OBJECTIVE: Surrogate decision-makers play an increasingly important role in the lives of older adults who have lost their ability to make decisions. Currently, there is a lack of evidence to support family surrogates in making a variety of decisions. Additionally, a greater understanding of family caregivers' experiences and perspectives toward making surrogate decisions is needed.
METHODS: This study employed a qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis of the research evidence using the methodologies of the Joanna Briggs Institute (2014) and Thomas and Harden (2008).
RESULTS: Decisions were classified per three main types: intensive care treatment, end-of-life treatment, and placement. Six themes were identified concerning surrogates' experiences: struggle and reluctance, seeking reassurance, communication with healthcare professionals, family support, older adults' wishes, and negative impact.
CONCLUSION: Family surrogates often lack adequate preparation and education regarding decision-making. Quality communication between surrogates and healthcare providers helps reduce the anxiety and guilt experienced when making surrogate decisions. Further research is required to elucidate these experiences with more cultural and racial nuances.
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: This review informs healthcare providers' awareness of the challenges faced by surrogates and fosters improved surrogate decision-making experiences.
CONTEXT: A central approach of palliative care has been to provide holistic care for people who are dying, terminally ill or facing life-limiting illnesses while neither hastening nor postponing death. Assisted dying laws allow eligible individuals to receive medically administered or self-administered medication from a health provider to end their life. The implementation of these laws in a growing number of jurisdictions therefore poses certain challenges for palliative care.
OBJECTIVES: To analyse the research literature about the relationship of assisted dying with palliative care, in countries where it is lawful.
METHODS: A five-stage scoping review process was adapted from the Joanna Briggs Institute. Data sources searched through October 2018 were MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, SCOPUS, and ProQuest dissertations and theses, with additional material identified through hand searching. Research studies of any design were included, but editorials or opinion articles were excluded.
RESULTS: After reviewing 5778 references from searches, 105 were subject to full-text review. 16 studies were included: from Belgium (4), Canada (1), Switzerland (2) and the United States (9). We found the relationship between assisted dying and palliative care practices in these locations took varied and sometimes combined forms: supportive, neutral, coexisting, not mutually exclusive, integrated, synergistic, cooperative, collaborative, opposed, ambivalent and conflicted.
CONCLUSION: The studies in this review cast only partial light on challenges faced by palliative care when assisted dying is legal. There is pressing need for more research on the involvement of palliative care in the developing practices of assisted dying, across a growing number of jurisdictions.
OBJECTIVES: To review literature relating to evidence, context and facilitation to describe knowledge translation in paediatric palliative care. Paediatric palliative care requires competences including both paediatric specialists as well as services that are developed for this purpose, and there is a need to facilitate paediatric palliative care knowledge translation. Promoting Action on Research Implementation in the Health Services (PARiHS) is a framework for knowledge translation, which highlights the relationships between evidence, context and facilitation. PARiHS framework has been revised and updated in a new version called i-PARiHS.
METHODS: The electronic databases AgeLine, CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, PubMed and Scopus were searched. Papers included were limited to English and Swedish publications and restricted to publications dated between 1993 and August 2019. All types of observational and experimental studies using any research design were included.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Thirty-eight articles were included and there was a common vision about how and when palliative care should be offered to children. The i-PARiHS was used as a lens to describe the knowledge translation in paediatric palliative care. Symptom relief was the most commonly described evidence-based strategy, and the hospital environment was the most commonly described context. Different types of education were the most commonly used strategies to facilitate knowledge translation. The results mainly focused on increasing knowledge of palliative care in paediatric care. To sum up, the results report strategies to achieve knowledge translation of paediatric palliative care, and these can be interpreted as a guideline for how this process can be facilitated.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42018100663.
