BACKGROUND: Diagnosis and treatment of incurable cancer as a life-changing experience evokes difficult existential questions.
AIM: A structured reflection could improve patients' quality of life and spiritual well-being. We developed an interview model on life events and ultimate life goals and performed a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect thereof on quality of life and spiritual well-being.
DESIGN: The intervention group had two consultations with a spiritual counselor. The control group received care as usual. EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL and the FACIT-sp were administered at baseline and 2 and 4 months after baseline. Linear mixed model analysis was performed to test between-group differences over time.
PARTICIPANTS: Adult patients with incurable cancer and a life expectancy >=6 months were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to the intervention or control group.
RESULTS: A total of 153 patients from six different hospitals were included: 77 in the intervention group and 76 in the control group. Quality of life and spiritual well-being did not significantly change over time between groups. The experience of Meaning/Peace was found to significantly influence quality of life (beta = 0.52, adj. R(exp2) = 0.26) and satisfaction with life (beta = 0.61, adj. R(exp2) = 0.37).
CONCLUSION: Although our newly developed interview model was well perceived by patients, we were not able to demonstrate a significant difference in quality of life and spiritual well-being between groups. Future interventions by spiritual counselors aimed at improving quality of life, and spiritual well-being should focus on the provision of sources of meaning and peace.
Background: Anticipating and making health care decisions about appropriate or preferred treatment around end-of-life care are intellectually challenging and emotionally distressing for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients, new interventions are needed.
Objective: This study examined the effect of Four Conversations, an online and personalized coping and decision aid curriculum, on the completion of advance care directives and shared decision making among patients and their loved ones, clinicians, and spirit.
Design: Participants were randomized 1:1 to Four Conversations or wait-listed usual care conditions.
Setting: Adult breast cancer survivors with metastatic disease were recruited nationally.
Measurements: Electronic surveys collected self-reported demographic, clinical, and outcome data at baseline and four weeks postintervention.
Results: Participants (N = 252) were mean age 53.6 ± 11.0 years; 100% female; 88% Caucasian; 67% married; and 33% employed. Over half (54%) of treatment arm participants without an advance directive completed one by study end, most (62%) felt that Four Conversations helped them quite a bit or a great deal in making a better decision, and 90% would recommend to others. Difference in the change in decisional conflict scores for treatment and control conditions was not significant (p = 0.07).
Conclusions: These results suggest that Four Conversations facilitated the completion of advance care directives. Given that reductions in decisional conflict scores between the treatment and control arms were not significant, we cannot conclude that program use was associated with improved decisional conflict among MBC survivors. Online programs can be a feasible and effective alternative to in-person support.
Background: Dyspnea is one of the most common symptoms in patients with advanced disease and terminal illness, associated with poorer quality of life. The efficacy of fan therapy to palliate dyspnea is inconsistent and unclear.
bjective: The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the efficacy of fan therapy for the relief of dyspnea in adults with advanced disease and terminal illness.
Design: The CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were searched to retrieve all randomized controlled trials examining the benefits of fan therapy for the relief of dyspnea in patients at the advanced stages of illness. Risk of bias was assessed according to the Cochrane Collaboration standard scheme.
esults: Five studies involving 198 adults were identified. Fan therapy was associated with a significant relief of breathlessness intensity immediately after intervention (mean differences [MDs], -1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.57 to -0.45; p < 0.001) and 10 minutes after intervention (MDs, -0.90; 95% CI, -1.53 to -0.27; p = 0.005). Long-term application of fan therapy for at least one month was not related to changes of dyspnea severity (MDs, 0.10; 95% CI, -1.14 to 1.35; p = 0.870). However, significant heterogeneity and low quality of the included trials limit applicability of the results in general practice. No difference was found in activity performance, respiratory rate and SpO2, changes in other symptom intensities, and adverse events.
onclusion: Current trials provided low-quality evidence for a significant short-term effect after fan therapy in the relief of dyspnea and no beneficial effect in the long-term application in adults with advanced disease and terminal illness.
