Dans cet essai pratique, le gériatre définit la vieillesse avant de présenter des explications scientifiques et sociétales sur les personnes âgées. Il évoque le fait de vieillir chez soi, les nouvelles technologies ou encore la santé tout en délivrant des conseils pour rester serein.
La loi de février 2016 sur les droits des patients et la fin de vie a créé pour les professionnels de santé un devoir de mettre en œuvre toute pratique sédative nécessaire pour soulager les souffrances réfractaires en fin de vie. Dans certains cas très spécifiques, elle a même créé un véritable droit à une sédation irréversible (maintenue jusqu’au décès). La typologie SEDAPALL est un outil d’aide à la réflexion et à la prise de décision pour la mise en œuvre des différentes pratiques sédatives à visée palliative en fin de vie. Elle permet de les différencier selon trois axes : la durée prévue, la profondeur et la nature du consentement. À ce jour, il n’existe pas de travaux spécifiques sur les pratiques sédatives pour des patients gériatriques. À l’aide de vignettes cliniques concernant des situations gérontologiques, il est proposé de discuter des différentes problématiques éthiques soulevées par ces pratiques sédatives. D’éventuelles spécificités pour le grand âge sont discutées tout en rappelant le droit pour chaque patient, y compris gériatrique, à une mort apaisée, si besoin par une altération pharmacologique de sa vigilance.
Background: In many cases, life-sustaining treatment preferences are not timely discussed with older patients. Advance care planning (ACP) offers medical professionals an opportunity to discuss patients’ preferences. We assessed how often these preferences were known when older patients were referred to the emergency department (ED) for an acute geriatric assessment.
Methods: We conducted a descriptive study on patients referred to the ED for an acute geriatric assessment in a Dutch hospital. Patients were referred by general practitioners (GPs), or in the case of nursing home residents, by elderly care physicians. The referring physician was asked if preferences regarding life-sustaining treatments were known. The primary outcome was the number of patients for whom preferences were known. Secondary outcomes included which preferences, and which variables predict known preferences.
Results: Between 2015 and 2017, 348 patients were included in our study. At least one preference regarding life-sustaining treatments was known at referral in 45.4% (158/348) cases. In these cases, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) policy was always included. Preferences regarding invasive ventilation policy and ICU admission were known in 17% (59/348) and 10.3% (36/348) of the cases respectively. Known preferences were more frequent in cases referred by the elderly care physician than the GP (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: In less than half the patients, at least one preference regarding life-sustaining treatments was known at the time of referral to the ED for an acute geriatric assessment; in most cases it concerned CPR policy. We recommend optimizing ACP conversations in a non-acute setting to provide more appropriate, desired, and personalized care to older patients referred to the ED.
Background: Observational studies investigating risk factors in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have not considered the confounding effects of advanced care planning, such that a valid picture of risk for elderly, frail and multi-morbid patients is unknown. We aimed to report ceiling of care and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) decisions and their association with demographic and clinical characteristics as well as outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: Retrospective, observational study conducted between 5th March and 7th May 2020 of all hospitalised patients with COVID-19. Ceiling of care and CPR decisions were documented using the Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT) process. Unadjusted and multivariable regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with ceiling of care decisions and death during hospitalisation.
Results: A total of 485 patients were included, of whom 409 (84·3%) had a documented ceiling of care; level one for 208 (50·9%), level two for 75 (18·3%) and level three for 126 (30·8%). CPR decisions were documented for 451 (93·0%) of whom 336 (74·5%) were ‘not for resuscitation’. Advanced age, frailty, White-European ethnicity, a diagnosis of any co-morbidity and receipt of cardiovascular medications were associated with ceiling of care decisions. In a multivariable model only advanced age (odds 0·89, 0·86–0·93 p < 0·001), frailty (odds 0·48, 0·38–0·60, p < 0·001) and the cumulative number of co-morbidities (odds 0·72, 0·52–1·0, p = 0·048) were independently associated. Death during hospitalisation was independently associated with age, frailty and requirement for level two or three care.