The demand for high-quality end-of-life care is rising. Frequently evidenced concerns about the provision of end-of-life in care homes relate to inter-disciplinary communication and engagement in advance care planning. A number of interventions employing different mechanisms have been designed to address these issues. Therefore, the aim of this systematic critical realist review was to describe and explain the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve end-of-life care in care homes. Electronic searches were conducted in ScienceDirect, MEDLINE, PubMed, PsychINFO, and CINAHL from January 2000 to August 2018. Forty one studies were included in the review. While most of the evidence identified in this review was not strong, there was evidence to suggest that education and inter-professional collaboration can be effective intervention mechanisms for improving end-of-life care in care homes. High staff turnover was a significant contextual mechanism impacting on the sustainability of interventions. In terms of human agency, it is important to note a consistent finding related to the dedication and enthusiasm of care home staff who deliver end-of-life care.
BACKGROUND: Palliative care aims to improve quality of life by relieving physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering. Health system planning can be informed by evaluating cost and effectiveness of health care delivery, including palliative care.
AIM: The objectives of this article were to describe and critically appraise economic evaluations of palliative care models and to identify cost-effective models in improving patient-centered outcomes.
DESIGN: We conducted a systematic review and registered our protocol in PROSPERO (CRD42016053973).
DATA SOURCES: A systematic search of nine medical and economic databases was conducted and extended with reference scanning and gray literature. Methodological quality was assessed using the Drummond checklist.
RESULTS: We identified 12,632 articles and 5 were included. We included two modeling studies from the United States and England, and three economic evaluations from England, Australia, and Italy. Two studies compared home-based palliative care models to usual care, and one compared home-based palliative care to no care. Effectiveness outcomes included hospital readmission prevented, days at home, and palliative care symptom severity. All studies concluded that palliative care was cost-effective compared to usual care. The methodological quality was good overall, but three out of five studies were based on small sample sizes.
CONCLUSION: Applicability and generalizability of evidence is uncertain due to small sample sizes, short duration, and limited modeling of costs and effects. Further economic evaluations with larger sample sizes are needed, inclusive of the diversity and complexity of palliative care populations and using patient-centered outcomes.
Objectives: Prevalence rates of death by euthanasia (EUT) and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) have increased among older adults, and public debates on these practices are still taking place. In this context, it seemed important to conduct a systematic review of the predictors (demographic, physical health, psychological, social, quality of life, religious, or existential) associated with attitudes toward, wishes and requests for, as well as death by EUT/PAS among individuals aged 60 years and over.
Method: The search for quantitative studies in PsycINFO and MEDLINE databases was conducted three times from February 2016 until April 2018. Articles of probable relevance (n = 327) were assessed for eligibility. Studies that only presented descriptive data (n = 306) were excluded.
Results: This review identified 21 studies with predictive analyses, but in only 4 did older adults face actual end-of-life decisions. Most studies (17) investigated attitudes toward EUT/PAS (9 through hypothetical scenarios). Younger age, lower religiosity, higher education, and higher socio-economic status were the most consistent predictors of endorsement of EUT/PAS. Findings were heterogeneous with regard to physical health, psychological, and social factors. Findings were difficult to compare across studies because of the variety of sample characteristics and outcomes measures.
Conclusion: Future studies should adopt common and explicit definitions of EUT/PAS, as well as research designs (e.g. mixed longitudinal) that allow for better consideration of personal, social, and cultural factors, and their interplay, on EUT/PAS decisions.
BACKGROUND: Resilience is a multidimensional construct that explains why people facing the consequences of adversity and stress can have a positive outcome, emphasizing adjustment to experiences that are perceived as threatening.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to review the construct of resilience and associated variables in caregivers of patients with chronic, advanced illness and at the end of life.
METHODS: The review included studies published between January 2009 and January 2019, using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guide reporting. The Medline, ScienceDirect, HINARI, PsychINFO, and SciELO databases were used for bibliographic exploration to identify research studies that examined the impact of resilience on adaptation and overall well-being in caregivers of patients with chronic and advanced illness.
RESULTS: A total of 23 quantitative and qualitative studies were identified whose aim was to describe the role of resilience in adaptation and coping in caregivers. In these studies, resilience was associated with a positive impact on the quality of life and emotional distress. Communication and social support increase resilient coping strategies. In most selected articles, the sampling strategy used was convenience sampling. Data collection used evaluation scales related to resilience and associated variables for quantitative studies, and semistructured interviews were used for qualitative studies.
