Worldwide, many patients with cancer, are infrequently referred to palliative care or are referred late. Oncologists and haematologists may act as gatekeepers, and their views may facilitate or hinder referrals to palliative care. This review aimed to identify, explore and synthesise their views on referrals systematically.
Supporting physicians in Intensive Care Units (ICU)s as they face dying patients at unprecedented levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic is critical. Amidst a dearth of such data and guided by evidence that nurses in ICUs experience personal, professional and existential issues in similar conditions, a systematic scoping review (SSR) is proposed to evaluate prevailing accounts of physicians facing dying patients in ICUs through the lens of Personhood. Such data would enhance understanding and guide the provision of better support for ICU physicians.
BACKGROUND: We performed a systematic literature review and meta-analysis measuring the burden of antibiotic use during end-of-life (EOL) care.
METHODS: We searched PubMed, CINAHL (EBSCO platform), and Embase (Elsevier platform), through July 2019 for studies with the following inclusion criteria in the initial analysis: antibiotic use in the EOL care patients (advanced dementia, cancer, organ failure, frailty or multi-morbidity). If the number of patients in palliative care consultation (PCC) was available, antibiotic use data were pooled to compare the proportion of patients who received antibiotics under PCC compared to those not receiving PCC. Random-effect models were used to obtain pooled mean differences, and heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 value.
RESULTS: Overall, 72 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the final review: 22 EOL studies included only patients with cancer; 17 studies included only patients with advanced dementia; and 33 studies included "mixed populations" of EOL patients. Although few studies reported antibiotic using standard metrics (eg, days of therapy), 48 of 72 studies (66.7%) reported antibiotic use in >50% of all patients. When the 3 studies that evaluated antibiotic use in PCC were pooled together, patients under PCC was more likely to receive antibiotics compared to patients not under PCC (pooled odds ratio, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.02-2.93).
CONCLUSIONS: Future studies are needed to evaluate the benefits and harms of using antibiotics for patients during EOL care in diverse patient populations.
Context: The unmet needs of patients with advanced disease are indicative of the patient centredness of healthcare. By tracking unmet needs in clinical practice, palliative interventions are aligned with patient priorities, and clinicians receive support in intervention delivery decisions for patients with overlapping, complex needs.
Objective: Identify tools used in everyday clinical practice for the purpose of identifying and addressing unmet healthcare needs for patients with advanced disease.
Methods: We conducted PubMed and Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature searches to include studies published between 1 January 2008 and 21 April 2020. Three concepts were used in constructing a search statement: (1) patient need, (2) validated instrument and (3) clinical practice. 2313 citations were reviewed according to predefined eligibility, exclusion and inclusion criteria. Data were collected from 17 tools in order to understand how instruments assess unmet need, who is involved in tool completion, the psychometric validation conducted, the tool’s relationship to delivering defined palliative interventions, and the number of palliative care domains covered.
Results: The majority of the 17 tools assessed unmet healthcare needs and had been validated. However, most did not link directly to clinical intervention, nor did they facilitate interaction between clinicians and patients to ensure a patient-reported view of unmet needs. Half of the tools reviewed covered =3 dimensions of palliative care. Of the 17 tools evaluated, 4 were compared in depth, but all were determined to be insufficient for the specific clinical applications sought in this research.
Conclusion: A new, validated tool is needed to track unmet healthcare needs and guide interventions for patients with advanced disease.
OBJECTIVES: Many studies regarding nursing student's first experience of facing the death of a patient have focused on classroom methods or exploring attitudes towards death and related fears or anxieties. This review is the first to identify the mechanisms that facilitate practice learning as a result of students' first time experience of handling a patient's death.
DESIGN: A realist review as a form of a systematic review of the literature.
DATA SOURCES: The literature search focused on the earliest death experience of baccalaureate nursing students and end-of-life care, using databases MEDLINE, CINAHL, SCOPUS, ERIC, PSYCINFO.
REVIEW METHODS: Three research questions were addressed following a five-step process of (1) defining the scope of review and developing a theoretical framework, (2) conducting a theory-driven purposive search for evidence, (3) appraising evidence and extracting data, (4) synthesizing data and drawing conclusions, and (5) disseminating findings; with iterative expert consultation and discussion to answer the five questions of any realist review: 'what works, for whom, in what circumstances, how and why'.
