BACKGROUND: Dementia is a leading cause of death among US older adults. Little is known about end-of-life care intensity and do-not-resuscitate orders (DNRs) among patients with dementia who die in hospital.
AIM: Examine the relationship between dementia, DNR timing, and end-of-life care intensity.
DESIGN: Observational cohort study.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Inpatient electronic health record extraction for 2,566 persons age 65 and older who died in 2 New York City hospitals in the United States from 2015 to 2017.
RESULTS: Multivariable logistic regression analyses modeled associations between dementia diagnosis, DNR timing, and 6 end-of-life care outcomes. 31% of subjects had a dementia diagnosis; 23% had a DNR on day of hospital admission. Patients with dementia were 18%-40% less likely to have received 4 of 6 types of intensive care (mechanical ventilation AOR: 0.82, 95%CI: 0.67 -1.00; intensive care unit admission AOR: 0.60, 95%CI: 0.49-0.83). Having a DNR on file was inversely associated with staying in the intensive care unit (AOR: 0.57, 95%CI: 0.47-0.70) and avoiding other intensive care measures. DNR placement later during the hospitalization and not having a DNR were associated with more intensive care compared to having a DNR upon admission.
CONCLUSIONS: Having dementia and a do-not resuscitate order upon hospital admission are associated with less intensive end-of-life care. Additional research is needed to understand why persons with dementia receive less intensive care. In clinical practice, encouraging advance care planning prior to and at hospital admission may be particularly important for patients wishing to avoid intensive end-of-life care, including patients with dementia.
BACKGROUND: Pastoral care in an acute hospital setting necessarily includes some bereavement support for families of patients who die. Termed universal bereavement support, an important component of such support is provision of educational information to assist bereaved people struggling with grief. This project aimed to understand, from the perspective of those attending, the value of providing a memorial service for remembering a loved one and whether the education provided at the service successfully met the requirement of a universal bereavement support strategy.
METHODS: A qualitative study, comprising a semistructured telephone interview with memorial service attendees was undertaken. Data were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically.
RESULTS: Twenty-nine attendees participated. Three themes provided insights into attendees' perceptions. The first theme encapsulated the value of remembering and celebrating the life of the deceased; the second theme focused on 'finding our way through the grief process' including the value of the educational materials ; and the third theme identified appreciation for the hospital in providing care to those bereaved.
CONCLUSION: The memorial service provides a valued universal bereavement support strategy and such support strategies are an important part in the process of grieving for many attendees.
BACKGROUND: Palliative care improves the quality of lives of patients and families affected by advanced illnesses through the prevention and relief of suffering. While palliative care is well established in developed countries, it is inadequate or non-existent in most developing countries. Palliative care is an emerging concept in Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan Kingdom. A small community palliative care service is available in the national referral hospital with three dedicated inpatient palliative care beds. This study explored the needs for palliative care among patients diagnosed with advanced illnesses and is a component of a larger project aimed to inform a suitable palliative care model for the country.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study. A survey, using a structured questionnaire including the EORTC QLQ-C30, was carried out among patients with advanced illness in hospitals, primary care units and communities across the country. Purposeful and snowball sampling strategies were used to recruit study participants.
RESULTS: Seventy (76%), out of 93 eligible patients, agreed to participate in the survey. Participants reported low to moderate scores on physical, role, emotional, cognitive and social functioning, a moderate score for the global health/ quality of life scale and moderately high (worse) scores in symptoms including fatigue, pain, insomnia, loss of appetite and the financial impact from the disease.
CONCLUSIONS: The symptom burden experienced by patients affected by advanced illnesses demonstrates the need for palliative care in Bhutan. These findings will help inform the development of a public health-focused palliative care model, modified to the Bhutanese context, as recommended by the World Health Organization.
Objective: To assess trends in place of death for children with a life-limiting condition and the factors associated with death at home or hospice rather than hospital.
Design: Observational cohort study using linked routinely collected data.
Patients: Children aged 0-25 years who died between 2003 and 2017.
Main outcome measures: Place of death: hospital, hospice, home. Multivariable multinomial logistic regression models.
