Background: Chemotherapy (CT) in patients with advanced cancer (ACP) near the end of life is an increasing practice of oncology units. A closer integration with palliative care (PC) services could reduce the use of potentially harmful CT. This prospective study is aimed at assessing whether a more integrated care model could reduce CT use near the end of life and increase local PC service utilisation.
Methods: The study enrolled sequentially two cohorts of ACP with an estimated life expectancy of =6 months. In the first cohort, the usual oncologist’s practice to prescribe CT and to activate local PC services were recorded. In cohort 2, the oncologist’s decision was taken after an in-hospital consultation with the local PC teams. After patient death, a follow-back survey was carried out.
Results: The two cohorts included 109 and 125 evaluable patients, respectively. The oncologist’s decision to prescribe CT occurred in 51.4% and 60%, respectively: the percentages of patients receiving the final CT administration in the last 30 days of life did not differ in the two cohorts (33.9% and 29.3%, respectively,p=0.83). Conversely, an increase in home PC service utilisation (from 56.9% to 82.4%, p=0.00), at home deaths (from 40.4% to 56.8%, p=0.01) and in-hospice deaths (from 8.3% to 19.2%, p=0.00) occurred in cohort 2.
Conclusion: The implementation of an initial in-hospital consultation of oncologists and experienced home PC teams has not reduced the use of CT near the end of life but increased PC service utilisation and reduced in-hospital deaths.
BACKGROUND: The corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has required specialist palliative care (SPC) services to respond by: (I) integrating infection prevention/control measures into care for their usual caseloads and (II) providing consultations and/or care for people dying from a new disease entity. The aim of the current study was to learn about the response of Australian SPC services to COVID-19 and its consequences in order to inform pandemic practice and policy.
METHODS: A cross-sectional, anonymous survey was administered online from May to July 2020. Email invitations were sent to 160 providers delivering 503 SPC services listed in the Australian Palliative Care Services Directory. Survey questions asked about service responses to COVID-19, impacts on care quality, and perceived benefits/disadvantages for palliative care clients post-pandemic. Open-ended responses were thematically coded using an established framework that classifies SPC pandemic responses under: 'stuff', 'staff', 'space', 'systems', 'separation', 'sedation', 'communication' and 'equity'.
RESULTS: Complete survey responses were received from 28 providers on behalf of 100 SPC services (response rates of 17%/20% respectively): 29 consultative, 25 community home-based, 21 outpatient, 15 inpatient wards/units, eight inpatient hospice and two other services. Responses were reported across all framework categories except 'sedation'. Concerns centred on: inadequate support for self-management, psychosocial needs and bereavement for clients living at home; pressures on staff capacity and wellbeing; and a perceived lack of health system preparedness for a potential future surge. Rapid implementation of telehealth across Australia was perceived to offer potential benefits to palliative care in the longer term, if provided with ongoing support.
CONCLUSIONS: Meeting COVID-19-related challenges requires SPC to be agile and responsive. Advocacy is required to ensure the needs of people dying and their families are supported as well as people requiring acute care for COVID-19. Expansion of telehealth during the pandemic presents an opportunity for leveraging to benefit palliative care longer term.
INTRODUCTION: There is limited evidence regarding the effectiveness of timely integration of short-term specialised palliative care services for older people in primary care. Using a Theory of Change approach, we developed such an intervention, the Frailty+ intervention. We present the protocol of a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) with a process evaluation that aims to assess the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of the Frailty+ intervention.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a pilot RCT in Flanders, Belgium. Frail older people who are discharged to home from hospital will be identified and recruited. Seventy-six will be randomly assigned either to the control group (standard care) or the intervention group (Frailty+ intervention alongside standard care). Data will be collected from patients and family carers. At the core of the Frailty+ intervention is the provision of timely short-term specialised palliative care facilitated by a nurse from the specialised palliative home care service over a period of 8 weeks. We will assess feasibility in terms of recruitment, randomisation, acceptability of the intervention, retention in the programme and data completion. The primary outcome for assessing preliminary effectiveness is a mean score across five key symptoms that are amenable to change (ie, breathlessness, pain, anxiety, constipation, fatigue), measured at baseline and 8 weeks post-baseline. The process evaluation will be conducted in the intervention group only, with measurements at 8-11 weeks post-baseline to evaluate implementation, mechanisms of change and contextual factors.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has been approved by the ethics committee of University Hospital Ghent. Results will be used to inform the design of a full-scale RCT and will be published in a peer-reviewed, open access journal.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN39282347; Pre-results.