RESULTS: Thirteen publications were included. Practice learning involves both changes and context improvements to be assessed and discussed by managers, leaders, nurse educators-facilitators and students. The environment and nursing role models are an inherent part of practice learning. Further work is needed to theorize the twelve key outcomes laid out in this review. These proposals require further consensus and the inclusion of inputs from both students and nurses.
CONCLUSION: The student nurse receives contradictory messages during the first experience of facing the death of a patient under their care. Considering the importance of this experience, specific indicators should be developed to track and guarantee and the optimal achievement of required competencies.
IMPORTANCE AND OBJECTIVE: Conducting advance care planning (ACP) conversations with people with dementia and their relatives contributes to providing care according to their preferences. In this review, we identify moral considerations which may hinder or facilitate physicians in conducting ACP in dementia.
DESIGN: For this meta-review of systematic reviews and primary studies, we searched the PubMed, Web of Science and PsycINFO databases between 2005 and 30 August 2019. We included empirical studies concerning physicians' moral barriers and facilitators of conversations about end-of-life preferences in dementia care. The protocol was registered at Prospero (CRD42019123308).
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Physicians and nurse practitioners providing medical care to people with dementia in long-term and primary care settings. We also include observations from patients or family caregivers witnessing physicians' moral considerations.
MAIN OUTCOMES: Physicians' moral considerations involving ethical dilemmas for ACP. We define moral considerations as the weighing by the professional caregiver of values and norms aimed at providing good care that promotes the fundamental interests of the people involved and which possibly ensues dilemmas.
RESULTS: Of 1347 studies, we assessed 22 systematic reviews and 51 primary studies as full texts. We included 11 systematic reviews and 13 primary studies. Themes included: (1) beneficence and non-maleficence; (2) respecting dignity; (3) responsibility and ownership; (4) relationship and (5) courage. Moral dilemmas related to the physician as a professional and as a person. For most themes, there were considerations that either facilitated or hindered ACP, depending on physician's interpretation or the context.
CONCLUSIONS: Physicians feel a responsibility to provide high-quality end-of-life care to patients with dementia. However, the moral dilemmas this may involve, can lead to avoidant behaviour concerning ACP. If these dilemmas are not recognised, discussed and taken into account, implementation of ACP as a process between physicians, persons with dementia and their family caregivers may fail.
OBJECTIVES: The aim was to review evidence from all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using palliative care education or staff training as an intervention to improve nursing home residents' quality of life (QOL) or quality of dying (QOD) or to reduce burdensome hospitalizations.
DESIGN: A systematic review with a narrative summary.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, the Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Google Scholar, references of known articles, previous reviews, and recent volumes of key journals. RCTs were included in the review. Methodologic quality was assessed.
RESULTS: The search yielded 932 articles after removing the duplicates. Of them, 16 cluster RCTs fulfilled inclusion criteria for analysis. There was a great variety in the interventions with respect to learning methods, intensity, complexity, and length of staff training. Most interventions featured other elements besides staff training. In the 6 high-quality trials, only 1 showed a reduction in hospitalizations, whereas among 6 moderate-quality trials 2 suggested a reduction in hospitalizations. None of the high-quality trials showed effects on residents' QOL or QOD. Staff reported an improved QOD in 1 moderate-quality trial.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Irrespective of the means of staff training, there were surprisingly few effects of education on residents' QOL, QOD, or burdensome hospitalizations. Further studies are needed to explore the reasons behind these findings.
Importance: The evidence for palliative care exists predominantly for patients with cancer. The effect of palliative care on important end-of-life outcomes in patients with noncancer illness is unclear.
Objective: To measure the association between palliative care and acute health care use, quality of life (QOL), and symptom burden in adults with chronic noncancer illnesses.
Data Sources: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and PubMed from inception to April 18, 2020.
Study Selection: Randomized clinical trials of palliative care interventions in adults with chronic noncancer illness. Studies involving at least 50% of patients with cancer were excluded.
Data Extraction and Synthesis: Two reviewers independently screened, selected, and extracted data from studies. Narrative synthesis was conducted for all trials. All outcomes were analyzed using random-effects meta-analysis.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Acute health care use (hospitalizations and emergency department use), disease-generic and disease-specific quality of life (QOL), and symptoms, with estimates of QOL translated to units of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Palliative Care scale (range, 0 [worst] to 184 [best]; minimal clinically important difference, 9 points) and symptoms translated to units of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale global distress score (range, 0 [best] to 90 [worst]; minimal clinically important difference, 5.7 points).