Results: 39 349 children died: 73% occurred in hospital, 6% in hospice and 16% at home. In the multivariable models compared with dying in a hospital: neonates were less likely, and those aged 1-10 years more likely, than those aged 28 days to <1 year to die in hospice. Children from all ethnic minority groups were significantly less likely to die in hospice, as were those in the most deprived group (RR 0.8, 95% CI 0.7 to 0.9). Those who died from 2008 were more likely than those who died earlier to die in a hospice.Children with cancer (RR 4.4, 95% CI 3.8 to 5.1), neurological (RR 2.0, 95% CI 1.7 to 2.3) or metabolic (RR 3.7, 95% CI 3.0 to 4.6) diagnoses were more likely than those with a congenital diagnosis to die in a hospice.Similar patterns were seen for clinical/demographic factors associated with home versus hospital deaths.
Conclusions: Most children with a life-limiting condition continue to die in the hospital setting. Further research on preferences for place of death is needed especially in children with conditions other than cancer. Paediatric palliative care services should be funded adequately to enable equal access across all settings, diagnostic groups and geographical regions.
Objectives :Hospitals are the most common place of death in Australia. Bereavement care is recognised by national standards as being central to providing high-quality care at the end of life, and has significant health implications on morbidity, mortality and health service usage. Despite this, bereavement care is not routinely or systematically provided in most Australian hospitals. This study aimed to develop a comprehensive, evidence-based model of bereavement care specific to the needs of an acute Australian adult tertiary hospital.
Methods:This study used a multiple-methods design, which included a scoping literature review, a survey of current institutional bereavement practices, interviews with bereaved family members and staff focus groups and the development of a model of bereavement care for the acute hospital service through advisory group and expert consensus.
Results:Staff and bereaved family members strongly supported a systematic approach to bereavement, perceiving the need for greater support, training, coordination and follow-up. In all, 10 core elements were developed to support a structured model of bereavement care provision and follow-up for the acute hospital organisation.ConclusionsThis evidence-generated model of care promotes the provision of quality and systematic bereavement care in the acute hospital setting.What is known about the topic?Acute hospitals are the most common place to die in Australia, yet there is a lack of understanding of how bereavement care is or should be provided in these environments. The bereavement period is associated with increased use of health services and worse morbidity and mortality, and thus has significant implications for public health. The provision of bereavement care in acute hospitals is often sporadic, often involving untrained staff who may not provide evidence-based care.What does this paper add?This paper describes the development of a comprehensive, evidence-based model of bereavement care specific to the needs of an Australian acute hospital.What are the implications for practitioners?Developing a consistent approach to bereavement for the acute care sector has the potential to support staff, minimise conflict at the end of life, facilitate recognition of those suffering from difficult bereavement and proactively engage services for these people. It is hoped that such a model of care can find relevance across acute hospitals in Australia, to improve the quality and consistency of bereavement care.
BACKGROUND: Elderly patients frequently experience deteriorating health after critical illness, which may threaten their independence and predispose them to unplanned hospital readmissions and premature death.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the operational feasibility of a 90-day home-based palliative care intervention in multimorbid elderly Veteran survivors of critical illness.
METHODS: A multidisciplinary home-based palliative care intervention was provided for multimorbid elderly veterans who were discharged home after admission to the intensive care unit for sepsis, pneumonia, heart failure, or exacerbation of chronic obstructive lung disease.
RESULTS: Fifteen patients enrolled in the study, 11 (73%) of whom completed all visits; thus the prespecified goal of >70% completion was met. Median (interquartile range [IQR]) age of the patients was 76 (69-87) years. Participants had a median (IQR) of 8 (7-8) concurrent chronic health conditions, were moderately debilitated at baseline, and were all male. The median (IQR) time to the first study visit was 8 (5-12) days. Patients had a median (IQR) of 8 (5-11) in-home visits and 6 (3-7) telephone encounters during the 90-day study period. Nurses spent a median (IQR) cumulative time of 330 (240-585) minutes on home visits and 30 (10-70) minutes on telephone visits. The median (IQR) time per home provider visit was 90 (75-90) minutes. We estimated the median (IQR) cost per patient to be $2321 ($1901-$3331).
