Context: Hospice facilities are increasingly preferred as a location of death, but little is known about the characteristics of patients who die in these facilities in the U.S.
Objectives: We sought to examine the trends and factors associated with death in a hospice facility.
Methods: Retrospective cross-sectional study using mortality data for years 2003–2017 for deaths attributed to natural causes in the U.S.
Results: The proportion of natural deaths occurring in hospice facilities increased from 0.2% in 2003 to 8.3% in 2017, resulting in nearly 1.7 million deaths during this time frame. Females had increased odds of hospice facility deaths (odds ratio [OR] = 1.04; 95% CI = 1.04, 1.05). Nonwhite race was associated with lower odds of hospice facility death (black [OR = 0.915; 95% CI = 0.890, 0.940]; Native American [OR = 0.559; 95% CI = 0.515, 0.607]; and Asian [OR = 0.655; 95% CI = 0.601, 0.713]). Being married was associated with hospice facility death (OR = 1.06; 95% CI = 1.04, 1.07). Older age was associated with increased odds of hospice facility death (85 and older [OR = 1.40; 95% CI = 1.39, 1.41]). Having at least some college education was associated with increased odds of hospice facility death (OR = 1.13; 95% CI = 1.11, 1.15). Decedents from cardiovascular disease had the lowest odds of hospice facility death (OR = 0.278; 95% CI = 0.274, 0.282).
Conclusion: Hospice facility deaths increased among all patient groups; however, striking differences exist by age, sex, race, marital status, education level, cause of death, and geography. Factors underlying these disparities should be examined.
Background: Patients with hematologic malignancies (HM) often receive aggressive care at the end of life (EOL). Early palliative care (PC) has been shown to improve EOL care outcomes, but its benefits are less established in HM than in solid tumors.
Objectives: We sought to describe the use of billed PC services among Medicare beneficiaries with HM. We hypothesized that receipt of early PC services (rendered >30 days before death) may be associated with less aggressive EOL care.
Design: Retrospective cohort analysis
Setting/Subjects: Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare registry, we studied patients with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome, or myeloproliferative neoplasm who died between 2001 and 2015.
Measurements: We described trends in the use of PC services and evaluated the association between early PC services and metrics of EOL care aggressiveness.
Results: Among 139,191 decedents, the proportion receiving PC services increased from 0.4% in 2001 to 13.3% in 2015. Median time from first encounter to death was 10 days and 84.3% of encounters occurred during hospitalizations. In patients who survived >30 days from diagnosis (N = 120,741), the use of early PC services was more frequent in acute leukemia, women, and black patients, among other characteristics. Early PC services were associated with increased hospice use and decreased health care utilization at the EOL.
Conclusion: Among patients with HM, there was an upward trend in PC services, and early PC services were associated with less aggressive EOL care. Our results support the need for prospective trials of early PC in HM.
OBJECTIVES: To describe how children currently die in Spanish PICUs, their epidemiologic characteristics and clinical diagnoses.
DESIGN: Prospective multicenter observational study.
SETTING: Eighteen PICUs participating in the MOdos de Morir en UCI Pediátrica-2 (MOMUCI-2) study in Spain.
PATIENTS: Children 1 to 16 years old who died in PICU during 2017 and 2018.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: During the 2-year study period, 250 deaths were recorded. Seventy-three children (29.3%) were younger than 1 year, 131 (52.6%) were between 1 and 12 years old, and 45 (18.1%) were older than 12. One-hundred eighty patients (72%) suffered from an underlying chronic disease, 54 (21.6%) had been admitted to PICU in the past 6 months, and 71 (28.4%) were severely disabled upon admission. Deaths occurred more frequently on the afternoon-night shift (62%) after a median PICU length of stay of 3 days (1-12 d). Nearly half of the patients died (48.8%) after life-sustaining treatment limitation, 71 died (28.4%) despite receiving life-sustaining therapies and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and 57 (22.8%) were declared brain dead. The most frequent type of life-sustaining treatment limitation was the withdrawal of mechanical ventilation (20.8%), followed by noninitiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (18%) and withdrawal of vasoactive drugs (13.7%). Life-sustaining treatment limitation was significantly more frequent in patients with an underlying neurologic-neuromuscular disease, respiratory disease as the cause of admission, a previous admission to PICU in the past 6 months, and severe disability. Multivariate analyses indicated that life-sustaining treatment limitation, chronicity, and poor Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category score were closely related.
