Objective: Antitumour treatment in the last 2 weeks of death (ATT-W2) and a new regimen of ATT within 30 days of death (NATT-M1) are considered as aggressive end-of-life (EOL) care. We aimed to assess factors associated with inappropriate use of antitumour treatment (ATT) at EOL.
Methods: Data of patients with cancer who died in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 in a single for-profit cancer centre were retrospectively analysed. ATT was divided into chemotherapy (CT), oral targeted therapy (OTT), hormonotherapy and immunotherapy (IMT).
Results: A total of 1282 patients were included. NATT-M1 was given to 197 (15.37%) patients, and 167 (13.03%) had an ATT-W2. Patients with a performance status of <2 and treated with CT had more both ATT- W2 (OR=2.45, 95% CI 1.65 to 3.65, and OR=10.29, 95% CI 4.70 to 22.6, respectively) and NATT-M1 (OR=2.01, 95% CI 1.40 to 2.90, and OR=8.41, 95% CI 4.46 to 15.86). Predictive factors of a higher rate of ATT-W2 were treatment with OTT (OR=19.08, 95% CI 7.12 to 51.07), follow-up by a medical oncologist (OR=1.49, 95% CI 1.03 to 2.17), miscellaneous cancer (OR=3.50, 95% CI 1.13 to 10.85) and length of hospital stay before death of <13 days (OR=1.92, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.79). Urinary tract and male genital cancers received less ATT-W2 (OR=0.38, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.89, and OR=0.40, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.99) and patients treated by IMT or with age <69 years more NATT-M1 (OR=19.21, 95% CI 7.55 to 48.8, and OR=1.69, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.37). Patients followed up by the palliative care team (PCT) had fewer ATT-W2 and NATT-M1 (OR=0.49, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.71, and OR=0.42, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.58).
Conclusions: Most recent ATT and access to a PCT follow-up are the two most important potentially modifiable factors associated with aggressive EOL in patients with cancer. Early integrated palliative oncology care could help to decrease futile ATT at EOL.
PURPOSE: Cancer patients in university hospitals often face a difficult decision regarding transfer to other care settings at the end-of-life. Arrangements for a satisfying transfer are important for reducing the psychosocial impact of the transition, but few studies have evaluated this aspect. This study aimed to identify factors related to the satisfying arrangement of transfers to other care settings from university hospitals.
METHODS: A total of 400 bereaved family members of cancer patients in Japan participated in this cross-sectional web-based questionnaire survey. Statistical methods including decision tree analysis were conducted to identify factors significantly associated with satisfying transfer arrangements.
RESULTS: More than 60% of cancer patients were satisfied with the transfer arrangements made by university hospitals. Decision tree analysis revealed that the factor most significantly associated with satisfaction with transfer arrangements was "satisfaction with contents of the explanation about transfer." The following significant factors were also extracted: "timing of being informed of transfer," "presence of primary care physician," and "presence of trustworthy staff." "Satisfaction with overall care from university hospital staff" and "involvement of palliative care team" were identified as factors contributing to a high degree of satisfaction with transfer arrangements.
CONCLUSION: In order to make satisfying transfer arrangements from university hospitals for cancer patients at the end-of-life, healthcare professionals should provide satisfactory explanations about the transfer process in order to meet the information needs of patients. To be effective, healthcare professionals should initiate transfer arrangements prior to cancer treatment, while simultaneously building trusting relationships with patients.
OBJECTIVE: Explore veteran-specific factors impacting the acceptance of palliative care services at a Veterans Health Administration hospital.
METHODS: Prospective, focused one-on-one interviews were conducted with 18 inpatient veterans with an initial consult to receive palliative care services. Domains impacting reception of outpatient palliative care management were evaluated including knowledge deficit, emotional barriers, physical barriers, psychosocial barriers, and physical support. Themes and trends from interview responses were analyzed using a qualitative directed content analysis approach.
RESULTS: The following themes were discovered to influence veteran participation in outpatient palliative care: Knowledge Deficit, Environmental Factors, Positive Patient Satisfaction, Openness to Technology, and Resiliency. Characteristics of veterans interviewed included an average age of 71 with an average distance from the hospital of 59 miles.
CONCLUSION: The identification of factors impacting veteran access to palliative care will be used to guide interventions and improve receipt of services. Care of seriously ill veterans may be substantially improved by facilitating access to palliative care.
