BACKGROUND: The clinical component of medical education for students and resident doctors in Japan occurs almost entirely in the hospital setting. Because of this inpatient focus, graduate medical education clinical training often fails to expose physicians-in-training to the challenges that patients may face in the outpatient or home setting. This is a descriptive study in which we explore what participating students and resident doctors learned through our brief home-based teaching experience.
METHODS: From June 2016 to December 2017, attending physicians on the internal medicine service had medical students and resident doctors accompany them on home care visits. Participants were selected by convenience sampling based on their rotation availability. After the home visit and the interactive discussion, the participants were expected to prepare a reflective journal on their experience and learning. Thematic analysis was applied, and key themes were developed based on Kolb's ELT (Experiential learning theory). Three months after completion of the experience, semi-structured interviews were individually conducted assessing participants' self-perceived changes.
RESULTS: Thirty-two medical students(10) or residents(22)participated in a home visit. Thirty of these learners were able to complete a reflective journal. Using thematic analysis, we identified 2 domains and 6 key themes from the participants' perceptions. Participants recognized the importance of patient-centered care, inter-professional collaboration of the home care team, and reconceptualized the meaning of medical practice and their professional identity as a doctor. Three month post-experience interviews were completed on 12 of the original 30 participants who completed the reflective journal. 2 domains and 6 key themes from the residents' experiences and perceptions were generated. The participants reported an increased attention to the daily lives and social situations of their hospitalized patients, and an extension of their focus beyond the clinical medical treatment of the patient.
CONCLUSION: The experience of a brief visit to a patient's home is a novel educational approach that may potentially provide medical students and resident doctors with opportunities to learn about out-of-hospital, patient-centered, home-based medical care.
Objective: Neurosurgeons care for critically ill patients near the end of life, yet little is known about how well their training prepares them for this role. We surveyed a random sample of neurosurgery residents to describe the quantity and quality of teaching activities related to serious illness communication and palliative care, and resident attitudes and perceived preparedness to care for seriously ill patients.
Methods: A previously validated survey instrument was adapted to reflect required communication and palliative care competencies in the 2015 the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Milestones for Neurological Surgery. The survey was reviewed for content validity by independent faculty neurosurgeons, piloted with graduating neurosurgical residents, and distributed online in August 2016 to neurosurgery residents in the United States using the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)/Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care email listserv. Multiple choice and Likert scale responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: Sixty-two responses were recorded between August 2016 and October 2016. Most respondents reported no explicit teaching on: explaining risks and benefits of intubation and ventilation (69%), formulating prognoses in neurocritical care (60%), or leading family meetings (69%). Compared to performing craniotomies, respondents had less frequent practice leading discussions about withdrawing life-sustaining treatment (61% vs. 90%, p < 0.01, "weekly or more frequently"), and were less often observed (18% vs. 87%, p < 0.01) and given feedback on their performance (11% vs. 58%, p < 0.01). Nearly all respondents (95%) felt "prepared to discuss withdrawing life-sustaining treatments," however half (48%) reported they "would benefit from more communication training during residency." Most (87%) reported moral distress, agreeing that they "participated in operations and worried whether surgery aligned with patient goals."
Conclusions: Residents in our sample reported limited formal training, and relatively less observation and feedback, on required ACGME competencies in palliative care and communication. Most reported preparedness in this domain, but many were receptive to more training. Better quality and more consistent palliative care education in neurosurgery residency could improve competency and help ensure that neurosurgical care aligns with patient goals.
Background: The death of a child can have significant emotional effects on doctors responsible for their care. Trainee doctors working in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) may be particularly vulnerable. The aim of this study was to examine the emotional impact of, and grief reactions to, a child's death in PICU trainee doctors, along with coping strategies they used.
Methods: In a prospective, cross-sectional, observational study, qualitative and quantitative data were recorded on anonymised, written questionnaires. Grief severity was assessed using the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief. Emotional impact was assessed using the shortened Impact of Event Scale. The BriefCOPE tool was used to assess coping strategies. Qualitative data was analysed using conventional content analysis. Data are presented as median (inter-quartile range) or number (%).
