Introduction: We sought to assess one-year mortality in heart failure (HF) patients by using (Placement Resource Indicator for Systems Management) PRISM, a disease nonspecific risk stratification score, and use it along with modified Seattle Heart Failure Model (SHFM) to guide patient selection for palliative care consultation.
Methods: A retrospective study design was used to examine 1-year mortality in 689 HF patients admitted from 2012 to 2014. One-year mortality was calculated using Pmort30/PRISM and modified SHFM scores, and the predicted scores were validated using the area under the ROC curve. CART was used to develop an algorithm to classify patients based on their mortality risk.
Results: The discriminatory ability of PRISM categorical score (AUC = 0.701) was not significantly different than the discriminatory ability of modified SHFM (AUC = 0.686) (DeLong's test p = 0.56) but improved significantly with the combination of PRISM (categorical) score + modified SHFM (AUC = 0.740) (p = 0.002). The predictive capability of the CART tree model after cross-validation was 72.2% (AUC 0.631).
Conclusion: Our study suggests PRISM score performed as well as modified SHFM for one-year mortality prediction. Moreover, the addition of modified SHFM to PRISM score increases discriminatory ability in predicting 1-year mortality in heart failure patients compared to either of the two models alone. Together, when combined in a CART model, they can be used to identify the population subset with the highest mortality risk and hence guide goals of care discussion.
Purpose: This study evaluated the decision-making capacity of persons with mild and moderate dementia on end-of-life care when using visual aids. A secondary purpose was to learn whether the judges naive to the experimental conditions would rate participants' decisional abilities as better when augmented by visual aids, thereby validating the behavioral changes due to the use of these external support.
Method: Twenty older adults with mild and moderate dementia demonstrated Understanding, Expressing a Choice, Reasoning, and Appreciation of 2 medical vignettes under 2 counterbalanced conditions: verbal alone or verbal with visual aids. Transcripts were analyzed and scored to measure decisional skills. Twelve judges rated participants' decisional abilities using a 7-point Likert scale.
Results: Participants demonstrated significantly better overall decisional capacity in Understanding, Reasoning, and Appreciation when supported by visual aids during the decision-making process. No significant differences between conditions were found in Expressing a Choice, the decisional skill Logical Sequence under Reasoning, and Acknowledgment under Appreciation. Overall, the judges' ratings validated these outcomes; the judges' ratings reflected greater agreement in the visual condition than in the verbal condition.
Conclusions: Findings indicated that visual aids (a) improved the decision-making capacity of individuals with dementia in comprehending medical information, employing supportive reasons, and relating this information to his or her own situation and (b) contain the potential for judges who majored or are majoring in speech-language pathology to reach a stronger consensus when determining the decision-making capacity of individuals with dementia.
BJECTIVES: Older people approaching end of life are commonly prescribed multiple medications, many of which may be inappropriate or futile. Our objective was to examine the effect of applying the STOPPFrail, a recently developed deprescribing tool, to the medication regimens of older patients with advanced frailty.
DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: Two acute hospitals in Ireland.
PARTICIPANTS: Adults 75 years or older (n = 130) with advanced frailty and polypharmacy (five or more drugs), transferring to long-term nursing home care.
INTERVENTION: A STOPPFrail-guided deprescribing plan was presented to attending physicians who judged whether or not to implement recommended medication changes.
MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcome was the change in the number of regular medications at 3 months. Secondary outcomes included unscheduled hospital presentations, falls, quality of life, monthly medication costs, and mortality.
RESULTS: Intervention (n = 65) and control group (n = 65) participants were prescribed a mean (plus or minus standard deviation [SD]) of 11.5 (±3.0) and 10.9 (±3.5) medications, respectively, at baseline. The mean (SD) change in the number of medications at 3 months was -2.6 (±2.73) in the intervention group and -.36 (±2.60) in the control group (mean difference = 2.25 ± .54; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.18-3.32; P < .001). The mean change in monthly medication cost was –$74.97 (±$148.32) in the intervention group and –$13.22 (±$110.40) in the control group (mean difference $61.74 ± $26.60; 95% CI = 8.95-114.53; P = .02). No significant differences were found between groups for any of the other secondary outcomes.