Objective: Explore parents’ point of view about forgoing life sustaining treatment (LST) in terminal critically ill children and factors affecting their decisions.
Method: This was a qualitative study using in-depth interviews with parents whose child died between 6–12 months old in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of a university-affiliated teaching hospital. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Data were analyzed using interpretive description method.
Result: A total of 7 parents of 5 children decided to withhold or withdraw LST. Five parents from 4 children decided to sign the do not attempt resuscitation (DNAR), and none choose to withdrew the LST, including mechanical support. Factors influenced their decision were communication, value of children, child best interest, intuition, religious belief, and emotions. Economic factors did not influence the decision-making.
Conclusion: Most parents decided to sign the DNAR, none choose to withdrew mechanical support. Communication was the most important factor that influenced parents to make a forgoing LST decision.
Purpose: Identifying mortality risk factors in people living in nursing homes could help healthcare professionals to individualize or develop specific plans for predicting future care demands and plan end-of-life care in this population. This study aims to identify mortality risk factors in elderly nursing home (NH) residents, based on variables adapted to this environment, routinely collected and easily accessible to their healthcare professionals.
Methods: A prospective, longitudinal, observational study of NH residents aged 65 years and older was carried out collecting sociodemographic, functional and cognitive status, nutritional variables, comorbidities, and other health variables. These variables were analyzed as mortality risk factors by Cox proportional hazard models.
Results: A total of 531 residents (75.3% female; average age 86.7 years (SD: 6.6)) were included: 25.6% had total dependence, 53.4% had moderate to severe cognitive impairment, 84.5% were malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, and 79.9% were polymedicated. Risk of mortality (hazard ratio, HR) increased in totally dependent residents (HR = 1.52; p = 0.02) and in those with moderate or severe cognitive impairment ((HR = 1.59; p = 0.031) and (HR = 1.93; p = 0.002), respectively). Male gender (HR = 1.88; p < 0.001), age =80 years (HR = 1.73; p = 0.034), hypertension (HR = 1.53; p = 0.012), atrial fibrillation/arrhythmia (HR = 1.43; p = 0.048), and previous record of pneumonia (HR = 1.65; p = 0.029) were also found to be mortality drivers.
Conclusion: Age and male gender (due to the higher prevalence of associated comorbidity in these two variables), certain comorbidities (hypertension, atrial fibrillation/arrhythmia, and pneumonia), higher functional and cognitive impairment, and frequency of medical emergency service care increased the risk of mortality in our study. Given their importance and their easy identification by healthcare professionals in nursing homes, these clinical variables should be used for planning care in institutionalized older adults.
Early planning and knowing which factors to consider when planning the location of death (LOD) of a palliative child, may help minimize the burden of hasty decision-making in the future, and may provide families with a sense of control. The current paper reviewed which factors were associated with pediatric LOD and further considered some emerging factors that should are important to better facilitate integrative planning. Three overarching areas of consideration related to pediatric LOD planning were identified including health service factors, familial factors and patient factors. Multiple sub-factor considerations are presented. Further, the paper presents a conceptual model of the factors found to be related to pediatric LOD planning. The limitations that exist with rigorously and empirically studying pediatric LOD preferences are apparent from the dearth of knowledge seen in the field. However, future studies should continue to examine such factors more closely to better understand the nuanced implications.
INTRODUCTION: Do not resuscitate (DNR) decision making is an integral component of emergency medicine practice. There is a paucity of data, protocols and guidelines regarding the perceptions and barriers that are involved in the interactions among healthcare professionals, patients and their caregivers regarding DNR decision making. The aim of this study is, therefore, to explore the perceptions and factors influencing DNR decision making in the emergency department and to evaluate the use of a context-based protocol for DNR decision making.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This will be a sequential mixed method study beginning with qualitative research involving in-depth interviews (IDIs) with patient family members and focus group discussion with healthcare professionals. The consensual qualitative approach will be used to perform a thematic analysis to the point of saturation. The expected outcome will be to identify key themes that suggest perceptions and factors involved in DNR decision making. After piloting, the derived protocol will then be used with a different group of individuals (150 healthcare professionals) who meet the eligibility criteria in a quantitative cross-sectional study with universal sampling. Data will be analysed using NVIVO in the qualitative phase and SPSS V.19 in the quantitative phase. The study findings will support the development of a standardised protocol for DNR decision making for healthcare professionals in the emergency department.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The proposal was reviewed by the ethics review committee (ERC) of the institution (ERC # 2020-1551-7193). The project is an institution SEED grant recipient PF139/0719. The results will be disseminated among participants, patient communities and healthcare professionals in the institution through seminars, presentations, brochures and emails. The findings will be published in a highly accessed peer-reviewed medical journal and will be presented at international conferences.
