CONTEXT: It is uncertain whether terminally ill schizophrenic cancer patients are hypoalgesic or have disparities in pain management.
OBJECTIVES: To analyze the dosage of opioids used in terminally ill cancer patients with and without schizophrenia.
METHODS: This is a population-based retrospective cohort study based on data derived from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Patients aged > 20 and newly diagnosed between 2000 and 2012 with at least one of the six most common cancers were included. After 1:4 matching, 1001 schizophrenic cancer patients comprised the schizophrenia cohort, while 4004 cancer patients without schizophrenia comprised the non-schizophrenia cohort. The percentage of opioid use, accumulated dose, and average daily dose near the end of life were analyzed for each cohort using multiple logistic and linear regression models.
RESULTS: The percentage of opioid use was lower in the schizophrenic cohort than the non-schizophrenic cohort during the last month prior to death [69.6 % versus 84.8%, odd ratio (OR) = 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.34-0.48]. The accumulated dose of opioid consumption was also lower in the schizophrenic cohort (2407 mg versus 3694 mg, p value <0.05).
CONCLUSION: Near the end of life, cancer patients with schizophrenia use less opioid than their non-schizophrenic counterparts. Cognitive impairment may be a cause in the disparity in end-of-life care for terminally ill schizophrenic cancer patients. Thus, we should formulate a more accurate pain scale system and pay attention to their need for pain treatment.
BACKGROUND: Individual physicians and physician-associated factors may influence patients'/surrogates' autonomous decision-making, thus influencing the practice of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders. The objective of this study was to examine the influence of individual attending physicians on signing a DNR order.
METHODS: This study was conducted in closed model, surgical intensive care units in a university-affiliated teaching hospital located in Northern Taiwan. The medical records of patients, admitted to the surgical intensive care units for the first time between June 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 were reviewed and data collected. We used Kaplan-Meier survival curves with log-rank test and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models to compare the time from surgical intensive care unit admission to do-not-resuscitate orders written for patients for each individual physician. The outcome variable was the time from surgical ICU admission to signing a DNR order.
RESULTS: We found that each individual attending physician's likelihood of signing do-not-resuscitate orders for their patients was significantly different from each other. Some attending physicians were more likely to write do-not-resuscitate orders for their patients, and other attending physicians were less likely to do so.
CONCLUSION: Our study reported that individual attending physicians had influence on patients'/surrogates' do-not-resuscitate decision-making. Future studies may be focused on examining the reasons associated with the difference of each individual physician in the likelihood of signing a do-not-resuscitate order.
BACKGROUND: Despite the documented and well known patient benefits of ACP, the completion of ACP, only a minority of patients, during the advanced or EOL stage of their illnesses, receive such care. The misconceptions about ACP for healthcare providers, such as nurses, might become potential barriers to the effective implication of ACP. Also, from the transcultural perspective, it is evident essential to explore Taiwanese nurses' attitudes, knowledge, and actions of ACP. The purposes of this study were to explore the implication of ACP or hospice care for nurses caring for non-cancer chronic illness patients at a regional teaching hospital in Taiwan; and, to identify predictors of those nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and actions toward ACP.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study with a purposive sample of 218 nurses was conducted at a teaching hospital in southern Taiwan. Structured questionnaires were employed and data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, t-test, one-way ANOVAs, Pearson's correlation and multiple regressions.
RESULTS: 16.1% of Taiwanese physicians actively initiated ACP issues or conversations with patients or their family members. Nurses' attitudes toward ACP were fairly positive but their knowledge about ACP was insufficient and actions of ACP were not positively executed. The predictors of ACP-Knowledge (ACP-K) included position title, education hours and lacking of educational training. The predictors of ACP-Attitude (ACP-A) included ACP-K and "fear of patient or family member not accepting", whereas ACP-A, position title, "patients do not feel necessary" and "not sure physician's concern" were the predictors of ACP-Act.
CONCLUSION: Continuous education and training for nurses regarding ACP needs to be improved by taking those predictors found in this current study into account, and more studies on the nurse's role in ACP also should be further examined.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: KAFGH 106-012. Date of registration 1 May 2017.
BACKGROUND: We sought to evaluate the effect of an integrated prospective payment program (IPP) on knowledge of hospice care and willingness to participate in hospice care among family members of patients on prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV).