Introduction: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) marked the third introduction of a highly pathogenic and large-scale epidemic coronavirus into the human population in the 21st century. The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Lockdowns were imposed in multiple countries affecting patient flow in hospitals.
Methods: This is a retrospective study conducted at King Fahad Medical City (KFMC), a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which examined the differences in palliative care services during the initial four months of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the respective four months in 2019 (March, April, May, June).
Results: A total of 319 patients were seen at the palliative care department from March to June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic (119 inpatient, 200 outpatient), compared to 346 patients seen during the corresponding months in 2019 (97 inpatient, 249 outpatient). Our main findings included more patients being discharged home, lesser transfers, shorter hospital length of stay, lesser imminent death protocols, and a higher palliative performance score (PPS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there were more cancelations by the hospital for the outpatient department, a virtual clinic was started, and 84 patients were effectively seen. Around 87% of patients were fully satisfied (5/5) with the services provided by the virtual clinic. There were no positive COVID-19 cases in our healthcare workers in the palliative care department due to the high standard precautions applied at KFMC. Family meetings as well as administrative and academic meetings have been efficiently held virtually and may possibly become the standard of practice. Conclusion Palliative care services were successfully maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic at KFMC.
BACKGROUND: Palliative care day services provide a safe environment for people with palliative care needs, enabling them to access a range of services while acting as a respite services for family caregivers. Viewed as marginal services, they are often under resourced and under researched. The aim of this study was to understand how palliative day care services contribute to client care from the perspective of management and hospice multidisciplinary teams.
METHODS: A descriptive qualitative study, using six focus groups conducted with staff at three United Kingdom hospices in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Thirty-five participants were recruited, including management and staff. Discussions were transcribed and analysed thematically.
RESULTS: Four key themes emerged: (1) variations of care, beyond heterogeneity of patients; (2) unclear referrals and inconsistent patient population; (3) recognising strengths and challenges and (4) an uncertain future. A major focus of group discussions was the model of care and the benefits of the service, however the importance of demonstrating services' effectiveness and value for money was highlighted.
CONCLUSIONS: Management and hospice staff believed day-services to be a helpful introduction to palliative care, providing both social and medical support. Economic pressures and patient demand were influencing them to move from a social model to a hybrid model. Further research is needed to understand the effectiveness of the service.
Background and aim: Globally, there is a discrepancy in whether terminal cancer patients are early referred to palliative care service (PCS) or not. A late referral can lead to a delay in treating and palliating those patients in need. The aim of this study is to investigate the referral time patterns of advanced cancer patients to PCS in Princess Noorah Oncology Center (PNOC) at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In addition, this study evaluates the factors that influence referral time to the palliative care unit (PCU), along with the overall survival rate.
Methods: This was a retrospective cross-sectional study (chart review) conducted at the inpatient unit in PNOC and included all patients referred to PCS between January 1st, 2016, and December 31, 2016. In total, 153 patients met the inclusion criteria, and their data were collected and analyzed.
Results: The median length of stay (LOS) was five days (95% CI: 3.85-6.15). Among the 153 patients, 22 (14.4%) died within 24 hours of enrollment to PCU. Patients who were referred to the PCU with non-metastasis disease had a median LOS of nine days, which is significantly longer than the median LOS in patients with metastatic disease (95% CI: 0.35-0.82, p=0.004), which indicates that they referred relatively earlier to PCU. The hazard ratio for death in patients with non-metastatic cancer stage was 0.54 (95% CI: 0.35-0.82, p=0.004).
