Background: Few studies have specifically assessed the scope, nature and challenges of palliative and end-of-life care in rural general practice. These knowledge gaps limit the development of evidence-based policies and services for patients in the last months of life. This study aimed to explore the perspectives of general practitioners (GPs) and other stakeholders on rural GPs' involvement and challenges in providing palliative and end-of-life care in regional Australia.
Methods: A qualitative study involving five focus groups with 26 GPs based in rural/regional Western Australia together with 15 individual telephone interviews with four GPs and 11 other stakeholders involved in end-of-life care across Australia.
Results: The rural GPs' central role in end-of-life care was recognized by the majority of participants but multiple challenges were also identified. Some challenges were comparable to those found in urban settings but others were more pronounced, including resource limitations and lack of training. Inappropriate payment models discouraged GPs' involvement in some aspects of end-of-life care, such as case conferences and home visits. Compared to GPs in urban settings, those in rural/regional communities often reported closer doctor-patient relationships and better care integration and collaboration. These positive aspects of care could be further developed to enhance service provision. Our study highlighted the importance of regular interactions with other professionals and patients in providing end-of-life care, but many GPs and other stakeholders found such interactions more challenging than the more "technical" aspects of care.
Conclusions: Rural/regional GPs appear to be disproportionately affected by inappropriate payment models and limited resources, but may benefit from closer doctor-patient relationships and better care integration and collaboration relative to urban GPs. Systematic collection of empirical data on GP management at end-of-life is required to build on these strengths and address the challenges.
General practitioners (GPs) play a key role in the timely diagnosis of dementia and also in advance care planning (ACP). They often have known patients and their families for decades and are familiar with their values and treatment preferences; they are, therefore, in a position to initiate the ACP process even before the appearance of the first symptoms of dementia and certainly following disclosure of the diagnosis. To do so, they should recognise whether patients are receptive to an ACP consultation or whether they might reject it for personal, social or cultural reasons. Under no circumstances should the patient or their family be coerced into making these provisions. In most countries, the current framework does not provide enough time and money for GPs to carry out actual ACP consultations completely on their own. There is evidence that specially trained health professionals are able to more effectively discuss treatment goals and limits of life-prolonging measures than GPs who are well acquainted with their patients. Consequently, we suggest that it will be the GPs' task to seize the right moment for starting an ACP process, to raise awareness of patients and their relatives about ACP, to test the patient's decision-making capacity and, finally, to involve appropriately trained healthcare professionals in the actual ACP consultation process. Care should be taken that these professionals delivering time-intensive ACP consultations are not only able to reflect on the patient's values but are also familiar with the course of the disease, the expected complications and the decisions that can be anticipated. The GP will ensure an active exchange with the ACP professional and should have access to the documentation drawn up in the ACP consultation process (treatment plan and advance directive including instructions for medical emergencies) as soon as possible. GPs as coordinators of healthcare provision should document appropriately all specialists involved in the care and ensure that treatment decisions are implemented in accordance with the patient's preferences for future care or the presumed will of the patient.
Background: While most people say they would prefer to be cared for and to die at home, this outcome is often not achieved. This represents a service gap that general practitioners (GPs) are optimally positioned to fill.
Objectives: The aim of this paper is to synthesise existing evidence-based frameworks of palliative care together with other resources, to present a cohesive model of care that GPs can easily systematise to guide high-quality home-based palliative care.
Discussion: Key clinical processes include advance care planning and development of medical goals of patient care plans and terminal care plans. Three essential elements for high-quality palliative care incorporated into the model include a compassionate GP, the care team and various practical resources. Palliative care sits well within the GP specialist scope of practice. GPs have at their disposal many resources that effectively and efficiently support them in their palliative care practice.
Introduction: To support general practitioners (GPs) in providing early palliative care to patients with cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or heart failure, the RADboud university medical centre indicators for PAlliative Care needs tool (RADPAC) and a training programme were developed to identify such patients and to facilitate anticipatory palliative care planning. We studied whether GPs, after 1 year of training, identified more palliative patients, and provided multidimensional and multidisciplinary care more often than untrained GPs.