Background: Differences in perception and potential disagreements between parents and professionals regarding the attitude for resuscitation at the limit of viability are common. This study evaluated in healthcare professionals whether the decision to resuscitate at the limit of viability (intensive care versus comfort care) are influenced by the way information on incurred risks is given or received.
Methods: This is a prospective randomized controlled study. This study evaluated the attitude of healthcare professionals by testing the effect of information given through graphic fact sheets formulated either optimistically or pessimistically. The written educational fact sheet included three graphical presentations of survival and complication/morbidity by gestational age. The questionnaire was submitted over a period of 4 months to 5 and 6-year medical students from the Geneva University as well as physicians and nurses of the neonatal unit at the University Hospitals of Geneva. Our sample included 102 healthcare professionals.
Results: Forty-nine responders (48%) were students (response rate of 33.1%), 32 (31%) paediatricians (response rate of 91.4%) and 21 (20%) nurses in NICU (response rate of 50%). The received risk tended to be more severe in both groups compared to the graphically presented facts and current guidelines, although optimistic representation favoured the perception of “survival without disability” at 23 to 25 weeks. Therapeutic attitudes did not differ between groups, but healthcare professionals with children were more restrained and students more aggressive at very low gestational ages.
Conclusion: Written information on mortality and morbidity given to healthcare professionals in graphic form encourages them to overestimate the risk. However, perception in healthcare staff may not be directly transferable to parental perception during counselling as the later are usually naïve to the data received. This parental information are always communicated in ways that subtly shape the decisions that follow.
Background: Use of patient-reported outcome measures in routine clinical practice has important benefits for patients with cancer. To examine the effect of a self-monitoring quality of life (QOL) intervention on global QOL and
physical and emotional function in patients with cancer receiving palliative care.
Methods: Prospective randomized study had been undertaken at Toshima Hospital, Japan. This study compared an intervention group that completed the shortened Care Notebook booklet versus a control group that received usual care. The primary outcome was global QOL and secondary outcomes were physical and emotional function. Participants completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 15 Palliative at baseline, and at 1 and 3 weeks. The effects of the intervention were evaluated with a linear mixed-effects model.
Results: Forty-three patients were randomized. One patient in each group could not receive the allocated intervention, leaving 41 patients for inclusion in the modified intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis for the primary outcome. Twenty-seven patients were analyzed for the secondary outcomes using per protocol set (PPS). The ITT analysis showed no significant overall effect on global QOL (P=0.285), but the PPS analysis showed a significant overall effect on global QOL (P=0.034) and physical function (P=0.047) for group difference over time in the linear mixed-effects model.
Conclusions: Use of the Care Notebook might have beneficial effects. The results could be interpreted as the effectiveness of the intervention of the Care Notebook for with cancer receiving palliative care.
This study was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of a nursing support program developed in accordance with the Roy adaptation model that was applied in addition to routine nursing care during the treatment process of pregnant women for whom the medical termination decision. This study, which was conducted using a pretest–posttest design, was a prospective, single-blind, and randomized-controlled empirical study. In the experimental group, although the first and last assessment State Anxiety Inventory scores were higher than those in the control group after the medical termination nursing support program, there was no significant difference. Compared with the control group, there were positive differences in the Scale of Ways of Coping with Stress, Adaptation Assessment Form for Role Function Area, and physical complaints in the experimental group. At the follow-up assessment, the total Perinatal Grief Scale score was significantly higher than that in the control group.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this randomised trial is to evaluate the efficacy of a decision support intervention for serious illness decisions (the Plan Well Guide decision aid; www.PlanWellguide.com) in increasing the engagement of substitute decision-makers (SDMs) in the patient's advance care planning process (ie, 'ACP engagement'), specifically the SDM's confidence and readiness for the role in the future.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study is a parallel group randomised controlled trial. We aim to enrol 90 participant dyads: patients aged 65 years and older attending outpatient healthcare settings and with indicators they would be at high risk of needing future medical decisions and their SDM. The intervention is the Plan Well Guide decision aid, administered to the patient by a facilitator, with the SDM present. The primary endpoint is change after 3 months in the SDM's ACP engagement using a validated measure of behavioural change (SDM's knowledge, contemplation, self-efficacy and readiness) to enact the role. The secondary endpoints are (1) ACP engagement of the patient measured by a validated survey; (2) change in SDM decisional conflict regarding involvement in future decision-making and (3) postintervention patient decisional conflict regarding preference for life-sustaining treatments. Primary and secondary continuous outcomes will be analysed using the linear regression. The mean difference and 95% CIs will be reported.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Approval was received August 2017 (2017-3714-GRA) from the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board. We plan to dissesseminate trial results in peer-reviewed journals, at national and international conferences, and via our web-based knowledge translation platforms.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the effectiveness of advance care planning (ACP) in frail older adults.