Results: Twenty-eight trials provided data on 13 664 patients (mean age, 74 years; 46% were women). Ten trials were of heart failure (n = 4068 patients), 11 of mixed disease (n = 8119), 4 of dementia (n = 1036), and 3 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (n = 441). Palliative care, compared with usual care, was statistically significantly associated with less emergency department use (9 trials [n = 2712]; 20% vs 24%; odds ratio, 0.82 [95% CI, 0.68-1.00]; I2 = 3%), less hospitalization (14 trials [n = 3706]; 38% vs 42%; odds ratio, 0.80 [95% CI, 0.65-0.99]; I2 = 41%), and modestly lower symptom burden (11 trials [n = 2598]; pooled standardized mean difference (SMD), -0.12; [95% CI, -0.20 to -0.03]; I2 = 0%; Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale score mean difference, -1.6 [95% CI, -2.6 to -0.4]). Palliative care was not significantly associated with disease-generic QOL (6 trials [n = 1334]; SMD, 0.18 [95% CI, -0.24 to 0.61]; I2 = 87%; Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Palliative Care score mean difference, 4.7 [95% CI, -6.3 to 15.9]) or disease-specific measures of QOL (11 trials [n = 2204]; SMD, 0.07 [95% CI, -0.09 to 0.23]; I2 = 68%).
Conclusions and Relevance: In this systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials of patients with primarily noncancer illness, palliative care, compared with usual care, was statistically significantly associated with less acute health care use and modestly lower symptom burden, but there was no significant difference in quality of life. Analyses for some outcomes were based predominantly on studies of patients with heart failure, which may limit generalizability to other chronic illnesses.
OBJECTIVES: The palliative and hospice care movement has expanded significantly in the United States since the 1960s. Neonatal end of life care, in particular, is a developing area of practice requiring healthcare providers to support terminally ill newborns and their families, to minimize suffering at the end of the neonate's life. This paper seeks to systematically summarize healthcare providers' perspectives related to end of life, in order to identify needs and inform future directions.
METHODS: Informed by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, we systematically reviewed the literature discussing healthcare provider perspectives of neonatal end of life care ranging from year 2009 to 2020. To be included in the review, articles had to explicitly focus on perspectives of healthcare providers toward neonatal end of life care, be published in academic peer-reviewed sources, and focus on care in the United States.
RESULTS: Thirty-three articles were identified meeting all inclusion criteria. The literature covers, broadly, provider personal attitudes, experiences delivering care, practice approaches and barriers, and education and training needs. The experiences of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses are highlighted, while less is discussed of other providers involved with this work (e.g., social work, physical therapy).
CONCLUSION: Future research should focus on developing and testing interventions aimed at training and supporting healthcare providers working with neonates at end of life, as well as addressing barriers to the development and implementation of neonatal palliative teams and guidelines across institutions.
BACKGROUND: End-of-life caregiving frequently is managed by friends and family. Studies on hastened death, including aid in dying or assisted suicide, indicate friends and family also play essential roles before, during, and after death. No studies have compared the experiences of caregivers in hastened and non-hastened death. The study aim is to compare end-of-life and hastened death caregiving experience using Hudson's modified stress-coping model for palliative caregiving.
METHOD: Narrative synthesis of qualitative studies for caregivers at end of life and in hastened death, with 9946 end-of life and 1414 hastened death qualitative, peer-reviewed research articles extracted from MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsycINFO, published between January 1998 and April 2020.
RESULTS: Forty-two end-of-life caregiving and 12 hastened death caregiving articles met inclusion criteria. In both end-of-life and hastened death contexts, caregivers are motivated to ease patient suffering and may put their own needs or feelings aside to focus on that priority. Hastened death caregivers' expectation of impending death and the short duration of caregiving may result in less caregiver burden. Acceptance of the patient's condition, social support, and support from healthcare professionals all appear to improve caregiver experience. However, data on hastened death are limited.
CONCLUSION: Caregivers in both groups sought closeness with the patient and reported satisfaction at having done their best to care for the patient in a critical time. Awareness of anticipated death and support from healthcare professionals appear to reduce caregiver stress. The modified stress-coping framework is an effective lens for interpreting caregivers' experiences at end of life and in the context of hastened death.