Results: All invited trainee doctors (23 anaesthetists; 5 paediatricians) completed the questionnaire (age, 30 [29-34] yr; 13/28 [46%] female). Two (7%) doctors experienced severe grief (Texas Revised Inventory of Grief score <39), with five (18%) doctors severely affected by the deaths as measured by the Impact of Event Scale. Qualitative analysis revealed prominent themes of sadness, helplessness, guilt, shock, and concern for the bereaved family. There was limited use of coping strategies. Speaking with another trainee doctor was the principal coping strategy. Requests for debriefing sessions, greater psychological support and follow-up with the patient's family were frequently suggested.
Conclusions: Paediatric deaths evoke significant grief and emotional reactions in a subset of PICU trainee doctors. Trainee PICU doctors highlighted a lack of professional support and tailored debriefs.
Background: Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) programs have expanded rapidly, but evaluating their impact on hospital care is challenging.
Objectives: To demonstrate how careful study design can reveal POLST's impact at hospital admission and why analyses of state registry data are unlikely to capture POLST's effects.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting and participants: Adult in-patients with Do Not Intubate and/or Do Not Resuscitate (DNR/I) orders in the electronic medical record at the time of discharge from Johns Hopkins Hospital over 18 months. For patients with unplanned readmissions within 30 days, records were reviewed to determine if a Maryland Medical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) form was presented and for the time from readmission to a DNR/I order in the EMR. Analyses were stratified by whether patients could communicate or were accompanied by a proxy at readmission.
Results: Among 1,507 patients with DNR/I orders at discharge, 124 (8%) had unplanned readmissions, 112 (90%) could communicate or were accompanied by a proxy at readmission, and 12 (10%) could not communicate and were unaccompanied. For patients who were unaccompanied and could not communicate, MOLST significantly decreased the median time from readmission to DNR/I order (1.2 vs 27.1 hours, P = .001), but this association was greatly attenuated among patients who could communicate or were accompanied by a proxy (16.4 vs 25.4 hours P = .10).
Conclusion: Among patients who wanted to avoid intubation and/or CPR, MOLST forms were protective when the patient was unaccompanied by a healthcare proxy at admission and could not communicate. Fewer than 10% of patients met these criteria during unplanned readmissions, and state registry data does not allow this sub-population to be identified.
In spite of a referral letter as an important document for communicating between physicians, whether it could also be useful as a source of information for patients has not yet established. We included cancer patients in palliative care setting, all of whom completed a standardized questionnaire regarding their opinion concerning the utility of a referral letter as a source of information and its requirements to achieve a better understanding. Completed questionnaires were received from 50 cancer patients. Ninety-four percent of participants agreed that a referral letter could be of great importance for procuring medical information to them. There was only minor divergence among the participants respecting age, gender, or education. Particular requirements were diagnosis, treatment plan, prognosis, list of drugs, and contact data of involved physicians. Additional important topics were laboratory values, alternatives to current therapy, side effects and supportive therapy, and advices regarding lifestyle and naturopathy. The majority of patients also concluded to accept technical terms in doctor's letters if a glossary supported their comprehension. The majority of patients prefer a concise description of medical information in a referral letter. This form of a letter would boost patients' involvement and help them transfer medical information to other therapists or relatives.
PURPOSE: To describe the practices and opinions of specialized palliative care (SPC) physicians regarding early palliative care for patients with cancer, determine characteristics associated with receiving early referrals; and solicit opinions regarding renaming the specialty "supportive care."
METHODS: The survey was distributed by mail and e-mail to physicians who had previously self-identified as providing palliative care. SPC physicians were defined as receiving palliative care referrals from other physicians and not providing palliative care only for their own patients.
RESULTS: The response rate was 71% (531/746), of whom 257 (48.4%) practiced SPC. Of these SPC physicians, 84% provided mainly cancer care; >90% supported early palliative care referral in oncology and had referral criteria facilitating this, but only 20% received early referrals (>6-month prognosis). There was ambivalence regarding caring for patients with full resuscitation status and responsibility for managing cancer treatment-related complications. SPC physicians receiving early referrals were more likely to be female (p=0.02) and have a postgraduate degree (p=0.02), and less likely to provide mainly cancer care (p=0.03) and to agree that patients should stop chemotherapy before referral (p=0.009). Although 60% agreed that patients perceive the term "palliative care" negatively and 39% believed a name change to supportive care would encourage early referral, only 21% supported renaming the specialty.
CONCLUSIONS: Although most SPC physicians supported early palliative care in oncology, the timing of referrals was often late, and was associated with characteristics of SPC physicians. Few SPC physicians supported renaming palliative care.
