, including aid in dying or assisted suicide, indicate friends and family also play essential roles before, during, and after death. No studies have compared the experiences of caregivers in hastened and non-hastened death. The study aim is to compare end-of-life and hastened death caregiving experience using Hudson's modified stress-coping model for palliative caregiving.
METHOD: Narrative synthesis of qualitative studies for caregivers at end of life and in hastened death, with 9946 end-of life and 1414 hastened death qualitative, peer-reviewed research articles extracted from MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsycINFO, published between January 1998 and April 2020.
RESULTS: Forty-two end-of-life caregiving and 12 hastened death caregiving articles met inclusion criteria. In both end-of-life and hastened death contexts, caregivers are motivated to ease patient suffering and may put their own needs or feelings aside to focus on that priority. Hastened death caregivers' expectation of impending death and the short duration of caregiving may result in less caregiver burden. Acceptance of the patient's condition, social support, and support from healthcare professionals all appear to improve caregiver experience. However, data on hastened death are limited.
CONCLUSION: Caregivers in both groups sought closeness with the patient and reported satisfaction at having done their best to care for the patient in a critical time. Awareness of anticipated death and support from healthcare professionals appear to reduce caregiver stress. The modified stress-coping framework is an effective lens for interpreting caregivers' experiences at end of life and in the context of hastened death.
BACKGROUND: Regulations on forgoing life-sustaining treatment (LST) have developed in Asian countries including Japan, Korea and Taiwan. However, other countries are relatively unaware of these due to the language barrier. This article aims to describe and compare the relevant regulatory frameworks, using the (more familiar) situation in England as a point of reference. We undertook literature reviews to ascertain the legal and regulatory positions on forgoing LST in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and England.
MAIN TEXT: Findings from a literature review are first presented to describe the development of the regulatory frameworks surrounding the option of forgoing LST in each country. Based on the findings from the four countries, we suggest five ethically important points, reflection on which should help to inform the further development of regulatory frameworks concerning end-of-life care in these countries and beyond. There should be reflection on: (1) the definition of - and reasons for defining - the 'terminal stage' and associated criteria for making such judgements; Korea and Taiwan limit forgoing LST to patients in this stage, but there are risks associated with defining this too narrowly or broadly; (2) foregoing LST for patients who are not in this stage, as is allowed in Japan and England, because here too there are areas of controversy, including (in England) whether the law in this area does enough to respect the autonomy of (now) incapacitated patients; (3) whether 'foregoing' LST should encompass withholding and withdrawing treatment; this is also an ethically disputed area, particularly in the Asian countries we examine; (4) the family's role in end-of-life decision-making, particularly as, compared with England, the three Asian countries traditionally place a greater emphasis on families and communities than on individuals; and (5) decision-making with and for those incapacitated patients who lack families, surrogate decision-makers or ADs.
CONCLUSION: Comparison of, and reflection on, the different legal positions that obtain in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and England should prove informative and we particularly invite reflection on five areas, in the hope the ensuing discussions will help to establish better end-of-life regulatory frameworks in these countries and elsewhere.
Self-efficacy and confidence levels among newly graduated nurses who participated in an end-of-life simulation were compared with nurses who had been practicing for no more than a year but had not participated in an end-of-life simulation. The study included a pretest-and-posttest evaluation of an end-of-life simulation intervention during a new graduate residency program among newly graduated nurses to improve self-efficacy and confidence with end-of-life care. Nurses who had been in practice for no more than a year but had not been exposed to an end-of-life simulation intervention were also surveyed. The Palliative Care Evaluation Tool Kit was adapted and used for this project. The 2 groups of nurses were compared in terms of self-efficacy and confidence levels regarding end-of-life care. An end-of-life simulation intervention was successful in improving self-efficacy and confidence levels among newly graduated nurses, in regard to views about end of life and death and dying compared with the nurses who did not receive the end-of-life simulation intervention. The results of this study have implications for both schools of nursing and hospital training programs.
BACKGROUND: Palliative care is one of the necessary elements in the treatment of children with cancer. Adaptation of country-specific palliative care practices to universal standards can provide valuable information for health care stakeholders.
AIM: This study proposed to evaluate the global compliance of palliative care for children with cancer among select Middle Eastern countries.
METHODS: In this comparative study, information about palliative care principles in Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Turkey was extracted from the literature. Data were collected using a checklist based on the conceptual framework of palliative care inspired by Wolff and Browne's (2011) standards. Then the extracted information was compared and analysed.