BACKGROUND: It is not clear how lay people prioritize the various, sometimes conflicting, interests when they make surrogate medical decisions, especially in non-Western cultures. The extent such decisions are perspective-related is also not well documented.
METHODS: We explored the relative importance of 28 surrogate decision-making factors to 120 Middle-Eastern (ME) and 120 East-Asian (EA) women from three perspectives, norm-perception (N), preference as patient (P), and preference as surrogate decision-maker (S). Each respondent force-ranked (one to nine) 28 opinion-items according to each perspective. Items' ranks were analyzed by averaging-analysis and Q-methodology.
RESULTS: Respondents' mean (SD) age was 33.2 (7.9) years; all ME were Muslims, 83% of EA were Christians. "Trying everything possible to save patient," "Improving patient health," "Patient pain and suffering," and/or "What is in the best interests of patient" were the three most-important items, whereas "Effect of caring for patient on all patients in society," "Effect of caring for patient on patients with same disease," and/or "Cost to society from caring for patient" were among the three least-important items, in each ME and EA perspectives. P-perspective assigned higher mean ranks to family and surrogate's needs and burdens-related items, and lower mean rank to "Fear of loss" than S-perspective (p<0.001). ME assigned higher mean ranks to "Medical facts" and "Surrogate own wishes for patient" and lower mean rank to "Family needs" in all perspectives (p<0.001). Q-methodology identified models that were relatively patient's preference-, patient's religious/spiritual beliefs-, or emotion-dependent (all perspectives); medical facts-dependent (N- and S-perspectives), financial needs-dependent (P- and S-perspectives), and family needs-dependent (P-perspective).
CONCLUSIONS: 1) Patient's health was more important than patient's preference to ME and EA women; society interest was least important. 2) Family and surrogate's needs/ burdens were more important, whereas fear of loss was less important to respondents as patients than as surrogate decision-makers. 3) Family needs were more important to EA than ME respondents, the opposite was true for medical facts and surrogate's wishes for patient. 4) Q-methodology models that relatively emphasized various surrogate decision-making factors overlapped the ME and EA women' three perspectives.
BACKGROUND: While a palliative approach is generally perceived to be an integral part of the intensive care unit (ICU), the provision of palliative care in this setting is challenging. This review aims to identify factors (barriers and facilitators) influencing a palliative approach in intensive care settings, as perceived by health care professionals.
METHOD: A systematic mixed-methods review was conducted. Multiple electronic databases were used, and the following search terms were utilized: implementation, palliative care, and intensive care unit. In total, 1843 articles were screened, of which 24 met the research inclusion/exclusion criteria. A thematic synthesis method was used for both qualitative and quantitative studies.
RESULTS: Four key prerequisite factors were identified: (a) organizational structure in facilitating policies, unappropriated resources, multi-disciplinary team involvement, and knowledge and skills; (b) work environment, including physical and psychosocial factors; (c) interpersonal factors/barriers, including family and patients' involvement in communication and participation; and (d) decision-making, e.g., decision and transition, goal conflict, multidisciplinary team communication, and prognostication.
CONCLUSION: Factors hindering the integration of a palliative approach in an intensive care context constitute a complex interplay among organizational structure, the care environment and clinicians' perceptions and attitudes. While patient and family involvement was identified as an important facilitator of palliative care, it was also recognized as a barrier for clinicians due to challenges in shared goal setting and communication.
Background: General Practitioners (GPs) are the main providers of primary palliative care (PPC). At the same time they are the main initiators of specialised palliative homecare (SPHC). In Germany, little is known about factors which influence GPs in their involvement of SPHC. Aim of our study is to identify factors that drive GPs to give value to and involve SPHC.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed. In 2018, questionnaires were mailed to 6000 randomly selected GPs from eight German federal states, focusing on the extent of GPs’ palliative care activities and their involvement of SPHC.
Results: With a response rate of 19.4% and exclusion of GPs working in SPHC-teams, n = 1026 questionnaires were appropriate for analysis. GPs valued SPHC support as the most “important/very important” for both “technical/invasive treatment measures” (95%) and availability outside practice opening hours (92%).