Conclusion: Referral of advanced cancer patients to palliative care services occurs late in their disease course in our institution, like other institutions, with variation in LOS, which shorten their stay at palliative, as well as, affects their quality of life (QOL) and ability to plan or make a decision regarding their care. Education of the public and, most importantly, the medical community is needed.
Background: Evidence from randomized controlled trials has demonstrated benefits in quality of life outcomes from early palliative care concurrent with standard oncology care in patients with advanced cancer. We hypothesized that there would be earlier referral to outpatient palliative care at a comprehensive cancer center following this evidence.
Materials and Methods: Administrative databases were reviewed for two cohorts of patients: the pre-evidence cohort was seen in outpatient palliative care between June and November 2006, and the post-evidence cohort was seen between June and November 2015. Timing of referral was categorized, according to time from referral to death, as early (>12 months), intermediate (>6 months to 12 months), and late (=6 months from referral to death). Univariable and multivariable ordinal logistic regression analyses were used to determine demographic and medical factors associated with timing of referral.
Results: Late referrals decreased from 68.8% pre-evidence to 44.8% post-evidence; early referrals increased from 13.4% to 31.1% (p < .0001). The median time from palliative care referral to death increased from 3.5 to 7.0 months (p < .0001); time from diagnosis to referral was also reduced (p < .05). On multivariable regression analysis, earlier referral to palliative care was associated with post-evidence group (p < .0001), adjusting for shorter time since diagnosis (p < .0001), referral for pain and symptom management (p = .002), and patient sex (p = .04). Late referrals were reduced to <50% in the breast, gynecological, genitourinary, lung, and gastrointestinal tumor sites.
Conclusions: Following robust evidence from trials supporting early palliative care for patients with advanced cancer, patients were referred substantially earlier to outpatient palliative care.
Implications for Practice: Following published evidence demonstrating the benefit of early referral to palliative care for patients with advanced cancer, there was a substantial increase in early referrals to outpatient palliative care at a comprehensive cancer center. The increase in early referrals occurred mainly in tumor sites that have been included in trials of early palliative care. These results indicate that oncologists’ referral practices can change if positive consequences of earlier referral are demonstrated. Future research should focus on demonstrating benefits of early palliative care for tumor sites that have tended to be omitted from early palliative care trials.
Context: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a surge of critically ill patients that strained health care systems throughout New York City in March and April of 2020. At the peak of the crisis, consults for palliative care increased four- to sevenfold at NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP), an academic health care system with 10 campuses throughout New York City. We share our challenges, solutions, and lessons learned to help peer institutions meet increased palliative care demands during future crises and address pre-existing palliative care subspecialist shortages during nonpandemic times.
Methods: In response to the increased demand, palliative care physician and administrative leadership at NYP piloted multiple creative care models to expand access to palliative care outpatient and inpatient services. The care models included virtual outpatient management of existing patients, embedded palliative care staff, education for providers, multidisciplinary family support, hospice units (which allowed for family visitation), and team expansion through training other disciplines (primarily psychiatry) and deploying an ePalliative Care service (staffed by out-of-state volunteers).
Conclusion: Our comprehensive response successfully expanded the palliative care team's reach, and, at the height of the pandemic, allowed our teams to meet the increased demand for palliative care consults. We learned that flexibility and adaptability were critical to responding to a rapidly evolving crisis. Physician and family feedback and preliminary data suggest that virtual outpatient visits, embedded staff, hospice units, and team expansion through training other disciplines and deploying ePalliative Care services were impactful interventions.
BACKGROUND: The provision and quality of end-of-life care (EoLC) in Germany is inconsistent. Therefore, an evaluation of current EoLC based on quality indicators is needed. This study aims to evaluate EoLC in Germany on the basis of quality indicators pertaining to curative overtreatment, palliative undertreatment and delayed palliative care (PC). Results were compared with previous findings.