We report the case of a 55-year-old woman who required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for extreme respiratory distress after a liver transplant and eventually died. As is so often the case, this patient's values and wishes were not documented before she had a risky surgical procedure. Anesthesiologists, in partnership with surgeons, can participate in preoperative discussions exploring wishes and values and document them in advance directives which will help clinicians respect patients' preferences.
BACKGROUND: Effective training at medical school is essential to prepare new doctors to safely manage patients with palliative care (PC) and end of life care (EOLC) needs. The contribution of undergraduate PC course organisers is central but their collective views regarding role are unknown.
OBJECTIVE: To survey attitudes of PC course organisers regarding their course, organisation, the adequacy of training provided and level of personal satisfaction.
METHODS: An anonymised, multifactorial, web-based questionnaire was devised, tested, modified and then sent to lead PC course organisers at all UK medical schools.
RESULTS: Data were obtained from all 30 UK medical schools. Organisers agreed/strongly agreed (=agreed) that their PC course was highly rated by students (26, 87%). 25 (83%) agreed their course 'enabled misconceptions and fears about PC, death, dying and bereavement to be addressed', 'delivered quality PC training' (23, 77%), 'fulfilled General Medical Council requirements' (19, 63%), 'prepared students well to care for patients with PC/EOLC needs' (18, 60%) and 'enabled students to visit a hospice and see the role of doctors in caring for the dying' (17, 57%). Concerns were limited capacity to accommodate students (agreed 20, 66%) and variability in teaching according to location (15, 50%). Most agreed their institution recognised PC training as important (22, 73%), they felt supported by colleagues (21, 70%) and experienced cooperation between stakeholders (20, 67%). All agreed that PC training was essential for undergraduates, while 29 (97%) supported inclusion of a hospice visit in the curriculum. 27 agreed that their role was satisfying (90%), 3 disagreed (10%).
CONCLUSIONS: Approximately two-thirds of organisers were generally positive about their PC course, institution and role. A minority expressed concerns; these may reflect suboptimal PC training at their medical school and poor preparation of new doctors.
Importance: Several clinical decision rules (CDRs) have been developed to help practitioners know when to safely terminate resuscitative efforts after in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA). The UN10 rule, a CDR that uses 3 intra-arrest variables, has been shown to predict a poor chance of survival to discharge. However, its large-scale applicability in clinical settings remains unknown.
Objective: To assess the performance of a parsimonious CDR in a national cohort of individuals with IHCA.
Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study used a nationwide cohort from the American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines-Resuscitation IHCA registry to derive a sample of 96 / 509 patients from 716 US hospitals who experienced IHCA from January 1, 2000, to January 26, 2016. Data analysis began in January 2018 and concluded in June 2018.
Exposures: The UN10 rule uses 3 variables: (1) unwitnessed arrest, (2) nonshockable rhythm, and (3) no return of spontaneous circulation within 10 minutes of resuscitative efforts. The CDR indicates futility if all 3 criteria are met. This CDR was analyzed according to the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) reporting guideline.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge following resuscitation. Favorable neurologic status at discharge was also assessed. Overall rates of survival and survival with favorable neurologic status (cerebral performance category score, 1 or 2) were compared with predicted values by the UN10 rule using 2×2 contingency tables.
Results: Of 96 / 509 patients, 55/761 (57.8%) were men, and the mean (SD) age was 67.1 (15.3) years. In total, 18/713 patients (19.4%) survived to discharge, and 16/134 patients (16.7%) were discharged with a favorable neurologic status. Overall, 15/838 patients (16.4%) met all 3 criteria for futility in the UN10 rule. A total of 1005 patients (6.3%) who met the UN10 rule survived to discharge, and 754 (4.8%) survived with favorable neurologic status. The percentage of patients meeting the UN10 rule (ie, predicting futile resuscitation) who actually survived in our study cohort was substantially higher than the initial derivation cohort (0%) and single-center validation cohort (1.1%). The positive predictive value of the UN10 rule was 93.7% (95% CI, 93.3%-94.0%), which was lower than the initial derivation cohort (100%; 95% CI, 97.5%-100%) and validation cohort (98.9%; 95% CI, 96.5%-99.7%).
Conclusions and Relevance: Patients who met the UN10 rule were associated with unfavorable neurologic status and low rates of survival after IHCA. Yet their survival rates are higher than reported in the initial validation study, raising the question of whether the UN10 rule may have limited utility as a definitive measure of futility during resuscitations in real-world clinical settings.