CONCLUSION: STOPPFrail-guided deprescribing significantly reduced polypharmacy and medication costs in frail older people. No significant differences between groups were observed with regard to falls, hospital presentations, quality of life, and mortality, although the trial was likely underpowered to detect differences in these outcomes.
Background: The surprise question (SQ), “Would I be surprised if this patient died within one year?”, is a simple instrument to identify patients with palliative care needs. The SQ-performance has not been evaluated in patients with advanced cancer visiting the emergency department (ED).
Objective: To evaluate SQ's test characteristics and predictive value in patients with advanced cancer visiting the ED.
Design: Observational cohort study.
Setting: Patients >18 years with advanced cancer in the palliative phase visiting the ED of an academic medical center.
Methods: Attending physicians answered the SQ (not surprised [NS] or surprised [S]) and estimated Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG)-performance status. Disease, visit, and follow-up characteristics were retrospectively collected from charts. SQ's sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV), and Harrell's c-index were calculated. Prognostic values of SQ and other variables were assessed by using Cox proportional hazards models.
Results: Two-hundred-and-forty-five patients were included (203 NS [83%] and 42 S [17%]), median age 62 years, 48% male. Follow-up on overall survival was updated until February 2019. At ED entry, NS-patients had worse ECOG-performance and more symptoms. At study closure, 233 patients had died (95%). Median survival was three months for NS-patients (interquartile [IQ]-range: 1–8); nine months for S-patients (IQ-range: 3–28) (p < 0.0001). SQ-performance for one-year mortality: sensitivity 89%, specificity 40%, PPV 85%, NPV 50%, c-index 0.56, and hazard ratio 2.1 for approaching death. ECOG 3–4 predicted death in NS-patients; addition to the SQ improved c-index (0.65); sensitivity (40%), specificity (92%), PPV (95%), and NPV (29%).
Conclusions: At the ED, the SQ plus ECOG 3–4 helps identifying patients with advanced cancer and a limited life expectancy. Its use supports initiating appropriate care related to urgency of palliative care needs.
Background: Precision health initiatives for end-of-life planning require robust methods for identifying patient risk for decline and mortality. The Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) surprise question (SQ; M1034 Overall Status) is the primary tool for evaluating risks in homebound older adults. However, the OASIS-D, Released in 2019, eliminates this question. This study examines the prognostic ability of 12- and 24-month mortality risk reflected in the OASIS-SQ and develops an alternative approach for classifying mortality risk to support decision-making in the absence of the OASIS-SQ.
Design: Retrospective secondary data analysis.
Setting/Participants: A nationally representative sample of 69 097 OASIS-C assessments (2012) linked to the Master Beneficiary Summary file (2012 and 2013).
Measurements: Survival analysis, k-means clustering, and Cohen coefficient with Z test.
Results: The OASIS-SQ predicts mortality (35% at 12 and 45% at 24 months; P < .001). Cluster analysis identified 2 risk groups: OASIS activity of daily living “ADL total scores” >15 = (lower risk) and =15 = (higher risk) for 24-month mortality. Model agreement is weak for both cluster 1 and cluster 2, the OASIS-SQ = 0.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) = .19 to .21, and “alive/not alive” = .17, 95% CI = .16 to .18.
Conclusion: The OASIS-SQ and “ADL total score” are almost equally likely to predict 24-month mortality; therefore, it was reasonable to use the “ADL total score” as a substitute for the OASIS-SQ. Removal of the OASIS-SQ leaves home care providers with few clear options for risk screening resulting in missed opportunities to refer to palliative or hospice services.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Family caregivers of patients with cancer often spend a great deal of effort on physically and emotionally demanding work while taking care of patients. However, the majority of caregivers are not properly equipped for their role as caregivers, which may lead to increased distress in both caregivers and patients. Herein, we reviewed the recent literature (last 3 years) examining online interventions that seek to support caregiver resilience and decrease distress.
RECENT FINDINGS: Our search identified interventions involving three main themes: informational support, positive activities, and social support. These are mostly in the form of web-based tools and mobile apps targeting both usability and quality of life. Social network services are also considered in this review as a new environment for caregivers to connect with other individuals with lived experience in similar circumstances.