METHODS: Between November 2013 and April 2014, we used paper-based survey questionnaires from 64 institutions to evaluate knowledge, willingness, and related factors among the main caregivers of patients on PMV regarding hospice care and to determine whether their decisions for the patients were affected by the IPP.
RESULTS: The average ages of the respondents and patients on PMV were 51.9 y and 70.8 y respectively; 70.6% of the respondents knew about the Hospice Palliative Care Act (HPCA), and 42.3% of the medical staff had introduced hospice care-related information to patients and caregivers in Taiwan. Among the caregiver respondents, 67.6% agreed to write a letter of intent regarding the choice of hospice care or limited life-sustaining treatment. In total, 66.2% (16.1 + 50.1%) of the respondents agreed to hospice care for their family members (ie, the patients on PMV) when the condition was terminal. The factors of greater HPCA knowledge among the patients on PMV were IPP participation, female sex, and coma status. Factors leading to higher levels of HPCA knowledge included age = 65 y being married, higher income, awareness of the law, and being introduced to hospice care by medical staff.
CONCLUSIONS: High levels of hospice care knowledge were unrelated to willingness to participate. HPCA knowledge was greater in the IPP group than in the non-IPP group; however, there was no significant difference in the willingness to agree to hospice care. It is recommended that individuals be encouraged to express their medical decisions.
Background: Research in Taiwan has indicated that advance care planning is rarely undertaken in long-term care facilities. The purpose of this study was to develop an advance care planning interview guideline and care model to facilitate the process of advance care planning for residents and their families in long-term care facilities.
Methods: This study follows an action research design. Cycles of planning, action, observation, and reflection were planned and modified based on the results of interviews with residents and their families as well as meetings with staff. To establish the interview guideline and care model through this action research study, residents and their families were interviewed separately. The researcher subsequently held meetings with staff members to evaluate the results and identify problems during each advance care planning process. This information was synthesised and used to modify the care model for implementation with the next resident–family pair. This process was performed a total of ten times.
Results: This study included residents (N = 10), their families (N = 20), and medical staff (N = 4) at a long-term care facility. The interviews and meetings were audio recorded, transcribed, and subjected to a simple thematic analysis together with the field notes and reflection logs. Four themes emerged from the data related to: opening the conversation with the interview guidelines about the life story of residents; continuing life stories to the quality of remaining years of the residents; gradually changing the topic to the end-of-life care issues; and concluding the conversation by explaining the content of advance directives and hospice care.
Conclusions: The advance care planning care model was implemented following logical thinking from a Chinese perspective. This consisted of opening, developing, changing, and concluding through the views of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The research findings indicate that the model successfully facilitated the process of advance care planning for residents and their families.
Background: Diverse cultures and social contexts can exhibit different values, religious meaning systems, social norms concerned with social responsibility and interpersonal and family relations. These factors play an essential role in individuals’ decisions and preferences for end-of-life care.
Aims: To explore Taiwanese adults’ perspectives on the influences of cultural, social and contextual factors on preferences for end-of-life care.
Methods: A semi-structured face-to-face interview approach and content analysis were used. A total of 16 adults were recruited.
Findings: Major themes identified as influencing factors included social, cultural and religious aspects, professional and community resources, perceptions about end-of-life services and attitudes toward death and dying.
Discussion: This suggests that people’s end-of-life preferences can be influenced by social and cultural norms, the adequacy of systems for advance care planning, knowledge about advance directives and palliative care, and emotional reactions toward death and dying.
Conclusions: Findings provided insight into adults’ perspectives on how cultural, social norms and religious values and professional support shape individuals’ beliefs and attitudes toward death and dying as well as in end-of-life decision making. These findings contribute to our understanding of adults’ end-of-life preferences and provide guidance for health professionals and communities in assisting Taiwanese people plan for the end of life.
BACKGROUND: The palliative care consultation service (PCCS) of the National Health Insurance payments has been promoted in Taiwan since 2011, although few studies have been conducted on healthcare staffs' knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding PCCS in Taiwan; consequently, the main objective of this study was to explore any correlations regarding the above by cross-sectional design using convenience sampling.