METHODS: We performed a survey 1 year after GPs in the intervention group of an RCT were trained. With the help of a questionnaire, all 134 GPs were asked how many palliative patients they had identified, and whether anticipatory care was provided. We studied number of identified palliative patients, expected lifetime, contact frequency, whether multidimensional care was provided and which other disciplines were involved.
RESULTS: Trained GPs identified more palliative patients than did untrained GPs (median 3 vs 2; p 0.046) and more often provided multidimensional palliative care (p 0.024). In both groups, most identified patients had cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: RADPAC sensitises GPs in the identification of palliative patients. Trained GPs more often provided multidimensional palliative care. Further adaptation and evaluation of the tools and training are necessary to improve early palliative care for patients with organ failure.
BACKGROUND/AIM: Appropriate decision-making in end-of-life (EOL) care is essential for both junior and senior physicians. The aim of this study was to compare the decision-making and attitudes of medical students with those of experienced general practitioners (GP) regarding EOL-care.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A questionnaire presenting three cancer patient scenarios concerning decisions and ethical aspects of EOL-care was offered to 500 Finnish GPs and 639 graduating medical students in 2015-2016.
RESULTS: Responses were received from 222 (47%) GPs and 402 (63%) students. The GPs withdrew antibiotics (p<0.001) and nasogastric tubes (p=0.007) and withheld resuscitation (p<0.001), blood transfusions (p=0.002) and pleural drainage (p<0.001) more often than did the students. The students considered euthanasia and assisted suicide less reprehensible (p<0.001 in both) than did the GPs.
CONCLUSION: Medical students were more unwilling to withhold and withdraw therapies in EOL-care than were the GPs, but the students considered euthanasia less reprehensible. Medical education should include aspects of decision-making in EOL-care.
Background: Advance directives (ADs) are seldom discussed between primary care physicians (PCPs) and their patients, especially those with noncancer diseases. The aim was to identify the factors associated with discussing AD by noncancer patients with their physicians.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a hospital or clinic from October to December 2017. Physicians chose eligible noncancer patients aged 20 years or older to respond to an anonymous self-completed questionnaire inquiring about the objective variable "I want to discuss AD with my doctor," as well as basic characteristics, and facilitators and barriers to discussing AD identified in previous studies. The physicians responded to a survey comprising the Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) and inquiring about the disease category for each patient. Data were analyzed using binomial logistic regression analysis.
Results: A total of 270 patients (valid response rate, 79.6%) were included. Multivariate analysis identified a period of visit to the study site = 3 years (odds ratio [OR], 2.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-4.10), physicians who are very good at taking care of patients’ disease (OR, 12.68; 95% CI, 1.12-143.22), and patients’ worry about their quality of life (QOL) in the future (OR, 2.69; 95% CI, 1.30-5.57) as facilitators for discussing AD with physicians, and PPS = 90 (OR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.26-0.98) as a barrier.
Conclusions: Our study indicates that patients' future QOL concerns, a long period of visit to a hospital, and the presence of physical symptoms were associated with the willingness of noncancer patients to discuss AD with PCPs.
The majority of Dutch physicians feel pressure when dealing with a request for euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (EAS). This study aimed to explore the content of this pressure as experienced by general practitioners (GP). We conducted semistructured in-depth interviews with 15 Dutch GPs, focusing on actual cases. The interviews were transcribed and analysed with use of the framework method. Six categories of pressure GPs experienced in dealing with EAS requests were revealed: (1) emotional blackmail, (2) control and direction by others, (3) doubts about fulfilling the criteria, (4) counterpressure by patient's relatives, (5) time pressure around referred patients and (6) organisational pressure. We conclude that the pressure can be attributable to the patient-physician relationship and/or the relationship between the physician and the patient's relative(s), the inherent complexity of the decision itself and the circumstances under which the decision has to be made. To prevent physicians to cross their personal boundaries in dealing with EAS request all these different sources of pressure will have to be taken into account.
BACKGROUND: The doctor-patient relationship has evolved to respect "the autonomy and patients' rights". One of the cornerstones in such autonomy is the opportunity for patients to draw living wills, also known as advance directives (AD). However, information about AD available to patients remains scarce largely due to the lack of involvement of General practitioners for several reasons. The aim of our study was to evaluate current general practitioner residents' (GPR) behavior concerning their role in informing their patients about AD.
