Le cancer du col utérin est fréquent chez les jeunes femmes en zone rurale et vu souvent au stade tardif. La présente étude avait pour objectif de questionner les facteurs responsables des souffrances physiques et psychologiques de ces patients en fin de vie. La question de la fin de vie qui fait référence ici aux soins palliatifs reste une des perspectives non négligeable de sa prise en charge. Il s'agit d'une étude qualitative et rétrospective à visée descriptive et concerne une série de trois cas de cancer du col de l'utérus suivis à l'hôpital Saint Vincent de Paul au cours de l'année 2017. Les données ont été collectées à partir des dossiers de soins des patientes. Ces données ont été analysées selon la méthode de création et gestion de code-books et plus particulièrement le codage par catégories ontologiques. Les résultats de ce travail nous ont permis d'accuser les facteurs tels que le retard de la suspicion et du diagnostic du cancer du col utérin, la difficulté d'accès aux soins holistiques ainsi que la précarité sociale comme prétexte des souffrances physiques et psychologiques que connaissent ces patientes reçues dans le milieu éloigné des métropoles en fin de vie. Cette étude permet d'insister sur les approches de soins palliatifs comme composante incontournable de la prise en charge en milieu rural.
Introduction: We sought to assess one-year mortality in heart failure (HF) patients by using (Placement Resource Indicator for Systems Management) PRISM, a disease nonspecific risk stratification score, and use it along with modified Seattle Heart Failure Model (SHFM) to guide patient selection for palliative care consultation.
Methods: A retrospective study design was used to examine 1-year mortality in 689 HF patients admitted from 2012 to 2014. One-year mortality was calculated using Pmort30/PRISM and modified SHFM scores, and the predicted scores were validated using the area under the ROC curve. CART was used to develop an algorithm to classify patients based on their mortality risk.
Results: The discriminatory ability of PRISM categorical score (AUC = 0.701) was not significantly different than the discriminatory ability of modified SHFM (AUC = 0.686) (DeLong's test p = 0.56) but improved significantly with the combination of PRISM (categorical) score + modified SHFM (AUC = 0.740) (p = 0.002). The predictive capability of the CART tree model after cross-validation was 72.2% (AUC 0.631).
Conclusion: Our study suggests PRISM score performed as well as modified SHFM for one-year mortality prediction. Moreover, the addition of modified SHFM to PRISM score increases discriminatory ability in predicting 1-year mortality in heart failure patients compared to either of the two models alone. Together, when combined in a CART model, they can be used to identify the population subset with the highest mortality risk and hence guide goals of care discussion.
CONTEXT: It is uncertain whether terminally ill schizophrenic cancer patients are hypoalgesic or have disparities in pain management.
OBJECTIVES: To analyze the dosage of opioids used in terminally ill cancer patients with and without schizophrenia.
METHODS: This is a population-based retrospective cohort study based on data derived from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Patients aged > 20 and newly diagnosed between 2000 and 2012 with at least one of the six most common cancers were included. After 1:4 matching, 1001 schizophrenic cancer patients comprised the schizophrenia cohort, while 4004 cancer patients without schizophrenia comprised the non-schizophrenia cohort. The percentage of opioid use, accumulated dose, and average daily dose near the end of life were analyzed for each cohort using multiple logistic and linear regression models.
RESULTS: The percentage of opioid use was lower in the schizophrenic cohort than the non-schizophrenic cohort during the last month prior to death [69.6 % versus 84.8%, odd ratio (OR) = 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.34-0.48]. The accumulated dose of opioid consumption was also lower in the schizophrenic cohort (2407 mg versus 3694 mg, p value <0.05).
CONCLUSION: Near the end of life, cancer patients with schizophrenia use less opioid than their non-schizophrenic counterparts. Cognitive impairment may be a cause in the disparity in end-of-life care for terminally ill schizophrenic cancer patients. Thus, we should formulate a more accurate pain scale system and pay attention to their need for pain treatment.
OBJECTIVES: Hearing and visual sensory loss is prevalent among older adults and may impact the quality of healthcare they receive. Few studies have examined sensory loss and end-of-life (EOL) care quality. Our aim was to describe hearing and vision loss and their associations with the quality of EOL care and family perception of care in the last 30 days of life among a national sample of veteran decedents.