METHODS: A total of 210 healthcare staff members were enrolled from a regional hospital from June 1, 2018, to September 30, 2018. Questionnaire items on the Palliative Care Consultation Service Inventory (KAP-PCCSI) were used to measure healthcare staff's knowledge, attitudes, and practices of PCCS. The collected data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics, independent samples t-test, Pearson's correlation coefficient analysis, and multiple linear regression analysis.
RESULTS: The results revealed that the mean scores for knowledge of and attitudes of KAP-PCCSI were 58.7 ± 8.9 (perfect score: 75) and 42.7 ± 4.7 (perfect score: 50) respectively, while the mean score for practices of KAP-PCCSI was 36.3 ± 8.1 (perfect score: 50); moreover, the healthcare staff's knowledge and attitudes were positively correlated with their practices (p < 0.01). The results also showed that knowledge, attitudes, experience of having a family member(s) or friend(s) passing away, and being a medical personnel constituted the major predictors of practices (p < 0.001). These factors explained 43.2% of the overall variance for practices of KAP-PCCSI.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings can help healthcare staff understand factors influencing practices of KAP-PCCSI and can serve as a reference for the development of strategies for palliative care education and training while improving the care quality of patients undergoing such palliative care with terminal life considerations in the hospitals, thereby fulfilling the goal of achieving holistic care.
To date, few studies have examined the end-of-life (EOL) care for patients with hematological malignancies (HMs). We evaluated the effects of palliative care on the quality of EOL care and health care costs for adult patients with HMs in the final month of life.We conducted a population-based study and analyzed data from Taiwan's Longitudinal Health Insurance Database, which contains claims information for patient medical records, health care costs, and insurance system exit dates (our proxy for death) between 2000 and 2011.A total of 724 adult patients who died of HMs were investigated. Of these patients, 43 (5.9%) had received only inpatient palliative care (i-Pal group), and 19 (2.6%) received home palliative care (h-Pal group). The mean health care costs during the final month of life were not significantly different between the non-Pal and Pal groups (p=0.315) and between the non-Pal, i-Pal, and h-Pal groups (p=0.293) either. By the multivariate regression model, the i-Pal group had lower risks of chemotherapy, ICU admission, and receipt of CPR, but higher risks of at least two hospitalizations and dying in hospital after adjustments. The h-Pal group had the similar trends as the i-Pal group but lower risk of dying in hospital after adjustments. Patients with HMs who had received palliative care could benefit from less aggressive EOL cancer care in the final month of life. However, 8.6% patients with HMs received palliative care. The related factors of more hospitalizations and dying in hospital warrant further investigation.
Objectives: The National Health Insurance programme started providing coverage for inpatient care in palliative care (PC) units of acute care hospitals in 2000; however, initially, only PC provided to patients with terminal cancer was covered. A PC policy that enabled PC reimbursement for patients with dementia was implemented in 2009. However, the association of this PC policy with end-of-life care remains unclear. The study aims to compare the association of the PC policy with end-of-life care between patients with dementia and patients with cancer during the last 6 months of their lives.
Methods: We analysed the claims data of 7396 patients dying with dementia (PDD) and 24 319 patients dying with cancer (PDC) during 1997–2013.
Results: Among PDC, while the percentage of receiving PC increased from 3.6% in 1999 to 14.2% by the end of 2000 (adjusted OR (aOR)=4.07, 95% CI 2.70 to 6.13) and from 20.9% in 2010 to 41.0% in 2013 (aOR=1.40, 95% CI 1.33 to 1.47), vasopressor use decreased from 71.6% in 1999 to 35.5% in 2001 (aOR=0.90, 95% CI 0.82 to 0.98). Among PDD, PC use increased from 0.2% in 2009 to 4.9% in 2013 (aOR=2.05, 95% CI 1.60 to 2.63) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation use decreased from 17.6% in 2009 to 10.0% in 2013 (aOR=0.83, 95% CI 0.76 to 0.90).
Conclusions: Implementation of the PC policy in Taiwan was associated with improved PC utilisation among patients with cancer and dementia, which may reduce unnecessary medical care procedures.
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) is a legal order that demonstrates a patient's will to avoid further suffering from advanced treatment at the end of life. The concept of palliative care is increasingly accepted, but the impacts of different major illnesses, geographic regions, and health expenses on DNR rates remain unclear.