METHODS: Data from a statutory health insurance provider (AOK Lower Saxony) pertaining to deceased members in the years 2016 and 2017 were used to evaluate EoLC. The main indicators were: chemotherapy for cancer patients in the last month of life, first-time percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) for patients with dementia in the last 3 months of life, number of hospitalisations and days spent in inpatient treatment in the last 6 months of life, and provision of generalist and specialist outpatient PC in the last year of life. Data were analysed descriptively.
RESULTS: Data for 64,275 deceased members (54.3% female; 35.1% cancer patients) were analysed. With respect to curative overtreatment, 10.4% of the deceased with cancer underwent chemotherapy in the last month and 0.9% with dementia had a new PEG insertion in the last 3 months of life. The mean number of hospitalisations and inpatient treatment days per deceased member was 1.6 and 16.5, respectively, in the last 6 months of life. Concerning palliative undertreatment, generalist outpatient PC was provided for 28.0% and specialist outpatient PC was provided for 9.0% of the deceased. Regarding indicators for delayed PC, the median onset of generalist and specialist outpatient PC was 47.0 and 24.0 days before death, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Compared to data from 2010 to 2014, the data analysed in the present study suggest an ongoing curative overtreatment in terms of chemotherapy and hospitalisation, a reduction in new PEG insertions and an increase in specialist PC. The number of patients receiving generalist PC remained low, with delayed onset. Greater awareness of generalist PC and the early integration of PC are recommended.
Objective: To investigate the impact of dementia on aged care service use at end-of-life.
Methods: Our retrospective data linkage study in New South Wales, Australia, used survey data from participants in the 45 and Up Study who died between July 2011–June 2014 linked to routinely collected administrative data for 2006–2014. We investigated movement between aged care “states” (No Services, Home Care including Home Support and Low-and High-Level Home Care and Residential Care) in the last five years of life. The dementia cohort comprised decedents with a dementia diagnosis recorded in hospital records, death certificates or who had claims for dementia-specific medicines prior to death (n = 2,230). The comparison cohort were decedents with no dementia diagnosis, matched 1:1 on age-at-death, sex, income and location.
Results: Compared to those without dementia, people with dementia were more likely to: use home care (67 versus 60%, P < 0.001), enter residential care (72 versus 30%, P < 0.001) and stay longer in residential care (median 17.9 versus 12.7 months, P < 0.001). Five years before death, more people with dementia were within residential care (6 versus 4%; RR = 1.61, 95%CI = 1.23–2.10) and these rates diverged at the end-of-life (69 versus 28%, RR = 2.48, 95%CI = 2.30–2.66). Use of home-based care was higher among people with dementia five years from death (20 versus 17%; RR = 1.15, 95%CI = 1.02–1.30) but lower at end-of-life (13 versus 24%, RR = 0.55, 95%CI = 0.49–0.63).
Conclusion: Dementia-specific aged care trajectories were dominated by residential care. Home care use declined towards end-of-life for people with dementia and may not be meeting their needs.
In Korea, a substantial proportion of long-term care insurance (LTCI) beneficiaries die within 1 year of seeking the benefit. This study was conducted to evaluate the pattern of medical care use and care cost during the last year of life among Korean LTCI beneficiaries between 2009 and 2013 using the national claims data. The National Health Insurance's Senior (NHIS-Senior) cohort was used for this retrospective study. The participants were LTCI beneficiaries aged 65 or over as of 2008 who died between 2009 and 2013 (N = 30,433). Medical costs during the last year of life were highest for those who used both medical care services and long-term care (LTC) services and increased as death approached. About half of the participants were hospitalized at the time of death. The use of LTC services at the time of death increased from 13.0 to 22.8%, while those who died at home decreased from 34 to 20%. This study suggests that the use of LTC services did not reduce medical costs by substituting unnecessary inpatient hospitalization. Quality of dying should be considered one of the goals of older adult care, and provisions should be made for palliative care at home or LTC facilities.
Background: Access to healthcare services, from diagnosis through end of life (EOL), is important among persons living with Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (PLWHA). However, little is known about the availability of hospice services in Appalachian areas. Therefore, the objective of this study is to describe the geographic distribution of hospice, homecare and nursing home facilities in order to demonstrate current existence of and access to resources for EOL care among PLWHA in the Appalachian regions of Tennessee and Alabama.
