Palliative care has been defined as specialized care for patients facing serious illnesses. Despite advancements in the field and studies documenting the effectiveness of early palliative care (PC) interventions in seriously ill patients, the fields of hematologic malignancies and bone marrow transplant still lag behind of a comprehensive framework for early and effective interventions. The aim of this literature review is to analyze and discuss the possible barriers to care and delayed referrals for hematologic malignancies and bone marrow transplant patients. Using the EBSCO and PubMed databases, articles regarding PC among patients with hematologic malignancies and bone marrow transplant were analyzed. There are three main domains with its respective barriers in PC: physicians, patients and caregivers, and the healthcare system. Issues that were identified included the lack of knowledge and misconceptions about PC among physicians, patients, and caregivers, delayed referral of patients with hematologic malignancies, unrealistic treatment expectations, lack of communication between specialties, difficulties with appointment availability, geographical distance between clinics, and lack of insurance coverage for PC services. We suggest possible alternatives including obligatory continuing medical education (CME) credits, loan forgiveness, rotations during residency and fellowship training, use of informational videos and pamphlets to educate patients and caregivers, obligatory early consults despite prognosis, an algorithm to evaluate patient's needs, creating a platform within electronic medical records (EMR) systems shared by specialties, and having PC service in every cancer center. Findings suggest a need for further studies aimed towards implementing solutions to increase the early referral of patients with hematologic malignancies and bone marrow transplantation (BMT) to palliative care.
Background: Catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) constitute a major complication associated with the use of central venous lines (CVL). The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence proportion and risk factors of CRSBI in palliative care patients with CVL receiving home parenteral nutrition (HPN).
Methods: Medical records from patients admitted to a medical home care unit in stockholm, Sweden, during 2017 were reviewed (n=1022) and 454 palliative care patients with a CVL were identified. Data on CRBSI cases, HPN exposure time, type of parenteral nutrition (PN), age, diagnosis and type of CVL were collected.
Results: Twenty-nine of 143 patients receiving HPN through a CVL were diagnosed with a CRBSI (20%). Nine of 311 patients with CVL without exposure for HPN developed CRBSI (3%). The risk of a CRBSI was significantly higher in patients receiving HPN compared with those not receiving HPN, OR 8.5 (95% CI 4.0 to 18.7). For those receiving HPN six to seven times a week the risk was even higher, OR 13 (95% CI 5.1 to 30.3). The highest incidence proportion of CRBSI (31%) was found in a home care team where patients had been trained to disconnect themselves from the PN drip. Sex, cancer versus non-cancer, type of CVL or protein content in the PN, did not differ between patients that developed CRBSI versus those that did not develop the outcome.
Conclusion: HPN entails a high risk of CRBSI. A high frequency of PN and incautious handling of the disconnection of the drip, seem to be the most important risk factors.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Integration of specialist palliative care into routine oncologic care improves patients' quality of life and survival. NCCN cancer treatment guidelines are instrumental in standardizing cancer care; yet, it is unclear how palliative and hospice care are integrated in these guidelines. In this study, we examined the frequency of occurrence of "palliative care" and "hospice care" in NCCN guidelines and compared between solid tumor and hematologic malignancy guidelines.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed all 53 updated NCCN Guidelines for Treatment of Cancer. We documented the frequency of occurrence of "palliative care" and "hospice care", the definitions for these terms if available, and the recommended timing for these services.
RESULTS: We identified a total of 37 solid tumor and 16 hematologic malignancy guidelines. Palliative care was mentioned in 30 (57%) guidelines (24 solid tumor, 6 hematologic). "Palliative care" was mentioned more frequently in solid tumor than hematologic guidelines (median 2 vs. 0, P=0.04). Among the guidelines that included palliative care in the treatment recommendation, 25 (83%) only referred to NCCN palliative care guideline. Specialist palliative care referral was specifically mentioned in 5/30 (17%) guidelines. Only 14/24 (58%) solid tumor guidelines and 2/6 (33%) hematologic guidelines recommended palliative care in the front line setting for advanced malignancy. Few guidelines (N=3/53, 6%) mentioned hospice care.