SUMMARY: Existing studies on online interventions to support caregivers is still at a formative development stage and pilot tests of feasibility, rather than a substantive body of randomized controlled trials to assess the impact in different user populations, or to determine specific factors that impact caregiver distress level or resilience. More research is needed to further assess the long-term effects of online interventions on caregiver stress and resilience. Also, the role of different types of social network services and new forms of interaction, such as conversational agents, has not yet been fully investigated in caregiver populations. Future research should strive to seek new modes of providing services that may present novel opportunities to enhance caregiver resilience and reduce distress.
OBJECTIVE: Interventions are needed to improve mental health (i.e., depression, anxiety) and palliative care (i.e., symptoms, goals of care, and advance care planning) outcomes in Latino/as with advanced cancer.
METHODS: An interprofessional study team used the Ecological Validity Model and a participatory approach to adapt an evidence-based counseling intervention for Latino/as and integrate the counseling intervention with an evidence-based patient navigator intervention. Next, a small pilot study was conducted to understand and improve the feasibility of the integrated Puente para Cuidar intervention.
RESULTS: Adaptations were made to language, literacy, and content of the counseling intervention, and video vignettes of the counseling case studies were produced on the recommendation of Latino/a stakeholders. Bicultural, bilingual patient navigators were used as "cultural brokers" between Latino/a patients and the counselor. The pilot study of Puente para Cuidar demonstrated feasibility based on participant perception of helpfulness and acceptability and nearing goal visit completion rates.
CONCLUSIONS: A culturally adapted intervention to address mental health and palliative care needs in Latino/as with advanced cancer was developed from prior evidenced-based interventions using a cultural adaptation model and a participatory approach. The intervention is ready for effectiveness testing.
BACKGROUND: Guidelines are intended to facilitate knowledge translation and evidence-based clinical decision-making, but they vary in methodological rigor and quality. The present study was conducted to assess the quality of guidelines available on end-of-life care in patients with cancer using AGREE II.
METHODS: A comprehensive search was carried out in EMBASE (Excerpta Medica Database), MEDLINE/PubMed, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), and gray literature sources until December 2016. The quality of the guidelines was assessed independently by five appraisers using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation, 2nd edition (AGREE II). To promote consistency with available studies using AGREE II and identify high-quality guidelines, the AGREE II scores were also categorized as "Strongly recommended," "Recommended with modifications," or "Not recommended."
RESULTS: A total of 8 guidelines were included in this study. Five of the guidelines were developed based on evidence and two by consensus and one provided no information about its method of development. The highest mean score (82.77%) pertained to "Clarity of presentation" and the lowest to "Editorial independence" (44.80%). Based on the AGREE II results, three guidelines were "Strongly recommended," four were "Recommended with modifications," and one was "Not recommended."
CONCLUSION: Despite the variations in the quality and strength of the recommendations, a number of guidelines are currently available on end-of-life care. Health team members should be aware of this variability.
Context: Programs identifying patients needing palliative care and promoting advance care planning (ACP) are rare in Asia.
Objectives: This interventional cohort study aimed to identify hospitalized patients with palliative care needs using a validated Palliative Care Screening Tool (PCST), examine the ability of the PCST to predict mortality, and explore effects of a pragmatic ACP program targeted by PCST on the utilisation of life-sustaining treatment during the last three months of life.
Methods: In this prospective study, we used PCST to evaluate patients’ palliative care needs between 2015 and 2016 and followed patients for 3 months. ACP with advance directives (AD) were systematically offered to all patients with PCST score =4.
Results: Of 47,153 hospitalized patients, 10.4% had PCST score =4. During follow-up, 2,121 individuals died within three months of palliative care screening: 1,225 (25.0%) with PCST score =4 and 896 (2.1%) with PCST score <4. After controlling for co-variates, PCST score =4 was significantly associated with a higher mortality within 3 months of screening (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 6.86; 95% confident interval [CI], 6.16-7.63). Moreover, ACP consultation (AOR=0.78, 95%CI: (0.66-0.92) and AD completion (AOR=0.49, 95%CI: 0.36-0.65) were associated with a lower likelihood of receiving life-sustaining treatments during the last 3 months of life.
Conclusions: We demonstrated the feasibility of implementing a comprehensive palliative care program to identify patients with palliative care needs and promote ACP and AD in East Asia. ACP consultation and AD completion were associated with reduced utilization of life-sustaining treatments during the last 3 months of life.
