The potential association between serotonin syndrome and tapentadol is not well described in the literature. This study aimed to review the literature and identify methodological issues that could lead to inaccurately reported rates of serotonin syndrome associated with tapentadol use. A systematic review of English articles using MEDLINE, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and Scopus was performed. Additional studies were identified by cross-referencing article bibliographies. Original research that examined the safety of tapentadol in patients with nonconfounding indications were examined. In total, 22 studies met inclusion criteria. There were 13 randomized clinical trials, 7 open-label trials, and 2 observational studies. All studies either did not mention whether serotonergic medication use was prohibited or disallowed use. Frequently reported adverse events were nausea, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, vomiting, and somnolence. No studies reported serotonin syndrome development. No included trials differentiated between the development of adverse events in patients taking serotonergic drugs and those who were not. This differentiation is necessary to evaluate the increased risk of adverse events in patients prescribed tapentadol concomitantly with other serotonergic medications. Therefore, the current tapentadol literature has important limitations that prevent the adequate characterization of the potential association between tapentadol and serotonin syndrome.
Nurse practitioners play an integral part of the face-to-face visit. The face-to-face visit requirement came into effect on January 11, 2011, for hospice patients entering their third or later benefit period. The face-to-face requirement was created because of concerns regarding high numbers of hospice patients with lengths of stay greater than 180 days, in addition to concerns the physician was not as active in the care of the hospice patient as required. Face-to-face visits can be completed by the hospice physician or nurse practitioner employed by the hospice agency. The face-to-face narrative includes a clear title, date, clinical findings demonstrating continued hospice eligibility and a signature of the individual completing the face-to-face visit. In addition, an attestation statement stating that the encounter was completed with the patient and the clinical findings were provided to the certifying physician is also a requirement of the narrative. Documenting clinical findings that demonstrate hospice eligibility can be challenging. Using the FACE-2-FACE method can help clarify the clinical findings necessary to demonstrate the patient’s continued hospice eligibility.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the strategies used by a collection of healthcare systems to apply different methods of identifying seriously ill patients for a targeted palliative care intervention to improve communication around goals and values.
METHODS: We present an implementation case series describing the experiences, challenges and best practices in applying patient selection strategies across multiple healthcare systems implementing the Serious Illness Care Program (SICP).
RESULTS: Five sites across the USA and England described their individual experiences implementing patient selection as part of the SICP. They employed a combination of clinician screens (such as the 'Surprise Question'), disease-specific criteria, existing registries or algorithms as a starting point. Notably, each describes adaptation and evolution of their patient selection methodology over time, with several sites moving towards using more advanced machine learning-based analytical approaches.
CONCLUSIONS: Involving clinical and programme staff to choose a simple initial method for patient identification is the ideal starting place for selecting patients for palliative care interventions. However, improving and refining methods over time is important and we need ongoing research into better patient selection methodologies that move beyond mortality prediction and instead focus on identifying seriously ill patients-those with poor quality of life, worsening functional status and medical care that is negatively impacting their families.
Background: Despite growing interest from policy makers, researchers and activists in the global development of palliative care, there is still little science to underpin it. This study presents the methods deployed in the creation of a 'world map' of palliative care development. Building on two previous iterations, with improved rigour and taking into account reviewers' feedback, the aim of this recalibrated version of the study is to determine the level of palliative care development in 198 United Nations recognised countries in 2017, whilst ensuring comparability with previous versions. We present methods of data collection and analysis.
Methods and analysis: Primary data on the level of palliative care development in 2017 was collected from in-country experts through an online questionnaire and, where required, supplemented by published documentary sources and grey literature. Data relating to the total population of each country as well as per capita opioid consumption were derived from independent sources. Data analysis was conducted according to a new scoring system and algorithm developed by the research team.
Ethics and dissemination: The study was approved by the University of Glasgow College of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee. Findings of the study will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals, as a contribution to the second edition of the Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End-of-Life, and via social media, including the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group blog and the project website.