CONCLUSION: "Palliative care" was absent in almost half of NCCN cancer treatment guidelines and was rarely discussed in guidelines for hematologic malignancies. Our findings underscored opportunities to standardize timely palliative care access across NCCN guidelines.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Integration of specialist palliative care into routine oncologic care is associated with improved patient outcomes. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology have an important role to standardize palliative care involvement for cancer patients. It is unclear how often palliative care referral is recommended in these guidelines. In this study involving 53 NCCN Guidelines for Treatment of Cancer, the researchers found that palliative care was not mentioned in over 40% of NCCN guidelines and was rarely discussed in guidelines for hematologic malignancies. These findings underscored opportunities to standardize timely palliative care access across NCCN guidelines.
OBJECTIVES: Patients with haematological malignancies (HM) receive more aggressive treatments near the end-of-life (EOL) than patients with solid tumours. Palliative care (PC) needs are less widely acknowledged in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) than in other HM. The main objective of our study was to describe EOL care and PC referral in a population of older patients with MM.
METHODS: We retrospectively included deceased inpatients and outpatients with an MM previously diagnosed at the age of 70 and over in two tertiary centres in France. We reported EOL characteristics regarding treatments considered to be aggressive-antimyeloma therapies, hospitalisations, blood product transfusions, intensive care units (ICUs) or emergency admissions-and PC referral.
RESULTS: We included 119 patients. In their last month of life, 75 (63%) were hospitalised for fever, pain, asthenia, anaemia or bleeding, 49 (41%) were admitted in the emergency department and 12 (10%) in ICU, 76 (64%) still received antimyeloma therapy and 45 (38%) had at least two transfusions. Only 24 (20%) received PC intervention for pain, global care, family support, anxiety, social care or confusion. Median follow-up until death was 20 days.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study found a high rate of hospitalisations and antimyeloma therapies in the last month of life. The PC referral rate was low, often once specific treatments were stopped. Our results suggest the need for more effective collaboration between PC teams and haematologists in order to respond to the specific needs of these patients and to improve their quality of care at EOL.
Aims of the study: Blood coagulation parameters are colossally important for clinical evaluation of palliative chemotherapy; however, this niche was not explored earlier for advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Study focuses to explore the clinical relevancy of Coagulation parameters; prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombin time (TT), fibrinogen (FIB), D-dimer and international normalised ratio (INR) and their response to palliative chemotherapy in advanced-stage NSCLC.
Methods: A retrospective study was conducted between 2013 and 2019 in Jiangsu Cancer hospital, Nanjing, PR. China. Medical records of 5445 patients were succinctly reviewed and classified accordingly to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total of 216 advanced NSCLC patients who used a first-line chemotherapy and antiangiogenic therapy regimen were enrolled in this study under ethical approval (JSCH-2020C-009). Blood samples were collected from these patients to measure the response levels of these coagulation parameters at time of admission to hospital and at the beginning of 4 cycles of Palliative therapy. We find the clinical value of all these coagulation parameters by using SPSS 24. Univariate Cox regression and Multivariate Cox regression models were used to identify the factors that were associated with progression-free survival (PFS) and the response to palliative chemotherapy.
Results: In the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis for overall median (95% CI) survival of high pre-treatment coagulation parameters showed shorter PFS compared with normal pre-treatment except TT and their overall median (95% CI) follow-up was 3.3 (3.12-3.47). Coagulation parameters have showed clinical relevance as a potential independent prognostic factor of PFS in the Univariate Cox regression. In multivariable model, Age (=60 years vs < 60 years), cancer differentiation (Unknown vs Poor), PT (High vs Normal) range, FIB (High vs Normal) range and D-dimer (High vs Normal) range, (P = .025, P = .045, P = .029, P = .049 and P = .011, respectively) were associated as a prognostic factor of PFS in NSCLC. Patients on 3-drugs regimen found to have better PFS compared with the ones taking the 2-drugs treatment regimen (P = .043).
Conclusion: The high range of PT, FIB and D-dimers was associated with poor prognosis of advanced-stage NSCLC. Our findings also confirmed that patients on 3-drugs regimen showed longer PFS compared with 2-drugs regimen.