Conclusion: Ceiling of care decisions were made for the majority of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, broadly in line with known predictors of poor outcomes in COVID-19, but with a focus on co-morbidities suggesting ICU admission might not be a reliable end-point for observational studies where advanced care planning is routine.
Objectives: To explore the legal understanding and attitudes of nurses and physicians in both acute and chronic geriatric care (Flanders, Belgium) regarding euthanasia in the context of tiredness of life in older people.
Method: Healthcare providers employed in acute care (59 geriatricians and 75 nurses of acute geriatric wards), as well as chronic care (135 general practitioners (GPs) and 76 nurses employed in nursing homes and home care services) were sent a survey with four case vignettes. For each case vignette, respondents were asked the following questions: (1) ‘Does this case fit the due-care criteria of the euthanasia law?’, (2) ‘Do you consider this person to be tired of life?’, (3) ‘Can you comprehend this person’s euthanasia request?’.
Results: In cases of severe and life-limiting physical suffering, where the patient meets the legal criteria for euthanasia in Belgium, only 50% of physicians and nurses are aware of this legal basis. In case of tiredness of life without underlying pathology, nurses showed more comprehension for the euthanasia request compared to physicians (43.0% vs. 10.8%, p < 0.001). Physicians tend to assess the legal base of an euthanasia-request depending on the severity of physical morbidity, whereas nurses show a greater comprehension towards euthanasia-requests even in absence of severe illness. Geriatricians are more reserved regarding performing euthanasia themselves as compared to GPs, regardless of underlying pathology or reason for the euthanasia-request (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: The legal understanding and attitude of Flemish physicians and nurses towards tiredness of life and euthanasia in older patients differed to a great extent. This study showed (1) a lack of awareness of the legal basis for euthanasia in the context of ToL among all HCPs, (2) differences in the extent of comprehension between nurses and physicians and (3) differences in willingness to actually perform euthanasia between geriatricians and GPs. So even with the formulation of strict due-care criteria there is still room for interpretation. This creates a gray area and a discussion point between healthcare providers.
BACKGROUND: Over 90 million Americans suffer from advanced illness (AI) and spend their last days of life in critical care units receiving costly, unwanted, aggressive medical care.
OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the impact of a specialized care model in medical/surgical units for hospitalized geriatric patients and patients with complex care requirements where designated AI beds align care with patient's wishes/goals, minimize aggressive interventions, and influence efficient resource utilization.
DESIGN: US based multi-facility retrospective, longitudinal descriptive study of screened positive AI patients in AI Beds (N = 1,237) from 3 facilities from 2015 to 2017.
RESULTS: Patient outcomes included 60% referrals to AI beds from ICU, a decrease of 39-49% in average ICU LOS, a 23% reduction of AI bed patient expirations, 9.0% referrals to hospice, and projected cost savings of $4,361.66/patient, US dollars.
CONCLUSION: Allocating AI beds to deliver care to AI patients resulted in a decreased cost of care by reducing overall hospital LOS, mortality, and efficient use of both critical care and hospital resources.
Healthcare aims to help older people to live well, but ultimately must also support them to die well. Most people die in old age, but predicting death in both short- and long-term is impossible for many, although not all, older people. Frail older people live with hope and pride in coping, and often anticipate recovery when ill. Key objectives of healthcare for older people are to maintain independence, minimise suffering and preserve dignity, which requires active medical, mental health and rehabilitation management, even when extending life is not the main goal. Thorough medical diagnosis and appropriate treatment and rehabilitation minimise disability, physical and mental distress and problems resulting from acute illness and crises. In these terms, 'health gain' can be achieved from medical intervention, even when life expectancy is short. Assumptions derived from cancer care about lack of reversibility with medical interventions are sometimes unwarranted. This has to be balanced against investigation- and treatment-burden, including that associated with hospital admission and the adverse effects of drugs and therapy interventions, and the need to respect the identity and autonomy of individuals. The resolution of these tensions requires anticipation of care options, multi-professional assessment, judicious and targeted treatment, good communication with patients and stakeholders and rigorous shared decision-making. In this commentary, we compare geriatric and palliative medicine, and describe how the geriatric medical approach can deliver appropriate healthcare towards the end of life. This is well supported by the broad knowledge, skill-set, flexibility and professional values displayed by geriatricians working in multi-professional teams.