METHODS: This study utilized the two-million National Health Insurance (NHI) Research Database to examine the percentage of DNR rates among all deaths in hospitals from 2001 to 2011. DNR in the study was defined as no resuscitation before death in hospitals. Death records were extracted from the database and correlated with healthcare information. Descriptive statistics were compiled to examine the relationships between DNR rates and variables including major illnesses, geographic regions, and NHI spending.
RESULTS: A total of 126,390 death records were extracted from the database for analysis. Among cancer-related deaths, pancreatic cancer patients had the highest DNR rate (86.99%) and esophageal cancer patients had the lowest DNR rate (71.62%). The higher DNR rate among cancer-only patients (79.53%) decreased with concomitant dialysis (66.07%) or ventilator use (57.85%). The lower DNR rates in patients with either chronic dialysis (51.27%) or ventilator use (59.10%) increased when patients experienced these two conditions concomitantly (61.31%). Although DNR rates have consistently increased over time across all regions of Taiwan, a persistent disparity was noted between the East and the South (76.89% vs. 70.78% in 2011, p < 0.01). After adjusting for potential confounders, DNR patients had significantly lower NHI spending one year prior to death ($67,553), compared with non-DNR patients.
CONCLUSION: Our study found that DNR rates varied across cancer types and decreased in cancer patients with concomitant chronic dialysis or ventilator use. Disparities in DNR rates were evident across geographic regions in Taiwan. A wider adoption of the DNR policy may achieve substantial savings in health expenses and improve patients' quality of life.
Background: Surrogates often do not accurately predict older people's preferences about end-of-life (EOL) care. Few studies have examined the impact of advance care planning (ACP) on EOL decision-making consistency between older people and their surrogates, and these studies have yielded conflicting results.
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of ACP in improving EOL decision-making consistency between older people and their surrogates.
Design: The intervention in this pre-post quasi-experimental design included an informative video, a brochure about ACP, and a guided discussion about EOL wishes.
Setting: Two geriatric wards in a medical center in northern Taiwan.
Subjects: One hundred eight participants, as 54 pairs of older people and their surrogates, were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. The experimental group received an intervention, while the control group received usual care.
Measurements: Life-Support Preferences Questionnaire.
Results: The intervention did not improve decision-making consistency between older people and their surrogates. This was the first time that most pairs discussed specific EOL decisions, so additional preparation may improve comfort with this topic. This study also found that some older people had difficulty concentrating on the educational brochure or understanding the related terms.
Conclusions: Preparation for ACP discussion is needed for older people and their surrogates. Longer-term effects of ACP should be monitored because ACP interventions may have enhanced empathy between older people and their surrogates. Additionally, a culturally sensitive illustrated questionnaire that explains life-support preferences and ACP topics may improve communication between older people and their surrogates.
BACKGROUND: The concept of advance care planning is largely derived from Western countries. However, the decision-making process and drivers for choosing palliative care in non-Western cultures have received little attention.
AIM: To explore the decision-making processes and drivers of receiving palliative care in advance care planning discussions from perspectives of advanced cancer patients, families and healthcare professionals in northern Taiwan.
METHOD: Semi-structured qualitative interviews with advanced cancer patients, their families and healthcare professionals independently from inpatient oncology and hospice units. Thematic analysis with analytical rigour enhanced by dual coding and exploration of divergent views.
RESULTS: Forty-five participants were interviewed (n = 15 from each group). Three main decision-making trajectories were identified: (1) 'choose palliative care' was associated with patients' desire to reduce physical suffering from treatments, avoid being a burden to families and society, reduce futile treatments and donate organs to help others; (2) 'decline palliative care' was associated with patients weighing up perceived benefits to others as more important than benefits for themselves; and (3) 'no opportunity to choose palliative care' was associated with lack of opportunities to discuss potential benefits of palliative care, lack of staff skill in end-of-life communication, and cultural factors, notably filial piety.
CONCLUSION: Choice for palliative care among advanced cancer patients in Taiwan is influenced by three decision-making trajectories. Opinions from families are highly influential, and patients often lack information on palliative care options. Strategies to facilitate decision-making require staff confidence in end-of-life discussions, working with the patients and their family while respecting the influence of filial piety.