METHOD: We built a French nationwide survey from GPR class of 2012 to 2014.
RESULTS: Two thousand three hundred ten residents completed our survey (21.1% of the total population of GPR during the period). 89.8% declared their willingness to offer patients the opportunity of writing AD. When asked about the usefulness of AD, 73.6% of residents responded that these are a suitable help for patients, but 19.7% considered that AD are essentially geared towards frail patients. Among residents who want to inform patients about AD (n = 2075), 14.7% wanted to involve all patients. Only 20.5% thought that elderly people should be systematically informed about AD. When the question involves other frail people in various disease areas, information seems relevant for 60.1% of GPR considering patient with cancer or malignant hematologic disease and for 56.2% about patients affected by neurodegenerative disease. When considering the routine use of AD, 20.5% of GPR would take them into account only if they are in agreement with the patient’s decision.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the survey indicate that GPR would rather choose to decide who should be informed about AD, and when to take AD into account for ethical concerns.
BACKGROUND: The implementation of early palliative care within a primary care setting is a recent academic topic. Recruiting General Practitioners (GPs) to participate in a palliative care study can be challenging. The pro-Spinoza project implemented a Care Pathway for Primary Palliative Care in 5 areas in Belgium. During this project, the feasibility of the recruitment of GPs and palliative care patients was evaluated.
METHODS: The recruitment process was recorded in detail via an electronic logbook combining quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative recordings included the contact types and the number of contacts with eligible GPs and were analysed descriptively. Qualitative recordings included field notes with feedback from the GPs and other stakeholders and were thematically analysed starting from the Grol and Wensing framework for professional behaviour change.
RESULTS: Of 4065 eligible GPs working in 5 areas under research, 787 GPs (19%) were contacted individually, 398 GPs (9,8%) were contacted face-to-face and most of these 398 GPs showed high interest in the topic. 112 GPs (2,8%) signed the collaboration agreement, but finally only 65 GPs (1,6%) delivered at least a completed baseline-questionnaire. Despite the initial interest in participating, the unpredictable and busy daily workloads of the GPs, as well as inexperience with research protocols, impeded the ability of the GPs to fully engage in the study. This resulted in the high dropout rate. Participating GPs reported that they had underestimated the effort required to effectively participate in the project.
CONCLUSIONS: Recruitment of GPs to palliative care research is challenging. Primary care is a vital service to engage in palliative care research however the practical limitations reduce the ability of the service to effectively engage in the research. More research is needed to determine how GPs might be better supported in research.
Music is one of the things in my life that has most reliably gotten me into and kept me out of trouble. Having played in bands for decades, I see parallels with the practice of medicine. As a hospitalist and a palliative care pediatrician, I would like to apply lessons from music to consider how general palliative care (provided by all clinicians) and specialty palliative care (provided by board-certified physicians) can work together in harmony. Music (like medicine) thrives through collaboration, benefits from specialized knowledge, and begs to be shared.
[Début de l'article]
Introduction: Primary care has a central role in palliative and end of life care: 45.6% of deaths in England and Wales occur under the care of primary care teams at home or in care homes. The Community Care Pathways at the End of Life (CAPE) study investigated primary care provided for patients in the final 6 months of life. This paper highlights the opportunities and challenges associated with primary palliative care research in the UK, describing the methodological, ethical, logistical and gatekeeping challenges encountered in the CAPE study and how these were addressed.
The study methods: Using a mixed-methods approach, quantitative data were extracted from the general practitioner (GP) and district nurse (DN) records of 400 recently deceased patients in 20 GP practices in the East of England. Focus groups were conducted with some GPs and DNs, and individual interviews held with bereaved carers and other GPs and DNs.
The challenges addressed Considerable difficulties were encountered with ethical permissions, with GP, DN and bereaved carer recruitment and both quantitative and qualitative data collection. These were overcome with flexibility of approach, perseverance of the research team and strong user group support. This enabled completion of the study which generated a unique primary palliative care data set.
Introduction : La HAS a créé en 2016 un document d'information et d'aide à la rédaction des directives anticipées. L'objectif était de répondre au manque de rédaction des directives anticipées depuis 2005, en lien avec un défaut d'information sur le dispositif. L'objet de notre étude était d'explorer les opinions et perceptions des médecins généralistes (MG) sur ce nouveau document, et comment ils pourraient l'intégrer dans leur pratique en soins primaires.