DESIGN: Retrospective medical record review and Bereaved Family Survey (BFS).
SETTING: Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers (N = 145).
PARTICIPANTS: Medical record review of all veterans who died in an inpatient VA Medical Center between October 2012 and September 2017 (N = 96 424). Survey results included 42 428 individuals.
MEASUREMENTS: Three indicators of high-quality EOL care were measured: palliative consultation in the last 90 days of life, death in a non-acute setting, and contact with a chaplain. The BFS reflects a global evaluation of quality of EOL care; pain and posttraumatic stress disorder management; and three subscales characterizing perceptions regarding communication, emotional and spiritual support, and information about death benefits in the last month of life.
RESULTS: In adjusted models, EOL care quality indicators and BFS outcomes for veterans with hearing loss were similar to those for veterans without hearing loss; however, we noted slightly lower scores for pain management and less satisfaction with communication. Veterans with vision loss were less likely to have received a palliative care consult or contact with a chaplain than those without vision loss. Although BFS respondents for veterans with vision loss were less likely than respondents for veterans without vision loss to report excellent overall care and satisfaction with emotional support, other outcomes did not differ.
CONCLUSION: In general, the VA is meeting the EOL care needs of veterans with hearing and vision loss through palliative care practices.
Purpose: The transition from active cancer treatment to palliative care often results in a shift in drug risk-benefit assessment which requires the deprescribing of various medications. Deprescribing in palliative cancer patients can benefit patients by reducing their pill burden, decrease potential side effects, and potentially decrease healthcare costs. In addition, a change in patients’ goals of care (GOC) necessitates the alteration of drug therapy which includes both deprescribing and the addition of medications intended to improve quality of life. Depending on a patient’s GOC, a medication can be considered as inappropriate.
Objectives: Primary: Comparison between potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) prior to the palliative care consult (PCC) versus after the PCC. Secondary: Association between PIMs and GOC.
Methods: The study was a 1-year retrospective database review. The study included cancer patients seen by the PCC team at the University of Alberta Hospital. The OncPal guidelines were used to identify and determine the number of PIMs prior to the PCC and after the PCC.
Results: The reduction in PIMs prior to PCC versus after the PCC was statistically significant (p value < 0.001), demonstrating the PCC has a positive significant impact on deprescribing PIMs. For our secondary outcome, an overall decrease in PIMs was observed with the changes of GOC. The strength of the correlations was low (r < 0.1), and the p value was 0.056.
Conclusion: This study shows the positive impact a PCC has on deprescribing and reveals the importance of using guidelines for deprescribing in palliative cancer patients.
Background: To the best of our knowledge, the change in opioid prescription patterns upon referral to a palliative care team (PCT) was not previously investigated in the Middle East.
Objective: This study aimed to explore the change in the pattern of opioid prescription and the pain scores before and after referring inpatients to a PCT.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patients’ records including all inpatients =15 years newly referred to the PCT over a period of 21 months at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh.
Results: Of 631 patients, 52.3% were females, the median age was 54 years, and 96.7% had cancer. The proportion of patients on opioids before referral (83.4%) increased to 93.3% in the postreferral period, P < .0001. Patients receiving opioids on a regular basis increased from 31.9% before referral to 49.9% after referral to the PCT, P < .0001. Morphine was the most commonly prescribed opioid on a regular basis pre- and postreferral. Upon referral, the administration of opioids through the subcutaneous route increased from 3.7% to 10.9%, P < .0001. On average, pain scores were reduced by 1 point on a 0 to 10 numeric scale within 48 hours of seeing a patient by the PCT, P < .0001.
Conclusion: Patients referred to a PCT are likely to get their opioid prescription optimized and pain scores improved shortly after the PCT involvement. Patients with cancer-related pain requiring opioids should be referred to a PCT as early as possible.
Background: Barriers to palliative care still exist in long-term care settings for older people, which can mean that people with advanced dementia may not receive of adequate palliative care in the last days of their life; instead, they may be exposed to aggressive and/or inappropriate treatments. The aim of this multicentre study was to assess the clinical interventions and care at end of life in a cohort of nursing home (NH) residents with advanced dementia in a large Italian region.