Les soins palliatifs demandent de plus en plus de compétences médicales, soignantes, humaines et éthiques, afin d’asseoir leur légitimité dans des domaines de plus en plus pointus de la médecine – réanimation, néonatalogie, cancérologie, gériatrie – ainsi que dans la diversité des prises en charge, y compris au domicile ou en EPHAD.
Dans ce contexte de développement des formations et d’élargissement des champs de compétences de la pratique palliative, cette 5e édition du manuel offre :
-les indispensables connaissances thérapeutiques ;
-les outils, à destination des professionnels en vue d’acquérir une compétence clinique pour la rencontre et l’accompagnement humain, psychique et relationnelle de la personne malade ;
-une contextualisation de la pratique des soins palliatifs dans leur dimension sociale, sanitaire et politique ;
-des jalons pédagogiques pour le développement des soins palliatifs dans leur dimension pédagogique et de recherche.
BACKGROUND: Patients with advanced haematological malignancies suffer from a very high symptom burden and psychological, spiritual, social and physical symptoms comparable with patients with metastatic non-haematological malignancy. Referral to palliative care services for these patients remains limited or often confined to the last days of life. We developed a palliative care intervention (PCI) integrated with standard haematological care. The aim of the study was focussed on exploring the feasibility of the intervention by patients, professionals and caregivers and on assessing its preliminary efficacy.
METHODS/DESIGN: This is a mixed-methods phase 2 trial. The Specialist Palliative Care Team (SPCT) will follow each patient on a monthly basis in the outpatient clinic or will provide consultations during any hospital admission. SPCT and haematologists will discuss active patient issues to assure a team approach to the patient's care. This quantitative study is a monocentric parallel-group superiority trial with balanced randomisation comparing the experimental PCI plus haematological standard care versus haematological standard care alone. The primary endpoint will calculate on adherence to the planned PCI, measured as the percentage of patients randomised to the experimental arm who attend all the planned palliative care visits in the 24 weeks after randomisation. The qualitative study follows the methodological indications of concurrent nested design and was aimed at exploring the acceptability of the PCI from the point of view of patients, caregivers and physicians.
DISCUSSION: In this trial, we will test the feasibility of an integrated palliative care approach starting when the haematologist decides to propose the last active treatment to the patient, according to his/her clinical judgement. We decided to test this criterion because it is able to intercept a wide range of patients'needs. The feasibility of this approach requires that we enrol at least 60 patients and that more than 50% of them be followed by the palliative care team for at least 24 weeks. The trial will include integrated qualitative data analysis; to give essential information on feasibility and acceptability.
Objectives: Identifying the preferred place of death for children/young people with cancer and determining whether this is achieved is pertinent to inform palliative care service provision. The aims of this retrospective case series review were to determine where children/young people with cancer want to die and whether their preferred place of death was achieved.
Methods: Clinical/demographic details, including preferred and actual places of death, were recorded for 121 patients who died between 2012 and 2016 at a tertiary haematology–oncology centre. A logistic regression model was used to determine the odds of achieving the preferred place of death in patient subgroups.
Results: 74 (61%) patients had a documented discussion regarding place of death preference. Where a preferred location was identified, 72% achieved it. All patients who wanted to die in the hospital (n=17) or a hospice (n=9) did, but only 58% of patients who wanted to die at home (n=40) achieved this. Of the 42% (n=17) who wanted to die at home but did not, 59% of these were due to rapid deterioration in clinical status shortly after the discussion. Having supportive treatment in the last month of life was associated with increased odds of achieving the preferred place of death versus those who were undergoing chemotherapy/radiotherapy (OR 3.19, 95% CI 1.04 to 9.80, p value=0.04).
Conclusion: Where hospice/hospital was chosen as the preferred place of death, this was always achieved. Achieving home as the preferred place of death was more challenging and frequently prevented by rapid clinical deterioration. Clinicians should be encouraged to address end-of-life preferences at an early stage, with information provided adequately. Further research should explore implications of these findings on both end-of-life experience and overall service provision.