FINDINGS: The palliative care standards in the selected countries did not show full compliance with global standards. In all selected countires, the child's and family's needs were considered, and a comprehensive care approach was followed. However, in none of the selected countries was the child's agreement to discharge from the hospital obtained, and neither was it ensured that the needs of the child and family were met.
CONCLUSIONS: Palliative care principles in the selected Middle Eastern countries are far from meeting universal standards. Accordingly, planning and training are recommended in different domains of nursing education as well as clinical nursing in the care of children. Healthcare authorities and politicians must provide the appropriate conditions for better provision of palliative care for children with cancer.
BACKGROUND: Limited data about the frequency and outcomes of palliative care (PC) specialty consultations for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are available.
METHODS: This study was a retrospective chart review. Patients with ALS admitted to 2 academic hospitals from 2013-2018 were included. We compared patients who were seen by an inpatient specialty PC service (PC group) with those who were not (NonPC group).
RESULTS: Twenty-four patients met inclusion criteria (9 PC group, 15 NonPC group). Patients in both groups were similar in age and had been diagnosed for a similar amount of time before admission. In the PC group, 6 patients were seen by more than 1 PC multidisciplinary team member (physician, social worker, spiritual care provider, clinical nurse specialist). PC consultations were requested for goals of care (GOC) (n = 7), pain (n = 4), hospice information/referral (n = 2), dyspnea (n = 1), and excessive oral secretions (n = 1). GOC topics addressed for both groups were code status, treatment preferences (tracheostomy placement, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy placement, change to comfort care), prognostication, and hospice information/referral. Patients in the PC group were significantly more likely to be discharged with GOC (89%, p = 0.02) and completed advance care planning (ACP) documents (89%, p = 0.04) than patients in the NonPC group (32%; 47%). Despite reason for consultation, at least 1 symptom was addressed for every patient seen by PC specialists.
CONCLUSIONS: Inpatient specialty PC consultation for patients with ALS leads to greater documentation of GOC and ACP by discharge. PC consultants participate in symptom management in patients with ALS during hospitalization.
INTRODUCTION: Cancer prevalence (people alive on a certain date in a population who previously had a cancer diagnosis) is expected to increase in the United States and Europe due to improvements in survival and population aging. Examination of prevalence by phase of care allows us to identify subgroups of patients according to their care trajectories, thus allowing us to improve health care planning, resource allocation, and calculation of costs.
METHODS: A new method to estimate prevalence by phase of care using grouped data is illustrated. Prevalence is divided into 3 mutually exclusive phases: initial, continuing, and end-of-life. An application to US and Italian data is applied to prevalent cases diagnosed with colon-rectum, stomach, lung, or breast cancer.
RESULTS: The distribution of phase of care prevalence estimated by cancer type and sex and results from the two datasets are very similar. Most survivors are in the continuing phase; the end-of-life phase is larger for cancers with worse prognosis. All phases prevalence is generally higher in the Italian than in the US dataset, except for lung cancer in women, where prevalence proportion in the Italian dataset is 30% lower than in the United States.
DISCUSSION: Incidence, survival, and population age structure are the main determinants of prevalence and they can affect differences in all phases of prevalence, as well as in discrete phases. Incidence is the most influential determinant. Ours is the first study that compares prevalence by phase of care between two populations in Italy and the United States. Despite great differences in health care management in the two countries, we found extremely similar distribution of survivors by phase of care for most cancer sites under study.
On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization classified COVID-19, caused by Sars-CoV-2, as a pandemic. Although not much was known about the new virus, the first outbreaks in China and Italy showed that potentially a large number of people worldwide could fall critically ill in a short period of time. A shortage of ventilators and intensive care resources was expected in many countries, leading to concerns about restrictions of medical care and preventable deaths. In order to be prepared for this challenging situation, national triage guidance has been developed or adapted from former influenza pandemic guidelines in an increasing number of countries over the past few months. In this article, we provide a comparative analysis of triage recommendations from selected national and international professional societies, including Australia/New Zealand, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Pakistan, South Africa, Switzerland, the United States, and the International Society of Critical Care Medicine. We describe areas of consensus, including the importance of prognosis, patient will, transparency of the decision-making process, and psychosocial support for staff, as well as the role of justice and benefit maximization as core principles. We then probe areas of disagreement, such as the role of survival versus outcome, long-term versus short-term prognosis, the use of age and comorbidities as triage criteria, priority groups and potential tiebreakers such as 'lottery' or 'first come, first served'. Having explored a number of tensions in current guidance, we conclude with a suggestion for framework conditions that are clear, consistent and implementable. This analysis is intended to advance the ongoing debate regarding the fair allocation of limited resources and may be relevant for future policy-making.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this project was to assess the value for money of a modified unit within a residential aged care facility (RACF) for people requiring palliative care at the end of life.