Well-designed, rigorously implemented instrumentation studies are essential to develop valid, reliable pain assessment tools in non-communicative (non-self-reporting) palliative care patients. When conducting a pain instrumentation study, a research team identified methodologic challenges surrounding informed consent, eligibility criteria, acute pain operational definitions, patient recruitment, missing data, and study-related training during a run-in phase at the beginning of the project and during the conduct of the study. The team dealt with these challenges through identifying root causes, implementing remedial measures, and collecting data to demonstrate improvement or resolution. Effective strategies included obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for a waiver of informed consent, modifying eligibility criteria, ensuring that operational definitions and study procedures were consistent with clinical practice, decreasing time from screening to data collection to improve recruitment, increasing study nurse staffing by re-budgeting grant funds, focusing time and resources on high accruing clinical units, revising processes to minimize missing data, and developing detailed training for users of the instrument. With these multi-pronged solutions, the team exceeded the patient accrual target by 25% within the funding period and reduced missing data. While pain instrumentation studies in non-communicative patients have similar challenges to other palliative care studies, some of the solutions may be unique and several are applicable to other palliative care studies, particularly instrumentation research. The team's experience may also be useful for funders and IRBs.
BACKGROUND: Advance care planning (ACP) is recommended as part of the management of patients with heart failure (HF).
AIMS: To develop and validate ACP support tools for patients with HF.
METHODS: An ACP support tool was developed based on a systematic literature review. A multi-center, prospective before and after study was conducted to evaluate the usefulness of the support tool. This study included 21 patients with HF, 11 patients formed the control group and 10 patients were part of the intervention group who received ACP from medical staff using the ACP support tools developed for this study. Participants of the study were surveyed about their experience of ACP using a 6-point Likert scale.
FINDINGS: All of the healthcare professionals (n=9) involved in the study found the ACP tool useful and about 90% of patients considered the support tool useful. The score for 'the patient did not feel anxious about the future after receiving ACP discussion' was significantly higher (3.5 [3.0, 4.0] vs 2.0 [1.0, 3.0]; P=0.04) in the intervention group that used the ACP tool.
CONCLUSION: ACP support tools are useful to manage patients with HF and could enable effective ACP without increasing patient anxiety.
BACKGROUND: Effective communication is a cornerstone of quality paediatric palliative care. Families report struggling, however, to know what to discuss, with whom, and when. Although question prompt lists exist for adult palliative care, they do not suit the unique circumstances of paediatric palliative care.
AIM: To develop a prompt list suitable for paediatric palliative care.
DESIGN: Underpinned by Delphi methodology, a six-phase procedure was adopted: (1) drafting items based on the findings of a literature review, (2) condensing the list of items based on group discussion, (3) refining items based on a survey of expert healthcare professionals, (4) additional refining of items based on another survey of professionals, (5) further refining of items based on cognitive interviews with family members, and (6) final review by healthcare professional and family member groups.
PARTICIPANTS: Three participant groups were involved during various phases: (1) members of an Australasian paediatric palliative care national reference group, (2) healthcare professionals associated with a local paediatric palliative care service, and (3) family members who were users of the same local service.
RESULTS: Through multi-phase consultation across participant groups, the draft question prompt list was refined progressively to 28 items, split across two booklets to allow end-of-life items to be provided separately, and reconceptualised as a discussion prompt list rather than a question prompt list.
CONCLUSION: By involving representatives of major stakeholder groups, this study has facilitated the design of a prompt list suited to the circumstances of paediatric palliative care. Future research should trial the effectiveness of this resource.
We undertook a retrospective review of a subset of expired patients at our community hospital to evaluate end-of-life care patterns and the use of advanced care planning tools among patients who died in the hospital. These 162 expired patients fell into 1 of the 3 diagnosis-related groups of cardiac, respiratory, or infectious disease. Seventy-nine percent of patients arrived to the hospital with no requested limitations in the extent of resuscitative efforts, even though 98% of all patients had major or extreme severity of illness and risk of mortality scores. The presence of an advance directive requesting a limitation of resuscitative efforts modestly impacted resources and procedures, even though utilization in this group was high. Among the 21% of patients with preexisting limits, 21% requested more aggressive support during their course. Critical care unit utilization was seen in 69% of patients for a median of 48 hours. A request for palliative care consultation was received in 44% of patients but only occurred in 30% of all patients due to the short period between the consultation request and patient death (median 37 hours). Among this group of dying patients, engagement of the palliative care team came too late in the course of many patients, suggesting that automated tools embedded in the electronic medical record might be helpful in the identification of appropriate patients earlier.