OBJECTIVES: During their careers, all doctors will be involved in the care of the dying, and this is likely to increase with current demographic trends. Future doctors need to be well-prepared for this. Little is known about medical students' expectations about providing palliative care. Our aim was to investigate how satisfying students expect palliative care to be, and any attitudes towards palliative care associated with a negative expectation.
METHODS: Fifteen UK medical schools participated in the study, with 1898 first and final year students completing an online questionnaire which investigated how satisfying they expect providing palliative care to be and their attitudes towards palliative care.
RESULTS: At both the beginning and end of their training, a significant proportion of students expect palliative care to be less satisfying than other care (19.3% first year, 16% final year). Students expecting palliative care to be less satisfying were more likely to be men, and their attitudes suggest that while they understand the importance of providing palliative care they are concerned about the potential impact of this kind of work on them personally.
CONCLUSIONS: Medical student education needs to address why palliative care is important and how to deliver it effectively, and the strategies for dealing positively with the impact of this work on future clinicians.
Introduction: Palliative care is a medical specialty, which focuses on relieving the suffering and improving the quality of life for patients who are facing life-threatening illnesses and their families. Looking after dying patients is inseparable from our responsibility as physicians. However, dealing with the dying patients is challenging for the majority of physicians.
Aim: To document the knowledge and attitudes of palliative care among residents from major specialties, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was carried out using a self-administered questionnaire to a convenient sample of residents from major specialties from various training centers in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, during 2015-2016. A total of 433 residents have been participated in the study.
Results: About 46% of the residents showed lack of overall palliative care knowledge, and almost half of them had negative views toward palliative care. Almost 60% of them achieved good score in pain management. The majority of respondents had never received training in palliative medicine (91.7%). It was observed that higher training level has a positive effect on the overall knowledge, including basic concept, pain, and psychiatric symptoms' management. Also, previous exposure to patients who would benefit from palliative care has a direct effect on overall knowledge and attitude scores.
Conclusion: The results indicate a low level of knowledge and attitude regarding palliative medicine among sampled residents. Also, it highlights the importance of exposing the residents to palliative medicine field to improve their knowledge and attitude.
Specialized palliative care teams improve outcomes for the steadily growing population of people living with serious illness. However, few studies have examined whether the specialty palliative care workforce can meet the growing demand for its services. We used 2018 clinician survey data to model risk factors associated with palliative care clinicians leaving the field early, and we then projected physician numbers from 2019 to 2059 under four scenarios. Our modeling revealed an impending "workforce valley," with declining physician numbers that will not recover to the current level until 2045, absent policy change. However, sustained growth in the number of fellowship positions over ten years could reverse the worsening workforce shortage. There is an immediate need for policies that support high-value, team-based palliative care through expansion in all segments of the specialty palliative care workforce, combined with payment reform to encourage the deployment of sustainable teams.
OBJECTIVE: Switzerland is among the few countries worldwide where a request for assisted suicide (AS) can be granted on the basis of a primary psychiatric diagnosis. Psychiatrists play an increasingly important role in this regard, especially when the request for AS arises in the context of suffering caused by severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). The objective of the survey was to assess general attitudes among psychiatrists in Switzerland regarding AS requests from patients with SPMI.
METHOD: In a cross-sectional survey of 1,311 German-speaking psychiatrists in Switzerland, participants were asked about their attitude to AS for patients with SPMI, based on three case vignettes of patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, treatment-refractory depression, or severe persistent schizophrenia.
RESULT: From a final sample of 457 psychiatrists (a response rate of 34.9%) whose mean age was 57.8 years, 48.6% of respondents did not support access to AS for persons diagnosed with SPMI, 21.2% were neutral, and 29.3% indicated some degree of support for access. In relation to the case vignettes, a slightly higher percentage of respondents supported the patient's wish to seek AS: 35.4% for those diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, 32.1% for those diagnosed with depression, and 31.4% for those diagnosed with schizophrenia.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Although a majority of the responding psychiatrists did not support AS for SPMI patients, about one-third would have supported the wishes of patients in the case vignettes. In light of the increasing number of psychiatric patients seeking AS and the continuing liberalization of AS practices, it is important to understand and take account of psychiatrists' perspectives.