CONCLUSION: A comprehensive home-based palliative care intervention is operationally feasible in elderly multi-morbid survivors of critical illness and may result in improved physical functioning and quality of life and fewer unplanned emergency department visits.
CONTEXT: Continuity of care is important at improving the patient experience and reducing unnecessary hospitalizations when transitioning across care settings, especially at the end of life.
OBJECTIVE: To explore patient and caregiver understanding and valuation of "continuity of care" while transitioning from an in-hospital to a home-based palliative care team.
METHODS: Longitudinal qualitative design using semi-structured interviews conducted with patients and their caregivers before and after transitioning from hospital to palliative care at home. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis within a post-positivist framework. Thirty-nine participants (18 patients, 7 caregivers and 7 patient-caregiver dyads) were recruited from two acute care hospitals wherein they received care from an inpatient palliative care consultation team and transitioned to home-based palliative care.
RESULTS: Patients had a mean age of 68, 60% were female and 60% had a diagnosis of cancer. Caregivers had a mean age of 62 and 50% were female. Participants perceived continuity of care to occur in three ways, depending on which stage they were at in their hospital-to-home transition. In hospital, continuity of care was experienced as consistency of information exchanged between providers. During the transition from hospital to home, continuity of care was experienced as consistency of treatments. When receiving home-based palliative care, continuity of care was experienced as having consistent providers.
CONCLUSION: Patients' and their caregivers' valuation of continuity of care was dependent on their stage of the hospital-to-home transition. Optimizing continuity of care requires an integrated network of providers with reliable information transfer and communication.
OBJECTIVES: (i) Describe the prevalence and type of advance care directives (ACDs) and other advance care planning (ACP) documentation completed by persons with dementia, healthcare providers and others on behalf of a person with dementia; (ii) identify the personal and ACP programme characteristics associated with having ACP documentation in the health record; (iii) identify the personal and ACP programme characteristics associated with having a self-completed ACD.
METHODS: A multicentre audit was undertaken in Australian hospitals, general practices and residential aged care facilities. Auditors extracted demographic and ACP data from the records of eligible patients. ACP programme characteristics were provided by a site representative. Logistic and multinomial regression were used respectively to examine the factors associated with completion of any ACP documentation, and self-completion of an ACD by persons with dementia.
RESULTS: A total of 1388 people with dementia (33.2%) from 96 sites were included. Overall, 60.8% (n=844) had ACP documentation; 31.6% (n=438) had a self-completed ACD and 29.3% (n=406) had an ACP document completed by a health professional or someone else on their behalf. Older participants were more likely to have ACP documented. Multivariate analyses indicated the odds of having self-completed ACP documents, compared with no advance care plan or ACP completed by someone else, were significantly influenced by age, country of birth, setting and whether the site had ACP training, policies or guidelines.
DISCUSSION: While 60% of people with dementia had some form of ACP documentation, only half of the cases in which ACP was documented included an ACD completed by the person themselves.
Background: Although clinic-based palliative care (PC) services have spread in the United States, little is known about how they function, and no studies have examined clinics that predominantly serve safety net populations.
Objectives: To describe the PC clinics operating in safety net institutions in California.
Design: Survey completed by PC program leaders
Setting/Subjects: PC programs in California, USA, safety net medical centers.
Measurements: Descriptive statistics regarding staffing, clinic processes, patients served, and finances.
Results: Twelve of 15 programs responded; 10 clinics that met inclusion criteria. All 10 programs use multiple disciplines to deliver care. Average full-time equivalent (FTE) used to staff an average of 2.75 half-day clinics per week includes 0.69 physician FTE, 0.51 nurse practitioner FTE, 1.37 nurse FTE, 0.79 social worker FTE, and 0.52 chaplain FTE. Clinic session schedules include an average of 1.88 new patient appointment slots (standard deviation [SD] = 0.44) and four follow-up appointment slots (SD = 1.95). The nine programs that reported on clinic volumes see 1081 patients annually combined, with an annual average of 120 (SD = 48.53) per program. Encounters per patient averaged 3.04 (SD = 1.59; eight programs reporting). All reported offering seven core PC services: pain/symptom management, comprehensive assessment, care coordination, advance care planning, PC plan of care, emotional support, and social service referrals. An average of 77.4% (SD = 26.81) of clinic financing came from the health systems.