Methods: this paper reports on the second aim of a larger sequential, mixed methods qualitative-quantitative (qual quan) study. Data from advance care planning (ACP) surveys were collected by both electronic (n = 28) and paper copies (n = 201) and, among other things, obtained information on zip codes of residence of PLWHA. This enabled assessment of the geographic distribution of residences of PLWHA in relation to the distribution of healthcare services such as hospice and home healthcare services. Hospice and Home Healthcare data were obtained from the Tennessee and Alabama Departments of Health. The street addresses of these facilities were used to geocode and map the geographic distributions of the facilities using Street Map USA. Travel times to Hospice and Home Healthcare facilities were computed and mapped using ArcGIS 10.3.
Results: We identified a total of 32 hospice and 69 home healthcare facilities in the Tennessee Appalachian region, while the Alabama Appalachian region had a total of 110 hospice and 86 home healthcare facilities. Most care facilities were located in urban centers. The distribution of care facilities was worse in Tennessee with many counties having no facilities, requiring up to an hour drive time to reach patients. A total of 86% of the PLWHA indicated preference to die at home.
Conclusions: Persons living with HIV/AIDS in Appalachia face a number of challenges at the end of life that make access to EOL services difficult. Although respondents indicated a preference to die at home, the hospice/homecare infrastructure and resources are overwhelmingly inadequate to meet this need. There is need to improve access to EOL care in the Appalachian regions of both Tennessee and Alabama although the need is greater in Tennessee.
Background: Coping with end-of-life issues is a major challenge for governments and health systems. Despite progress in legislation, many barriers exist to its full implementation. This study is aimed at identifying these end-of-life barriers in relation to Israel.
Methods: Qualitative in-depth interviews using professionals and decision makers in the health-care and related systems (n = 37) were carried out, along with two focus groups based on brainstorming techniques consisting of nurses (n = 10) and social workers (n = 10). Data was managed and analyzed using Naralyzer software.
Results: Qualitative analysis showed identification of six primary barriers: 1) law, procedures, and forms; 2) clinical aspects; 3) human aspects; 4) knowledge and skills of medical teams; 5) communication; and 6) resource allocation. These were further divided into 44 sub area barriers.
Conclusions: This study highlights the role of the family doctor in end-of-life by training physicians in decision-making workshops and increasing their knowledge in the field of palliative medicine. Effectively channeling resources, knowledge, and support for medical teams, by accounting for the structure and response of the units for home treatment will improve patient’s access to information on and support for end-of-life laws, as well as reduce legislative barriers in other countries that face the same issues.
BACKGROUND: Early provision of palliative care, at least 3-4 months before death, can improve patient quality of life and reduce burdensome treatments and financial costs. However, there is wide variation in the duration of palliative care received before death reported across the research literature. This study aims to determine the duration of time from initiation of palliative care to death for adults receiving palliative care across the international literature.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis that was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018094718). Six databases were searched for articles published between Jan 1, 2013, and Dec 31, 2018: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Global Health, Web of Science and The Cochrane Library, as well undertaking citation list searches. Following PRISMA guidelines, articles were screened using inclusion (any study design reporting duration from initiation to death in adults palliative care services) and exclusion (paediatric/non-English language studies, trials influencing the timing of palliative care) criteria. Quality appraisal was completed using Hawker's criteria and the main outcome was the duration of palliative care (median/mean days from initiation to death).
RESULTS: One hundred sixty-nine studies from 23 countries were included, involving 11,996,479 patients. Prior to death, the median duration from initiation of palliative care to death was 18.9 days (IQR 0.1), weighted by the number of participants. Significant differences between duration were found by disease type (15 days for cancer vs 6 days for non-cancer conditions), service type (19 days for specialist palliative care unit, 20 days for community/home care, and 6 days for general hospital ward) and development index of countries (18.91 days for very high development vs 34 days for all other levels of development). Forty-three per cent of studies were rated as 'good' quality. Limitations include a preponderance of data from high-income countries, with unclear implications for low- and middle-income countries.