METHODS: A three-way comparison using a mixed-method costing was used to estimate the per day cost of the unit compared to care in a palliative care unit within a hospital and a standard RACF bed.
RESULTS: The cost of the unit was estimated at $242 per day (2015 Australian dollars). The palliative care hospital bed cost $1,664 per day. The cost of a standard RACF bed was $123 per day, indicating that an additional $120 per day is required to provide the higher level of care required by people with complex palliative care needs.
CONCLUSION: A modified RACF unit could provide substantial cost savings to the health budget for selected complex palliative care patients.
Context: Palliative care programs are typically evaluated using observational data, raising concerns about selection bias.
Objective: To quantify selection bias due to observed and unobserved characteristics in a palliative care demonstration program.
Methods: Program administrative data and 100% Medicare claims data in two-states and a 20% sample in eight-states (2013-2017). The sample included 2983 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries age 65+ participating in the palliative care program and three matched cohorts: 1) regional 2) two-states and 3) eight-states. Confounding due to observed factors was measured by comparing patient baseline characteristics. Confounding due to unobserved factors was measured by comparing days of follow-up, and six-month and one-year mortality rates.
Results: After matching, evidence for observed confounding included differences in observable baseline characteristics including race, morbidity and utilization. Evidence for unobserved confounding included significantly longer mean follow-up in the regional, two-state, and eight-state comparison cohorts, with 207 (p<.001), 192 (p<.001), and 187 (p<.001) days, respectively, compared to the 162 days for the palliative care cohort. The palliative care cohort had higher 6 month and 1-year mortality rates of 53.5% and 64.5% compared to 43.5% and 48.0% in the regional comparison, 53.4% and 57.4% in the two-state comparison, and 55.0% and 59.0% in the eight-state comparison.
Conclusions: This case study demonstrates that selection of comparison groups impacts the magnitude of measured and unmeasured confounding, which may change effect estimates. The substantial impact of confounding on effect estimates in this study raises concerns about the evaluation of novel serious illness care models in the absence of randomization. We present key lessons learned for improving future evaluations of palliative care using observational study designs.
Background: In 2007, Cancer Care Ontario began standardised symptom assessment as part of routine care using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS).
Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of ESAS on receipt of palliative care when compared with a matched group of unexposed patients.
Design: A retrospective-matched cohort study examined the impact of ESAS screening on initiation of palliative care services provided by physicians or homecare nurses. The study included adult patients diagnosed with cancer between 2007 and 2015. Exposure was defined as completing =1 ESAS during the study period. Using 4 hard and 14 propensity score-matched variables, patients with cancer exposed to ESAS were matched 1:1 to those who were not. Matched patients were followed from first ESAS until initiation of palliative care, death or end of study.
Results: The final cohort consisted of 204 688 matched patients with no prior palliative care consult. The pairs were well matched. The cumulative incidence of receiving palliative care within the first 5 years was higher among those exposed to ESAS compared with those who were not (27.9% (95% CI: 27.5% to 28.2%) versus 27.9% (95% CI: 27.5% to 28.2%)), when death is considered as a competing event. In the adjusted cause-specific Cox proportional hazards model, ESAS assessment was associated with a 6% increase in palliative care services (HR: 1.06, 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.08).
Conclusion: We have demonstrated that patients exposed to ESAS were more likely to receive palliative care services compared with patients who were not exposed. This observation provides real-world data of the impact of routine assessment with a patient-reported outcome.
Objectives: Comparison of the effects of reflexology and relaxation on pain, anxiety, and depression, and quality of life (QoL) of patients with cancer.
Design: A stratified random sample was selected, using an experimental design.
Location: An outpatient Palliative Care Unit in Attica, Greece.
Subjects: 88 patients suffering with cancer.
Interventions: The sample was randomly divided into two equal groups, a reflexology and a relaxation group. The number of interventions for both groups was six 30-min weekly sessions.
Outcome measures: The Greek Brief Pain Inventory (G-BPI) was used to measure pain, the Greek Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale for screening anxiety and depression, and finally the Short Form Health Survey was used to measure QoL. Measurements of the above tools were taken three times in both groups as follows: preintervention, at fourth and at sixth week of intervention.