CONCLUSION: Promoting a resilient coping style in caregivers reduces the distress that normally results from illness-related changes in the biopsychosocial and spiritual dimensions. A resilient coping style can diminish the risk of stress and burden, and promote adaptation in the caregiver.
PURPOSE: Exposure to end-of-life and chronic illness on a daily basis may put palliative healthcare professionals' well-being at risk. Resilience may represent a protective factor against stressful and demanding challenges. Therefore, the aim is to systematically review the quantitative studies on resilience in healthcare professionals providing palliative care to adult patients.
METHODS: A literature search on PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and PsycINFO databases was performed. The review process has followed the international PRISMA statement guidelines.
RESULTS: At the initial search, a total of 381 records were identified. Twelve articles were assessed for eligibility and, finally, 6 studies met all the inclusion criteria. Of these, four researches were observational and two interventional pilot studies. From the systematic synthesis, palliative care providers' resilience revealed to be related to other psychological constructs, including secondary traumatic stress, vicarious posttraumatic growth, death anxiety, burnout, compassion satisfaction, hope and perspective taking.
CONCLUSIONS: The current systematic review reported informative data leading to consider resilience as a process modulator and facilitator among palliative care professionals. A model on palliative healthcare providers' experience and the role of resilience was proposed. Further studies may lead to its validation and implementation in assessment and intervention contributing to foster palliative healthcare professionals' well-being.
Background: Dignity is a vitally important aspect of the lives of advanced cancer patients. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of dignity therapy in this patient population.
Methods: We searched for randomized controlled trials comparing dignity therapy versus standard care for patients with advanced cancer in five comprehensive databases (March 2019), two clinical trial registries and one gray literature database (August 2019). The quality of the studies was assessed using the risk of bias tool recommended by the Cochrane Handbook Version 5.1.0. We used GRADE approach to assess the certainty of evidence. Meta-analysis was performed with RevMan version 5.3. Outcomes of interest included anxiety, depression, dignity-related distress and quality of life (QoL).
Results: Ten trials evaluating 904 patients (control, 449; experimental, 455) were identified. Six trials included patients with different types of advanced cancer, and four trials included patients with a single advanced cancer (lung cancer [20%], breast cancer [10%], and hepatocellular carcinoma [10%]). Compared with the standard care, dignity therapy decreased the score of anxiety, depression, and dignity-related distress of the advanced cancer patients (SMD = -1.07, 95% CI: [-1.57, -0.58], p < .05; SMD = -1.31, 95% CI: [-1.92, -0.70], p < .05; MD = -7.30, 95% CI: [- 12.04, - 2.56], p < .05). In addition, no significant differences were found in the patient's QoL (p > .05).
Conclusion: Very low certainty evidence demonstrated that dignity therapy might be a promising treatment, especially in reducing anxiety and depression in advanced cancer patients.
Despite many efforts made by health organisations to deliver effective end-of-life care to patients with dementia, research indicates that palliative care is predominantly aimed at patients with terminal cancer, and that patients with dementia face challenges in accessing end-of-life care. This article explores the views of health professionals on providing palliative care to those patients diagnosed with dementia within the community setting. A systematic review of seven qualitative studies was performed to identify the best available evidence. The findings show that effective palliative care for patients with dementia continues being affected by many barriers and challenges. Good practice seems to be inconsistent and fragmented throughout the UK and European countries, and many health professionals are faced with difficulties associated with services and financial implications, training and education, staff support, communication, family support and dementia care.
OBJECTIVES: Evidence on associations between marital status and frailty is limited. The objectives of this study were to perform a systematic review for associations between marital status and physical frailty and to perform a meta-analysis to combine findings.
DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling older people with mean age =60 years.
METHODS: Systematic literature search using 5 databases was conducted in February 2019 to identify longitudinal and cross-sectional studies examining associations between marital status and Fried's phenotype-based frailty status. Additional studies were searched for by reviewing the reference lists of relevant articles and conducting forward citation tracking of included articles. Odds ratio (OR) of marital status and frailty was pooled using a random-effects meta-analysis. Subgroup analysis and analyses stratified by gender and marital status (married, widowed, divorced or separated, and never married) were completed.