CONCLUSIONS: Duration of palliative care is much shorter than the 3-4 months of input by a multidisciplinary team necessary in order for the full benefits of palliative care to be realised. Furthermore, the findings highlight inequity in access across patient, service and country characteristics. We welcome more consistent terminology and methodology in the assessment of duration of palliative care from all countries, alongside increased reporting from less-developed settings, to inform benchmarking, service evaluation and quality improvement.
Objectives: To analyse patterns of use and costs of unscheduled National Health Service (NHS) services for people in the last year of life.
Design: Retrospective cohort analysis of national datasets with application of standard UK costings.
Participants and setting: All people who died in Scotland in 2016 aged 18 or older (N=56 407).
Main outcome measures: Frequency of use of the five unscheduled NHS services in the last 12 months of life by underlying cause of death, patient demographics, Continuous Unscheduled Pathways (CUPs) followed by patients during each care episode, total NHS and per-patient costs.
Results: 53 509 patients (94.9%) had at least one contact with an unscheduled care service during their last year of life (472 360 contacts), with 34.2% in the last month of life. By linking patient contacts during each episode of care, we identified 206 841 CUPs, with 133 980 (64.8%) starting out-of-hours. People with cancer were more likely to contact the NHS telephone advice line (63%) ( 2 (4)=1004, p<0.001) or primary care out-of-hours (62%) ( 2 (4)=1924,p<0.001) and have hospital admissions (88%) ( 2 (4)=2644, p<0.001). People with organ failure (79%) contacted the ambulance service most frequently ( 2 (4)=584, p<0.001). Demographic factors associated with more unscheduled care were older age, social deprivation, living in own home and dying of cancer. People dying with organ failure formed the largest group in the cohort and had the highest NHS costs as a group. The cost of providing services in the community was estimated at 3.9% of total unscheduled care costs despite handling most out-of-hours calls.
Conclusions: Over 90% of people used NHS unscheduled care in their last year of life. Different underlying causes of death and demographic factors impacted on initial access and subsequent pathways of care. Managing more unscheduled care episodes in the community has the potential to reduce hospital admissions and overall costs.
Purpose: Little is known about the use of palliative and hospice care and their impact on healthcare utilization near the end of life (EOL) in early-onset pancreatic cancer (EOPC).
Methods: Patients with EOPC (= 50 years) were identified using the institutional tumor registry for years 2011–2018, and demographic, clinical, and rates of referral to palliative and hospice services were obtained retrospectively. Predictors of healthcare utilization, defined as use of = 1 emergency department (ED) visit or hospitalization within 30 days of death, place of death (non-hospital vs. hospital), and time from last chemotherapy administration prior to death, were assessed using descriptive, univariable, and multivariable analyses including chi-square and logistic regression models.
Results: A total of 112 patients with EOPC with a median age of 46 years (range, 29–50) were studied. Forty-four percent were female, 28% were Black, and 45% had metastatic disease. Fifty-seven percent received palliative care at a median of 7.8 weeks (range 0–265) following diagnosis. The median time between last chemotherapy and death was 7.9 weeks (range 0–102). Seventy-four percent used hospice services prior to death for a median of 15 days (range 0–241). Rate of healthcare utilization at the EOL was 74% in the overall population. Black race and late use of chemotherapy were independently associated with increase in ED visits/hospitalization and hospital place of death.
Conclusions: Although we observed early referrals to palliative care among patients with newly diagnosed EOPC, short duration of hospice enrollment and rates of healthcare utilization prior to death were substantial.
OBJECTIVE: To identify actions required to strengthen the delivery of person and family centred hospital-based palliative care so that it addressed the domains of care identified as important for inpatients with palliative care needs and their families.
METHODS: A codesign study involving a workshop with palliative care and acute hospital policy, consumer and clinical representatives in Australia. A modified nominal group process generated a series of actions, which were thematically analysed and refined, before being circulated to participants to gain consensus.