Inadequate palliative care training in medical education is associated with many physicians feeling unprepared to care for dying patients and their families. Therefore, an opportunity exists to offer physicians continuing medical education that increases their understanding of and comfort with complex palliative care issues. The goal of the current study was to evaluate The Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver Palliative Educational Program as an educational tool for physicians. The study employed a cross-sectional post-performance evaluation survey assessing physicians' perceptions of the Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver Palliative Educational Program. The program was presented to members of four professional healthcare organizations. A total of 50 physicians completed the evaluation survey. Overall, physicians rated the Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver Palliative Educational Program positively. Their understanding of and comfort with end-of-life issues increased significantly after participating in the program. Moreover, they considered the program to be more useful than didactic lectures and journal articles. The results suggest that the Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver Palliative Educational Program is a valuable education tool for palliative care training. More research is needed to explore its utility as an option for continuing medical education.
Palliative care in Parkinson's disease (PD) has developed significantly in the past five years. The presence of unmet palliative care need, similar to that in malignant conditions, is well established, but may not always be identified by clinicians in everyday practice. To address this, clinicians must be able to rapidly identify, triage, assess and address unmet needs and monitor response to intervention. This is also central to establishing integrated models of care for PD. Systematic evaluation of need can be facilitated by structured assessment tools, and several such tools have now been described for PD. This article reviews the palliative care assessment tools which have been developed for PD, both for patients and also for caregivers. It sets out the psychometric properties of these tools and describes the way in which they may be applied within an overall, systematic assessment of unmet need.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the feasibility of using the Patient Dignity Question (PDQ) in a small rural hospice setting.
DESIGN: Prospective study.
SETTING: The 5-bed Algonquin Grace Hospice in Huntsville, Ont.
PARTICIPANTS: Nineteen patients who met the research criteria and who were admitted to the hospice from September 2015 to December 2016.
METHODS: Participants completed the Patient Dignity Inventory and modified versions of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale and Integrated Palliative Care Outcome Scale before and after the PDQ interviews.
MAIN FINDINGS: While each of the 19 PDQ interviews was unique, there were many consistencies regarding accomplishments (eg, being a good parent), hopes (eg, one's need of being respected), and fears (eg, concerns about pets) that emerged from participants' stories. Hospice staff found the documents from PDQ interviews to be very valuable in their understanding of patients. Staff and patients unanimously wanted the program to continue. An unexpected benefit was the response of the patients' families who were deeply moved by the legacy documents, often sharing them following their family member's death.
CONCLUSION: The PDQ is a dignity-conserving intervention that serves as a meaningful end-of-life legacy document that benefits patients, staff, and families. Using the PDQ at the hospice helped patients feel truly heard, and increased caregivers' compassion and understanding of patients' needs.
Background: Timely identification of people who are at risk of dying is an important first component of end-of-life care. Clinicians often fail to identify such patients, thus trigger tools have been developed to assist in this process. We aimed to evaluate the performance of a identification tool (based on the Gold Standards Framework Prognostic Indicator Guidance) to predict death at 12 months in a population of hospitalised patients in South Africa.
Methods: Patients admitted to the acute medical services in two public hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa were enrolled in a prospective observational study. Demographic data were collected from patients and patient notes. Patients were assessed within two days of admission by two trained clinicians who were not the primary care givers, using the identification tool. Outcome mortality data were obtained from patient folders, the hospital electronic patient management system and the Western Cape Provincial death registry which links a unique patient identification number with national death certificate records and system wide electronic records.
Results: 822 patients (median age of 52 years), admitted with a variety of medical conditions were assessed during their admission. 22% of the cohort were HIV-infected. 218 patients were identified using the screening tool as being in the last year of their lives. Mortality in this group was 56% at 12 months, compared with 7% for those not meeting any criteria. The specific indicator component of the tool performed best in predicting death in both HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected patients, with a sensitivity of 74% (68–81%), specificity of 85% (83–88%), a positive predictive value of 56% (49–63%) and a negative predictive value of 93% (91–95%). The hazard ratio of 12-month mortality for those identified vs not was 11.52 (7.87–16.9, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: The identification tool is suitable for use in hospitals in low-middle income country setting that have both a high communicable and non-communicable disease burden amongst young patients, the majority under age 60.