Conclusions: Our respondents report using an interdisciplinary team approach to deliver guideline-concordant specialty PC. More research is needed to understand the most effective and efficient staffing models for meeting the PC needs of the safety net population.
BACKGROUND: Administrative data and clinician documentation have not been directly compared for reporting palliative care, despite concerns about under-reporting.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to verify the use of routinely collected administrative data for reporting in-hospital palliation and to examine factors associated with coded palliative care in hospital administrative data.
METHOD: Hospital administrative data and inpatient palliative care activity documented in medical records were compared for patients dying in hospital between 1 July 2017 and 31 December 2017. Coding of palliative care in administrative data is based on hospital care type coded as "palliative care" and/or assignment of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) palliative care diagnosis code Z51.5. Medical records were searched for specified keywords, which, read in context, indicated a palliative approach to care. The list of keywords (palliative, end of life, comfort care, cease observations, crisis medications, comfort medications, syringe driver, pain or symptom management, no cardiopulmonary resuscitation, advance medical plan/resuscitation plan, deteriorating, agitation, restless and delirium) was developed in consultation with seven local clinicians specialising in palliative care or geriatric medicine.
RESULTS: Of the 576 patients who died in hospital, 246 were coded as having received palliative care, either solely by the ICD-10-AM diagnosis code Z51.5 (42%) or in combination with a "palliative care" care type (58%). Just over one-third of dying patients had a palliative care specialist involved in their hospital care. Involvement of a palliative care specialist and a cancer diagnosis substantially increased the odds of a Z51.5 code (odds ratio = 11 and 4, respectively). The majority of patients with a "syringe driver" or identified as being at the "end of life" were assigned a Z51.5 code (73.5% and 70.5%, respectively), compared to 53.8% and 54.7%, respectively, for "palliative" or "comfort care." For each keyword indicating a palliative approach to care, the Z51.5 code was more likely to be assigned if the patient had specialist palliative care input or if they had cancer.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest administrative data under-represented in-hospital palliative care, at least partly due to medical record documentation that failed to meet ICD-10-AM coding criteria. Collaboration between clinicians and coders can enhance the quality of records and, consequently, administrative data.
Place of death is an important outcome of end-of-life care. Many people do not have the opportunity to express their wishes and die in their preferred place of death. Advance care planning (ACP) involves discussion, decisions and documentation about how an individual contemplates their future death. Recording end-of-life preferences gives patients a sense of control over their future. Coordinate My Care (CMC) is London's largest electronic palliative care register designed to provide effective ACP, with information being shared with urgent care providers. The aim of this study is to explore determinants of dying in hospital. Understanding advance plans and their outcomes can help in understanding the potential effects that implementation of electronic palliative care registers can have on the end-of-life care provided. Retrospective observational cohort analysis included 21,231 individuals aged 18 or older with a Coordinate My Care plan who had died between March 2011 and July 2019 with recorded place of death. Logistic regression was used to explore demographic and end-of-life preference factors associated with hospital deaths. 22% of individuals died in hospital and 73% have achieved preferred place of death. Demographic characteristics and end-of-life preferences have impact on dying in hospital, with the latter having the strongest influence. The likelihood of in-hospital death is substantially higher in patients without documented preferred place of death (OR = 1.43, 95% CI 1.26-1.62, p<0.001), in those who prefer to die in hospital (OR = 2.30, 95% CI 1.60-3.30, p<0.001) and who prefer to be cared in hospital (OR = 2.77, 95% CI 1.94-3.96, p<0.001). "Not for resuscitation" individuals (OR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.37-0.50, p<0.001) and who preferred symptomatic treatment (OR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.33-0.40, p<0.001) had a lower likelihood of in-hospital death. Effective advance care planning is necessary for improved end-of-life outcomes and should be included in routine clinical care. Electronic palliative care registers could empower patients by embedding patients' wishes and personal circumstances in their care plans that are accessible by urgent care providers.
Purpose: This study explored the consistency between preferences for end-of-life care for elderly hospitalized patients and their primary caregivers and predictors of consistency.
Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional correlational study recruited 100 dyads of elderly hospitalized patients and their primary caregivers from a medical center in Central Taiwan. A structural questionnaire about preferences for seven end-of-life medical treatment options involved cardiopulmonary resuscitation, intravenous therapy, nasogastric tube feeding, intensive care unit, blood transfusion, tracheotomy, and hemodialysis.
Results: The consistency was 42.28% for preferences of end-of-life medical care between patients and caregivers. The Kappa values for seven life-sustaining medical treatments ranged from 0.001 to 0.155. Logistic regression showed that the predictors of consistency for preferences of treatment were: a patient with a signed living will (odds ratio [OR] = 6.20, p<0.01) and a male family caregiver (OR= 0.23, p<0.01) for cardiopulmonary resuscitation; a patient who visited relatives in the intensive care unit (OR= 2.94, p< 0.05) and a spouse caregiver (OR= 3.07, p< 0.05) for nasogastric tube feeding; a spouse caregiver (OR=3.12, p<0.05) and a caregiver who visited the intensive care unit (OR= 5.50, p<0.01) for tracheotomy; and a spouse caregiver (OR= 2.76, p<0.05) and a caregiver who visited the intensive care unit (OR= 4.42, p<0.05) for hemodialysis.
Conclusion: End-of-life medical treatment preferences were inconsistent between patients and family caregivers, which might be influenced by Asian culture, the nature of the relationship and individual experiences. Implementation of advance care planning that respects the patient's autonomy and preferences about end-of-life care is recommended.
AIM: This retrospective review examined the influence of age and severity of comorbidities on goals-of-care in advance care plans (ACPlans) and concordance between these wishes and care received during hospital admission.
METHODS: The medical records of 149 people with an ACPlan admitted to a public hospital were reviewed to evaluate concordance with treatment. The associations between age and comorbidities and goals-of-care were determined using contingency tables and logistic regression analyses.
RESULTS: The majority of the review cohort were Caucasian and elderly, with people from minority ethnic groups under-represented compared to census data. Increasing age had a measurable influence on the choice of goal-of-care, whereas comorbidity severity had less influence on this decision. In 60 of the 411 hospital admissions the patient was classified as incompetent, with the goal-of-care adhered to in 59 of these cases and treatment preferences adhered to in six of seven cases. Fifty-five people had died since writing their ACPlan, with 63% dying at their preferred place or with no preference stated.
CONCLUSIONS: Age and to a lesser extent the severity of comorbidities influence the choice of goal-of-care in an ACPlan. Our review also showed that end-of-life care appeared to adhere to the instructions in the plan.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of home-based palliative care (HBPC) on reducing hospital visits and whether HBPC lowered health care cost.
METHOD: We searched six bibliographic databases (Embase (Ovid); Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials; Medline (Ovid); PubMed; Web of Science Core Collection; and, CINAHL) until February 2019 and performed a narrative synthesis of our findings.
RESULTS: Of the 1,426 identified references, 21 articles based on 19 unique studies met our inclusion criteria, which involved 92,000 participants. In both oncological and non-oncological patients, HBPC consistently reduced the number of hospital visits and their length, as well as hospitalization costs and overall health care costs. Even though home-treated patients consumed more outpatient resources, a higher saving in the hospital costs counterbalanced this. The reduction in overall health care costs was most noticeable for study periods closer to death, with greater reductions in the last 2 months, last month, and last two weeks of life.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Stakeholders should recognize HBPC as an intervention that decreases patient care costs at end of life and therefore health care providers should assess the preferences of patients nearing the end-of-life to identify those who will benefit most from HBPC.
Background: Dying at home is the most frequent preference of patients with advanced chronic conditions, their caregivers, and the general population. However, most deaths continue to occur in hospitals. The objective of this study was to analyse the socioeconomic inequalities in the place of death in urban areas of Mediterranean cities during the period 2010–2015, and to assess if such inequalities are related to palliative or non-palliative conditions.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of the population aged 15 years or over. The response variable was the place of death (home, hospital, residential care). The explanatory variables were: sex, age, marital status, country of birth, basic cause of death coded according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, and the deprivation level for each census tract based on a deprivation index calculated using 5 socioeconomic indicators. Multinomial logistic regression models were adjusted in order to analyse the association between the place of death and the explanatory variables.