Context and Objectives: The myriad of benefits of early palliative care (PC) integration in oncology are well established, and emerging evidence suggests that PC improves symptom burden, mood, and quality of life for hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients. Specific impact of PC consultation on outcomes of older allogeneic HCT (allo-HCT) recipients, a historically high-risk population vulnerable to transplant-related complications and mortality, has not been explored.
Design and Methods: In this single institution, retrospective analysis of 527 first allo-HCT recipients aged =60 years, we characterized 75 patients who had received post-HCT PC consultation and its association with geriatric vulnerabilities identified by pre-HCT geriatric assessment. We also examined end-of-life care outcomes among patients who died within one-year of allo-hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Results: In multivariate analysis, higher disease risk, female gender, and, importantly, pre-HCT functional limitation (hazard ratio 2.35, 95% confidence interval, 1.35–4.09, p = 0.003) were associated with post-HCT PC utilization. Within one-year of hematopoietic cell transplantation, 127 patients died; among those, recipients of early PC consultation had significantly higher rates of hospice enrollment (25% vs. 9%, p = 0.019) and lower rates of hospital death (71% vs. 90%, p = 0.013), intensive care unit admission (44% vs. 75%, p = 0.001), and high-intensity medical care in last 30 days of life (46% vs. 77%, p = 0.001).
Conclusions: Our results highlight important pre-HCT risk factors associated with increased PC needs posthematopoietic cell transplantation and benefits of PC involvement for older allo-HCT recipients at the end of life. Prospective studies should examine the optimal timing of PC consultation and its multidimensional benefits for older allo-HCT patients.
Background: Despite the high potential to improve the quality of life of patients and families, palliative care services face significant obstacles to their use. In countries with high-resource health systems, the nonfinancial and nonstructural obstacles to palliative care services are particularly prominent. These are the cognitive barriers -knowledge and communication barriers- to the use of palliative care. To date no systematic review has given the deserved attention to the cognitive barriers and facilitators to palliative care services utilization.
This study aims to synthesize knowledge on cognitive barriers and facilitators to palliative care use in oncology and hemato-oncology from the experiences of health professionals, patients, and their families.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted. PubMed, PsycINFO, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care/Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (IAHPC/CINAHL), and Communication & Mass Media Complete (CMMC) were systematically searched for the main core concepts: palliative care, barriers, facilitators, perspectives, points of view, and related terms and synonyms. After screening of titles, abstracts, and full-texts, 52 studies were included in the qualitative thematic analysis.
Results: Four themes were identified: awareness of palliative care, collaboration and communication in palliative care-related settings, attitudes and beliefs towards palliative care, and emotions involved in disease pathways. The results showed that cognitive barriers and facilitators are involved in the educational, social, emotional, and cultural dimensions of palliative care provision and utilization. In particular, these barriers and facilitators exist both at the healthcare professional level (e.g. a barrier is lack of understanding of palliative care applicability, and a facilitator is strategic visibility of the palliative care team in patient floors and hospital-wide events) and at the patient and families level (e.g. a barrier is having misconceptions about palliative care, and a facilitator is patients’ openness to their own needs).
Conclusions: To optimize palliative care services utilization, awareness of palliative care, and healthcare professionals’ communication and emotion management skills should be enhanced. Additionally, a cultural shift, concerning attitudes and beliefs towards palliative care, should be encouraged.
Background: Lymphopenia during radiotherapy (RT) may have an adverse effect on treatment outcome. The aim of this study is to investigate associations between lymphopenia and RT parameters in patients with advanced lung cancer. Moreover, to investigate the prognostic role of lymphopenia, blood protein levels, and treatment and patient-related factors.
Material and Methods: Sixty-two advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients were retrospectively analyzed. Blood counts were available prior to, during, and after RT (3Gyx10). For each patient, a thoracic volume of interest (VOI) -including thoracic soft tissue and trabecular bone- was obtained by applying a CT window of -500 to 1200 HU in the planning CT. Dose parameters from thoracic VOI and other regions including lungs and vertebrae were calculated. Association between risk of lymphopenia = G3 (lymphocytes at nadir according to CTCAE v4.0) and therapeutic parameters was investigated using Logistic regression. Relationships between overall survival (OS) and RT dose parameters, baseline blood counts and protein levels, and clinical factors were evaluated using Log-rank and Cox models.