DESIGN: Cluster randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: Residential care homes in the Netherlands (N=16).
PARTICIPANTS: Care home residents and community-dwelling adults receiving home care (N=201; n=101 intervention; n=100 control). Participants were 75 years and older, frail, and capable of consenting to participation.
INTERVENTION: Adjusted Respecting Choices ACP program.
MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcome was change in patient activation (Patient Activation Measure, PAM-13) between baseline and 12-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes included change in quality of life (SF-12), advance directive (AD) completion, and surrogate decision-maker appointment. Use of medical care in the 12 months after inclusion was also assessed. Multilevel analyses were performed, controlling for clustering effects and differences in demographics.
RESULTS: Seventy-seven intervention participants and 83 controls completed the follow-up assessment. There were no statistically significant differences between the intervention (-0.26±11.2) and control group (-1.43±10.6) in change scores of the PAM (p=.43) or the SF-12. Of intervention group participants, 93% completed an AD, and 94% appointed a decision-maker. Of control participants, 34% completed an AD, and 67% appointed a decision-maker (p<.001). No differences in the use of medical care were found.
CONCLUSIONS: ACP did not increase levels of patient activation or quality of life but did increase completion of ADs and appointment of surrogate decision-makers. It did not affect use of medical care.
Background: At present, palliative systemic chemotherapy is the standard treatment in the Netherlands for gastric cancer patients with peritoneal dissemination. In contrast to lymphatic and haematogenous dissemination, peritoneal dissemination may be regarded as locoregional spread of disease. Administering cytotoxic drugs directly into the peritoneal cavity has an advantage over systemic chemotherapy since high concentrations can be delivered directly into the peritoneal cavity with limited systemic toxicity. The combination of a radical gastrectomy with cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) has shown promising results in patients with gastric cancer in Asia. However, the results obtained in Asian patients cannot be extrapolated to Western patients.
The aim of this study is to compare the overall survival between patients with gastric cancer with limited peritoneal dissemination and/or tumour positive peritoneal cytology treated with palliative systemic chemotherapy, and those treated with gastrectomy, CRS and HIPEC after neoadjuvant systemic chemotherapy.
Methods: In this multicentre randomised controlled two-armed phase III trial, 106 patients will be randomised (1:1) between palliative systemic chemotherapy only (standard treatment) and gastrectomy, CRS and HIPEC (experimental treatment) after 3–4 cycles of systemic chemotherapy.Patients with gastric cancer are eligible for inclusion if (1) the primary cT3-cT4 gastric tumour including regional lymph nodes is considered to be resectable, (2) limited peritoneal dissemination (Peritoneal Cancer Index < 7) and/or tumour positive peritoneal cytology are confirmed by laparoscopy or laparotomy, and (3) systemic chemotherapy was given (prior to inclusion) without disease progression.
Discussion: The PERISCOPE II study will determine whether gastric cancer patients with limited peritoneal dissemination and/or tumour positive peritoneal cytology treated with systemic chemotherapy, gastrectomy, CRS and HIPEC have a survival benefit over patients treated with palliative systemic chemotherapy only.
OBJECTIVE: People often report positive psychological changes after adversity, a phenomenon known as posttraumatic growth (PTG). Few PTG-focused interventions have been rigorously tested, and measurement strategies have had significant limitations. This study evaluated the effects of a new group-format psychosocial intervention, SecondStory, aimed at facilitating PTG by helping participants make meaning of the past and plan a purposeful future.