BACKGROUND: With a growing world population, a longer life expectancy, and more deaths due to chronic diseases, the need for palliative care is increasing. Palliative care aims to alleviate suffering and to promote well-being for patients with progressive, incurable disease or injury. E-Health entails using of information and communication technology for healthcare provision. It is unclear to how patients experience use of eHealth technology within palliative care.
METHODS: The aim of this study was to describe patients' experiences of eHealth in palliative care. A systematic integrative review was performed using six databases: Cinahl Complete; MEDLINE; PubMed; Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection; Nursing and Allied Health; and PsycINFO. Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria of adult patients in palliative care, English language, published 2014-2019: comprising 397 patients. Six studies were from European countries, four from North America, one from South America and one from Oceania. Seven were feasibility or pilot studies.
RESULTS: The findings are synthesized in the main theme: E-health applications - promoting communication on patients' and families' terms, and three sub- themes: usability and feasibility of eHealth applications; symptom control and individualized care; and use of eHealth applications increased sense of security and patient safety. Patients' experiences were that eHealth promoted individualized care, sense of security, better symptom management and participation in care. Communication was facilitated by the inherent flexibility provided by technology.
CONCLUSIONS: E-Health applications seem promising in promoting equal, individualized care, and may be a tool to endorse accessibility and patient participation in palliative care settings. Indications are that eHealth communication resulted in patients and families receiving more information, which contributed to experiences of patient safety and feelings of security. At organizational and societal levels, eHealth may contribute to sustainable development and more efficient use of resources.
Background: Rehabilitation and palliative care may play an important role in addressing the problems and needs perceived by socioeconomically disadvantaged patients with advanced cancer. However, no study has synthesized existing research on rehabilitation and palliative care for socioeconomically disadvantaged patients with advanced cancer. The study aimed to map existing research of rehabilitation and palliative care for patients with advanced cancer who are socioeconomically disadvantaged.
Material and Methods: A scoping review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR). A systematic literature search was performed in CINAHL, PubMed and EMBASE. Two reviewers independently assessed abstracts and full-text articles for eligibility and performed data extraction. Both qualitative and quantitative studies published between 2010 and 2019 were included if they addressed rehabilitation or palliative care for socioeconomically disadvantaged (adults =18 years) patients with advanced cancer. Socioeconomic disadvantage is defined by socioeconomic position (income, educational level and occupational status).
Results: In total, 11 studies were included in this scoping review (138,152 patients and 45 healthcare providers) of which 10 were quantitative studies and 1 was a qualitative study. All included studies investigated the use of and preferences for palliative care, and none focused on rehabilitation. Two studies explored health professionals’ perspectives on the delivery of palliative care.
Conclusion: Existing research within this research field is sparse. Future research should focus more on how best to reach and support socioeconomically disadvantaged people with advanced cancer in community-based rehabilitation and palliative care.
BACKGROUND: The delivery of palliative care interventions is not widely integrated in chronic heart failure care as the recognition of palliative care needs is perceived as difficult. Tools may facilitate healthcare professionals to identify patients with palliative care needs in advanced chronic heart failure.
AIM: To identify tools to help healthcare professionals recognize palliative care needs in patients with advanced chronic heart failure.
DESIGN: This systematic review was registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42019131896). Evidence of tools' development, evaluation, feasibility, and implementation was sought and described.
DATA SOURCES: Electronic searches to identify references of tools published until June 2019 were conducted in MEDLINE, CINAHL, and EMBASE. Hand-searching of references and citations was undertaken. Based on the identified tools, a second electronic search until September 2019 was performed to check whether all evidence about these tools in the context of chronic heart failure was included.
RESULTS: Nineteen studies described a total of seven tools. The tools varied in purpose, intended user and properties. The tools have been validated to a limited extent in the context of chronic heart failure and palliative care. Different health care professionals applied the tools in various settings at different moments of the care process. Guidance and instruction about how to apply the tool revealed to be relevant but may be not enough for uptake. Spiritual care needs were perceived as difficult to assess.
CONCLUSION: Seven tools were identified which showed different and limited levels of validity in the context of palliative care and chronic heart failure.