Result: Mean thoracic RT dose (odds ratio [OR] 1.67; p = 0.04), baseline lymphocytes (OR 0.65; p = 0.01), and corticosteroids use (OR 6.07; p = 0.02) were significantly associated with increased risk of lymphopenia = G3 in multivariable analysis. Worse OS was associated with high mean thoracic RT dose, high CRP/Albumin, large tumor volume and corticosteroids use (p < 0.05, univariate analysis), but not with lymphopenia = G3. CRP/Albumin ratio > 0.12 (hazard ratio [HR] 2.28, p = 0.03) and corticosteroid use (HR 2.52, p = 0.01) were independently associated with worse OS.
Conclusion: High thoracic RT dose gave a higher risk of lymphopenia = G3; hence limiting dose volume to the thorax may be valuable in preventing severe lymphopenia for patients receiving palliative fractionated RT. Still, lymphopenia = G3 was not associated with worse OS. however, high baseline CRP/Albumin was associated with poorer OS and may carry important information as a prognostic factor of OS in advanced NSCLC receiving palliative RT.
BACKGROUND: In pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), the end-of-life (EOL) phase and the loss of the child is often characterized by a sudden deterioration of the child following a period of intensive curative treatment. This demands a fast transition for parents. Therefore, an understanding of the parents' perspective on decision-making in such a complex situation is needed. This study aims to gain insight in parental experiences in EOL decision-making in allogeneic pediatric HSCT.
METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study was performed among parents of eight families. Data were thematically analyzed.
RESULTS: All parents were aware of their child's deterioration. Six families were confronted with a rapid deterioration, while two families experienced a gradual realization that their child would not survive. Parental EOL decision-making in pediatric HSCT shows a reflective perspective on the meaning of parenthood in EOL decision-making. Two central themes were identified: "survival-oriented decision-making" and "struggling with doubts in hindsight." Six subthemes within the first theme described the parents' goal of doing everything to achieve survival.
DISCUSSION: Parents experienced EOL decision-making mainly as a process guided by health care professionals (HCPs) based on the child's condition and treatment possibilities. The decision-making is characterized by following opportunities and focusing on hope for cure. In hindsight parents experienced doubts about treatment steps and their child's suffering. HCPs can strengthen the parental role by an early integration of palliative care, providing timely support to parents in the process of imminent loss. Advance care planning can be used to support communication processes, defining preferences for future care.
We do not know how much clinical physicians carrying out clinical trials in oncology and haematology struggle with ethical concerns. To our knowledge, no empirical research exists on these questions in a Nordic context. Therefore, this study aims to learn what kinds of ethical challenges physicians in Sweden, Denmark and Finland (n = 29) face when caring for patients in clinical trials; and what strategies, if any, they have developed to deal with them. The main findings were that clinical cancer trials pose ethical challenges related to autonomy issues, unreasonable hope for benefits and the therapeutic misconception. Nevertheless, some physicians expressed that struggling with such challenges was not of great concern. This conveys a culture of hope where health care professionals and patients uphold hope and mutually support belief in clinical trials. This culture being implicit, physicians need opportunities to deliberately reflect over the characteristics that should constitute this culture.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with right atrial (RA) tumor thrombus via progression through hepatic veins into the inferior vena cava is a challenging entity with limited treatment options. We describe a case of a patient with a symptomatic HCC RA tumor thrombus who achieved a durable and effective symptomatic response to palliative radiotherapy. We also report our institution’s experience treating 10 HCC patients with RA tumor thrombus with palliative radiotherapy to a median biological effective dose (a/ß = 10) of 50.6 Gy (range, 29.3-71.2 Gy). Median follow-up was 5 months. Palliative radiotherapy was well-tolerated, with no grade = 3 acute toxicities. Only one patient experienced in-field progression. Seven patients were alive at least 3 months following radiotherapy, and median overall survival was 5 months (range, 3-15 months). This unique series suggests HCC RA tumor thrombus-directed radiotherapy may offer safe palliation and can be considered to improve patients’ quality of life.
Cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) is the most relevant drug-metabolizing enzyme in human beings involved in the elimination of about 50% of the marketed drugs. Comprehensive in vivo data of CYP3A activity in palliative patients with haematological diseases are missing. Therefore, CYP3A activity was determined under real-life clinical conditions in patients to gain knowledge about dose adjustments for supportive therapies and symptom management in haematology. The single-arm, prospective trial obtained a 4-hours pharmacokinetic profile of midazolam after oral administration of a microdose as marker substance from each enrolled patient. Plasma concentrations of midazolam and its primary metabolite 1'-hydroxy-midazolam were quantified by mass spectrometry techniques. CYP3A activity was calculated as partial metabolic clearance from an established limited sampling area under the curve. All other drugs taken by the participating patients were considered as well as recent laboratory test results and the patients' diagnoses. Partial metabolic clearance of midazolam in patients with haematological diseases was highly variable (36.9 ± 52.7 L/h). In comparison with the CYP3A activity of healthy individuals, this was a highly significant 30% reduction of activity (P < 0.0001). Dosing of major CYP3A substrate drugs needs to be reduced in palliative patients with haematological diseases, otherwise escalation of debilitating symptoms due to drug interactions might occur.
BACKGROUND: Advance care planning (ACP) engagement and completion of advance directives remain low in patients undergoing haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, despite the high risk of treatment-related mortality.
AIM: To understand the barriers to and facilitators of ACP in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
METHODS: This qualitative study used interpretive description methodology. The researchers conducted audio-recorded semi-structured interviews with participants. The constant comparative method was used to analyse data.
RESULTS: A total of six patients, five family members and eight clinicians participated in the study. Perceived barriers to ACP included: lack of time, lack of process, lack of understanding of disease/treatment and ACP, need to keep positive and prognostic uncertainty. Potential facilitators of ACP included: early and frequent discussion of ACP, incorporating ACP into routine care, involvement of the multidisciplinary team and framing discussions on ACP as positive.
CONCLUSIONS: Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation poses unique challenges for patients, families and clinicians when it comes to ACP. Introducing advance care planning as part of standard care and providing ongoing facilitation of ACP, including discussion of disease and treatment expectations at the outset and when complications arise may assist patients and families in recognising how ACP can fit into and enhance their care.
BACKGROUND: Revascularization is the cornerstone in the treatment of patients with critical limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI). However, the 2-year mortality rate is up to 50% in these patients. Therefore, the clinical benefit of revascularization needs to be considered carefully. The question emerges if there are changes in quality of life (QoL) and health status (HS) in the end-of-life phase of CLTI in older patients.
METHODS: Patients with CLTI and an age of 70 years or older were included in a prospective observational cohort study. Treatment consisted of endovascular revascularization, surgical revascularization, or conservative therapy. The follow-up period was 2 years. Within this follow-up period, patients completed the following questionnaires at six specified time intervals: the WHOQOL-BREF and the SF-12. Patients who died within two years after inclusion were analyzed. Final scores were defined as the last measurement at end of follow-up or death.
RESULTS: 82 patients (42.1%) died during the 24-month follow-up. QoL and HS before death did not decrease with treatment (option: endovascular intervention, surgical revascularization, or conservative therapy).
CONCLUSIONS: Older patients with CLTI and a life expectancy less than 2 years had no differences in QoL and HS before death compared to their previous measurement. Except for the mental HS domain, no differences in the percentage of patients showing significant individual change in QoL and HS were found between the treatments. For clinicians, it is important to use patient-reported outcome measure when discussing treatment for older frail patients with CLTI in a shared decision-making process.
Objective: Patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) have substantial physical and psychological symptoms. This study aimed to investigate the utilization of palliative care (PC) in patients undergoing HSCT during hospitalization.
Methods: The 2008-2014 National Inpatient Sample was queried for eligible participants. Demographics, hospital characteristics, comorbidities, posttransplantation complications, and inpatient procedures were compared between patients with and without PC. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify predictors associated with PC use.