BACKGROUND: We previously developed a robust prognostic model (GS model) to predict the survival outcome of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (APC) receiving palliative chemotherapy with gemcitabine plus S-1 (GS). This study aimed to validate the application of the GS model in APC patients receiving chemotherapy other than the GS regimen.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed 727 APC patients who received first-line palliative chemotherapy other than the GS regimen between 2010 and 2016 at four institutions in Taiwan. The patients were categorized into three prognostic groups based on the GS model for comparisons of survival outcome, best tumor response, and in-group survival differences with monotherapy or combination therapy.
RESULTS: The median survival times for the good, intermediate, and poor prognostic groups were 13.4, 8.4, and 4.6 months, respectively. The hazard ratios for the comparisons of intermediate and poor to good prognostic groups were 1.51 (95% confidence interval [CI]), 1.22-1.88, P < .001) and 2.84 (95% CI, 2.34-3.45, P < .001). The best tumor responses with either partial response or stable disease were 57.5%, 40.4%, and 17.2% of patients in the good, intermediate, and poor prognostic groups (P < .001), respectively. For patients in the good prognostic group, first-line chemotherapy with monotherapy and combination therapy had similar median survival times (13.8 vs 12.9 months, P = .26), while combination therapy showed a better median survival time than monotherapy in patients in the intermediate and poor prognostic groups (8.5 vs 8.0 months, P = .038 and 5.7 vs 3.7 months, P = .001, respectively).
CONCLUSION: The results of our study supported the application of the GS model as a general prognostic tool for patients with pancreatic cancer receiving first-line palliative chemotherapy with gemcitabine-based regimens.
CONTEXT: Nearly 70% of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) directives for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients are established during their terminal hospitalization. Whether patient use of end-of-life resources differs between early and late establishment of a DNR is unknown.
OBJECTIVES: To compare end-of-life resource use between patients according to DNR directive status: no DNR, early DNR (EDNR) (established before terminal hospitalization), and late DNR (LDNR) (established during terminal hospitalization).
METHODS: Electronic health records from all COPD decedents in a teaching hospital in Taiwan were analyzed retrospectively with respect to medical resource use during the last year of life and medical expenditures during the last hospitalization. Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to determine independent predictors of cost.
RESULTS: Of the 361 COPD patients enrolled, 318 (88.1%) died with a DNR directive, 31.4% of which were EDNR. COPD decedents with EDNR were less likely to be admitted to intensive care units (12.0 %, 55.5%, and 60.5% for EDNR, LDNR, and no DNR, respectively), had lower total medical expenditures, and were less likely to undergo invasive mechanical ventilator support during their terminal hospitalization. The average total medical cost during the last hospitalization was nearly 2-fold greater for LDNR than for EDNR decedents. Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that nearly 60% of medical expenses incurred were significantly attributable to no EDNR, younger age, longer length of hospital stay, and more comorbidities.
CONCLUSION: Although 88% of COPD decedents died with a DNR directive, 70% of these directives were established late. LDNR results in lower quality of care and greater intensive care resource use in end-of-life COPD patients.
BACKGROUND: Charitable donations play a major role in the provision of hospice and palliative care (HPC) services, most of which are not reimbursed by health insurance programs. A good understanding of the constitution and use of donations is thus conducive to maintaining a high-quality HPC unit.
METHODS: The data sources were the publicly available balance sheet, work report, and donor lists of a foundation exclusively supporting one of the best HPC units in Taiwan in the fiscal year of 2017. The analysis included the donation amounts and frequencies by donor type (individual, corporate, and group) and the categories of expenses.
RESULTS: The foundation received 3033 donations worth a total of 7.8 million New Taiwan dollars (NTD) (approximately 258 thousand US dollars) in 2017. Two-thirds of the donations were allocated to the provision of direct care services. Of the 3033 donations, only 11 (0.4%) were worth 100 000 NTD or more, while 108 (3.6%) were valued between 10 000 and 99 999 NTD, 1268 (41.8%) were valued between 1000 and 9999 NTD, and 1646 (54.2%) were worth less than 1000 NTD. Of 1051 donors, 974 (92.7%) were individuals, 378 (36.0%) donated more than once, and 106 (10.1%) donated 12 or more times in one year.