Limitations of the study: There are potential biases associated with self-reporting by key in-country experts. In some countries, the identified key expert failed to complete the questionnaire in whole or part and data limitations were potentially compounded by language restrictions, as questionnaires were available only in three European languages. The study relied in part on data from independent sources, the accuracy of these data could not be verified.
Objectives: To present and discuss the views of researchers at an academic palliative care research centre on research encounters with terminally ill patients in the home setting and to generate a list of recommendations for qualitative researchers working in palliative and end-of-life care.
Methods: Eight researchers took part in a consensus meeting to discuss their experiences of undertaking qualitative interviews. The researchers were of varying backgrounds and all reported having experience in interviewing terminally ill patients, and all but one had experience of interviewing patients in their home environment.
Results: The main areas discussed by researchers included: whether participation in end-of-life research unintentionally becomes a therapeutic experience or an ethical concern; power relationships between terminally ill patients and researchers; researcher reflexivity and reciprocity; researchers' training needs. Qualitative methods can complement the home environment; however, it can raise ethical and practical challenges, which can be more acute in the case of research undertaken with palliative and patients at the end-of-life.
Conclusions: The ethical and practical challenges researchers face in this context has the potential to place both participant and researcher at risk for their physical and psychological well-being. We present a set of recommendations for researchers to consider prior to embarking on qualitative research in this context and advocate researchers in this field carefully consider the issues presented on a study-by-study basis.
Findings indicate this workshop initiative is both feasible and transformative.
ABSTRACT: Background: Grief and loss are significant issues for health care providers, who may witness their patients' pain and suffering, experience feelings of grief as a result of caring for sick and dying people, and reexperience their own past losses. Unaddressed grief can lead to many issues for providers, their patients, and the health care system as a whole.
METHODS: Healing Loss: A Residential Workshop for Montefiore Associates is an experiential and educational program aimed at helping professional caregivers to identify and process grief and loss. Through retrospective analysis of program participation and feedback data, this study investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of offering an intensive bereavement support program to hospital employees in a large academic health system.
RESULTS: Between 2013 and 2017, Montefiore Health System held nine Healing Loss workshops, serving 198 employees from diverse professions. These participants described multiple benefits, including being able to grieve more effectively, accessing support, and learning new tools for healing and self-care. Participants described the workshop experience as unique, cathartic, and life changing.
CONCLUSIONS: The sustainability of the Healing Loss initiative during the four years of the study, together with strong feedback from participants, indicates that bereavement support for hospital employees is both feasible and beneficial.
BACKGROUND: A lack of public awareness of palliative care (PC) has been identified as one of the main barriers to appropriate PC access. Internet search query analysis is a novel methodology, which has been effectively used in surveillance of infectious diseases, and can be used to monitor public awareness of health-related topics.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to demonstrate the utility of internet search query analysis to evaluate changes in public awareness of PC in the USA between 2005 and 2015.
METHODS: Google Trends provides a referenced score for the popularity of a search term, for defined regions over defined time periods. The popularity of the search term 'palliative care' was measured monthly between 1/1/2005 and 31/12/2015 in the USA and in the UK.
RESULTS: Results were analysed using independent t-tests and joinpoint analysis. The mean monthly popularity of the search term increased between 2008-2009 (p<0.001), 2011-2012 (p<0.001), 2013-2014 (p=0.004) and 2014-2015 (p=0.002) in the USA. Joinpoint analysis was used to evaluate the monthly percentage change (MPC) in the popularity of the search term. In the USA, the MPC increase was 0.6%/month (p<0.05); in the UK the MPC of 0.05% was non-significant.
DISCUSSION: Although internet search query surveillance is a novel methodology, it is freely accessible and has significant potential to monitor health-seeking behaviour among the public. PC is rapidly growing in the USA, and the rapidly increasing public awareness of PC as demonstrated in this study, in comparison with the UK, where PC is relatively well established is encouraging in increasingly ensuring appropriate PC access for all.