RESULTS: A total of 1565 studies were found, from which 3 studies with longitudinal data and 35 studies with cross-sectional data were included. Although longitudinal studies suggested that married men had lower frailty risks than unmarried men while married women had higher frailty risks than widowed women, meta-analysis was not possible because of different methodologies. Meta-analyses of cross-sectional data from 35 studies including 80,754 individuals showed that unmarried individuals were almost twice more likely to be frail than married individuals (pooled odds ratio = 1.88, 95% confidence interval = 1.70-2.07). A high degree of heterogeneity was observed (I2 = 69%) and was partially explained by reasons for not being married and study location. Stratified analyses showed that pooled risks of frailty in the unmarried compared with the married were not statistically different between women and women (P for difference = .62).
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Three and 35 studies, respectively, were found providing longitudinal and cross-sectional data regarding associations between marital status and frailty among community-dwelling older people. A meta-analysis of cross-sectional data showed almost twice higher frailty risk in unmarried individuals compared with married individuals. Marital status should be recognized as an important factor, and more longitudinal studies controlling for potential confounding factors are needed.
BACKGROUND: Clinical ethics support services have been advocated in recent decades. In clinical practice, clinical ethics support services are often requested for difficult decisions near the end of life. However, their contribution to improving healthcare has been questioned and demands for evaluation have been put forward. Research indicates that there are considerable challenges associated with defining adequate outcomes for clinical ethics support services. In this systematic review, we report findings of qualitative studies and surveys, which have been conducted to evaluate clinical ethics support services near the end of life.
METHODS: Electronic databases and other sources were queried from 1970 to May 2018. Two authors screened studies independently. Methodological quality of studies was assessed. For each arm of the review, an individual synthesis was performed. Prospero ID: CRD42016036241.
ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS: Ethical approval is not needed as it is a systematic review of published literature.
RESULTS: In all, 2088 hits on surveys and 2786 on qualitative studies were found. After screening, nine surveys and four qualitative studies were included. Survey studies report overall positive findings using a very wide and heterogeneous range of outcomes. Negative results were reported only occasionally. However, methodological quality and conceptual justification of used outcomes was often weak and limits generalizability of results.
CONCLUSION: Evidence points to positive outcomes of clinical ethics support services. However, methodological quality needs to be improved. Further qualitative or mixed-method research on evaluating clinical ethics support services may contribute to the development of evaluating outcomes of clinical ethics support services by means of broaden the range of appropriate (process-oriented) outcomes of (different types of) clinical ethics support services.
AIMS: We aimed to answer the question: what is the evidence that post-registration palliative care education for nurses improves practice?
BACKGROUND: The 2008 End of Life Care Strategy emphasised the need for a workforce equipped to provide high-quality end-of-life care for patients and their families. As registered nurses are the healthcare professionals spending most time with patients and families at the end of life, associated policy documents stress the importance of educating nurses to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide effective care. Despite education being a consistent recommendation, the ability of education to influence nursing practice is uncertain.
METHODS: We undertook a systematic review of literature using Joanna Briggs Institute Methodology for Mixed Methods by searching the Medline, Embase and CINAHL databases between January 2006 and December 2018.
FINDINGS: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria, seven contained quantitative data. Six demonstrated improvements in outcome measures, but not all results were statistically significant. Most quantitative data related to self-reported measures of confidence. Six studies contained qualitative findings that were categorised into themes: confidence, practice change, skills and proactivity.
CONCLUSION: Little research exists exploring the impact of post-registration palliative care education for nurses. Existing outcome measures do not clearly demonstrate changes to end-of-life practice. Research is suggested to establish links between self-reported confidence and improvements to practice. Evaluation of the impact on practice should be an integral component of end-of-life education initiatives.
Patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) experience disparities in end-of-life decision making and advance care planning. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review to assess the literature about interventions addressing these issues. Our search strategy was built around end-of-life (EOL), LEP, ACP, and goals of care. The databases included Ovid MEDLINE(R), and Epub Ahead of Print, In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations and Daily from 1946 to November 9, 2018, Ovid EMBASE. Eight studies from the US and Australia were included (seven studies in Spanish and one study in Greek and Italian). Interventions used trained personnel, video images, web-based programs, and written materials. Interventions were associated with increased advance directive completion and decreased preferences for some life-prolonging treatments. Interventions were deemed to be feasible and acceptable. Few interventions exist to improve end-of-life care for patients with LEP. Data are limited regarding intervention effectiveness.