Results: We analysed a total of 60,748 deaths, 58.5% occurred in hospitals, 32.4% at home, and 9.1% in residential care. Death in hospital was 80% more frequent than at home while death in a nursing home was more than 70% lower than at home. All the variables considered were significantly associated with the place of death, except country of birth, which was not significantly associated with death in residential care. In hospital, the deprivation level of the census tract presented a significant association (p < 0.05) so that the probability of death in hospital vs. home increased as the deprivation level increased. The deprivation level was also significantly associated with death in residential care, but there was no clear trend, showing a more complex association pattern. No significant interaction for deprivation level with cause of death (palliative, not palliative) was detected.
Conclusions: The probability of dying in hospital, as compared to dying at home, increases as the socioeconomic deprivation of the urban area of residence rises, both for palliative and non-palliative causes. Further qualitative research is required to explore the needs and preferences of low-income families who have a terminally-ill family member and, in particular, their attitudes towards home-based and hospital-based death.
Background: For people with dementia, burdensome transitions may indicate poorer-quality end-of-life care. Little is known regarding the association between home healthcare (HHC) and these burdensome transitions. We aimed to investigate the impact of HHC on transitions and hospital/intensive care unit (ICU) utilisation nearing the end-of-life for people with dementia at a national level.
Methods: A nested case-control analysis was applied in a retrospective cohort study using a nationwide electronic records database. We included people with new dementia diagnoses who died during 2002–2013 in whole population data from the universal healthcare system in Taiwan. Burdensome transitions were defined as multiple hospitalisations in the last 90 days (early transitions, ET) or any hospitalisation or emergency room visit in the last three days of life (late transitions, LT). People with (cases) and without (controls) burdensome transitions were matched on a ratio of 1:2. We performed conditional logistic regression with stratified analyses to estimate the adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the risks of transitions.
Results: Among 150,125 people with new dementia diagnoses, 61,399 died during follow-up, and 31.1% had burdensome transitions (50% were early and 50% late). People with ET had the highest frequency of admissions and longer stays in hospital/ICU during their last year of life, while people with LT had fewer hospital/ICU utilisation than people without end-of-life transitions. Receiving HHC was associated with an increased risk of ET (OR = 1.14, 95 % CI: 1.08–1.21) but a decreased risk of LT (OR = 0.89, 95 % CI 0.83–0.94). In the people receiving HHC, however, those who received longer duration (e.g., OR = 0.50, 95 % CI: 0.42–0.60, >365 versus =30 days) or more frequent HHC or HHC delivered closer to the time of death were associated with a remarkably lower risk of ET. Conclusions: HHC has differential effects on early and late transitions. Characteristics of HHC such as better continuity or interdisciplinary coordination may reduce the risk of transitions at the end-of-life. We need further studies to understand the longitudinal effects of HHC and its synergy with palliative care, as well as the key components of HHC that achieve better end-of-life outcomes.
Background: There is paucity of data on the potential value of early palliative home care for patients with hematologic malignancies.
Objective: To compare costs, use of resources, and clinical outcomes between an early palliative home care program and standard hospital care for active-advanced or terminal phase patients.
Patients and Methods: In this real-life, nonrandomized comparative study, the allocation of advanced/terminal phase patients to either home or hospital was based on pragmatic considerations. Analysis focused on resources use, events requiring blood unit transfusions or parenteral therapy, patient-reported symptom burden, mean weekly cost of care (MWC), cost-minimization difference, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER).
Results: Of 119 patients, 59 patients cared at home were more debilitated and had a shorter survival than the 60 in hospital group (p = 0.001). Nevertheless, symptom burden was similar in both groups. At home the mean weekly number of transfusions (1.45) was lower than that at hospital (2.77). Higher rate of infections occurred at hospital (54%) versus home (21%; <0.001). MWC for hospitalization was significantly higher in a 3:1 ratio versus home care. Compared with hospital, domiciliary assistance produced a weekly saving of € 2314.9 for the health provider, with a charge of € 85.9 for the family, and was cost-effective by an ICER of € -7013.9 of prevented days of care for avoided infections.