RESULTS: More than half (n=30, 58%) of the invited representatives (n=52) participated in the codesign process. Nine actions were identified as required to strengthen inpatient palliative care provision being: (a) evidence-informed practice and national benchmarking; (b) funding reforms; (c) securing executive level support; (d) mandatory clinical and ancillary education; (e) fostering greater community awareness; (f) policy reviews of care of the dying; (g) better integration of advance care planning; (h) strengthen nursing leadership; and (i) develop communities of practice for improving palliative care.
CONCLUSIONS: Changes to policy, practice, education and further research are required to optimise palliative care within hospital settings, in accordance with the domains inpatients with palliative care needs and their families consider to be important. Achieving these changes will require a whole of sector approach and significant national and jurisdictional leadership.
Context: The development of palliative care services is a public health priority. The Japanese Cancer Control Act has been promoting palliative care services nationwide for over 10 years.
Objectives: To evaluate long-term changes in the structure and processes of hospital palliative cancer care services nationwide.
Methods: This was an observational study using three representative questionnaire surveys between 2008 and 2018. The questionnaire consisted of domains on the structure and process regarding hospital palliative cancer care services. The changes over time were assessed using the MacNemar test. The differences between groups, namely community hospitals and designated cancer hospitals, were determined using 2 tests.
Results: We analyzed changes over time from 281 designated cancer hospitals and compared the services between 1395 community hospitals and 380 designated cancer hospitals. The development of the structure and processes for designated cancer hospital's palliative cancer care services was greater for 10 years including the number of Palliative Care Consultation Teams (PCTs) with more than 50 patient referrals annually (from 2010 to 2018: 76.2% to 85.4%, P < 0.001). The palliative cancer care services of community hospitals were poorly prepared compared with designated cancer hospitals in 2018, such as the “direct medical care by any member of the Palliative Care Consultation Team at least 3 times a week (41.7% vs. 81.3%; P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Hospital palliative cancer care services in designated cancer hospitals have developed significantly from 2008 to 2018. Building a system to promote palliative care services in community hospitals is a challenge for the next decade.
De quoi et où meurent les Françaises et Français ? Quelle est l’offre sanitaire globale mais aussi plus spécifiquement de soins palliatifs aujourd’hui en France ? Quel est le profil des patients pris en charge dans les unités de soins palliatifs ? Quelle est la part des personnes âgées de 75 ans et plus dans les statistiques de mortalité ? Quelles sont leurs particularités ? Observe-t-on des différences géographiques concernant toutes ces données ?
Cette deuxième édition de l'Atlas national a vocation à répondre à ces multiples questions pour aider le lecteur à appréhender les enjeux et les réalités de l’accompagnement de la fin de vie et de la place des soins palliatifs en France aujourd’hui. Il rassemble des données démographiques, sanitaires qui sont analysées le plus finement possible pour mettre en lumière les spécificités départementales en termes d’offre sanitaire mais aussi de besoins des patients dans leurs trajectoires de fin de vie.
OBJECTIVE: To understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospice and palliative workforce and service delivery.
DESIGN AND SAMPLE: This was a cross-sectional survey of 36 hospice and palliative care workforce members representing all United States geographic regions.
RESULTS: Most respondents (70%) reported an increase in specific palliative care services as a result of the pandemic. Two thirds (78%) of respondents reported their agency has cared for confirmed COVID-19 patients. Only half reported the agency had access to laboratory facilities for surveillance and detection of outbreaks in both patients and staff (58%) and that the agency could test patients and providers for COVID-19 (55%). Qualitative comments described the impact of the pandemic and resulting social distancing measures on the emotional well-being of patients, families, and staff.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has strained the palliative and hospice care workforce as it provides increased services at an unprecedented rate to patients and families. The implications of these findings are important for public health nurses who are skilled in disaster management and quickly responding to emergencies. The expertise of public health nurses can be leveraged to support palliative care agencies as they strive to manage the pandemic in the communities they serve.