METHOD: In a randomized controlled trial, adults (N = 112, 64% women) bereaved within 5 years were randomly assigned to SecondStory or an active control, expressive writing. The primary outcome, PTG, was measured using two contrasting methods: the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, which asks participants retrospectively how much they believe they have changed due to struggling with adversity, and the Current-Standing Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, which tracks quantifiable change in participants' standing in PTG domains over time. Secondary outcomes included depression symptoms, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and life satisfaction. Outcomes were measured at 2-week intervals: pretest, posttest, and three follow-up occasions. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to assess whether SecondStory participants experienced greater gains in primary and/or secondary outcomes over the 8-week trial.
RESULTS: Results indicated that SecondStory participants did not show significantly greater improvements than control participants on measures of PTG, posttraumatic stress, or life satisfaction, but they did show greater decreases in depression symptoms by the first follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that SecondStory may not facilitate PTG more effectively than existing interventions but may be promising for addressing depression. Positive interventions may productively be refined to support people experiencing trauma and loss.
Background: A randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the superiority of percutaneous transesophageal gastro-tubing over nasogastric tubing as palliative care for bowel obstruction in patients with terminal malignancy was conducted.
Subjects and methods: The subjects were patients with malignant bowel obstruction with no prospect of improvement, for whom surgery was not indicated and with a Palliative Prognostic Index of < 6. They were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to receive either percutaneous transesophageal gastro-tubing (PTEG group) or nasogastric tubing (NGT group). Their symptom scores (the worst 0 to no symptoms 10) were measured for a 2-week period after enrollment, and the areas under the curves for the two groups were compared. The EQ-5D and SF-8 were also used to assess overall quality of life.
Results: Forty patients were enrolled between October 2009 and January 2015, with 21 allocated to the PTEG group and 19 to the NGT group. The mean areas under the curves (95% confidence intervals) for the PTEG group and the NGT groups were 149.6 (120.3–178.8) and 44.9 (16.4–73.5), respectively, significantly higher for the NGT group (p < 0.0001). The secondary endpoints of quality of life as assessed by the EQ-5D and SF-8 scores were also significantly higher for patients in the PTEG group (p = 0.0036, p = 0.0020). There was no difference in survival between the groups. No serious adverse events were observed.
Conclusions: In terms of quality of life, percutaneous transesophageal gastro-tubing was superior to nasogastric tubing as palliative care for patients with bowel obstruction due to terminal malignancy.
Objectives: Methotrimeprazine is commonly used for the management of nausea but never tested formally against other drugs used in this setting. The aim was to demonstrate superior antiemetic efficacy.
Design: Double-blind, randomised, controlled trial of methotrimeprazine versus haloperidol.
Setting 11 palliative care sites in Australia.
Participants: Participants were >18 years, had cancer, an average nausea score of =3/10 and able to tolerate oral medications. Ineligible patients had acute nausea related to treatment, nausea for which a specific antiemetic was indicated, were about to undergo a procedure or had received either of the study drugs or a change in glucocorticoid dose within the previous 48 hours.
Interventions: Based on previous studies, haloperidol was used as the control. Participants were randomised to encapsulated methotrimeprazine 6·25 mg or haloperidol 1·5 mg one time or two times per day and assessed every 24 hours for 72 hours.
Main outcome measures: A =two-point reduction in nausea score at 72 hours from baseline. Secondary outcome measures were as follows: complete response at 72 hours (end nausea score less than 3), response at 24 and 48 hours, vomiting episodes, use of rescue antiemetics, harms and global impression of change.
Results: Response to treatment at 72 hours was 75% (44/59) in the haloperidol (H) arm and 63% (36/57) in the methotrimeprazine (M) arm with no difference between groups (intention-to-treat analysis). Complete response rates were 56% (H) and 51% (M). In the per protocol analysis, there was no difference in response rates: (85% (44/52) (H) and 74% (36/49) (M). Complete per protocol response rates were 64% (H) and 59% (M). Toxicity worse than baseline was minimal with a trend towards greater sedation in the methotrimeprazine arm.