Methods: This retrospective study included a convenience sample of 29 NHs in the Lombardy Region. Data were collected from the clinical records of 482 residents with advanced dementia, who had resided in the NH for at least 6 months before death, mainly focusing on the 7 days before death.
Results: Most residents (97.1%) died in the NH. In the 7 days before death, 20% were fed and hydrated by mouth, and 13.4% were tube fed. A median of five, often inappropriate, drugs were prescribed. Fifty-seven percent of residents had an acknowledgement of worsening condition recorded in their clinical records, a median of 4 days before death.
Conclusions: Full implementation of palliative care was not achieved in our study, possibly due to insufficient acknowledgement of the appropriateness of some drugs and interventions, and health professionals’ lack of implementation of palliative interventions. Future studies should focus on how to improve care for NH residents.
Background: Precision health initiatives for end-of-life planning require robust methods for identifying patient risk for decline and mortality. The Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) surprise question (SQ; M1034 Overall Status) is the primary tool for evaluating risks in homebound older adults. However, the OASIS-D, Released in 2019, eliminates this question. This study examines the prognostic ability of 12- and 24-month mortality risk reflected in the OASIS-SQ and develops an alternative approach for classifying mortality risk to support decision-making in the absence of the OASIS-SQ.
Design: Retrospective secondary data analysis.
Setting/Participants: A nationally representative sample of 69 097 OASIS-C assessments (2012) linked to the Master Beneficiary Summary file (2012 and 2013).
Measurements: Survival analysis, k-means clustering, and Cohen coefficient with Z test.
Results: The OASIS-SQ predicts mortality (35% at 12 and 45% at 24 months; P < .001). Cluster analysis identified 2 risk groups: OASIS activity of daily living “ADL total scores” >15 = (lower risk) and =15 = (higher risk) for 24-month mortality. Model agreement is weak for both cluster 1 and cluster 2, the OASIS-SQ = 0.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) = .19 to .21, and “alive/not alive” = .17, 95% CI = .16 to .18.
Conclusion: The OASIS-SQ and “ADL total score” are almost equally likely to predict 24-month mortality; therefore, it was reasonable to use the “ADL total score” as a substitute for the OASIS-SQ. Removal of the OASIS-SQ leaves home care providers with few clear options for risk screening resulting in missed opportunities to refer to palliative or hospice services.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to analyze the decision-making process in emergency general surgery in an attempt to ascertain whether surgeons make the correct decision when decisions not to operate in high-risk acutely unwell surgical patients are taken.
BACKGROUND: A decision not to operate is sometimes associated with a certain degree of uncertainty as to the accuracy of the decision. Difficulty lies with the fact that the decisions are made on assumptions, and the tools available are not fool proof.
METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated "decisions not to operate" over a period of 32 months from April 2013 to August 2015 in a district general hospital in United Kingdom and compared with consecutive similar number of patients who had an operation as recorded in the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit (NELA) database (from January 2014 to August 2015). We looked at the demographics, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, Portsmouth-Physiological and Operative Severity Score for enumeration of Mortality and Morbidity (P-POSSUM) score, functional status, and 30-day mortality.
RESULTS: Two groups (operated [n = 43] and conservative [n = 42]) had similar characteristics. Patients for conservative management had a higher P-POSSUM score (P < .001) and a poorer functional status (P < .001) at the time of decision-making compared to those who had surgery. Mortality at 30 days was significantly higher for patients decided for conservative management when compared with those who had surgery (76.2% and 18.6%, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Elderly patients with poorer functional status and predicted risks more often drive multidisciplinary discussions on whether to operate. Within the limitations of not knowing the outcome otherwise, it appears surgeons take a reasonable approach when deciding not to operate.
BACKGROUND: This study examined factors associated with potentially burdensome end-of-life (EOL) transitions between care settings among older adults with advanced cancer in nursing homes (NHs).
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of deceased older NH residents with poor-prognosis solid tumors was conducted with Medicare claims and the Minimum Data Set. A potentially burdensome transition was defined as 2 or more hospitalizations or an intensive care unit admission in the last 90 days of life.