The most relevant factor influencing perceived SPHC-importance was GPs’ self-reported extent of engagement in palliative care (ß = - 0.283; CI 95% = - 0.384;-0.182), followed by the perceived quality of utilised SPHC (ß = 0.119; CI 95% = 0.048;0.190), involvement in treatment of palliative patients after SPHC initiation (ß = 0.088; CI 95% = 0.042;0.134), and conviction that palliative care should be a central part of GPs’ work (ß = - 0.062; CI 95% = - 0.116;-0.008). Perceived SPHC-importance is also associated with SPHC-referrals (ß =0.138; p < 0.001). The lower the engagement of GPs in palliative care, the more they involve SPHC and vice versa.
Conclusions: GPs with low reported activity in palliative care are more likely to initialise SPHC for palliative care activities they do not deliver themselves for various reasons, which might mean that the involvement of SPHC is substitutive instead of complementary to primary palliative care. This finding and its interpretation should be given more attention in the future policy framework for (specialised) palliative homecare.
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Specialty palliative care for hospitalized patients with dementia is widely recommended and may improve outcomes, yet rates of consultation remain low. We sought to describe hospitalists' decision-making regarding palliative care consultation for patients with dementia.
DESIGN: Descriptive qualitative study.
SETTING: Seven hospitals within a national nonprofit health system.
PARTICIPANTS: Hospitalist physicians.
MEASUREMENTS: Individual semistructured interviews. We used thematic analysis to explore factors that influence hospitalists' decision to consult palliative care for patients with dementia.
RESULTS: A total of 171 hospitalists were eligible to participate, and 28 (16%) were interviewed; 17 (61%) were male, 16 (57%) were white, and 18 (64%) were in practice less than 10 years. Overall, hospitalists' decisions to consult palliative care for patients with dementia were influenced by multiple factors across four themes: patient, family caregiver, hospitalist, and organization. Consultation was typically only considered for patients with advanced disease, particularly those receiving aggressive care or with family communication needs (navigating conflicts around goals of care and improving disease and prognostic understanding). Hospitalists' limited time and, for some, a lack of confidence in palliative care skills were strong drivers of consultation. Palliative care needs notwithstanding, most hospitalists would not request consultation if they perceived families would be resistant to it or had limited availability or involvement in caregiving. Additional barriers to referral at the organization level included a hospital culture that conflated palliative and end-of-life care and busy palliative care teams at some hospitals.
CONCLUSION: Hospitalists described a complex consultation decision process for involving palliative care specialists in the care of patients with dementia. Systematic identification of hospitalized patients with dementia most likely to benefit from palliative care consultation and strategies to overcome modifiable family and organization barriers are needed.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the factors of advance directive (AD) completion among older Chinese Americans.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Data came from 435 Chinese Americans aged 55 years and older living in 2 metropolitan areas through self-administered questionnaires and research assistant-administered interviews in 2018. Participants' average age was 75 years (standard deviation = 9.4).
METHODS: Logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with AD completion.
RESULTS: Approximately 14% of participants completed an AD. Older age [odds ratio (OR) 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.12], higher level of acculturation (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.39-3.33), higher expectation for intergenerational support (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.02-2.27), and having US citizenship (OR 3.02, 95% CI 1.26-7.23) were positively associated with AD completion. Physical and mental health needs were not significantly associated with AD completion.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This study is among the first focusing on AD completion among Chinese Americans, one of the fastest-growing older minority populations in the United States. Findings highlight the influence of socioeconomic and cultural factors on AD completion and illustrate the importance of developing culturally sensitive interventions to promote end-of-life care decision making among older Chinese Americans.
PURPOSE: The objectives are to explore the prevalence of DNR orders, the factors influencing them, and the association between DNR signing and health care utilization among advanced cancer patients.
METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study. Data from cancer decedents in three hospitals in China from January 2016 to December 2017 during their last hospitalization before death were obtained from the electronic medical records system.
RESULTS: In total, 427 cancer patients were included; 59.0% had a DNR order. Patients who had solid tumors, lived in urban areas, had more than one comorbidity, and had more than five symptoms were more likely to have DNR orders. The cut-off of the timing of obtaining a DNR order was 3 days, as determined by the median number of days from the signing of a DNR order to patient death. Patients with early DNR orders (more than 3 days before death) were less likely to be transferred to the intensive care unit and undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation, tracheal intubation, and ventilation, while they were more likely to be given morphine and psychological support compared with those with late (within 3 days before death) and no orders.