The study objective was to develop and test a new survey instrument that measures caregiver-centered communication. We developed a questionnaire inspired by the National Cancer Institute framework on patient-centered communication, focusing on family caregiver communication for this tool. The questionnaire includes 5 subscales: exchange of information, relationship with team, emotions, managing care, and decision-making. The initial questionnaire was reviewed by domain experts for face validity and edited further to include 30 items. We administered the modified questionnaire to 115 family caregivers of patients with serious illness in various settings. Cronbach a for the entire scale was 0.97 and ranged from 0.82 to 0.93 for the 5 subscales. Participants found that the survey addressed important concepts and that items were in most cases easy to understand. This instrument provides a structured way to assess caregiver-centered communication, addressing a pressing need for tools that measure the extent to which communication is responsive to the needs and preferences of family caregivers. Further testing and refinement are needed to improve the ease of use and examine the reliability and validity of this measure.
BACKGROUND: Rapid frailty screening remains problematic in primary care. The diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) of several screening instruments has not been sufficiently established. We evaluated the DTA of several screening instruments against two reference standards: Fried's Frailty Phenotype [FP] and the Adelaide Frailty Index [AFI]), a self-reported questionnaire.
METHODS: DTA study within three general practices in South Australia. We randomly recruited 243 general practice patients aged 75+ years. Eligible participants were 75+ years, proficient in English and community-dwelling. We excluded those who were receiving palliative care, hospitalised or living in a residential care facility.We calculated sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, likelihood ratios, Youden Index and AUC for: Edmonton Frail Scale [EFS], FRAIL Scale Questionnaire [FQ], Gait Speed Test [GST], Groningen Frailty Indicator [GFI], Kihon Checklist [KC], Polypharmacy [POLY], PRISMA-7 [P7], Reported Edmonton Frail Scale [REFS], Self-Rated Health [SRH] and Timed Up and Go [TUG]) against FP [3+ criteria] and AFI [> 0.21].
RESULTS: We obtained valid data for 228 participants, with missing scores for index tests multiply imputed. Frailty prevalence was 17.5% frail, 56.6% pre-frail [FP], and 48.7% frail, 29.0% pre-frail [AFI]. Of the index tests KC (Se: 85.0% [70.2 - 94.3]; Sp: 73.4% [66.5 - 79.6]) and REFS (Se: 87.5% [73.2 - 95.8]; Sp: 75.5% [68.8 - 81.5]), both against FP, showed sufficient diagnostic accuracy according to our pre-specified criteria.
CONCLUSIONS: Two screening instruments - the KC and REFS, show the most promise for wider implementation within general practice, enabling a personalised approach to care for older people with frailty.
BACKGROUND: Palliative care consultation during serious life-limiting illness can reduce symptom burden and improve quality of care. However, quantifying the impact of palliative care is hindered by the limitations of manual chart review and administrative coding.
OBJECTIVES: Using novel natural language process (NLP) techniques, we examined associations between palliative care consultations and performance on nationally endorsed metrics for high-quality end-of-life (EOL) care in patients with leptomeningeal disease (LMD) secondary to metastatic breast cancer.
METHODS: Patients with breast cancer with LMD were identified using administrative billing codes and NLP review of magnetic resonance imaging reports at 2 tertiary care centers between 2010 and 2016. Next, NLP was used to review clinical notes to (1) determine the presence of palliative care consultations and (2) determine the performance of process measures associated with high-quality EOL care, including discussions of goals of care, code status limitations, and hospice. Associations between palliative care consultation and documentation of EOL process measures were assessed using logistic regression.
RESULTS: We identified 183 cases of LMD. Median age was 56 (interquartile range [IQR]: 46-64) years and median survival was 150 days (IQR: 67-350). Within 6 months of diagnosis, 88.5% of patients had documentation of =1 process measure, including discussions of goals of care (63.4%), code status limitations (62.8%), or hospice (72.1%). Palliative care consultation was a predictor of subsequent documentation of goals of care (odds ratio [OR], 3.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.58-6.27) and hospice discussions (OR, 4.61; 95% CI, 2.12-10.03).
CONCLUSION: Palliative care involvement is associated with increased performance of EOL process measures in patients with breast cancer with LMD.