RESULTS: Among 34,670 subjects, many had moderate to severe cognitive impairment (53.8%), full dependence in activities of daily living (ADLs; 66.5%), and comorbidities such as congestive heart failure (CHF; 29.3%) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (34.1%). Only 56.3% of the patients used hospice at any time in the 90 days before death; 36.0% of the patients experienced a potentially burdensome EOL transition, and this was higher among patients who did not receive hospice (45.4% vs 28.7%; P < .01). In multivariable analyses, full dependence in ADLs (odds ratio [OR], 1.70; P < .01), CHF (OR, 1.48; P < .01), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR, 1.28; P < .01) were associated with a higher risk of burdensome EOL transitions. Those with do-not-resuscitate directives (OR, 0.60; P < .01) and impaired cognition (OR, 0.89; P < .01) had lower odds of burdensome EOL transitions.
CONCLUSIONS: NH residents with advanced cancer have substantial comorbidities and functional impairment, yet more than a third experience potentially burdensome EOL transitions. These findings help to identify a population at risk for poor EOL outcomes in order to target interventions, and they point to the importance of advanced care planning in this population.
BACKGROUND: Electronic care coordination systems, known as the Key Information Summary (KIS) in Scotland, enable the creation of shared electronic records available across healthcare settings. A KIS provides clinicians with essential information to guide decision making for people likely to need emergency or out-of-hours care.
AIM: To estimate the proportion of people with an advanced progressive illness with a KIS by the time of death, to examine when planning information is documented, and suggest improvements for electronic care coordination systems.
DESIGN AND SETTING: This was a mixed-methods study involving 18 diverse general practices in Scotland.
METHOD: Retrospective review of medical records of patients who died in 2017, and semi-structured interviews with healthcare professionals were conducted.
RESULTS: Data on 1304 decedents were collected. Of those with an advanced progressive illness (79%, n = 1034), 69% (n = 712) had a KIS. These were started a median of 45 weeks before death. People with cancer were most likely to have a KIS (80%, n = 288), and those with organ failure least likely (47%, n = 125). Overall, 68% (n = 482) of KIS included resuscitation status and 55% (n = 390) preferred place of care. People with a KIS were more likely to die in the community compared to those without one (61% versus 30%). Most KIS were considered useful/highly useful. Up-to-date free-text information within the KIS was valued highly.
CONCLUSION: In Scotland, most people with an advanced progressive illness have an electronic care coordination record by the time of death. This is an achievement. To improve further, better informal carer information, regular updating, and a focus on generating a KIS for people with organ failure is warranted.
OBJECTIVE: Opioids are the primary therapy for cancer-related pain in patients receiving palliative care. More states are legalizing medical cannabis, which may provide a pain management alternative for some of these patients. This study aimed to estimate the effect of cannabis on opioid use in patients with cancer receiving palliative care.
METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients with cancer at an academic medical center palliative care clinic. The primary outcome was change in morphine equivalent daily dose (MEDD) from baseline to 84-day follow-up in the cannabis plus opioid group compared to that in the opioid-only group.
RESULTS: A total of 83 patients were included: 61 in the opioid monotherapy group and 22 in the cannabis plus opioid group. An increase in MEDD from the baseline to 84 days was seen in both the opioid monotherapy and opioid plus cannabis group (28.8 vs. 10.8); however, the study lacked power to detect a statistical difference.
CONCLUSION: A possibly meaningful difference in MEDD increase was seen when comparing the opioid monotherapy group with the opioid plus cannabis group. However, the study was not powered to test this hypothesis; the findings suggest that further research is warranted to determine the impact of cannabis use on opioid dosing in patients receiving palliative care for cancer.
BACKGROUND: Racial and ethnic minorities are at risk for disparities in quality of care after out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest (OHCA). As such, we examined associations between race and ethnicity and use of guideline-recommended and life-sustaining procedures during hospitalizations for OHCA.