Results: Anxiety and depression for both groups exhibited a statistically significant decrease during the observation period (p < 0.001, 2 > 0.25) but at the sixth week, there was a more significant decrease in the reflexology group compared with the relaxation group (p = 0.062, 2 = 0.044 vs. p = 0.005, 2 = 0.096 for anxiety), (p = 0.006, 2 = 0.094 vs. p = 0.001, 2 = 0.138 for depression). QoL physical and mental component measurements were significantly greater for the reflexology group (p < 0.001, 2 = 0.168 and p = 0.017, 2 = 0.071, respectively). The baseline-to-sixth week G-BPI measurements were markedly decreased for the reflexology group (p = 0.207, 2 = 0.020).
Conclusions: Both interventions, relaxation and reflexology, seemed to be effective in decreasing anxiety and depression in patients with cancer. However, reflexology was found to be more effective in improving QoL (physical component) and to have a greater effect on pain management than relaxation.
CONTEXT: Certain treatments are potentially inappropriate when administered to nursing homes residents at the end of life and should be carefully considered. An international comparison of potentially inappropriate treatments allows insight into common issues and country-specific challenges of end-of-life care in nursing homes and helps direct health care policy in this area.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of potentially inappropriate treatments in the last week of life in nursing home residents, and analyze the differences in prevalence between countries.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study of deceased residents in nursing homes (2015) in six European countries: Belgium (Flanders), England, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. Potentially inappropriate treatments included: enteral administration of nutrition, parental administration of nutrition, artificial fluids, resuscitation, artificial ventilation, blood transfusion, chemotherapy/radiotherapy, dialysis, surgery, antibiotics, statins, antidiabetics, new oral anticoagulants. Nurses were questioned about whether these treatments were administered in the last week of life.
RESULTS: We included 1,384 deceased residents from 322 nursing homes. In most countries, potentially inappropriate treatments were rarely used, with a maximum of 18.3% of residents receiving at least one treatment in Poland. Exceptions were antibiotics in all countries (between 11.3% in Belgium and 45% in Poland), artificial nutrition and hydration in Poland (54.3%) and Italy (41%) and antidiabetics in Poland (19.7%).
CONCLUSION: Although the prevalence of potentially inappropriate treatments in the last week of life was generally low, antibiotics were frequently prescribed in all countries. In Poland and Italy, the prevalence of artificial administration of food/fluids in the last week of life was high, possibly reflecting country differences in legislation, care organization and culture, and the palliative care competences of staff.
Aim: This study aims to explore the experiences of bereavement after stillbirth of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers in a town with multi-ethnic populations in England.
Participants: A purposive sample of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers aged over 16 (at time of infant birth), who suffered a stillbirth in the preceding 6–24 months and residing in a specified postcode area were invited to take part in the study, by an identified gatekeeper (audit midwife) from the local National Health Service Trust, in addition to local bereavement charities.
Design: Qualitative methods using face-to-face semi-structured interviews were undertaken, recorded and transcribed verbatim. Using framework analysis, several themes were identified.
Findings: There were three main themes identified from the data; 1. knowledge and information of pregnancy and perinatal mortality; 2. attitudes and perceptions to pregnancy and perinatal mortality and 3. experiences with maternity care. The findings revealed mostly similarities in the bereavement experiences of the Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers. A few cultural and religious differences were identified.
Conclusions: This study found important similarities in bereavement experiences of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers and highlights considerations for policy makers and maternity services in how the timing of bereavement after care is provided, including advice surrounding the infant post-mortem. 209
Background: This study compares a longitudinal population-based sample of spouses bereaved by suicide and those bereaved by other sudden deaths to determine if suicide-bereaved spouses (SBS) experience greater rates of physician-diagnosed mental disorders.
Methods: First, married individuals whose spouse died by suicide, sudden natural death (SND) and unintentional injury (UI) were compared to non-bereaved matched cohorts to determine if there were differences in mental disorder rates between bereavement groups and non-bereaved matches. Second, SBS (n = 365), spouses bereaved by SND (n = 1000), and spouses bereaved by UI (n = 270), were compared using inverse probability treatment weighting and generalized estimating equations to calculate relative rates of mental disorders 5 years before/after death.
Outcomes: All bereaved cohorts had higher rates of mental disorders compared to non-bereaved cohorts. SBS had the greatest rate of depression post-bereavement (50·96%), followed by UI (38·52%) and SND (33·70%) spouses. When comparing bereavement cohorts, a significant group-by-time interaction (P = 0·047) revealed the rate change for depression was significantly different between suicide and UI-bereaved spouses, with SBS having higher rates of depression before bereavement. SBS had increased rates of any mental disorder both pre (ARR = 1·35, 95% CI = 1·03-1·18, P<·05) and post spousal death (ARR = 1·24, 95% CI = 1·03-1·45, P<·05) when compared to UI spouses signifying pre-existing mental disorders. Post-bereavement, SBS had greater rates of depression only when compared to SND-bereaved spouses (ARR = 1·31, 95% CI = 1·10-1·55, P<·01). Interpretation: SBS have the greatest rates of depression and any mental disorder before the death of their spouse, suggesting suicide bereavement may be unique. Sudden spousal bereavement is a vulnerable time for mental disorders.