Méthodes : Étude qualitative par entretiens individuels semi-directifs réalisée auprès de 9 MG après échantillonnage raisonné et conduits jusqu'à saturation du recueil de données. Analyse thématique manuelle avec double codage croisé, dans une perspective phénoménologique. Résultats : Les MG jugent les documents pertinents, complets, mais complexes pour certains patients. Le manque de temps et la difficulté à parler de fin de vie sont perçus comme les freins principaux à l'utilisation de l'outil. Néanmoins les MG pensent qu'il permet d'aborder le sujet des directives anticipées auprès des patients et les amène à une réflexion sur leur fin de vie. Selon les médecins, la mise en place du dispositif nécessiterait d'être accompagné d'une information de la population et une formation des professionnels de santé.
Discussion : Les documents de la HAS sont complets et peuvent faciliter la rédaction des directives anticipées s'il y a une information de la population par les médias. Cela doit s'accompagner de la démocratisation de la discussion sur la fin de vie entre le patient et son médecin. Elle devra être initiée par le médecin.
Origine : BDSP. Notice produite par BIUSANTE 89AR0xCn. Diffusion soumise à autorisation
Notre travail s’appuie sur un constat : le médecin généraliste est désormais confronté à des patients atteints de pathologies longues et incurables, en phase de soins palliatifs. Or le généraliste n’est pas formé à leur prise en charge, différente de celle d’un autre patient : il ne s’agit plus d’aider sur le chemin de la guérison mais d’accompagner vers la mort.
Il s’agit donc de réfléchir à la posture du généraliste face à ce type de patient, lors d’un suivi au long cours. Quelles démarches doit-il adopter au sein du nouvel espace qu’est celui de la rencontre en soins palliatifs ?
Background: Identification of patients at the end-of-life is the first step in care planning and many general practices have Palliative Care Registers. There is evidence that these largely comprise patients with cancer diagnoses, but little is known about the identification process.
Objective: To explore the barriers that hinder GPs from identifying and registering patients on Palliative Care Registers.
Methods: An exploratory qualitative approach was undertaken using semi-structured interviews with GPs in South West England. GPs were asked about their experiences of identifying, registering and discussing end-of-life care with patients. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically.
Results: Most practices had a Palliative Care Register, which were mainly composed of patients with cancer. They reported identifying non-malignant patients at the end-of-life as challenging and were reluctant to include frail or elderly patients due to resource implications. GPs described rarely using prognostication tools to identify patients and conveyed that poor communication between secondary and primary care made prognostication difficult. GPs also detailed challenges around talking to patients about end-of-life care.
Conclusions: Palliative Care Registers are widely used by GPs for patients with malignant diagnoses, but seldom for other patients. The findings from our study suggest that this arises because GPs find prognosticating for patients with non-malignant disease more challenging. GPs would value better communication from secondary care, tools for prognostication and training in speaking with patients at the end-of-life enabling them to better identify non-malignant patients at the end-of-life.
Introduction: The provision of palliative end-of-life care (P/EOLc) for patients, wherever they live, is an increasingly important service, particularly given the increasing rates of cancer and other life-threatening diseases in Iran. However, unfortunately, those living in the rural areas of Iran are greatly disadvantaged with respect to this type of care. Therefore, the present study explored the feasibility of organizing P/EOLc in the rural areas of Iran.
Methods: In this qualitative study, two focus group (FG) discussions were held in Tabriz (Iran) with rural family physicians (FPs, n=23) and key P/EOLc stakeholders (n=13). The FG sessions were recorded, transcribed, and the transcriptions checked by participants before the data were subjected to content analysis.
Results: While most FPs indicated that they did not have sufficient involvement in providing P/EOLc, they emphasized the necessity of providing P/EOLc through four main themes and 25 subthemes. The four main themes were labeled as "structures and procedures," "health care provider teams," "obstacles," and "strategies or solutions." Furthermore, according to the main themes and subthemes identified here, the key stakeholders believed that the Iranian health system and the FPs' team have the potential to provide P/EOLc services in rural areas.