CONCLUSIONS: Currently, nearly half of the deaths in Spanish PICUs occur after the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments. These children are more likely to have had previous admissions to the PICU, be severely disabled or to suffer from chronic diseases. Healthcare professionals who treat critically ill children ought to be aware of this situation and should therefore be prepared and trained to provide the best end-of-life care possible.
BACKGROUND: Valuable information for planning future end-of-life care (EOLC) services and care facilities can be gained by studying trends in place of death (POD). Scarce data exist on the POD in small developing countries. This study aims to examine shifts in the POD of all persons dying between 1999 and 2010 in Trinidad and Tobago, to draw conclusions about changes in the distribution of POD over time and the possible implications for EOLC practice and policy.
METHODS: A population-level analysis of routinely collected death certificate data of the most recent available fully coded years at the time of the study-1999 to 2010. Observed proportions for the POD of all deaths were standardised according to the age, sex and cause of death distribution in 1999. Trends for a subgroup of persons who died from causes indicative of a palliative care (PC) need were also examined.
RESULTS: The proportion of deaths in government hospitals increased from 48.9% to 55.4% and decreased from 38.7% to 29.7% at private homes. There was little variation between observed and standardised rates. The decrease in home deaths was stronger when the PC subcategory was considered, most notably from cancer.
CONCLUSION: Internationally, the proportion of deaths at institutions is increasing. A national strategy on palliative and EOLC is needed to facilitate the increasing number of people who seek EOLC at government hospitals in Trinidad and Tobago, including an investigation into the reasons for the trend. Alternatives to accommodate out-of-hospital deaths can be considered.
Background: Chronic lung disease is a common cause of mortality, yet little is known about where individuals with chronic lung disease die.
Research Question: What are the trends and factors associated with place of death among individuals with chronic lung disease?
Study Design and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of natural deaths using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-ranging OnLine Data for Epidemiologic Research from 2003 to 2017 for which chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease (ILD), or cystic fibrosis (CF) was the underlying cause. Place of death was categorized as hospital, home, nursing facility, hospice facility, and other.
Results: From 2003 to 2017, more than 2.2. million deaths were primarily attributed to chronic lung disease (51.6% female, 92.4% white). Most were attributed to COPD (88.9%), followed by ILD (10.8.%), and CF (0.3%). Hospital and nursing facility deaths declined from 44.4% (n= 59,470) and 22.6% (n= 30,285) to 28.3% (n= 49,6555) and 19.7% (n= 34,495) while home and hospice facility deaths increased from 23.3% (n=31,296) and 0.1% (n=192) to 34.7% (n=60851) and 9.0% (n=15,861) respectively. Male sex, being married, and having some college education were associated with increased odds of home death while non-white race and Hispanic ethnicity were associated with increased odds of hospital death. Compared to decedents with COPD, individuals with ILD and CF had increased odds of hospital death and reduced odds of home, nursing facility or hospice facility death.
Interpretation: Home deaths are increasing among decedents from chronic lung disease increasing the need for quality end-of-life care in this setting. Further research should explore the end-of-life needs and preferences of these patients and their caregivers with particular attention paid to patients with ILD and CF who continue to have high rates of hospital death.
Objectives: We aimed to investigate the occurrence rates of clinical events and their associations with comfort in dying nursing home residents with and without dementia.