Fin 2019, le coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 émerge du monde animal vers l’homme. L’épidémie de COVID-19 éclate en Chine et est déclarée pandémie par l’OMS en mars 2020. En France, les structures hospitalières de trois régions (Hauts-de-France, Grand Est et Île-de-France) connaissent une arrivée massive de personnes atteintes de formes graves. Des unités spécifiques COVID apparaissent. Au sein de l’hôpital, l’annonce diagnostique de la maladie à SARS-Cov-2 et l’accompagnement palliatif (lorsqu’il est indiqué) ont nécessité un travail spécifique. Comment, dans une unité gériatrique aiguë COVID, annoncer le diagnostic de cette maladie au sein même d’une telle surtension d’activité ? Quels sont les défis à relever pour offrir un accompagnement adapté de ces personnes âgées et atteintes de cette nouvelle maladie ? Le tout en plein confinement de la population.
Importance: The Dutch Regional Euthanasia Review Committees (RTEs) reviewed and reported an increasing number of cases of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (EAS) requested by older people with multiple geriatric syndromes (MGS). Knowledge of the characteristics of cases of EAS for MGS is important to facilitate societal debate and to monitor EAS practice.
Objective: To examine the accumulation of patient characteristics, geriatric syndromes, and other circumstances as reported in the case summaries of the RTEs that led to unbearable suffering associated with a request for EAS and to analyze the RTEs' assessments of these cases of EAS.
Design, Setting, and Participants: A qualitative content analysis was conducted of all case summaries filed from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2019, under the category MGS and published in a national open access database. These case summaries were selected by the RTEs from the total of 1605 reported cases of EAS in the category MGS.
Results: The RTEs published 53 cases (41 [77%] female) under the category MGS. A total of 28 patients (53%) had always perceived themselves as independent, active, and socially involved. None of the patients suffered from life-threatening conditions. Multiple geriatric syndromes, such as visual impairment (34 cases [64%]), hearing loss (28 cases [53%]), pain (25 cases [47%]), and chronic tiredness (22 cases [42%]), were common. The request for EAS was often preceded by a sequence of events, especially recurrent falls (33 cases [62%]). Although physical suffering could be determined in all cases, the case descriptions found that suffering occurred on multiple dimensions, such as the loss of mobility (44 [83%]), fears (21 [40%]), dependence (23 [43%]), and social isolation (19 [36%]).
Conclusions and Relevance: This qualitative study suggests that an accumulation of geriatric syndromes leading to a request for EAS is often intertwined with the social and existential dimension of suffering. This leads to a complex interplay of physical, psychological, and existential suffering that changes over time.
Background: Timely palliative care in frail older persons remains challenging. Scales to identify older patients at risk of functional decline already exist. However, factors to predict short term mortality in older hospitalized patients are scarce.
Methods: In this prospective study, we recruited patients of 75 years and older at the department of cardiology and geriatrics. The usual gait speed measurement closest to discharge was chosen. We used the risk of dying within 1 year as parameter for starting palliative care. ROC curves were used to determine the best cut-off value of usual gait speed to predict one-year mortality. Time to event analyses were assessed by COX regression.
Results: On the acute geriatric ward (n = 60), patients were older and more frail (assessed by Katz and iADL) in comparison to patients on the cardiology ward (n = 82); one-year mortality was respectively 27 and 15% (p = 0.069). AUC on the acute geriatric ward was 0.748 (p = 0.006). The best cut-off value was 0.42 m/s with a sensitivity and specificity of 0.857 and 0.643. Slow walkers died earlier than faster walkers (HR 7.456, p = 0.011), after correction for age and sex. On the cardiology ward, AUC was 0.560 (p = 0.563); no significant association was found between usual gait speed and survival time.