Conclusion: The most feasible strategy for providing P/EOLc in Iranian rural areas would be to use the current health care framework and base the process around the FP.
BACKGROUND: Although it is often recommended that general practitioners (GPs) initiate advance care planning (ACP), little is known about their experiences with ACP. This study aimed to identify GP experiences when conducting ACP conversations with palliative patients, and what factors influence these experiences.
METHODS: Dutch GPs (N = 17) who had participated in a training on timely ACP were interviewed. Data from these interviews were analysed using direct content analysis.
RESULTS: Four themes were identified: ACP and society, the GP's perceived role in ACP, initiating ACP and tailor-made ACP. ACP was regarded as a 'hot topic'. At the same time, a tendency towards a society in which death is not a natural part of life was recognized, making it difficult to start ACP discussions. Interviewees perceived having ACP discussions as a typical GP task. They found initiating and timing ACP easier with proactive patients, e.g. who are anxious of losing capacity, and much more challenging when it concerned patients with COPD or heart failure. Patients still being treated in hospital posed another difficulty, because they often times are not open to discussion. Furthermore, interviewees emphasized that taking into account changing wishes and the fact that not everything can be anticipated, is of the utmost importance. Moreover, when patients are not open to ACP, at a certain point it should be granted that choosing not to know, for example about where things are going or what possible ways of care planning might be, is also a form of autonomy.
CONCLUSIONS: ACP currently is a hot topic, which has favourable as well as unfavourable effects. As GPs experience difficulties in initiating ACP if patients are being treated in the hospital, future research could focus on a multidisciplinary ACP approach and the role of medical specialists in ACP. Furthermore, when starting ACP with palliative patients, we recommend starting with current issues. In doing so, a start can be made with future issues kept in view. Although the tension between ACP's focus on the patient's direction and the right not to know can be difficult, ACP has to be tailored to each individual patient.
INTRODUCTION: While close collaboration between general practitioners (GPs) and hospital specialists is considered important, the sharing of care responsibilities between GPs and oncologists during palliative chemotherapy has not been clearly defined.
OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the opinions of GPs and oncologists about who should provide different aspects of care for patients receiving palliative chemotherapy.
DESIGN: We conducted semi-structured interviews using six hypothetical scenarios with purposively sampled GPs (n = 12) and oncologists (n = 10) in the Netherlands. Each represented an example of a clinical problem requiring different aspects of care: problems likely, or not, related to cancer or chemotherapy, need for decision support, and end-of-life care.
RESULTS: GPs and oncologists agreed that GPs should provide end-of-life care and that they should be involved in decisions about palliative chemotherapy; however, for the other scenarios most participants considered themselves the most appropriate provider of care. Themes that emerged regarding who would provide the best care for the patients in the different scenarios were expertise, continuity of care, accessibility of care, doctor-patient relationship, and communication. Most participants mentioned improved communication between the GP and oncologist as being essential for a better coordination and quality of care.
CONCLUSION: GPs and oncologists have different opinions about who should ideally provide different aspects of care during palliative chemotherapy. Findings raise awareness of the differences in reasoning and approaches and in current communication deficits between the two groups of health professionals. These findings could be used to improve coordination and collaboration and, ultimately, better patient care as results demonstrated that both disciplines can add value to the care for patients with advanced cancer. Key points This study identified contrasting opinions of GPs and oncologists about who should provide different aspects of care for patients receiving palliative chemotherapy. Important themes that emerged were expertise, continuity of care, doctor-patient relations, accessibility of care, and communication. Although frequently using the same arguments, GPs and oncologists often considered themselves to be the most appropriate providers of palliative care.
Objectif de lâ€™étude: Le médecin généraliste est un pivot de la prise en charge de la fin de vie à domicile. La dyspnée, symptôme fréquent à cette période est un facteur de souffrance et de stress pour le malade, les proches et les soignants. Lâ€™objectif de cette étude était de décrire sa prise en charge diagnostique et thérapeutique symptomatique en phase terminale à domicile par les médecins généralistes.
Méthode: Il sâ€™agit dâ€™une étude descriptive. Un questionnaire a été adressé par courrier postal aux 59 généralistes du nord des Landes.