Informal family caregivers make a significant contribution to the U.S. health care system, and the need for caregivers will likely increase. Gaining deeper insights into the caregiver experience will provide essential knowledge needed to support the future caregiver workforce delivering care. Discourse analysis is a viable approach in analyzing textual caregiver data that focuses on the end-of-life caregiving experience. The purpose of this study was to conduct an in-depth discourse analytic examination of 13 hours of caregiver interview data, which reveal the multiplicity of shifting stances and perceptions of one caregiver in the midst of end-of-life care, specifically with regard to his perceptions of self (caregiver) and other (care recipient). By isolating a specific but limited set of reference terms used throughout the discourse, we gained systematic glimpses into the mind and perceptions of this single caregiver in relation to his role as caregiver for his terminally ill wife.
Opioid errors are a leading cause of patient harm. Active failures in opioid dose conversion can contribute to error. Conversion is complex and is currently performed manually using tables of approximate equivalence. Apps that offer opioid dose double-checking are available but there are concerns about their accuracy and clinical validation. This study evaluated a novel opioid dose conversion app, The Safer Prescription of Opioids Tool (SPOT), a CE-marked Class I medical device, as a clinician decision support (CDS) platform. This single-centre prospective clinical utility pilot study followed a mixed methods design. Prescribers completed an initial survey exploring their current opioid prescribing practice. Thereafter prescribers used SPOT for opioid dosage conversions in parallel to their usual clinical practice, then evaluated SPOT through a survey and focus group. SPOT matched the Gold Standard result in 258 of 268 (96.3%) calculations. The 10 instances (3.7%) when SPOT did not match were due to a rounding error. Users had a statistically significant increase in confidence in prescribing opioids after using SPOT. Focus group feedback highlighted benefits in Quality Improvement and Safety when using SPOT. SPOT is a safe, reliable and validated CDS that has potential to reduce harms from opioid dosing errors.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The incidence and mortality from end-stage liver disease is increasing, with a minority eligible for liver transplantation. Ascites is the commonest complication of end-stage liver disease and large volume paracentesis (LVP) the accepted management strategy where refractory to medical treatment. In malignant ascites, permanent indwelling peritoneal catheters (PIPC) are an established palliative intervention. The aims are to describe available data using permanent indwelling peritoneal catheters in refractory ascites due to end-stage liver disease.
METHODS: Using systematic review methodology, databases were searched (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL [The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature], Google Scholar and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from inception-March 2018), for studies combining ascites and palliative care. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to results.
RESULTS: Following initial and updated searches, 225 studies were identified for full text review, 18 were eligible for final analysis. The studies displayed heterogeneity in design, reported on different indwelling catheters and were overall of low quality. Only one pilot randomised controlled trial was identified, of PIPC versus LVP, recruiting one patient into each arm. Technical insertion success was 100%, with low rates of non-infectious complications (<12%), none life threatening. Rates of bacterial peritonitis were not unacceptably high (12.7%), considering this was an end-stage liver disease population and only a minority utilising long-term prophylactic antibiotics. Only one study attempted quality-of-life assessments; none addressed potential health economic benefits.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite lack of well-designed studies, preliminary data suggests low significant complication rates; however safety and efficacy of permanent indwelling peritoneal catheters in end-stage liver disease remains to be confirmed. Further prospective randomised controlled trials are warranted, potentially translating permanent indwelling peritoneal catheters into improved palliative care in end-stage liver disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This chapter describes design and implementation considerations for clinical trials that evaluate behavioral interventions in hospice and palliative care. We discuss traditional and emerging approaches to randomization and data analysis, considering the unique challenges of the setting including the unpredictable and often stressful conditions that participants find themselves in when dealing with advanced illness and how these affect their ability to participate in prescribed and standardized study procedures. In addition, we discuss considerations for recruitment and retention of participants and methodological approaches such as intention to treat. We also explore options for economic considerations when evaluating an intervention.
Background: Substituted judgment assumes adequate knowledge of patient’s mind-set. However, surrogates’ prediction of individual healthcare decisions is often inadequate and may be based on shared background rather than patient-specific knowledge. It is not known whether surrogate’s prediction of patient’s integrative life-story narrative is better.