BACKGROUND: In recent years there has been increasing attention for the prevalence and prevention of burnout among healthcare professionals. There is unclarity about prevalence of burnout in healthcare professionals providing palliative care and little is known about effective interventions in this area.
AIM: To investigate the prevalence of (symptoms of) burnout in healthcare professionals providing palliative care and what interventions may reduce symptoms of burnout in this population.
DESIGN: A systematic literature review based on criteria of the PRISMA statement was performed on prevalence of burnout in healthcare professionals providing palliative care and interventions aimed at preventing burnout.
DATA SOURCES: PubMed, PsycInfo and Cinahl were searched for studies published from 2008 to 2020. Quality of the studies was assessed using the method of Hawkers for systematically reviewing research.
RESULTS: In total 59 studies were included. Burnout among healthcare professionals providing palliative care ranged from 3% to 66%. No major differences in prevalence were found between nurses and physicians. Healthcare professionals providing palliative care in general settings experience more symptoms of burnout than those in specialised palliative care settings. Ten studies reported on the effects of interventions aimed at preventing burnout. Reduction of one or more symptoms of burnout after the intervention was reported in six studies which were aimed at learning meditation, improving communication skills, peer-coaching and art-therapy based supervision.
CONCLUSION: The range of burnout among healthcare professionals providing palliative care varies widely. Interventions based on meditation, communication training, peer-coaching and art-therapy based supervision have positive effects but long-term outcomes are not known yet.
Aim: To assess the educational needs, role and perceptions in palliative care issues of radiation oncologists (ROs) and trainees.
Background: 1/3 of radiotherapy patients are treated with palliative intent. Conversely, education and role that ROs have in the palliative care process are not well established, neither in terms of how they perceive their competence nor whether it is important to improve training, research and attention in palliative care issues at radiotherapy congresses.
Material and Methods: Literature systematic review in National Library of Medicine and Cochrane databases with 11 relevant issues to be identified. One doctor made first selection of articles, a second one confirmed their eligibility.
Results: 722 articles reviewed, 19 selected. 100% recognize the importance of palliative care in radiotherapy, 89.4% the need of training in palliative care for ROs, 68.4% the necessity of improving the resident programs, 63.1% the importance of skilled ROs in palliative care, 63.1% the need of better communication skills and pain management (47.3%), 52.6%, the perception of inadequate training in palliative care, 36.8% the lack of research and palliative care topics in radiotherapy meetings, 21% the absence of adequate guidelines regarding palliative care approaches, 42.1% the importance of the ROs in palliative care teams and 26.3% the lack of their involvement.
Conclusion: Palliative care has an important role in radiotherapy but it seems ROs still need more training. It is necessary to improve training programs, increment palliative care research in radiotherapy, giving more attention to palliative care themes at radiotherapy congresses. This could lead to a better integration of radiotherapists in multidisciplinary palliative care teams in the future.
BACKGROUND: The main goal of pediatric palliative care (PPC) is to improve or maintain the best possible quality of life (QoL) for the child and their family. PPC can be provided in community health centres, within the specialist health care service and/or in the child's home. Home is often the preferred place for families, and recommendations state that, whenever possible, the family home should be the centre of care for the child. The aim of this study is to systematically review the experiences and needs of families with children receiving palliative care at home.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic review and searched the peer-reviewed databases CINAHL, Embase, PsycInfo and MEDLINE for articles published between January 2000 and October 2019. We included 23 studies emphasising the experience of family members when their child (0-18 years) received palliative care at home. We used a thematic analysis to identify relevant themes in the literature, and synthesised the findings from the different studies.
RESULTS: The review represents the experiences of the families of almost 300 children with life-limiting (LL) and life-threatening (LT) conditions receiving palliative care at home. In general, the children's mothers are interviewed, and seldom the sick children themselves or their siblings. Most families preferred staying at home since it made it easier to maintain a normal family life, was less stressful for the sick child, and meant that siblings could still attend school and be with friends. Families experienced a range of challenges due to the coordination of care, including a lack of support and adequately skilled staff with appropriate experience. Respite care was needed in order to cope with everyday life. Some studies were not specific concerning the place of care, and some relevant papers may have been omitted.
CONCLUSIONS: Families receiving PPC need organised, individualised support from a skilled PPC team. Respite care is necessary in order to manage a demanding home-care situation and parents need support for siblings. Privacy to be a family is a need, and many families need financial support. Future studies should focus on PPC at home in the perspectives of sick children and their siblings.