BACKGROUND: A child's death affects not only family members but also healthcare professionals involved in patient care. However, the education system for bereavement care in Japan is not systematically established, and care provided is based on healthcare professionals' experiences. We aimed to investigate pediatricians' recognition of and actual circumstances involved in bereavement care in Japan.
METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted at four facilities in Japan. Data collected with semi-structured interviews of 11 pediatricians were assessed using inductive qualitative analysis.
RESULTS: Pediatricians' recognition of bereavement care was categorized as follows: (1) developing relationships with families before a child's death is important in bereavement care; (2) after the child dies, family involvement is left to the doctor's discretion; (3) coping with a child's death myself through past experience is essential; (4) doctors involved in a child's death also experience mental burden; and (5) a system for the family's bereavement care must be established. Two categories were established according to actual circumstances involved in bereavement care: (1) attention must be given to the emotions of the families who lost a child; (2) doctors' involvement with bereaved families depends on doctors' recognition and expertise.
CONCLUSION: Japanese pediatricians provided bereavement care to families who lost their children in a non-systemized manner. This is necessitates improvement of the self-care of healthcare professionals for grief by improving bereavement care-related education. Additionally, healthcare professionals must be trained, and a national-level provision system must be established to provide high-quality bereavement care for families who lose a child.
Healthcare professionals are often confronted with situations that increase their levels of stress and emotional fatigue, particularly in hospice or palliative care, because of direct contact with dying patients that can contribute to risk of burnout. Psychological support for doctors and nurses is crucial to voice any anxiety or distress experienced.This pilot study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a short-term psychotherapeutic group implemented for doctors and nurses of a Hospice in southern Europe. Burnout and alexithymia were measured at the beginning and at the end of a psychotherapeutic group conducted with the Photolangage method which encourages sharing of emotional experiences by the medium of a photo.Significant differences between pre- and post-evaluation were observed in the scores for alexithyimia (measured with TAS-20) and burnout (measured with MBI). This is suggestive of the effectiveness of this group intervention in reducing risk of burnout and increasing awareness of emotions experienced during daily work at the hospice.
OBJECTIVE: Clinicians frequently overestimate survival time among seriously ill patients, and this can result in medical treatment at end of life that does not reflect the patient's preferences. Little is known, however, about the sources of clinicians' optimistic bias in survival estimation. Related work in social networks and experimental psychology demonstrates that psychological states-such as optimism-can transfer from one person to another.
METHODS: We directly observed and audio recorded 189 initial inpatient palliative care consultations among hospitalized patients with advanced cancer. Patients self-reported their level of trait optimism and expectations for survival prognosis prior to the palliative care consultation, and the palliative care clinicians rated their expectations for the patient's survival time following the initial conversation with the patient. We followed patient mortality for 6 months.
RESULTS: Patient optimism was associated with clinician overestimation of their survival in a dose-response relationship. Clinicians were approximately three times as likely to overestimate the survival of patients endorsing both high trait optimism and optimistic ratings of their survival time compared with neither (OR: 2.95; 95% CI: 1.24-7.02). This association was not attenuated by adjustment for age, gender, race, ethnicity, education, income, cancer type, functional status, quality of life, or white blood cell count (ORadj : 3.45; 95% CI: 1.24-9.66).
CONCLUSION: Patients' optimism may have some influence over their clinicians' prognostic judgments.
OBJECTIVE: Describe the knowledge of physicians in an Oncology Clinic and a school hospital, of both the private health network, located in Manaus-AM about palliative care (PC), and define the role of religion in medical care of patients with advanced severe illness, with no disease modifying therapy.
METHOD: This is a cross-sectional, descriptive, and observational study. After signing the Free and Informed Consent Term, the physicians included completed a professional membership record and answered questions about a hypothetical clinical case through multiple choice answers. The clinical case described a patient with advanced chronic disease not a candidate for disease-modifying therapy in the final phase of life. The questions involved aspects related to nutrition, venous access, and hospitalization in the intensive care unit (ICU).
RESULTS: A total of 31 physicians from different specialties were included. About 67.7% consider their knowledge about PC insufficient, and none of the participants is unaware of this modality of care. The prevalence of invasive behaviors related to patient nutrition, venous access, and indication of ICU and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was higher among physicians without religion (HR = 1.84; HR = 2.89; HR = 1.04, respectively) than among those who follow a religion.
CONCLUSION: Absence of religion is associated with higher invasive behaviors on the part of physicians. Further studies are needed to better define this relationship.