Methods: Epidemiological after-death survey was performed in nationwide representative samples of 322 nursing homes in Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and England. Nursing staff reported clinical events and assessed comfort. The nursing staff or physician assessed the presence of dementia; severity was determined using two highly discriminatory staff-reported instruments.
Results: The sample comprised 401 residents with advanced dementia, 377 with other stages of dementia, and 419 without dementia (N = 1197). Across the three groups, pneumonia occurred in 24 to 27% of residents. Febrile episodes (unrelated to pneumonia) occurred in 39% of residents with advanced dementia, 34% in residents with other stages of dementia and 28% in residents without dementia (P = .03). Intake problems occurred in 74% of residents with advanced dementia, 55% in residents with other stages of dementia, and 48% in residents without dementia (P < .001). Overall, these three clinical events were inversely associated with comfort. Less comfort was observed in all resident groups who had pneumonia (advanced dementia, P = .04; other stages of dementia, P = .04; without dementia, P < .001). Among residents with intake problems, less comfort was observed only in those with other stages of dementia (P < .001) and without dementia (P = .003), while the presence and severity of dementia moderated this association (P = .03). Developing “other clinical events” was not associated with comfort.
Conclusions: Discomfort was observed in dying residents who developed major clinical events, especially pneumonia, which was not specific to advanced dementia. It is crucial to identify and address the clinical events potentially associated with discomfort in dying residents with and without dementia.
Background: All countries face growing demand for palliative care services. Projections of need are essential to plan care in an era of demographic change. We aim to estimate palliative care needs in Ireland from 2016 to 2046.
Methods: Static modelling of secondary data. First, we estimate the numbers of people in Ireland who will die from a disease associated with palliative care need. We combine government statistics on cause of death (2007-2015) and projected mortality (2016-2046). Second, we combine these statistics with survey data to estimate numbers of people aged 50+ living and dying with diseases associated with palliative care need. Third, we use these projections and survey data to estimate disability burden, pain prevalence and health care utilisation among people aged 50+ living and dying with serious medical illness.
Results: In 2016, the number of people dying annually from a disease indicating palliative care need was estimated as 22,806, and the number of people not in the last year of life aged 50+ with a relevant diagnosis was estimated as 290,185. Equivalent estimates for 2046 are 40,355 and 548,105, increases of 84% and 89% respectively. These groups account disproportionately for disability burden, pain prevalence and health care use among older people, meaning that population health burdens and health care use will increase significantly in the next three decades. Conclusion: The global population is ageing, although significant differences in intensity of ageing can be seen between countries. Prevalence of palliative care need in Ireland will nearly double over 30 years, reflecting Ireland's relatively young population. People living with a serious disease outnumber those in the last year of life by approximately 12:1, necessitating implementation of integrated palliative care across the disease trajectory. Urgent steps on funding, workforce development and service provision are required to address these challenges.
Background: The location of death is an important component of end-of-life care. However, contemporary trends in the location of death for cardiovascular deaths related to heart failure (CV-HF) and comparison to cancer deaths have not been fully examined.
Methods: We analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Control Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database between 2003 and 2017 to identify location of death for CV-HF and cancer deaths. The proportions of deaths that occurred in a hospice facility, home, and medical facility were tested for trends using linear regression. Odds ratios were calculated to determine the odds of death occurring in a hospice facility or home (versus a medical facility) stratified by sex and race.
Results: We identified 2 940 920 CV-HF and 8 852 066 cancer deaths. Increases were noted in the proportion of CV-HF deaths in hospice facilities (0.2% to 8.2%; Ptrend<0.001) and at home (20.6% to 30.7%; Ptrend<0.001), whereas decreases were noted in the proportion of deaths in medical facilities (44.5% to 31.0%; Ptrend<0.001) and nursing homes (30.8% to 25.7%; Ptrend<0.001). The odds of dying in a hospice facility (odds ratio, 1.79 [1.75–1.82]) or at home (odds ratio, 1.55 [1.53–1.56]) versus a medical facility was higher for whites versus blacks. The rate of increase in proportion of deaths in hospice facilities was higher for cancer deaths (ß=1.05 [95% CI, 0.97–1.12]) than for CV-HF deaths (ß=0.61 [95% CI, 0.58–0.64]).