Conclusions: Usual gait speed may be a valuable prognostic factor to identify patients at risk for one-year mortality on the acute geriatric ward but not on the cardiology ward.
INTRODUCTION: Care homes provide nursing and social care for older people who can no longer live independently at home. In the UK, there is no consistent approach to how information about residents' medical history, care needs and preferences are collected and shared. This limits opportunities to understand the care home population, have a systematic approach to assessment and documentation of care, identifiy care home residents at risk of deterioration and review care. Countries with standardised approaches to residents' assessment, care planning and review (eg, minimum data sets (MDS)) use the data to understand the care home population, guide resource allocation, monitor services delivery and for research. The aim of this realist review is to develop a theory-driven understanding of how care home staff implement and use MDS to plan and deliver care of individual residents.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A realist review will be conducted in three research stages.Stage 1 will scope the literature and develop candidate programme theories of what ensures effective uptake and sustained implementation of an MDS.Stage2 will test and refine these theories through further iterative searches of the evidence from the literature to establish how effective uptake of an MDS can be achieved.Stage 3 will consult with relevant stakeholders to test or refine the programme theory (theories) of how an MDS works at the resident level of care for different stakeholders and in what circumstances. Data synthesis will use realist logic to align data from each eligible article with possible context-mechanism-outcome configurations or specific elements that answer the research questions.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The University of Hertfordshire Ethics Committee has approved this study (HSK/SF/UH/04169). Findings will be disseminated through briefings with stakeholders, conference presentations, a national consultation on the use of an MDS in UK long-term care settings, publications in peer-reviewed journals and in print and social media publications accessible to residents, relatives and care home staff.
PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020171323; this review protocol is registered on the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented levels of social isolation which has negatively impacted older patients in particular on multiple levels. We present a case of an older patient with several complex psychosocial issues who was hospitalized and died from COVID-19. The social isolation required during the pandemic compounded patient and family stressors and diminished the patient's access to clinicians and to his usual support network and coping strategies. We describe how technology and tele-palliative care were utilized to reconnect the patient with clinicians and family and to provide clinical care that enhanced coping skills and support. Using telemedicine to restructure the approach to care was crucial in improving multiple domains of care and can be considered a resource for caring for older adults, especially during the challenging times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As life expectancy increases, long periods of comorbidity and low quality of life commonly precede death. Advance care planning within primary care settings is necessary to increase patient agency and prioritize personal wishes. This article disseminates a quality improvement initiative within a federally qualified health center. New procedures were developed to systematically track advance directive conversations using current procedural terminology codes. The systems change resulted in a substantial and sustained increase in advance directive conversation documentation. The increase was presumably due to the implementation of small-scale changes, providers' commitment to geriatric primary care, increases in appointment times, allocation of tasks across disciplines, availability of Spanish speaking staff and translated forms, and the change to record keeping that enabled codes to be easily captured and tracked in the electronic medical record. This work may inform future quality improvement efforts to boost advance care planning among underserved populations in diverse settings.
The Japan Geriatrics Society has so far announced "The Japan Geriatrics Society Position Statement 2012" and "Guidelines for the Decision-Making Processes in Medical and Long-Term Care for the Elderly - Focusing on the Use of Artificial Hydration and Nutrition" related to end-of-life care for older adults. In 2018, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare revised the "Guidelines for the Decision-Making Processes in Medical and Long-Term Care in the End of Life," recommending the practice of advance care planning (ACP). This was the first time when the Japanese government publicized its stance on ACP. Immediately after the government's announcement, the Japan Medical Association announced its committee report, "The Super-aged Society and the End-of-life Care," which also recommended the practice of ACP. The guidelines were published when the society was experiencing substantial changes related to geriatric care in Japan, and required timely and ethically appropriate decision-making processes. However, because ACP is a concept imported from English-speaking countries, some Japanese people could find it difficult to understand the role and methodology of ACP because of differences in culture and the medical/long-term care system. Therefore, the Japan Geriatrics Society has decided to publish the "Recommendations for the Promotion of Advance Care Planning" for medical and long-term care professionals nationwide with the aim of using the recommendations on a daily basis. The society recognizes ACP as indispensable to improve end-of-life care for individuals, particularly for older adults. We anticipate that the recommendations will provide practical guidance for those strenuously working toward this goal.
BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial use during end-of-life care of older adults with advanced cancer is prevalent. Factors influencing the decision to prescribe antimicrobials during end-of-life care are not well defined.
AIM: To evaluate factors influencing medicine subspecialists to prescribe intravenous and oral antimicrobials during end-of-life care of older adults with advanced cancer to guide an educational intervention.
DESIGN: 18-item single-center cross-sectional survey.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Inpatient medicine subspecialists in 2018.
RESULTS: Of 186 subspecialists surveyed, 67 (36%) responded. Most considered withholding antimicrobials at the time of clinical deterioration during hospitalization (n = 54/67, 81%), viewed the initiation of additional intravenous antimicrobials as escalation of care (n = 44/67, 66%), and believed decision-making should involve patients or surrogates and providers (n = 64/67, 96%). Fifty-one percent (n = 30/59) of respondents who conducted advance care planning did not discuss antimicrobials. Barriers to discussing end-of-life antimicrobials included the potential to overwhelm patients or families, challenges of withdrawing antimicrobials, and insufficient training.
CONCLUSIONS: Although the initiation of additional intravenous antimicrobials was viewed as escalation of care, antimicrobials were not routinely discussed during advance care planning. Educational interventions that promote recognition of antimicrobial-associated adverse events, incorporate antimicrobial use into advance care plans, and offer communication simulation training around the role of antimicrobials during end-of-life care are warranted.
During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, principles from both clinical and public health ethics cue clinicians and healthcare administrators to plan alternatives for frail older adults who prefer to avoid critical care, and for when critical care is not available due to crisis triaging. This article will explore the COVID-19 Ethical Decision Making Framework, published in British Columbia (BC), Canada, to familiarize clinicians and policy makers with how ethical principles can guide systems change, in the service of frail older adults. In BC, the healthcare system has launched resources to support clinicians in proactive advance care planning discussions, and is providing enhanced supportive and palliative care options to residents of long-term care facilities. If the pandemic truly overwhelms the healthcare system, frailty, but not age alone, provides a fair and evidence-based means of triaging patients for critical care and could be included into ventilator allocation frameworks.
L’épidémie de Covid-19 qui avait débuté en novembre en Chine est devenue une épidémie en France à partir du 16 mars 2020 avec la déclaration du confinement de la population afin de diminuer la propagation du virus. Dès le 17 mars et jusqu’au 27 mars 2020, la cellule de veille de la Société française de gériatrie et gérontologie décide de mener une enquête pour analyser la mise en place de la mobilisation des structures de gériatrie, étant donné que cette épidémie avait montré qu’elle entraînait une surmortalité majoritairement chez les personnes âgées. L’enquête a pu réunir la réponse de 34 structures, dont neuf étaient situées en zone cluster de forte épidémie. Des services de court séjour gériatriques
dédiés pour les patients infectés par le Covid-19 étaient présents dans huit établissements, uniquement hors des zones clusters. Neuf soins de suite et de rééducation gériatriques ont été dédiés, une activité supplémentaire de télémédecine concernait 35 % des établissements, et des moyens d’écoute des familles, d’animation et de communication par tablettes concernaient 36% des établissements. Cette enquête est une photographie d’un moment initial de l’épidémie. Elle donne l’occasion de décrire le contexte dans lequel cette épidémie est survenue en ce qui concerne la politique gériatrique, et d’apprécier la réactivité et l’inventivité de ces services pour répondre aux besoins des personnes âgées.
La vie du pôle de gériatrie de Mulhouse a basculé le 3 mars 2020.