METHODS: This was a retrospective study of hospitalizations for OHCA in all acute-care, non-federal California hospitals from 2009 to 2011. Associations between the use of (1) guideline-recommended procedures (cardiac catheterization for ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia, therapeutic hypothermia), (2) life-sustaining procedures (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)/tracheostomy, renal replacement therapy (RRT)), and (3) palliative care and race/ethnicity were examined using hierarchical logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Among 51,198 hospitalizations for OHCA, unadjusted rates of cardiac catheterization were 34.9% in Whites, 19.8% in Blacks, 27.2% in Hispanics, and 30.9% in Asians (P < 0.01). Rates of therapeutic hypothermia were 2.3% in Whites, 1.1% in Blacks, 1.3% in Hispanics, and 1.9% in Asians (P < 0.01). Rates of PEG/tracheostomy and RRT were 2.2% and 9.8% in Whites, 5.7% and 19.9% in Blacks, 4.2% and 19.9% in Hispanics, and 3.4% and 18.2% in Asians, respectively (P < 0.01). Rates of palliative care were 14.8% in Whites, 9.6% in Blacks, 10.1% in Hispanics, and 14.3% in Asians (P < 0.01). Differences in utilization of procedures persisted after adjustment for patient and hospital-related factors.
CONCLUSION: Racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive guideline-recommended interventions and palliative care, and more likely to receive life-sustaining treatments following OHCA. These findings suggest that significant disparities exist in medical care after OHCA.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of intercenter variation and patient factors on end-of-life care practices for infants who die in regional neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis using the Children's Hospital Neonatal Database during 2010-2016. A total of 6299 nonsurviving infants cared for in 32 participating regional NICUs were included to examine intercenter variation and the effects of gestational age, race, and cause of death on 3 end-of-life care practices: do not attempt resuscitation orders (DNR), cardiopulmonary resuscitation within 6 hours of death (CPR), and withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies (WLST). Factors associated with these practices were used to develop a multivariable equation.
RESULTS: Dying infants in the cohort underwent DNR (55%), CPR (21%), and WLST (73%). Gestational age, cause of death, and race were significantly and differently associated with each practice: younger gestational age (<28 weeks) was associated with CPR (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.5-2.1) but not with DNR or WLST, and central nervous system injury was associated with DNR (1.6, 1.3-1.9) and WLST (4.8, 3.7-6.2). Black race was associated with decreased odds of WLST (0.7, 0.6-0.8). Between centers, practices varied widely at different gestational ages, race, and causes of death.
CONCLUSIONS: From the available data on end-of-life care practices for regional NICU patients, variability appears to be either individualized or without consistency.
Background: Urologists are often referred to manage the extrinsic malignant ureteral obstruction (MUO) caused by nonurological malignancies. Usually palliative urinary diversion (ureteral stent or nephrostomy) will be performed; however, in the cases of no symptom or poor prognosis, observation (OBS) without any intervention will be selected. There are few reports about outcome of the OBS policy for MUO.
Objective: To evaluate the outcome of palliative urinary diversion or OBS for MUO.
Design: We retrospectively reviewed the selection of treatment and the prognosis.
Setting/Subjects: A total of 151 cases were introduced to our department as MUO between April 2011 and December 2016.
Measurements: The patients were divided to immediate palliative urinary diversion (immediate-DIV) or OBS. The latter patients were subdivided to OBS followed by deferred palliative urinary diversion (deferred-DIV), and observation only (OBS-only).
Results: There was no significant difference between immediate-DIV and OBS about overall survival (OS) from the consultation. In OBS group, deferred-DIV did not prolong prognosis from the consultation more than OBS-only. In the same way, there was no significant difference between immediate-DIV and deferred-DIV in OS from the intervention. Unfavorable prognostic factors for OS were lack of anticancer treatment after consultation, symptoms of MUO, and gastrointestinal cancer. When we classified the patients by these factors, the group with three factors showed significantly poorer prognosis than the others.
Conclusion: Immediate-DIV or OBS did not influence the prognosis in the whole patients. Three prognostic factors that will be judged by urologists easily might be useful for the indication and timing of palliative urinary diversion.