Conclusions: The proportion of CV-HF deaths occurring in hospice facilities is increasing but remains low. Disparities are noted whereby whites are more likely to die in hospice facilities or at home versus medical facilities compared with blacks. More research is needed to determine end-of-life preferences for patients with HF and identify the basis for these differences in location of death.
Background: Globally, the number of deaths is estimated to increase to 74 million per year by 2030. Place of death (PoD) is increasingly being recognized as an important aspect of end-of-life care. However, recent trends in PoD in Japan, one of the super-aged societies, are unknown.
Objective: To analyze trends in PoD in Japan over two decades.
Design: Population-based retrospective observational study.
Setting: All deaths reported in Japan, 1998-2017. PoD was defined as hospital, nursing home, or own home.
Results: All Japanese decedents (~22.6 million) over the past 20 years were analyzed. The proportion of hospital deaths was consistently high (>80%), with a significant decreasing trend from the mid-2000s. Although the proportion of deaths at home decreased in the first half of the study period, they later increased. There was a low proportion of deaths in nursing homes compared to other places of death; however, the proportion increased continually throughout the study period, particularly among women. In 2015, more women died in nursing homes than at home. Although the proportion of hospital deaths declined in the second half of the study period, their overall number continued to increase, reflecting an increase in total deaths in Japan.
Conclusions: This study highlighted rapid changes in trends in PoD in Japan, and the need to consider affordable end-of-life care in Japan as well as other countries with aging populations. The findings from this long-term epidemiological study provide important insights on this issue.
Gabriel García Márquez opens Chronicle of a Death Foretold with a brutal finality: a man is murdered in the doorway of his home. Hundreds of pages later, the reader has some insight into why the death happened, but the event itself is never in doubt.
Like the famous novel, the mortality follow-back study is a subset of case design, constructed in reverse time: collect a set of patients who have some outcome—in this case, death—under some defined set of circumstances or with some defined condition, and look back to understand the days, weeks, or years leading up to that event. This study design is abundant in the cancer literature to understand end-of-life care patterns, costs, and experiences of death. More recently this design has been applied to the ESKD population. This is a population where mortality rates exceed those of the major cancer subtypes, so patient death is a common event, and one of great interest to clinicians and epidemiologists alike.
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Background: Avoiding inappropriate care transition and enabling people with chronic diseases to die at home have become important health policy issues. Availability of palliative home care services may be related to dying at home.
Aim: after controlling for the presence of hospital beds and primary care physicians, we examined the association between availability of home palliative care services and dying at home in conditions requiring such services.
Design: Death certificate data in Japan in 2016 were linked with regional healthcare statistics.
Setting/participants: All adults (18 years or older) who died from conditions needing palliative care in 2016 in Japan were included.
Results: There were 922,756 persons included for analysis. Malignant neoplasm (37.4%) accounted for most decedents, followed by heart disease including cerebrovascular disease (31.4%), respiratory disease (14.7%) and dementia/Alzheimer’s disease/senility (11.5%). Of decedents, 20.8% died at home or in a nursing home and 79.2% died outside home (hospital/geriatric intermediate care facility). Death at home was more likely in health regions with fewer hospital beds and more primary care physicians, in total and per condition needing palliative care. Number of home palliative care services was negatively associated with death at home. The adjustment for home palliative care services disappeared in heart disease including cerebrovascular disease and reversed in respiratory disease.
Conclusion: Specialised home palliative care services may be suboptimal, and primary care services may serve as a key access point in providing baseline palliative care to people with conditions needing palliative care. Therefore, primary care services should aim to enhance their palliative care workforce.