Conclusion: This study did not demonstrate any difference in response rate between methotrimeprazine and haloperidol in the control of nausea.
Introduction: Studies show that home-based palliative care (HBPC) improves participant outcomes and satisfaction with care while also decreasing hospitalizations and emergency department visits. U.S. health care payment reforms create financial opportunities to offer HBPC. Consequently, more HBPC programs are emerging, heightening the need to evaluate their effectiveness.
Methods: This randomized, controlled trial is comparing the effectiveness of an evidence-based model of HBPC and enhanced usual primary care for participants who receive primary care from medical groups and clinics organized under an accountable care organization or Medicare Advantage plan. Palliative care services are reimbursed by our partnering health plan provider. The five-year trial will enroll 1155 seriously ill participants (and ~884 of their caregivers) with heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or advanced cancer. We are collecting data via telephone surveys with participants at baseline and one and two months postenrollment and with caregivers at baseline, one and two months postenrollments, and following the death of a loved one. We are collecting participant-reported outcome measures of pain, symptoms, anxiety, depression, participant-provider communication, and hope. Caregiver outcome measures include caregiver burden, communication with providers, anxiety, and depression. Additional outcomes are participant survival time and participants' emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
Study Implementation: Challenges and Contributions: Our research team has encountered several significant challenges in early study implementation. These include engaging primary care providers in the study and coordinating logistics with a health plan. Both challenges have contributed to a lag in participant enrollment. Despite these challenges, our study holds tremendous promise to accelerate adoption and spread of an evidence-based HBPC model across the country.
Introduction: Patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) suffer from myriad symptoms due to the systemic effects of the disease and unpredictable acute episodes, which contribute to progressive deterioration in quality of life (QOL). Despite clear evidence that palliative care (PC) improves QOL in other serious illnesses, PC is underutilized and delayed for ESLD patients. Through a comparative effectiveness trial of specialist led consultative PC (Model 1) versus trained hepatologist led PC (Model 2), we aim to build evidence on introducing PC into the routine outpatient care of ESLD patients.
Objective: We hypothesize that trained hepatologist led PC model will have a better improvement in QOL compared to consultative PC model.
Methods: This two-arm, multicenter cluster-randomized trial assesses the effectiveness of two PC models for patients with ESLD. Fourteen clinical centers will recruit 1260 patient-caregiver dyads. Each center is the unit of randomization. Hepatologists at sites randomized to the Model 2 have undergone web-based training in the principles of PC as pertained to ESLD. PC intervention is delivered over four visits (initial, one, two, and three months). Follow-up assessments occur at 6, 9, and 12 months. Eligible patients are those with new onset or ongoing complications of ESLD with a caregiver willing to participate.
Outcomes: The primary outcome is change in patients' QOL from baseline to three months. Secondary outcomes include symptom burden, depression, distress, satisfaction with care, caregiver burden and QOL, goal concordant care, and health care utilization.
Challenges and Contributions Engagement: research advisory board has been developed with representatives from the participating centers, who have provided active feedback on the protocol, outcomes, study methods, and training program.
Intervention Fidelity: Intervention fidelity will be maintained by adherence to a visit agenda and providers in both models completing a PC checklist after each study visit.
Background: Despite positive outcomes associated with specialist palliative care (PC) in diverse medical populations, little research has investigated specialist PC in surgical ones. Although cancer surgery is predominantly safe, operations can be extensive and unpredictable perioperative morbidity and mortality persist, particularly for patients with upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.
Objectives and Hypotheses: Our objective is to complete a multicenter, randomized controlled trial comparing surgeon-PC co-management with surgeon-alone management among patients pursuing curative-intent surgery for upper GI cancers. We hypothesize that perioperative PC will improve patient postsurgical quality of life. This study and design are based on >8 years of engagement and research with patients, family members, and clinicians surrounding major cancer surgery and advance care planning/PC for surgical patients.
Methods: Randomized controlled superiority trial with two study arms (surgeon-PC team co-management and surgeon-alone management) and five data collection points over six months. The principal investigator and analysts are blinded to randomization.