OBJECTIVE: Dementia is a progressive illness with a complex biopsychosocial constellation of symptoms faced by millions of individuals and families worldwide. Palliative care teams have specialized in symptom management and end-of-life care for decades; however, the role of palliative care in dementia management is not yet well elucidated. The aim of this systematic review was to understand the impact of palliative care in dementia management.
METHOD: This systematic review was conducted using a prospective study protocol. Medline and PubMed were searched from January 1, 1998 to October 2017. Eligible studies included single-blind cluster, two-arm parallel cluster, or unblinded randomized controlled trials (RCTs), observational studies, retrospective cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, concurrent mixed methods study, qualitative study, and Delphi studies.
RESULTS: Four key themes were identified in this review: goals of care and end-of-life conversations, symptom management, emergency room visits, and prescribing behavior. In each domain, palliative care consultation either showed benefit or was postulated to have benefit if implemented.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Although the literature to support or refute thematic conclusions is not large, there was a trend toward patient care benefit across several domains. Large RCTs with longer follow-up across different settings should be undertaken to solidify the themes and trends outlined in this review. Understanding the views of healthcare providers including referral sources (i.e., general practitioners and specialists) through qualitative research could optimize palliative care referrals, implement palliative care recommendations, and improve a targeted palliative care education curriculum.
OBJECTIVE: This systematic literature review explores the results of studies that have analyzed the association between inflammation and nutritional status in patients with cancer in palliative care.
METHODS: The bibliographic research was performed in May 2019, according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Group guidelines. The inclusion criteria were papers that (1) had an online abstract available, (2) were original, (3) used a cohort or cross-sectional design, (4) involved patients with advanced cancer in palliative care, and (5) assessed the association between inflammation and nutritional status. The quality assessment was performed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
RESULTS: Nine studies were selected. Weight loss (WL; n = 7) was the most common nutritional marker employed and C-reactive protein (CRP; n = 6) was the most common inflammatory marker. There was considerable variability (39.0%-92.2%) in the proportion of patients who had WL in a 6-month period, while CRP >5 mg/dL was common in 45.3% to 73.9% of patients. Systemic inflammation was related to nutritional status, highlighting the relationship between CRP and WL and lean mass (LM). Patients with CRP >10 mg/L have been found to have a lower LM (P < .001) and a faster rate of loss of LM at a faster rate during the disease trajectory (P = .030).
CONCLUSION: Nutritional status is associated with systemic inflammatory response. Inflammatory markers should be considered an additional parameter for the nutritional diagnosis of patients with cancer in palliative care.
OBJECTIVES: Palliative sedation is a highly debated medical practice, particularly regarding its proper use in end-of-life care. Worldwide, guidelines are used to standardise care and regulate this practice. In this review, we identify and compare national/regional clinical practice guidelines on palliative sedation against the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) palliative sedation Framework and assess the developmental quality of these guidelines using the Appraisal Guideline Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) instrument.
METHODS: Using the PRISMA criteria, we searched multiple databases (PubMed, CancerLit, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, NHS Evidence and Google Scholar) for relevant guidelines, and selected those written in English, Dutch and Italian; published between January 2000 and March 2016.
RESULTS: Of 264 hits, 13 guidelines-Belgium, Canada (3), Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Europe, and USA (2) were selected. 8 contained at least 9/10 recommendations published in the EAPC Framework; 9 recommended 'pre-emptive discussion of the potential role of sedation in end-of-life care'; 9 recommended 'nutrition/hydration while performing sedation' and 8 acknowledged the need to 'care for the medical team'. There were striking differences in terminologies used and in life expectancy preceding the practice. Selected guidelines were conceptually similar, comparing closely to the EAPC Framework recommendations, albeit with notable variations.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on AGREE II, 3 guidelines achieved top scores and could therefore be recommended for use in this context. Also, domains 'scope and purpose' and 'editorial independence' ranked highest and lowest, respectively-underscoring the importance of good reportage at the developmental stage.