It is well-established that survival in burn injury is primarily dependent on three factors: age, percent total-body surface area burned (%TBSA), and inhalation injury. However, it is clear that in other (non-burn) conditions, nonmedical factors may influence mortality. Even in severe burns, patients undergoing resuscitation may survive for a period of time before succumbing to infection or other complications. In some cases, though, families in conjunction with caregivers may choose to withdraw care and not resuscitate patients with large burns. We wanted to investigate whether any nonmedical socioeconomic factors influenced the rate of early deaths in burn patients. The National Burn Repository (NBR) was used to identify patients that died in the first 72 hours after injury and those that survived more than 72 hours. Both univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to examine factors including age, gender, race, comorbidities, burn size, inhalation injury, and insurance type, and determine their influence on deaths within 72 hours. A total of 133,889 burn patients were identified, 1362 of which died in the first 72 hours. As expected, the Baux score (age plus burn size), and inhalation injury predicted early deaths. Interestingly, on multivariate analysis, patients with Medicare (p=0.002), self-pay patients (p< 0.001), and those covered by automobile policies (p=0.045) were significantly more likely to die early than those with commercial insurance. Medicaid patients were more likely to die early, but not significantly (p=0.188). Worker's compensation patients were more likely to survive the first 72 hours compared to patients with commercial insurance (p<0.001). Men were more likely to survive the early period than women (p=0.043). On analysis by race, only Hispanic patients significantly differed from white patients, and Hispanics were more likely to survive the first 72 hours (p=0.028). Traditional medical factors are major factors in early burn deaths. However, these results show that nonmedical socioeconomic factors including race, gender, and especially insurance status influence early burn deaths as well.
OBJECTIVE: Care homes are a common place of death for older adults, especially those with complex health needs or dementia. Representative, internationally comparable data on care home facilities and their residents is needed to monitor health and wellbeing in this population. Identification and collection of data from care homes can be challenging and often underreported. This paper draws on the experiences of the PACE study, a cross sectional mortality follow back study conducted in six European countries.
RESULTS: Multiple challenges were encountered in creating a sampling framework and contacting, recruiting and retaining care homes in the PACE study. Recruiting a randomly identified, representative cohort from a stratified sampling framework was problematic, as was engaging with care homes to ensure high response rates. Variation in the funding of care homes across the six countries involved in the study may explain the additional challenges encountered in England. Awareness of the challenges encountered in England in implementing an international study in care homes can inform the design and implementation of future studies within care homes. Further discussion is needed to determine the barriers and facilitators to conducting research in care homes, and how this is shaped by the focus of the study.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the prevalence of do-not-resuscitate status, assess the epidemiologic trends of do-not-resuscitate status, and assess the factors associated with do-not-resuscitate status in children after in-hospital cardiac arrest using large, multi-institutional data.
DESIGN: Generalized estimating equations logistic regression model was used to evaluate the trends of do-not-resuscitate status and evaluate the factors associated with do-not-resuscitate status after cardiac arrest.
SETTING: American Heart Association's Get With the Guidelines-Resuscitation Registry.
PATIENTS: Children (< 18 yr old) with an index in-hospital cardiac arrest and greater than or equal to 1 minute of documented chest compressions were included (2006-2015). Patients with no return of spontaneous circulation after cardiac arrest were excluded.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: In total, 8,062 patients qualified for inclusion. Of these, 1,160 patients (14.4%) adopted do-not-resuscitate status after cardiac arrest. We found low rates of survival to hospital discharge among children with do-not-resuscitate status (do-not-resuscitate vs no do-not-resuscitate: 6.0% vs 69.7%). Our study found that rates of do-not-resuscitate status after cardiac arrest are highest in children with Hispanic ethnicity (16.4%), white race (15.0%), and treatment at institutions with larger PICUs (> 50 PICU beds: 17.8%) and at institutions located in North Central (17.6%) and South Atlantic/Puerto Rico (17.1%) regions of the United States. Do-not-resuscitate status was more common among patients with more preexisting conditions, longer duration of cardiac arrest, greater than 1 cardiac arrest, and among patients requiring extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation. We also found that trends of do-not-resuscitate status after cardiac arrest in children are decreasing in recent years (2013-2015: 13.8%), compared with previous years (2006-2009: 16.0%).