Setting: our, geographically diverse, academic tertiary care hospitals. Data collection began December 20, 2018 and continues to December 2020.
Participants: Patients recruited from surgical oncology clinics who are undergoing curative-intent surgery for an upper GI cancer.
Interventions: In the intervention arm, patients receive care from both their surgical team and a specialist PC team; the PC is provided before surgery, immediately after surgery, and at least monthly until three months postsurgery. Patients randomized to the usual care arm receive care from only the surgical team.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcome: patient quality of life. Secondary outcomes: patient: symptom experience, spiritual distress, prognostic awareness, health care utilization, and mortality. Caregiver: quality of life, caregiver burden, spiritual distress, and prognostic awareness. Intent-to-treat analysis will be used.
Introduction: For many patients, primary care is an appropriate setting for advance care planning (ACP). ACP focuses on what matters most to patients and ensuring health care supports patient-defined goals. ACP may involve interactions between a clinician and a patient, but for seriously ill patients ACP could be managed by a team.
Methods: We are conducting a cluster randomized trial comparing team-based to clinician-focused ACP using the Serious Illness Care Program (SICP) in 42 practices recruited from 7 practice-based research networks (PBRNs). Practices were randomized to one of the two models. Patients are referred to the study after engaging in ACP in primary care. Our target enrollment is 1260 subjects. Patient data are collected at enrollment, six months and one year. Primary outcomes are patient-reported goal-concordant care and days at home. Secondary outcomes include additional patient measures, clinician/team experience, and practice-level measures of SICP implementation.
Study Implementation: This trial was designed and is conducted by the Meta-network Learning and Research Center (Meta-LARC), a consortium of PBRNs focused on integrating engagement with patients, families, and other stakeholders into primary care research and practice. The trial pairs a comparative effectiveness study with implementation of a new program and is designed to balance fidelity to the assigned model with flexibility to allow each practice to adapt implementation to their environment and priorities. Our dissemination will report the results of comparing the two models and the implementation experience of the practices to create guidance for the spread of ACP in primary care.
BACKGROUND: Pain is one of the most common symptoms that has a severe impact on quality of life and is associated with numerous psychosocial issues in cancer patients. Palliative care, which is a recent development in China, mainly focuses on symptom control and provides psychosocial support in order to improve quality of life for terminally ill patients. This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effects of palliative care on cancer pain in China.
METHODS: The four most comprehensive Chinese academic databases-CNKI, Wanfang, Vip and CBM-were searched from their inception until July 2019. Medline/PubMed, Web of Science, EBSCO and internet search (Google and Google Scholar) were also searched. Randomized controlled studies assessing the effects of palliative care on cancer pain were analyzed. The pooled random-effect estimates of standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Subgroup analysis was conducted by moderating factors for heterogeneity.
RESULTS: The present meta-analysis included 18 studies with a total of 1370 patients. The random-effect model showed a significant effect size of palliative care on cancer pain (SMD = 1.475, p < 0.001; 95% CI = 1.071–1.878). Age, pharmacological/non-pharmacological strategies and publication date could account for the heterogeneity through subgroup analysis to some extent.
CONCLUSIONS: Palliative care was largely effective for relieving pain among Chinese adults with cancer, indicating that an adequate system should be urgently established to provide palliative care for cancer patients in Chinese medical settings. However, given the extent of heterogeneity, our findings should be interpreted cautiously.
BACKGROUND: Early and integrated specialized palliative care is often recommended but has still only been investigated in relatively few randomized clinical trials.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of early specialized palliative care plus standard care versus standard care on the explorative outcomes in the Danish Palliative Care Trial (DanPaCT).
METHODS: We conducted a randomized multicentre, parallel-group clinical trial. Consecutive patients with metastatic cancer were included if they had symptoms or problems that exceeded a predefined threshold according to the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30). Outcomes were estimated as the differences between the intervention and the control groups in the change from baseline to the weighted mean of the 3- and 8-week follow-ups measured as areas under the curve.