Background: Malignant Ascites (MA) is a therapeutic dilemma significantly impairing patients’ quality of life (QoL). The Sequana Medical alfapump System (AP), a subcutaneous, externally rechargeable, implantable device, continually draining ascites via the urinary bladder, has been well established in liver cirrhosis, but not yet in MA. The AP-system was evaluated in cancer patients in reducing the need for large volume paracentesis (LVP).
Methods: A retrospective multicentre evaluation of all eligible patients who received an AP for MA-palliation was performed. AP was evaluated for its ability to reduce LVP and cross-correlated with adverse events (AE), survival and retrospective physician-reported QoL.
Results: Seventeen patients with median age of 63 years (range: 18–81), 70.6% female, across 7 primary tumour types were analysed. Median duration of AP-implantation was 60 min (range: 30–270) and median post-implantation hospital stay: 4 days (range: 2–24). Twelve protocol-defined AE occurred in 5 patients (29.4%): 4 kidney failures, 4 pump/catheter-related blockages, 3 infections/peritonitis and 1 wound dehiscence. Median ascitic volume (AV) pumped daily was 303.6 ml/day (range:5.6–989.3) and median total AV drained was 28 L (range: 1–638.6). Median patient post-AP-survival was 111 days (range:10–715) and median pump survival was 89 days (range: 0–715). Median number of paracenteses was 4 (range: 1–15) per patient pre-implant versus 1 (range: 0–1) post-implant (p = 0.005). 71% of patients were reported to have an improvement of at least one physician reported QoL-parameters.
Conclusions: AP appears to be effective in palliating patients with MA by an acceptable morbidity profile. Its broader implementation in oncology services should be further explored.
Importance: Although palliative care (PC) historically focused on patients with cancer and those near the end of life, evidence increasingly demonstrates a benefit to patients with a broad range of serious illnesses and to those earlier in their illness. The field of PC has expanded and evolved rapidly, resulting in a need to characterize practice over time to understand whether it reflects evolving evidence and guidelines.
Objective: To characterize current practice and trends among patients cared for and outcomes achieved by inpatient specialty PC services in the United States.
Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study was performed from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2017, at 88 US hospitals in which PC teams voluntarily participate in the Palliative Care Quality Network (PCQN), a national quality improvement collaborative. A total of 135 197 patients were referred to PCQN teams during the study period. Initial analyses of the study data were conducted from March 3 to March 21, 2018.
Exposure: Inpatient PC consultation.
Main Outcomes and Measures: A total of 23 standardized data elements collected by PCQN teams that provided information about the characteristics of referred patients, including age, sex, Palliative Performance Scale score, and primary diagnosis leading to PC consult; reason(s) given for the consultation; and processes of care provided by the PC team, including disciplines involved, number of family meetings held, advance care planning documentation completed, and screened for and intervened on needs.
Results: A total of 135 197 patients were referred to inpatient PC (51.0% female; mean age, 71.3 years [range, 57.8-82.5 years]) and were significantly debilitated (mean Palliative Performance Scale score, 34.7%; range, 14.9%-56.8%). Cancer was the most common primary diagnosis (32.0%; range, 11.3%-93.9%), although rates decreased from 2013 to 2017 (odds ratio [OR], 0.84; 95% CI, 0.79-0.91; P < .001). Pain and other symptoms were common and improved significantly during the consultation period (pain: 2 = 5234.4, P < .001; anxiety: 2 = 2020.7, P < .001; nausea: 2 = 1311.8, P < .001; dyspnea: 2 = 1993.5, P < .001). Most patients were discharged alive (78.7%; range, 44.7%-99.4%), and this number increased over time (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.27-1.46; P < .001). Compared with 2013, rates of discharge referral to clinic-based (OR, 4.00; 95% CI, 2.95-5.43; P < .001) and home-based PC (OR, 2.63; 95% CI, 1.92-3.61; P < .001) also increased significantly by 2017, whereas referrals to hospice decreased (OR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.51-0.62; P < .001).
Conclusions and Relevance: Inpatient PC teams cared for an increasing percentage of patients with diagnoses other than cancer and saw more patients discharged alive, consistent with guidelines recommending specialty PC for all patients with serious illness earlier in their illnesses. Most patients with symptoms improved quickly. Variation in practice and outcomes among PCQN members suggests that there are opportunities for further improvements in care.