There is limited evidence on the relationships of preference for end-of-life life-sustaining treatments [LSTs] and diagnostic contexts like heart failure [HF] or cancer, and patient attitudes toward and perceived susceptibility to use advance directives [ADs]. Thus, this study aimed to compare attitudes and perceived susceptibility between HF patients and community-dwelling patients with cancer, and examine the associations of these variables with their preference for each LST (cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR], ventilation support, hemodialysis, and hospice care). Secondary data were obtained from 36 outpatients with HF (mean age, 65.44 years; male, 69.4%) and 107 cancer patients (mean age, 67.39 years; male, 32.7%). More patients with HF preferred CPR than cancer patients (41.7% and 15.9%, 2 = 8.88, P = 0.003). Attitudes and perceived susceptibility were similar between the two diagnostic cohorts. HF patients and those with more positive attitudes had greater odds of preferring CPR (odds ratio [OR] = 3.02, confidence interval [CI] = 1.19, 7.70) and hospice care (OR = 1.14, CI = 1.06, 1.23), respectively. HF diagnosis and AD attitudes increased the preference for CPR and hospice care, respectively. This suggests that it is important to gain positive attitudes toward ADs and consider diagnostic context to facilitate informed decision-making for LSTs.
Schizophrenia is marked by inequities in cancer treatment and associated with high smoking rates. Lung cancer patients with schizophrenia may thus be at risk of receiving poorer end-of-life care compared to those without mental disorder. The objective was to compare end-of-life care delivered to patients with schizophrenia and lung cancer with patients without severe mental disorder. This population-based cohort study included all patients aged 15 and older who died from their terminal lung cancer in hospital in France (2014–2016). Schizophrenia patients and controls without severe mental disorder were selected and indicators of palliative care and high-intensity end-of-life care were compared. Multivariable generalized log-linear models were performed, adjusted for sex, age, year of death, social deprivation, time between cancer diagnosis and death, metastases, comorbidity, smoking addiction and hospital category. The analysis included 633 schizophrenia patients and 66,469 controls. The schizophrenia patients died 6 years earlier, had almost twice more frequently smoking addiction (38.1%), had more frequently chronic pulmonary disease (32.5%) and a shorter duration from cancer diagnosis to death. In multivariate analysis, they were found to have more and earlier palliative care (adjusted Odds Ratio 1.27 [1.03;1.56]; p = 0.04), and less high-intensity end-of-life care (e.g., chemotherapy 0.53 [0.41;0.70]; p < 0.0001; surgery 0.73 [0.59;0.90]; p < 0.01) than controls. Although the use and/or continuation of high-intensity end-of-life care is less important in schizophrenia patients with lung cancer, some findings suggest a loss of chance. Future studies should explore the expectations of patients with schizophrenia and lung cancer to define the optimal end-of-life care.
BACKGROUND: Despite having high comorbidity rates and shortened life expectancy, patients with ESKD may harbor unrealistically optimistic expectations about their prognoses. Whether this affects resuscitation orders is unknown.
METHODS: To determine whether do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders differ among patients with ESKD compared with other critically ill patients, including those with diseases of other major organs, we investigated DNR orders on admission to intensive care units (ICUs) among 106,873 patients in the United States.
RESULTS: Major organ disease uniformly associated with increased risk of hospital mortality, particularly for cirrhosis (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.67; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 2.30 to 3.08), and ESKD (aOR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.31 to 1.65). Compared with critically ill patients without major organ disease, patients with stroke, cancer, heart failure, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cirrhosis were statistically more likely to have a DNR order on ICU admission; those with ESKD were not. Findings were similar when comparing patients with a single organ disease with those without organ disease. The disconnect between prognosis and DNR use was most notable among Black patients, for whom ESKD (compared with no major organ disease) was associated with a 62% (aOR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.27 to 2.04) higher odds of hospital mortality, but no appreciable difference in DNR utilization (aOR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.66 to 1.62).
CONCLUSIONS: Unlike patients with diseases of other major organs, critically ill patients with ESKD were not more likely to have a DNR order than patients without ESKD. Whether this reflects a greater lack of advance care planning in the nephrology community, as well as a missed opportunity to minimize potentially needless patient suffering, requires further study.