CONCLUSIONS: Patient-, hospital-, and regional-level factors are associated with do-not-resuscitate status after pediatric cardiac arrest. As cardiac arrest might be a signal of terminal chronic illness, a timely discussion of do-not-resuscitate status after cardiac arrest might help families prioritize quality of end-of-life care.
Background and purpose: Introducing palliative care earlier in the disease trajectory has been found to provide better management of physical and psychological suffering. In France, the proportion of cancer patients who receive palliative care is unclear. This study aimed primarily to measure the prevalence of access to inpatient palliative care and associated patient-level factors, and to identify the time between access to palliative care and death. Patients and methods: A nationwide retrospective cohort study using data from the French national health system database (SNDS - Système national des données de santé). All those diagnosed with cancer in 2013 who died between 2013 and 2015 were included. Access to inpatient palliative care was the main outcome. Results: Of the 313,059 patients diagnosed with cancer in 2013 in France, 72,315 (23%) died between 2013 and 2015. Overall, 57% had access to inpatient palliative care. The following groups were the most likely to have access to palliative care: women (adjusted odds ratio, aOR: 1.15; 95% CI: 1.11-1.20), people aged 18-49 (aOR: 1.38; 95% CI: 1.26-1.51), individuals with metastatic cancer (aOR: 2.04; 95% CI: 1.96-2.13), and patients with cancer of the nervous system (aOR: 1.80; 95% CI: 1.62-2.01). The median time between palliative care and death was 29 (interquartile range: 13-67) days. Conclusion: More than half of cancer patients who died within 2 years after diagnosis had access to inpatient palliative care. Access to palliative care occurs late in the disease trajectory, often during the final month of life. Further research and guidelines are warranted to optimize access to early, standardized palliative care.
Purpose. This study aimed to characterize breakthrough pain (BTP) and investigate its impact on quality-of-life (QoL) in terminally-ill cancer patients. Similarities and differences between high and low predictable BTP were also tested. Methods. Secondary analysis of a multicenter longitudinal observational study included 92 patients at their end-of-life. BTP was assessed with a short form of the Italian version of the Alberta Breakthrough Pain Assessment Tool. QoL was assessed with the Palliative Outcome Scale (0-40). Patients were stratified by self-reported BTP predictability into unpredictable BTP (never or rarely able to predict BTP) and predictable BTP (sometimes to always able to predict BTP). Results. In all, 665 BTP episodes were recorded (median 0.86 episodes/day). A median duration of 30 minutes and a median peak intensity score of 7 out of 10 were reported. Time to peak was <10 minutes, 10 to 30 minutes, and 30 minutes in 267 (41.1%), 259 (39.9%), and 30 (4.6%) of the episodes, respectively. Onset of relief occurred after a median of 30 minutes. Time to peak (P < .001) and duration (P = .046) of BTP was shorter in patients with predictable pain (n = 31), who usually were younger than those with unpredictable pain (P = .03). The mean (SD) QoL score was 14.6 (4.6). No difference in QoL between patients with predictable and unpredictable BTP was found (P = .49). Conclusions. In terminally-ill cancer patients, BTP is a severe problem with a negative impact on QoL and has different characteristics according to its predictability.
BACKGROUND: A lack of public awareness of palliative care (PC) has been identified as one of the main barriers to appropriate PC access. Internet search query analysis is a novel methodology, which has been effectively used in surveillance of infectious diseases, and can be used to monitor public awareness of health-related topics.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to demonstrate the utility of internet search query analysis to evaluate changes in public awareness of PC in the USA between 2005 and 2015.
METHODS: Google Trends provides a referenced score for the popularity of a search term, for defined regions over defined time periods. The popularity of the search term 'palliative care' was measured monthly between 1/1/2005 and 31/12/2015 in the USA and in the UK.