Methods: Respondents in 90 family pairs (30 husband-wife, 30 parent-child, 30 sibling-sibling) rank-ordered 47 end-of-life statements as life-story narrative measure (Q-sort) and completed instruments on decision-control preference and healthcare-outcomes acceptability as control measures, from respondent’s view (respondent-personal) and predicted pair’s view (respondent-surrogate). They also scored their confidence in surrogate’s decision-making (0 to 4 = maximum) and familiarity with pair’s healthcare-preferences (1 to 4 = maximum). Life-story narratives’ prediction was examined by calculating correlation of statements’ ranking scores between respondent-personal and respondent-surrogate Q-sorts (projection) and between respondent-surrogate and pair-personal Q-sorts before (simulation) and after controlling for correlation with respondent-personal scores (adjusted-simulation), and by comparing percentages of respondent-surrogate Q-sorts co-loading with pair-personal vs. respondent-personal Q-sorts. Accuracy in predicting decision-control preference and healthcare-outcomes acceptability was determined by percent concordance. Results were compared among subgroups defined by intra-pair relationship, surrogate’s decision-making confidence, and healthcare-preferences familiarity.
Results: Mean (SD) age was 35.4 (10.3) years, 69% were females, and 73 and 80% reported = very good health and life-quality, respectively. Mean surrogate’s decision-making confidence score was 3.35 (0.58) and 75% were = familiar with pair’s healthcare-preferences. Mean (95% confidence interval) projection, simulation, and adjusted-simulation correlations were 0.68 (0.67–0.69), 0.42 (0.40–0.44), and 0.26 (0.24–0.28), respectively. Out of 180 respondent-surrogate Q-sorts, 24, 9, and 32% co-loaded with respondent-personal, pair-personal, or both Q-sorts, respectively. Accuracy in predicting decision-control preference and healthcare-outcomes acceptability was 47 and 52%, respectively. Surrogate’s decision-making confidence score correlated with adjusted-simulation’s correlation score (rho = 0.18, p = 0.01). There were significant differences among the husband-wife, parent-child, and sibling-sibling subgroups in percentage of respondent-surrogate Q-sorts co-loading with pair-personal Q-sorts (38, 32, 55%, respectively, p = 0.03) and percent agreement on healthcare-outcomes acceptability (55, 35, and 67%, respectively, p = 0.002).
Conclusions: Despite high self-reported surrogate’s decision-making confidence and healthcare-preferences familiarity, family surrogates are variably inadequate in simulating life-story narratives. Simulation accuracy may not follow the next-of-kin concept and is 38% based on shared background.
BACKGROUND: Accessible indicators of aggressiveness of care at the end-of-life are useful to monitor implementation of early integrated palliative care practice. To determine the intensity of end-of-life care from exhaustive data combining administrative databases and hospital clinical records, to evaluate its variability across hospital facilities and associations with timely introduction of palliative care (PC).
METHODS: For this study designed as a decedent series nested in multicentre cohort of advanced cancer patients, we selected 997 decedents from a cohort of patients hospitalised in 2009-2010, with a diagnosis of metastatic cancer in 3 academic medical centres and 2 comprehensive cancer centres in the Paris area. Hospital data was combined with nationwide mortality databases. Complete data were collected and checked from clinical records, including first referral to PC, chemotherapy within 14 days of death, >=1 intensive care unit (ICU) admission, >=2 emergency department visits (ED), and >= 2 hospitalizations, all within 30 days of death.
RESULTS: Overall (min-max) indicator values as reported by facility providing care rather than the place of death, were: 16% (8-25%) patients received chemotherapy within 14 days of death, 16% (6-32%) had >=2 admissions to acute care, 6% (0-15%) had >=2 emergency visits and 18% (4-35%) had >=1 intensive care unit admission(s). Only 53% of these patients met the PC team, and the median (min-max) time between the first intervention of the PC team and death was 41 (17-112) days. The introduction of PC > 30 days before death was independently associated with lower intensity of care.
CONCLUSIONS: Aggressiveness of end-of-life cancer care is highly variable across centres. This validates the use of indicators to monitor integrated PC in oncology. Disseminating a quality audit-feedback cycle should contribute to a shared view of appropriate end-of-life care objectives, and foster action for improvement among care providers.