Background: Antibiotic prophylaxis is usually adopted to prevent urinary tract infection (UTI) after nephrostomy catheter placement and replacement. This prophylaxis has been little studied in cancer patients, and its efficacy is uncertain.
Objective: To determine the rate of UTI associated with percutaneous nephrostomy catheters placement and replacement and associated risk factors.
Methods: this retrospective study collected data from the available medical records. Catheter-related UTI was defined as any diagnosis of UTI based on clinical symptoms recorded in antibiotic prescription charts, and on the results of urine culture collected up to 7 days after percutaneous nephrostomy catheter. The associations between categorical variables were analyzed using Fisher's exact test. The risk factors for UTI were assessed using logistic regression.
Results: In the univariate analyses, there was no significant difference in the rate of urinary infection between patients receiving and not receiving antibiotic prophylaxis before percutaneous nephrostomy and after replacement.
Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that the use of antibiotic prophylaxis for managing urinary tract obstruction by percutaneous nephrostomy is not recommended in cancer patients. In contrast, for catheter replacement, antibiotic prophylaxis appears to have a protective effect for UTI.
BACKGROUND: Individual physicians and physician-associated factors may influence patients'/surrogates' autonomous decision-making, thus influencing the practice of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders. The objective of this study was to examine the influence of individual attending physicians on signing a DNR order.
METHODS: This study was conducted in closed model, surgical intensive care units in a university-affiliated teaching hospital located in Northern Taiwan. The medical records of patients, admitted to the surgical intensive care units for the first time between June 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 were reviewed and data collected. We used Kaplan-Meier survival curves with log-rank test and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models to compare the time from surgical intensive care unit admission to do-not-resuscitate orders written for patients for each individual physician. The outcome variable was the time from surgical ICU admission to signing a DNR order.
RESULTS: We found that each individual attending physician's likelihood of signing do-not-resuscitate orders for their patients was significantly different from each other. Some attending physicians were more likely to write do-not-resuscitate orders for their patients, and other attending physicians were less likely to do so.
CONCLUSION: Our study reported that individual attending physicians had influence on patients'/surrogates' do-not-resuscitate decision-making. Future studies may be focused on examining the reasons associated with the difference of each individual physician in the likelihood of signing a do-not-resuscitate order.
Importance: Palliative care is a patient-centered approach associated with improvements in quality of life; however, results regarding its association with a survival benefit have been mixed, which may be a factor in its underuse.
Objective: To assess whether early palliative care is associated with a survival benefit among patients with advanced lung cancer.
Design, setting, and participants: This retrospective population-based cohort study was conducted among patients with lung cancer who were diagnosed with cancer between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2013, with follow-up until January 23, 2017. Participants comprised 23 154 patients with advanced lung cancer (stage IIIB and stage IV) who received care in the Veterans Affairs health care system. Data were analyzed from February 15, 2019, to April 28, 2019.
Exposure: Palliative care defined as a specialist-delivered palliative care encounter received after lung cancer diagnosis.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was survival. The association between palliative care and place of death was also examined. Propensity score and time-varying covariate methods were used to calculate Cox proportional hazards and to perform regression modeling.
Results: Of the 23 154 patients enrolled in the study, 57% received palliative care. The mean (SD) age of participants was 68 (9.5) years, and 98% of participants were men. An examination of the timing of palliative care receipt relative to cancer diagnosis found that palliative care received 0 to 30 days after diagnosis was associated with decreases in survival (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.13; 95% CI, 1.97-2.30), palliative care received 31 to 365 days after diagnosis was associated with increases in survival (aHR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.45-0.49), and palliative care received more than 365 days after diagnosis was associated with no difference in survival (aHR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.94-1.07) compared with nonreceipt of palliative care. Receipt of palliative care was also associated with a reduced risk of death in an acute care setting (adjusted odds ratio, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.52-0.64) compared with nonreceipt of palliative care.
Conclusions and relevance: The results suggest that palliative care was associated with a survival benefit among patients with advanced lung cancer. Palliative care should be considered a complementary approach to disease-modifying therapy in patients with advanced lung cancer.