OBJECTIVE: To examine how Canadian newspapers portrayed physicians' role and medical assistance in dying (MAiD).
DESIGN: Qualitative textual analysis.
SETTING: Online and print articles from Canadian French and English newspapers.
PARTICIPANTS: 813 newspaper articles published from 1972 to 2016.
RESULTS: Key Canadian events defined five eras. From 1972 to 1990, newspapers portrayed physician's MAiD role as a social issue by reporting supportive public opinion polls and revealing it was already occurring in secret. From 1991 to 1995, newspapers discussed legal aspects of physicians' MAiD role including Rodriguez' Supreme Court of Canada appeal and Federal government Bills. From 1996 to 2004, journalists discussed professional aspects of physicians' MAiD role and the growing split between palliative care and physicians who supported MAiD. They also reported on court cases against Canadian physicians, Dr Kevorkian and suffering patients who could not receive MAiD. From 2005 to 2013, newspapers described political aspects including the tabling of MAiD legislation to change physicians' role. Lastly, from 2014 to 2016, newspapers again portrayed legal aspects of physicians' role as the Supreme Court of Canada was anticipated to legalise MAiD and the Québec government passed its own legislation. Remarkably, newspapers kept attention to MAiD over 44 years before it became legal. Articles generally reflected Canadians' acceptance of MAiD and physicians were typically portrayed as opposing it, but not all did.
CONCLUSIONS: Newspaper portrayals of physicians' MAiD role discussed public opinion, politicians' activities and professional and legal aspects. Portrayals followed the issue-attention cycle through three of five stages: 1) preproblem, 2) alarmed discovery and euphoric enthusiasm and 3) realising the cost of significant progress.
Introduction: This study assessed the views of nurses, resident doctors, and attending physicians of the use of a readily available pain and palliative care specialty at their institution while assessing their ability to recognize terminal noncancer illnesses.
Methodology: In community hospital consisting of an in-patient pain and palliative specialty, attending physicians, residents, and nurses participate in a survey highlighting the following: parameters for referral/consultation, definition of noncancer-related terminal illnesses, role of pain and palliative care in acute care, consult/referral delay, barriers to effective referral, recognition and withdrawal of futile care, and opioid prescription. Patterns of responses by each professional group were compared and contrasted.
Results: The most common accepted reasons for referral were that of hospice care, terminal cancer, and uncontrolled pain, while reasons related to terminal noncancer illnesses were less accepted. A majority of approved physical and social parameters to define terminal noncancer illnesses were not universally accepted among the groups-especially among attendings and residents. While most participants agreed that the best time to refer to palliative care specialty was at the point of diagnosis of a terminal illness, >25% of participants from each group felt that referrals should be done later in the course of the illness. The most highlighted reasons expressed by attendings and residents for the delay in consult were either that of excessive withdrawal of modalities of care or interference with ongoing management that may benefit the patient. Most residents and nurses agreed that attendings' reluctance to consult is a major barrier to its utilization.
Conclusion: Barriers to effective utilization are multifactorial, mostly relating to perceptions of the specialty as well as ineffective communication within specialties.
Objective Advance care planning (ACP) is widely advocated to contribute to better outcomes for patients suffering from heart failure. But clinicians appear hesitant to engage with ACP. Our aim was to identify interventions with the greatest potential to engage clinicians with ACP in heart failure.
Methods A systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Database of Systematic Reviews, Embase, ERIC, Ovid MEDLINE, Science Citation Index and PsycINFO for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) from inception to January 2018. Three reviewers independently extracted data, assessed risk of bias (Cochrane risk of bias tool), the quality of evidence (GRADE) and intervention synergy according to Template for Intervention Description and Replication. ORs were calculated for pooled effects.
Results Of 14 175 articles screened, we assessed the full text of 131 studies. 13 RCTs including 3709 participants met all of the inclusion criteria. The intervention categories of patient-mediated interventions (OR 5.23; 95% CI 2.36 to 11.61), reminder systems (OR 3.65; 95% CI 1.47 to 9.04) and educational meetings (OR 2.35; 95% CI 1.29 to 4.26) demonstrated a favourable effect to engage clinicians with the completion of ACP.
Conclusion The review provides evidence from 13 published RCTs and suggests that interventions that involve patients to change clinical practice, reminder systems and educational meetings have the greatest effect in improving the implementation of ACP in heart failure.