Les premiers patients Covid-19 affluent dans les services de réanimation et de médecine interne du Groupe hospitalier de la Région de Mulhouse et Sud-Alsace (GHRMSA). Dès le 4 mars, le pôle de gériatrie de Mulhouse
est en marche pour le front. Il s’engage immédiatement dans une réorganisation de son fonctionnement pour transformer le court-séjour en une unité Covid initialement de 11 lits. Les 25 patients présents jusqu’alors dans l’unité sont transférés dans d’autres services du GHRMSA en moins de 48 heures. Une logistique intense se met en place et les premiers patients Covid-19 sont accueillis le 5 mars avec des formes graves d’emblée. Dès le 7 mars, le déferlement de patients contraint le court-séjour à ouvrir ses 25 lits pour les malades Covid-19 puis une unité supplémentaire de 13 lits quelques jours après.
BACKGROUND: Hospitalisation rates for the older population have been increasing with end-of-life care becoming a more medicalised and costly experience. There is evidence that some of these patients received non-beneficial treatment during their final hospitalisation with a third of the non-beneficial treatment duration spent in intensive care units. This study aims to increase appropriate care and treatment decisions and pathways for older patients at the end of life in Australia. This study will implement and evaluate a prospective feedback loop and tailored clinical response intervention at three hospitals in Queensland, Australia.
METHODS: A stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial will be conducted with up to 21 clinical teams in three acute hospitals over 70 weeks. The study involves clinical teams providing care to patients aged 75 years or older, who are prospectively identified to be at risk of non-beneficial treatment using two validated tools for detecting death and deterioration risks. The intervention's feedback loop will provide the teams with a summary of these patients' risk profiles as a stimulus for a tailored clinical response in the intervention phase. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research will be used to inform the intervention's implementation and process evaluation. The study will determine the impact of the intervention on patient outcomes related to appropriate care and treatment at the end of life in hospitals, as well as the associated healthcare resource use and costs. The primary outcome is the proportion of patients who are admitted to intensive care units. A process evaluation will be carried out to assess the implementation, mechanisms of impact, and contextual barriers and enablers of the intervention.
DISCUSSION: This intervention is expected to have a positive impact on the care of older patients near the end of life, specifically to improve clinical decision-making about treatment pathways and what constitutes appropriate care for these patients. These will reduce the incidence of non-beneficial treatment, and improve the efficiency of hospital resources and quality of care. The process evaluation results will be useful to inform subsequent intervention implementation at other hospitals.
BACKGROUND: Group visits can support health behavior change and self-efficacy. In primary care, an advance care planning (ACP) group visit may leverage group dynamics and peer mentorship to facilitate education and personal goal setting that result in ACP engagement.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the ENgaging in Advance Care Planning Talks (ENACT) group visits intervention improves ACP documentation and readiness in older adults.
METHODS: This randomized clinical trial was conducted among geriatric primary care patients from the University of Colorado Hospital Seniors Clinic, Aurora, CO, from August 2017 to November 2019. Participants randomized to ENACT group visits (n = 55) participated in two 2-hour sessions with discussions of ACP topics and use of ACP tools (i.e., Conversation Starter Kit, Medical Durable Power of Attorney form, and PREPARE videos). Participants randomized to the control arm (n = 55) received the Conversation Starter Kit and a Medical Durable Power of Attorney form by mail. The primary outcomes included presence of ACP documents or medical decision-maker documentation in the electronic health record (EHR) at 6 months, and a secondary outcome was ACP readiness (validated four-item ACP Engagement Survey) at 6 months.
RESULTS: Participants were a mean of 77 years old, 60% female, and 79% white. At 6 months, 71% of ENACT participants had an advance directive in the EHR (26% higher) compared with 45% of control arm participants (P < .001). Similarly, 93% of ENACT participants had decision-maker documentation in the EHR (29% higher) compared with 73% in the control arm (P < .001). ENACT participants trended toward higher readiness to engage in ACP compared with control (4.56 vs 4.13; P = .16) at 6 months.
CONCLUSION: An ACP group visit increased ACP documentation and readiness to engage in ACP behavior change. Primary care teams can explore implementation and adaptation of ACP group visits into routine care, as well as longer-term impact on patient health outcomes.