Context: Although palliative care is rapidly being disseminated throughout Japan as a result of government policy, a systematic syllabus of palliative medicine for physicians has not been developed.
Aims: This study aimed to develop a Japanese national consensus syllabus of palliative medicine for physicians.
Design: We used a modified Delphi method to develop the consensus syllabus.
Methods and Setting: We created a Delphi panel by selecting 20 expert eligible panelists consisting of Diplomate or Faculty of the Specialty Board of Palliative Medicine and certified by the Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine. We inducted external reviewers from 11 palliative care-related organizations.
Results: Among 20 experts surveyed, 20 (100%) responded over all rounds. Ten (50%) participated in a panel meeting. In the first round, 179 of 179 (100%) learning objectives were judged to be appropriate and 5 of 179 (3%) learning objectives were judged to be too difficult. In the panel meeting, 25 learning objectives were excluded, three new learning objectives were added, and 15 learning objectives were reworded. In the second round, 18 of 18 (100%) learning objectives were judged to be appropriate. The final version of the syllabus developed consists of 157 specific behavioural objectives and 22 general instructional objectives across 22 courses.
Conclusions: We have developed the first national consensus syllabus of palliative medicine for physicians in Japan. Based on this syllabus, a training program on palliative medicine will be established by training facilities in Japan, and physicians will be able to practice specific palliative care.
Objective: Healthcare professionals who work in palliative care units face stressful life events on a daily basis, most notably death. For this reason, these professionals must be equipped with the necessary protective resources to help them cope with professional and personal burnout. Despite the well-recognized importance of the construct "meaning of work," the role of this construct and its relationship with other variables is not well-understood. Our objective is to develop and evaluate a model that examines the mediating role of the meaning of work in a multidisciplinary group of palliative care professionals. Using this model, we sought to assess the relationships between meaning of work, perceived stress, personal protective factors (optimism, self-esteem, life satisfaction, personal growth, subjective vitality), and sociodemographic variables.
Method: Professionals (n = 189) from a wide range of disciplines (physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, nursing assistants, physical therapists, and chaplains) working in palliative care units at hospitals in Madrid and the Balearic Islands were recruited. Sociodemographic variables were collected and recorded. The following questionnaires were administered: Meaning of Work Questionnaire, Perceived Stress Questionnaire, Life Orientation Test-Revised, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Subjective Vitality Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and the Personal Growth Scale.
Result: The explanatory value of the model was high, explaining 49.5% of the variance of life satisfaction, 43% of subjective vitality, and 36% of personal growth. The main findings of this study were as follow: (1) meaning of work and perceived stress were negatively correlated; (2) optimism and self-esteem mediated the effect of stress on the meaning attached to work among palliative care professionals; (3) the meaning of work mediated the effect of stress on subjective vitality, personal growth, and life satisfaction; and (4) vitality and personal growth directly influenced life satisfaction.
Significance of results: The proposed model showed a high explanatory value for the meaning professionals give to their work and also for perceived stress, personal protective factors, and sociodemographic variables. Our findings could have highly relevant practical implications for designing programs to promote the psychological well-being of healthcare professionals.
OBJECTIVE: Many patients with advanced serious illness or at the end of life experience delirium, a potentially reversible form of acute brain dysfunction, which may impair ability to participate in medical decision-making and to engage with their loved ones. Screening for delirium provides an opportunity to address modifiable causes. Unfortunately, delirium remains underrecognized. The main objective of this pilot was to validate the brief Confusion Assessment Method (bCAM), a two-minute delirium-screening tool, in a veteran palliative care sample.
METHOD: This was a pilot prospective, observational study that included hospitalized patients evaluated by the palliative care service at a single Veterans' Administration Medical Center. The bCAM was compared against the reference standard, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition. Both assessments were blinded and conducted within 30 minutes of each other. Result We enrolled 36 patients who were a median of 67 years (interquartile range 63-73). The primary reasons for admission to the hospital were sepsis or severe infection (33%), severe cardiac disease (including heart failure, cardiogenic shock, and myocardial infarction) (17%), or gastrointestinal/liver disease (17%). The bCAM performed well against the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, for detecting delirium, with a sensitivity (95% confidence interval) of 0.80 (0.4, 0.96) and specificity of 0.87 (0.67, 0.96).Significance of Results Delirium was present in 27% of patients enrolled and never recognized by the palliative care service in routine clinical care. The bCAM provided good sensitivity and specificity in a pilot of palliative care patients, providing a method for nonpsychiatrically trained personnel to detect delirium.