BACKGROUND: Palliative and end-of-life care is a core competency for doctors and is increasingly recognised as a key clinical skill for junior doctors. There is a growing international movement to embed palliative care education in medical student and junior doctor education. To date there has been no review of the literature concerning the views and experiences of junior doctors delivering this care.
AIM: To review the published literature between 2000 and 2019 concerning junior doctors' experience of palliative and end-of-life care.
METHODS: Systematic literature review and narrative synthesis.
RESULTS: A search of six databases identified 7191 titles; 34 papers met the inclusion criteria, with a further 5 identified from reference searching. Data were extracted into a review-specific extraction sheet and a narrative synthesis undertaken. Three key themes were identified: (1) 'Significance of death and dying': all papers found that junior doctors care for many patients approaching the end of life, and this often causes emotional distress and can leave persisting memories for many years afterwards; (2) 'Thrown in at the deep end': junior doctors feel unprepared and unsupported in providing palliative and end-of-life care; and (3) 'Addressing the gaps': junior doctors often experience a medical culture of disengagement towards dying patients and varying attitudes of senior doctors. Subsequently they have to learn the skills needed through seeking their own opportunities.
CONCLUSION: Medical education needs to change in order to better prepare and support junior doctors for their role in caring for dying patients. This education needs to focus on their knowledge, skills and attitudes.
BACKGROUND: Advance care planning is widely advocated to improve outcomes in end-of-life care for patients suffering from heart failure. But until now, there has been no systematic evaluation of the impact of advance care planning (ACP) on clinical outcomes. Our aim was to determine the effect of ACP in heart failure through a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
METHODS: We searched CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Database of Systematic Reviews, Embase, ERIC, Ovid MEDLINE, Science Citation Index and PsycINFO (inception to July 2018). We selected RCTs including adult patients with heart failure treated in a hospital, hospice or community setting. Three reviewers independently screened studies, extracted data, assessed the risk of bias (Cochrane risk of bias tool) and evaluated the quality of evidence (GRADE tool) and analysed interventions according to the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR). We calculated standardized mean differences (SMD) in random effects models for pooled effects using the generic inverse variance method.
RESULTS: Fourteen RCTs including 2924 participants met all of the inclusion criteria. There was a moderate effect in favour of ACP for quality of life (SMD, 0.38; 95% CI [0.09 to 0.68]), patients' satisfaction with end-of-life care (SMD, 0.39; 95% CI [0.14 to 0.64]) and the quality of end-of-life communication (SMD, 0.29; 95% CI [0.17 to 0.42]) for patients suffering from heart failure. ACP seemed most effective if it was introduced at significant milestones in a patient's disease trajectory, included family members, involved follow-up appointments and considered ethnic preferences. Several sensitivity analyses confirmed the statistically significant direction of effect. Heterogeneity was mainly due to different study settings, length of follow-up periods and compositions of ACP.
CONCLUSIONS: ACP improved quality of life, patient satisfaction with end-of-life care and the quality of end-of-life communication for patients suffering from heart failure and could be most effective when the right timing, follow-up and involvement of important others was considered.
The number of older adults with cancer and the need for palliative care among this population is increasing in the United States. The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize the evidence on the barriers to palliative and hospice care utilization in older adults with cancer. A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases (from inception to 2018) in accordance to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Research articles that examined palliative or hospice care utilization in older adults with cancer were included in this review. Fineout-Overholt's Level of Evidence was used for quality appraisal. A total of 19 studies were synthesized in this review. Barriers to palliative and hospice care utilization were categorized into socio-demographic barriers, provider-related barriers, and health insurance-related barriers. Findings revealed that male, racial minority, unmarried individuals, individuals with low socio-economic status or residing in rural areas, and fee-for-service enrollees were less likely to use palliative or hospice care. Lack of communication with care providers is also a barrier of using palliative or hospice care. The factors identified in this review provide guidance on identification of high-risk population and intervention development to facilitate the use of palliative and hospice care in older adults with cancer. Larger prospective studies on this topic are needed to address this critical issue.