RESULTS: Results were analysed using independent t-tests and joinpoint analysis. The mean monthly popularity of the search term increased between 2008-2009 (p<0.001), 2011-2012 (p<0.001), 2013-2014 (p=0.004) and 2014-2015 (p=0.002) in the USA. Joinpoint analysis was used to evaluate the monthly percentage change (MPC) in the popularity of the search term. In the USA, the MPC increase was 0.6%/month (p<0.05); in the UK the MPC of 0.05% was non-significant.
DISCUSSION: Although internet search query surveillance is a novel methodology, it is freely accessible and has significant potential to monitor health-seeking behaviour among the public. PC is rapidly growing in the USA, and the rapidly increasing public awareness of PC as demonstrated in this study, in comparison with the UK, where PC is relatively well established is encouraging in increasingly ensuring appropriate PC access for all.
Cet article est une mise au point sur la mort inattendue du nourrisson, qui malgré une forte baisse, reste la 1ère cause de décès au-delà de la période néonatale, justifiant de renforcer les mesures de prévention et d'en comprendre la cause. (Adapté du R.A.).
Origine : BDSP. Notice produite par APHPDOC ltR0xAqF. Diffusion soumise à autorisation
Although antiretroviral therapy has reduced mortality among people with HIV, inadequate treatment coverage, ageing, and the increasing incidence of organ failure and malignancies mean that high-quality care should include care at the end of life. This Review summarises the epidemiology of HIV in relation to mortality, and the symptoms and concerns of people with AIDS and those living with HIV who have either related or unrelated advanced comorbidities. In response to the evidence of a need for palliative care, the principles and practice of palliative care are described, and the evidence for its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness is appraised. The core practices of palliative care offer a mechanism to enhance the person-centred nature of HIV care; I identify the gaps in this type of care, and present evidence for effective models of care to address these. I detail the policies that prompt governments and health systems to respond to the palliative care needs of their population. Finally, I conclude this Review with evidence-based recommendations to improve the delivery of, and access to, high-quality HIV care until the end of life, reducing unnecessary suffering while optimising person-centred outcomes.
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate epidemiologic and prognostic factors relevant to the treatment of loco-regionally advanced gastric cancer (GC).
METHODS: Two hundred and fifty-five patients with GC were identified in Uppsala County between 2000 and 2009. Patient records were analyzed for loco-regionally advanced GC defined as tumor with peritoneal involvement, excluding serosal invasion from the primary tumor only, at primary diagnosis or during follow-up. The presence or not of distant metastasis (DM), including hematogenous metastases (e.g., liver, lung, and bone) and/or distant lymph node metastases, was also analyzed. The Cox proportional hazard model was used for multivariate analysis of factors influencing survival.
RESULTS: One hundred and twenty patients (47% of all patients with GC; median age 70.5 years) had loco-regionally advanced disease, corresponding to an incidence of 3.8 per 100,000 person-years. Forty-one percent of these also had DM. Median overall survival (mOS) from the time of the diagnosis of loco-regionally advanced disease was 4.8 months for the total patient cohort, 5.1 months for the subgroup of patients without DM, and 4.7 months for the subgroup with DM. There was no significant difference in mOS between the subgroups with synchronous versus metachronous loco-regionally advanced GC: 4.8 months (range 0.0-67.4) versus 4.7 months (range 0.0-28.3). Using multivariate Cox analysis, positive prognostic factors for survival were good performance status at diagnosis and treatment with palliative chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Synchronous DM was a negative prognostic factor. The mOS did not differ when comparing the time period 2000-2004 (5.1 months, range 0-67.4) with the period 2005-2009 (4.0 months, range 0.0-28.3).
CONCLUSION: Peritoneal involvement occurred in almost half of the patients with GC in this study and was associated with short life expectancy. New treatment strategies are warranted.