"The Pause" was first practiced by a nurse at a Level 1 trauma center to honor the death of a deceased patient. This practice has spread internationally and is used in emergency departments, intensive care, transplant, and oncology units, in addition to pre-hospital settings. There is a paucity of research published on the effects of The Pause for health care workers. We used a three-staged Delphi methodology to understand the barriers, benefits, and language used in The Pause. Analyses of email communication and interview transcripts suggest that The Pause poses minimal risk and has considerable benefits. Benefits include increased perceived team cohesion, a moment for reflection, and a method by which to honor a deceased patient. The Pause allows nurses to feel more present to meet the needs of the next patient they care for during a shift. Further research is merited.
Background: There is no established method to objectively predict short-term prognosis. Recently, we proposed objective, short-term, prognostic predictive methods that are combinations of laboratory test items: WPCBAL score, derived from six values (white blood cell, platelet, C-reactive protein, blood urea nitrogen, aspartate aminotransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase). However, that study was conducted in an acute-phase hospital to identify the test items useful for prognostic prediction; thus, whether WPCBAL score could be applied to terminal cancer patients in a palliative care unit was unverified.
Objective: To verify the usefulness of WPCBAL score for terminal cancer patients.
Design: A retrospective study.
Setting/Subjects: Patients admitted to the palliative care unit of Ashiya Municipal Hospital (N = 128) in Japan in 2016.
Measurements: The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, accuracy, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) were compared between WPCBAL score and the Glasgow prognostic score (GPS).
Results: For predicting three-week prognosis, WPCBAL score showed higher AUROC compared with GPS (0.7540 and 0.6573, respectively). WPCBAL score predicting two-week prognosis showed greater AUROC than GPS predicting three-week prognosis (0.7491 and 0.6573, respectively).
Conclusion: WPCBAL score was verified to objectively predict the two- or three-week prognosis for terminal cancer patients in a palliative care unit. WPCBAL score may be a new option for prognostic prediction for terminal cancer patients.
This study proposes a method for calculating the annual incidence rate of sibling bereavement among US youth using national epidemiological data. The proposed model combines data on family household size with national death statistics to calculate the number of siblings affected by the death of a child annually. From 2012 to 2015, an average of 61,389 children per year experienced the death of a sibling, resulting in an estimate of 0.0832% of children bereaved by the death of a sibling annually. Data indicate a need for greater awareness and dialog concerning the frequency with which children experience the death of a sibling.
To provide an appropriate method to systematically analyze the hospital discharge of terminally ill patients especially the cooperation between hospital and community nurses and the quality of the discharge handovers. To evaluate the hospital discharge process of terminally ill patients in an academic hospital in the Netherlands using the proposed method. Data were collected from a prospective cohort of all terminally ill patients discharged from the University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands, between June and November 2014. The hospital discharges were assessed using 2 questionnaires: an inventory questionnaire, to determine the required care, and an evaluation questionnaire, to evaluate the care actually organized and the discharge handovers. The inventory questionnaire was completed prior to discharge and the evaluation questionnaire between 3 to 7 days after discharge. Around 130 consecutive patients were included. The discharge took place on the desired date in 86% of cases and the average overall discharge grade on a 10-point scale was 7.4 (range: 3-9.5). In 23% of cases discrepancies between required and provided care were identified and medication queries existed in 29%.This study provides a methodology to analyze the hospital discharge procedure of terminally ill patients that can be utlized in any hospital. Structured analysis of the discharge process is valuable and identifies where improvements can be made. Within the study cohort the home care could be arranged at short notice and was considered sufficient. However, in a significant proportion of patients a discrepancy between required and arranged care and queries about medication were identified.