RESULTS: In total, 145 patients were randomized to early specialized palliative care plus standard care versus 152 to standard care only. Early specialized palliative care had no significant effect on any of the symptoms or problems. Of the 21 items addressing satisfaction, specialized palliative care improved the item ‘overall satisfaction with the help received from the health care system’ with 9 points (95% confidence interval 3.8 to 14.2, p = 0.0006) and three other items (all p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: In line with the analyses of the primary and secondary outcomes in DanPaCT, we did not find that specialized palliative care, as provided in DanPaCT, affected symptoms and problems. However, patients in the intervention group seemed more satisfied with the health care received than those in the standard care group.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01348048.
CONTEXT: Few randomized controlled trials of advance care planning with a decision aid (DA) show an effect on patient preferences for end-of-life (EOL) care over time, especially in racial/ethnic settings outside the United States.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to examine the effect of a decision aid consisting of a video and an advance care planning (ACP) booklet for end-of-life (EOL) care preferences among patients with advanced cancer.
METHODS: Using a computer-generated sequence, we randomly assigned (1:1) advanced cancer patients to a group that received a video and workbook that both discussed either ACP (intervention group) or cancer pain control (control group). At baseline, immediately post-intervention, and at 7 weeks, we evaluated the subjects' preferences. The primary outcome was preference for EOL care (active treatment, life-prolonging treatment, or hospice care) on the assumption of a fatal disease diagnosis and the expectation of death 1) within 1 year, 2) within several months, and 3) within a few weeks. We used Bonferroni correction methods for multiple comparisons with an adjusted p level of 0.005.
RESULTS: From August 2017 to February 2018, we screened 287 eligible patients, of whom 204 were enrolled to the intervention (104 patients) or the control (100 patients). At post-intervention, the intervention group showed a significant increase in preference for active treatment, life-prolonging treatment, and hospice care on the assumption of a fatal disease diagnosis and the expectation of death within 1 year (p<0.005). Assuming a life expectancy of several months, the change in preferences was significant for active treatment and hospice care (p<0.005) but not for life-prolonging treatment. The intervention group showed a significant increase in preference for active treatment, life-prolonging treatment, and hospice care on the assumption of a fatal disease diagnosis and the expectation of death within a few weeks (p<0.005). From baseline to 7 weeks, the decrease in preference in the intervention group was not significant for active treatment, for life-prolonging treatment, and for hospice care in the intervention group in the subset expecting to die within 1 year, compared with the control group. Assuming a life expectancy of several months and a few weeks, the change in preferences was not significant for active treatment and for life-prolonging treatment, but was significantly greater for hospice care in the intervention group (p<0.005).
CONCLUSION: ACP interventions that included a video and an accompanying book improved preferences for EOL care.
BACKGROUND: End-of-life care is challenging on health professionals' mental and emotional state. Palliative care education can support health professional students' transition, helping them to cope with the challenges of working in this complex setting. Students feel that they need more preparation in this area.
PURPOSE: To collate the relevant information regarding how to teach health professional students about palliative care.
METHOD: The full holdings of Medline, PsycINFO, EBM Reviews, Cinahl Plus, ERIC, and EMBASE via Elsevier were searched until April 7, 2019. Inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials of group interventions that aimed to increase health professional students' knowledge, skills, or attitudes in palliative care. Studies were appraised using the PEDro scale. Data were synthesized using meta-analysis.
RESULTS: The results favored the intervention and were statistically significant for knowledge and attitudes but not for skills. A 2-hour seminar accompanied by readings seems sufficient to improve both knowledge and attitudes. Quality assessment scores ranged from 1/10 to 7/10 (mean 5, standard deviation 1.73). When studies at high risk of bias were excluded, then only knowledge improved significantly. Key areas where rigor was lacking were in concealing the randomization, omitting intention-to-treat analysis and not blinding of participants, therapists, or assessors.
CONCLUSIONS: Palliative care education is effective in improving health professional students' knowledge and attitudes toward palliative care. More research is required into skill development. This review highlights the need for more high-quality trials in both the short and long-term to determine the most effective mode of palliative care education.