CONCLUSIONS: Advanced cancer patients with solid tumors living in urban areas with more symptoms and comorbidities are relatively more likely to have DNR orders. Early DNR orders are associated with less aggressive procedures and more comfort measures. However, these orders are always signed late. Future studies are needed to better understand the timing of DNR orders.
BACKGROUND: South Africa (SA) has very low and unchanging organ donation rates. A key point in the pathway of organ donation is obtaining informed consent from the family, which is necessary before organ donation can proceed. There is no published SA research on the consent rate and factors that influence this.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the number of requests for consent and factors influencing this process in the SA context.
METHODS: A prospective descriptive study was performed of all requests to families for organ donation in Western Cape Province, SA, by Groote Schuur Hospital (state sector), Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital (state sector) and Netcare (private sector) transplant co-ordinators from 1 May 2017 to 1 May 2018 to describe factors influencing consent rates.
RESULTS: The 6 co-ordinators (3 state sector and 3 private sector) recorded data of 83 consecutive families approached in 16 hospitals over the 1-year period. Consent to organ donation was granted for 23 family requests (n=18 (state sector); n=5 (private sector)). The number of families approached was greater in the state sector (n=74) than in the private sector (n=9). The overall consent rate was 27.7% (24.3% (state sector); 55.5% (private sector)). The majority of referrals came from trauma and emergency units (n=55; 66.3%) and very few from intensive care units (n=25; 30.1%). Immediate fluid resuscitation was required in 56 (67.5%) potential donors. The majority of families (n=74; 89.2%) were receptive to the organ donation request, independent of their ultimate decision regarding donation. The main reason given for refusing to consent was that it was against their religion (n=21) or culture (n=18).
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that the number of families approached for consent to organ donation were low in the Western Cape (lower in the private sector), with a low consent rate (lower in the state sector). Donor management by clinical teams needs to be ongoing and active during the consent process. Consent discussions (and public awareness initiatives) need to be sensitive to and deal with religious and cultural reservations about organ donation.
BACKGROUND: Population aging has increased the prevalence of surrogate decision making in healthcare settings. However, little is known about factors contributing to the decision to become a surrogate and the surrogate medical decision-making process in general. We investigated how intrapersonal and social-contextual factors predicted two components of the surrogate decision-making process: individuals' willingness to serve as a surrogate and their tendency to select various end-of-life treatments, including mechanical ventilation and palliative care options.
METHOD: An online sample (N = 172) of adults made hypothetical surrogate decisions about end-of-life treatments on behalf of an imagined person of their choice, such as a parent or spouse. Using self-report measures, we investigated key correlates of willingness to serve as surrogate (e.g., decision-making confidence, willingness to collaborate with healthcare providers) and choice of end-of-life treatments.
RESULTS: Viewing service as a surrogate as a more typical practice in healthcare was associated with greater willingness to serve. Greater decision-making confidence, greater willingness to collaborate with patients' physicians, and viewing intensive, life-sustaining end-of-life treatments (e.g., mechanical ventilation) as more widely accepted were associated with choosing more intensive end-of-life treatments.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The current study's consideration of both intrapersonal and social-contextual factors advances knowledge of two key aspects of surrogate decision making - the initial decision to serve as surrogate, and the surrogate's selection of various end-of-life treatment interventions. Providers can use information about the role of these factors to engage with surrogates in a manner that better facilitates their decision making. For instance, providers can be sensitive to potential cultural differences in surrogate decision-making tendencies or employing decision aids that bolster surrogates' confidence in their decisions.
Objectives: To identify the types of factors included in research examining mortality in patients with dementia, and to stratify the identified factors by care settings.
Design: We systematically searched PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) databases, and identified grey literature from the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, Open Grey and Grey Literature Report. Two authors independently screened for eligibility of studies. Independent reviewers extracted relevant study information. We conducted a narrative synthesis of the data.
Results: We identified 8254 articles, of which 94 met the inclusion criteria. More than half (n=53) were published between 2009 and 2018 with half from Europe. Studies were conducted across hospices/nursing homes (n=25), hospital (n=23), outpatient clinics (n=21), mixed settings (n=15) and in the community (n=10). Nearly 60% adopted a prospective cohort study design with 87% performing multivariable analysis. Overall, 239 variables were identified and classified into six themes—individual factors, health status, functional ability, cognition and mental health, treatments and health system factors. Although a general set of factors were common across all studies, when stratified by care settings, variations were seen in the specific variables included.