BACKGROUND: Clinically assisted hydration (CAH) can be provided in the last days of life as drinking declines. The impact of this practice on quality of life or survival in the last days of life is unclear. Practice varies worldwide concerning this emotive issue.
METHOD: Systematic literature review and narrative synthesis of studies evaluating the impact of, or attitudes toward, CAH in the last days of life. Databases were searched up to December 2019. Studies were included if the majority of participants were in the last 7 days of life, and were evaluated using Gough's 'Weight of Evidence' framework. Review protocol registered with PROSPERO, registration number CRD42019125837.
RESULTS: Fifteen studies were included in the synthesis. None were judged to be both of high quality and relevance. No evidence was found that the provision of CAH has an impact on symptoms or survival. Patient and family carer attitudes toward assisted hydration were diverse.
CONCLUSION: There is currently insufficient evidence to draw firm conclusions on the impact of CAH in the last days of life. Future research needs to focus on patients specifically in the last days of life, include those with non-malignant diagnoses, and evaluate best ways to communicate effectively about this complex topic with patients and their families.
OBJECTIVE: Patients with advanced diseases and frail older adults often face decisions regarding life-prolonging treatment. Our aim was to provide an overview of the feasibility and effectiveness of tools that support communication between healthcare professionals and patients regarding decisions on life-prolonging treatments in hospital settings.
DESIGN: Systematic review: We searched PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar (2009-2019) to identify studies that reported feasibility or effectiveness of tools that support communication about life-prolonging treatments in adult patients with advanced diseases or frail older adults in hospital settings. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used for quality appraisal of the included studies.
RESULTS: Seven studies were included, all involving patients with advanced cancer. The overall methodological quality of the included studies was moderate to high. Five studies described question prompt lists (QPLs), either as a stand-alone tool or as part of a multifaceted programme; two studies described decision aids (DAs). All QPLs and one DA were considered feasible by both patients with advanced cancer and healthcare professionals. Two studies reported on the effectiveness of QPL use, revealing a decrease in patient anxiety and an increase in cues for discussing end-of-life care with physicians. The effectiveness of one DA was reported; it led to more understanding of the treatment in patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Use of QPLs or DAs, as a single intervention or part of a programme, may help in communicating about treatment options with patients, which is an important precondition for making informed decisions.
BACKGROUND: Early palliative care together with standard haematological care for advanced patients is needed worldwide. Little is known about its effect. The aim of the review is to synthesise the evidence on the impact of early palliative care on haematologic cancer patients' quality of life and resource use.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A systematic review was conducted. The search terms were early palliative care or simultaneous or integrated or concurrent care and haematological or oncohaematological patients. The following databases were searched: PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, CINHAL and Scopus. Additional studies were identified through cross-checking the reference articles. Studies were in the English language, with no restriction for years. Two researchers independently reviewed the titles and abstracts, and one author assessed full articles for eligibility.
RESULTS: A total of 296 studies titles were reviewed. Eight articles were included in the synthesis of the results, two controlled studies provided data on the comparative efficacy of PC interventions, and six one-arm studies were included. Since data pooling and meta-analysis were not possible, only a narrative synthesis of the study results was performed. The quality of the two included comparative studies was low overall. The quality of the six non-comparative studies was high overall, without the possibility of linking the observed results to the implemented interventions.
CONCLUSIONS: Studies on early palliative care and patients with haematological cancer are scarce and have not been prospectively designed. More research on the specific population target, type and timing of palliative care intervention and standardisation of collected outcomes is required.
PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020141322.
Palliative care nurses are exposed to hard situations, death, and duel feelings in their daily practice. These, and other work stressors, can favor burnout development. Thus, it is important to analyze the prevalence and risk factors of burnout in palliative care nurses and estimate its prevalence. A systematic review and meta-analysis was done with quantitative primary studies. n = 15 studies were included with n = 6 studies including information for the meta-analysis. The meta-analytic prevalence estimation of emotional exhaustion was 24% (95% CI 16-34%), for depersonalization was 30% (95% CI 18-44%) and for low personal accomplishment was 28% with a sample of n = 693 palliative care nurses. The main variables related with burnout are occupational variables followed by psychological variables. Some interventions to improve working conditions of palliative care nurses should be implemented to reduce burnout.