Results: Among 21 458 patients undergoing HSCT during hospitalization, 278 (1.30%) received PC. The rate of PC use has significantly increased from 0.64% in 2008 to 1.95% in 2014. Patients receiving PC had more co-comorbidities, posttransplantation complications, inpatient procedures, and were more likely to carry a diagnosis of leukemia. In allogeneic HSCT, large bed size (odds ratio [OR] =2.80; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17-6.70), stem cell source from cord blood (OR = 1.93; 95% CI: 1.15-3.24), and graft-versus-host disease (OR = 2.04; 95% CI: 1.36-3.06) were predictors of PC use. In a subset analysis of 783 patients who died during hospitalization, 166 (21.20%) received PC. Among the decedents, Hispanic race had lower odds of PC use (OR = 0.20; 95% CI: 0.05-0.82) in allogeneic HSCT and women had higher odds of PC (OR = 2.70; 95% CI: 1.35-5.41) in autologous HSCT.
Conclusions: The rate of PC use has significantly increased among patients undergoing HSCT during hospitalization from 2008 to 2014 but still remains very low. Further investigation is warranted to verify and better understand the barriers toward PC use for HSCT patients.
Background: Although blood cancers are accompanied by a high level of prognostic uncertainty, little is known about when and how hematologic oncologists discuss prognosis.
Objectives: Characterize reported practices and predictors of prognostic discussions for a cohort of hematologic oncologists.
Design: Cross-sectional mailed survey in 2015.
etting/Subjects: U.S.-based hematologic oncologists providing clinical care for adult patients with blood cancers.
Measurements: We conducted univariable and multivariable analyses assessing the association of clinician characteristics with reported frequency of initiation of prognostic discussions, type of terminology used, and whether prognosis is readdressed.
Results: We received 349 surveys (response rate = 57.3%). The majority of respondents (60.3%) reported conducting prognostic discussions with “most” (>95%) of their patients. More than half (56.8%) preferred general/qualitative rather than specific/numeric terms when discussing prognosis. Although 91.3% reported that they typically first initiate prognostic discussions at diagnosis, 17.7% reported routinely never readdressing prognosis or waiting until death is imminent to revisit the topic. Hematologic oncologists with =15 years since medical school graduation (odds ratio [OR] 0.51; confidence interval (95% CI) 0.30–0.88) and those who considered prognostic uncertainty a barrier to quality end-of-life care (OR 0.57; 95% CI 0.35–0.90) had significantly lower odds of discussing prognosis with “most” patients.
onclusions: Although the majority of hematologic oncologists reported discussing prognosis with their patients, most prefer general/qualitative terms. Moreover, even though prognosis evolves during the disease course, nearly one in five reported never readdressing prognosis or only doing so near death. These findings suggest the need for structured interventions to improve prognostic communication for patients with blood cancers.
The objective of this pilot study was to examine factors associated with the completion of advance directives (ADs) among patients with hematologic disorders in Korea. Using a descriptive design, patients with largely hematologic malignancies completed the questionnaires, including the Korean–Advance Directive (K-AD) model, which pertains to values, treatment wishes, and proxy appointment. Of 45 patients (aged 48.7 ± 10.7 years, 51.1% men), two-thirds had leukemia (40.0%) and lymphoma (26.7%). “Dying comfortably” was the most frequently selected value (n = 20). Regarding treatment wishes, hospice care was the most desired type (n = 22), whereas aggressive treatments, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, were less preferred (n = 3). The patient’s spouse was most frequently appointed as a proxy (n = 27). Patients who completed all the 3 components of the K-AD model (51.1%) were less depressed (t = -2.31; P = .028) and more likely to perceive the benefits of the K-AD model (t = 2.07; P = .045), compared with the noncompleters (48.9%). Further, being male (odds ratio [OR], 6.42; P = .031), having higher scores on depressive symptoms (OR, 1.28; P = .016), and perceived barriers (OR, 1.08; P = .040) were associated with lower tendency to complete the K-AD model. These findings support the need for earlier introduction of ADs in hematologic disorders, with consideration of modifiable factors such as depression or barriers to end-of-life care decisions.