Conclusion: Identifying prognostic variables relevant to the dementia population in each setting is key to facilitate appropriate care plans and to ensure timely access to palliative care options. Future research should also focus on ensuring the replicability of prognostic models and to generate a better understanding of the direct and interacting influence of the identified factors on mortality.
Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the patterns of discharge and re-enrollment to a community palliative care service, and to identify factors associated with re-enrollment.
Background: Community-based palliative care is a limited resource. The evidence base to guide discharge practices from community palliative care services is limited.
Methods: A retrospective audit of the electronic medical records for all patients discharged from the Sacred Heart Community Palliative Care Service (SHCPCS), Sydney, from July 2010 to July 2016 was conducted. Patients were excluded if they were discharged due to death, transferred out of catchment area, declined the service, transferred to another hospital, or were referred inappropriately.
Data extracted included sociodemographic variables, living situation, diagnoses, and discharge and re-enrollment details. Using binary logistic regression analysis, predictive factors, including socio-demographic characteristics, diagnosis and length of episode of care, were evaluated.
Results: Of the 739 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 42 (5.7%) were re-enrolled to the service. The median length of the initial episode of care was 65 days and the median timeframe between discharge and re-enrollment was 216 days. Patients living in residential care facilities (odds ratio [OR] 3.45; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28–9.28; p = 0.01) and those with malignant diagnoses (OR 2.22; 95% CI 1.00–4.93; p = 0.04) had higher rates of re-enrollment.
Discussion: The proportion of patients re-enrolled to the service was low. Both patient factors and disease factors were associated with re-enrollment. Future prospective studies evaluating prognostic factors to assist with effective discharge processes and guidelines are warranted.
Context: Personal and interpersonal factors may be influential in a person's decision to engage in advance care planning (ACP), including completion of ACP documentation.
Objectives: To conduct a cross-sectional survey of older adults accessing Australian general practices, hospitals, and residential aged care facilities, with the aim of describing associations between personal and interpersonal factors and self-reported ACP documentation completion.
Methods: Eligible participants included in a national health record audit were approached to complete a survey measuring demographic and health characteristics, preferences for care, worries about the future, and experiences talking with others about ACP and completing ACP documentation.
Results: Of 1082 people eligible to participate in the survey, 507 completed the survey (response rate = 47%; median age 82 years) and 54% (n = 272) reported having completed ACP documentation. Having ever discussed ACP with other people (anyone) or a doctor were both significant predictors of ACP documentation completion, whereas having previously spoken specifically to a partner about ACP, currently living with children compared to living alone, and being aged 55–69 versus 90–99 years were associated with reduced odds of ACP documentation completion.
Conclusion: Approximately half the participants reported having completed ACP documentation. The strongest predictor of ACP documentation completion was having spoken to anyone about ACP followed by having spoken to a doctor about ACP. These findings suggest that discussions about ACP are an important part of the process of completing ACP documentation.
Burnout is common in physicians who care for patients with serious illness, with rates greater than 60% in some studies. Risk factors for burnout include working on small teams and/or in small organizations, working longer hours and weekends, being younger than 50 years, burdensome documentation requirements, and regulatory issues. Personal factors that can protect against burnout include mindfulness, exercise, healthy sleep patterns, avoiding substance abuse, and having adequate leisure time. Institutional and work factors that can buffer against burnout include working on adequately staffed teams, having a manageable workload, and minimally burdensome electronic health record documentation.
Complicated grief (CG) poses significant physical, psychological, and economic risks to bereaved family caregivers. An integrative review of the literature published 2009-2018 on CG associated with caregiving was performed using PubMed, PsychINFO, and Web of Science. The search returned 1428 articles, of which 32 were included in the review. Sixteen studies described risk and protective factors and 16 described interventions for CG. Caregiver-related risk factors included fewer years of education, depression, anxiety, poor physical health, and maladaptive dependency and attachment traits. Additional risk factors included lower perceived social support, family conflict at end-of-life, and family having difficulty accepting death. Care recipient-related risk factors are younger age, fear of death, and place of death. Protective factors included hospice utilization in reducing fear of death, high pre-bereavement spiritualty, and satisfaction with palliative care. Complicated grief treatment was the most widely-studied intervention. Social Workers and other clinicians can use this information to identify family caregivers at increased risk for CG and refer or implement an early intervention to lessen its impact.