Conclusions: Current findings suggest that costs of early palliative home care for patients with hematologic malignancies are lower than standard hospital care costs. Domiciliary assistance may also be cost-effective by reducing the number of days to treat infections.
OBJECTIVE: To identify factors influencing cardiologists' and hospitalists' decisions regarding palliative care referral among hospitalised patients with advanced heart failure.
DESIGN: An exploratory, randomised vignette-based survey.
SETTING: Cardiology and hospitalist divisions at three Michigan State institutions and the Society of Hospital Medicine's Michigan Chapter.
PARTICIPANTS: 145 hospitalists and 64 cardiologists.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes included participants' reports of their likelihood of referring a standardised patient with an acute heart failure exacerbation with multiple prior hospital admissions and acute renal failure to palliative care (scale of 0%-100%) after the initial stem and after being cued with three randomised vignette modifiers, including the presence versus the absence of continuity with an outpatient cardiologist; the presence versus the absence of documented advance care planning; and the patient voicing that he is accepting of his severe illness versus wanting everything done. Adjusted generalised linear models and predictive margins were used to evaluate the impact of each randomised modifier on referral decisions. An interaction term evaluated the effect of provider specialty on outcomes. Secondary outcomes included participants' reports of their general practices around palliative care delivery to hospitalised patients with heart failure.
RESULTS: Response rate was 31.3%. Predictive margins from generalised linear models demonstrated a statistically significantly higher likelihood of referral to inpatient palliative care if the patient lacked an outpatient cardiologist (mean difference: 6.3% (95% CI 1.8% to 10.8%)); had prior advance care planning documentation (mean difference: 9.7% (95% CI 4.4% to 15.0%)); and was accepting of illness severity (mean difference: 29.6% (95% CI 24.8% to 34.4%)). No interaction effect was noted based on provider specialty. Most hospitalists and cardiologists were unaware of palliative care guidelines for patients with heart failure (74.3% vs 70.3%, p=0.71).
CONCLUSIONS: A number of patient and provider factors influence palliative care referral decisions in hospitalised patients with advanced heart failure.
Critical considerations of space and place at the end of life have been limited in the social science literature. To address this gap, we draw on empirical data from two interrelated but separate qualitative Australian data sets to critically examine dying in relation to considerations of space, place and affect. These studies share the primary aim to better understand and articulate end-of-life experiences, with one using video reflexive ethnography and the other semi-structured interviews with patients. Challenging the broader valorisation of particular places of dying and death (e.g. home, hospice, hospital), we critically explore the meanings and affects of space and place and how they are rooted in normative expectations. Drawing on participant accounts we interrogate simplistic concepts of home versus hospice, or hospital versus community, developing a critical social science of the intersections of space and place at the end of life.
Purpose: Visitor restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic limit in-person family meetings for hospitalized patients. We aimed to evaluate the quantity of family meetings by telephone, video and in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic by manual chart review. Secondary outcomes included rate of change in patient goals of care between video and in-person meetings, the timing of family meetings, and variability in meetings by race and ethnicity.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study evaluated patients admitted to the intensive care unit at an urban academic hospital between March and June 2020. Patients lacking decision-making capacity and receiving a referral for a video meeting were included in this study.
Results: Most patients meeting inclusion criteria (N = 61/481, 13%) had COVID-19 pneumonia (n = 57/61, 93%). A total of 650 documented family meetings occurred. Few occurred in-person (n = 70/650, 11%) or discussed goals of care (n = 233/650, 36%). For meetings discussing goals of care, changes in patient goals of care occurred more often for in-person meetings rather than by video (36% vs. 11%, p = 0.0006). The average time to the first goals of care family meeting was 11.4 days from admission. More documented telephone meetings per admission were observed for White (10.5, SD 9.5) and Black/African-American (7.1, SD 6.6) patients compared to Hispanic or Latino patients (4.9, SD 4.9) (p = 0.02).
Conclusions: During this period of strict visitor restrictions, few family meetings occurred in-person. Statistically significant fewer changes in patient goals of care occurred following video meetings compared to in-person meetings, providing support limiting in-person meetings may affect patient care.