Résultats: Vingt-neuf questionnaires ont été analysés (49 % de réponse). Les médecins ont déclaré principalement suivre leur malade avec le soutien de lâ€™infirmier à domicile seul (10 cas sur 27) ou dâ€™une structure dâ€™hospitalisation à domicile (7cas sur 27). Le principal symptôme recherché à lâ€™entretien médical était la sensation de manque dâ€™air (18 réponses 27). Lâ€™augmentation de la fréquence respiratoire (25 réponses sur 27) et la présence de signes de luttes (24 réponses sur 27) étaient les signes physiques les plus recherchés. Lâ€™échelle verbale simple était la plus utilisée (23 réponses sur 27). Parmi les thérapeutiques non médicamenteuses, le positionnement demi-assis du patient faisait lâ€™unanimité (27 réponses sur 27). Lâ€™association morphinique et anxiolytique était le traitement médicamenteux le plus utilisé (20 réponses sur 27). En cas dâ€™urgence, les 20 médecins confrontés à cette situation, ont informé les proches (17 réponses sur 20), utilisé lâ€™oxygène (16 réponses sur 20) et administré un traitement médicamenteux (17 réponses sur 20). La sédation était peu employée dans cette situation (4 réponses sur 20).
Conclusion: La majorité des médecins répondeurs diagnostiquaient la dyspnée par la sensation de manque dâ€™air et la présence de signes de lutte. Son évaluation se faisait par lâ€™échelle verbale simple et les traitements employés étaient le positionnement demi-assis du patient et lâ€™association de morphiniques et dâ€™anxiolytiques. Une étude précisant le sentiment des médecins, les molécules et les dosages des médicaments employés serait à envisager pour compléter les données recueillies.
BACKGROUND: Evidence regarding out-of-hours (OOH) community palliative care provision is required to inform the need for a 7-day work.
AIM: This paper seeks to provide evidence for this discussion by defining general practitioners' (GPs) OOH workload and patients' demographics, symptomology and interventions. By quantifying the challenges faced, we can understand current practice and focus on what provision is required.
DESIGN: Using Shropshire Doctors Co-operative's recorded data, the authors have collated a representative picture of the OOH GP palliative care practice over a year from 161 OOH GP-patient interactions.
SETTING: Primary care.
RESULTS: Palliative care makes up 11.4% of the total OOH GP home visits (HV). Overall 56% of OOH GP HVs are for patients who are expected to die within 48 hours, with 80% of the symptoms being agitation, secretions and pain. Overall 5.7% of OOH GP palliative HVs resulted in hospital admission; however, this decreased to 0.6% adjusting for the last 48-hour prognosis.
CONCLUSION: OOH Shropshire GPs deal with a wide variety of scenarios in a heterogeneous population. The greatest demand is from 17:00 to 00:00 (65% of the total shift) on weekdays, and from 09:00 to 00:00 on weekends (82% of the shift). These data begin to quantify the role being performed by OOH GPs, have implications for service provision and support 7-day work.
CONTEXT: Understanding the prevalence and characteristics of primary care outpatients being at risk of deteriorating and dying may allow general practitioners (GPs) to identify them, and initiate end-of-life discussions.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of primary care outpatients being at risk of deteriorating and dying, as determined by the Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool (SPICT™).
METHODS: A multicenter cross-sectional observational study was conducted at 17 clinics with 22 GPs. We enrolled all patients aged =65 years who visited the GPs in March 2017. We used the Japanese version of the SPICT™ to identify patients being at risk of deteriorating and dying. We assessed the demographic and clinical characteristics of enrolled patients.
RESULTS: In total, 382 patients with a mean age of 77.4 ± 7.9 years were investigated. Sixty-six patients (17.3%) had =2 positive general indicators or =1 positive disease-specific indicator in the SPICT-JP. Patients with dementia/frailty, neurological disease, cancer, and kidney disease showed a significantly elevated risk of deteriorating and dying, while patients with other specific disease did not. The patients at risk were significantly older and less likely to be living with family at home. They also had a higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score and a lower Palliative Performance Scale score.
CONCLUSION: Among primary care outpatients aged over 65 years, 17.3% were at risk of deteriorating and dying regardless of their estimated survival time, and many outpatients at risk were not receiving optimal multidisciplinary care.