CONCLUSION: HPC services in Taiwan are sponsored by lots of individuals and small donations. For sustainability of standards-based and quality HPC services, the benevolence of the public should be thus cherished and adequately responded to.
Background: The work continuity of physicians in hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) has a great impact on the quality of care and practice experiences. However, nationwide studies providing a general overview of the work continuity of HPM physicians are scarce.
Methods: Data relating to inpatient HPM care provided from July 2000 to December 2013 were obtained from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan. Specifically, the numbers of hospitals, patients, patient hospitalization days, and physicians involving HPM in each year were calculated. The years of HPM work experience and total HPM workdays of each physician were also computed.
Results: Of the 40,965,153 inpatient records during the study, 121,258 (0.3%) records were related to inpatient HPM care, with 60 participating hospitals and 604 attending physicians. The annual number of HPM physicians increased with time from 77 in 2000 to 217 in 2013. The largest percentage (38.4%) of physicians practiced HPM for only one year, while only 23 (3.8%) physicians practiced HPM in each year without interruption. Of the 217 HPM physicians in 2013, 45 (20.7%) were newcomers, 78 (36.0%) had 1-4 years of prior HPM work experience, 54 (24.9%) had 5-9 years, and 40 (18.4%) had at least 10 years. Conclusions: Among HPM physicians in Taiwan, only a small percentage exhibited long-term dedication to the field, whereas most HPM physicians had short practice periods. More strategies are needed to improve work continuity among HPM physicians.
Background: Palliative care has improved the quality of end-of-life (EOL) care and lowered the health care cost of cancer, and these benefits should be extended to patients with other serious illnesses including end-stage kidney disease. We evaluated the quality of EOL care, survival probabilities, and health care costs for dialysis patients in their last month of life.
Methods: We conducted a population-based study and analyzed data from Taiwan’s Longitudinal Health Insurance Database, which contains claims information of patient medical records, health care costs, and insurance system exit dates (our proxy for death between 2006 and 2011).
Results: Data of 1177 adult patients who died of chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis were investigated. The mean age of these patients was 69.7 ± 11.9 years, and 585 (49.7%) were women. Some patients with dialysis received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (66.9%), died in a hospital (65.0%), or were admitted to an intensive care unit (51.0%) in the last month of life. We further classified these patients into two groups, namely dialysis with cancer (DC) (n = 149) and dialysis without cancer (D) (n = 1028). Only 19 dialysis patients received palliative care, and the proportion of patients receiving palliative care was higher in the DC group than in the D group (11.4% vs. 0.2%). The mean health care costs per person during the final month of life was similar between the DC and D groups (USD 2755 ± 259 vs. USD 2827 ± 88). Multivariate logistic regression showed that the DC group had lower odds of receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) (OR: 0.39, CI = 0.26–0.56, p < 0.001) procedures, higher odds of longer hospital stays than the third quartile (> 25 days) (OR: 1.52, CI = 1.01–2.29, p = 0.0046), and higher odds of being hospitalized more than once (OR: 2.26, CI = 1.42–3.59, p = 0.001) than the D group in the last month of life after adjustments.
Conclusions: DC patients received hospice care more frequently, received CPR less frequently, and had similar health care costs. DC patients also had a higher risk of a hospital stay that lasted more than 25 days and more than one hospitalization compared with D patients in the final month of life.
CONTEXT: Evidence is mixed regarding the impact of advance directives (ADs) on the utilization of end-of-life treatments.
OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the effect of AD on the utilization of end-of-life treatments during the last month of life in older patients.
METHODS: Taipei City Hospital initiated an advance care planning program to promote AD for admitted patients in 2015. This prospective study recruited deceased older patients who completed advance care planning communication between 2015 and 2016. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the association of AD completion with utilization of life-sustaining treatments.
RESULTS: Of 1307 deceased older patients, overall mean age was 84.1 years and 78.7% of the subjects had AD completion. During the study follow-up period, 31 older patients received life-sustaining treatments during the last month of life, including 17 patients (1.7%) with AD completion and 14 patients (5.0%) without AD completion. After adjusting for the sociodemographic factors and co-morbidities, older patients with AD completion were less likely to receive life-sustaining treatments during the last month of life (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.32, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.16-0.67). Considering type of life-sustaining treatments, AD completion was associated with a lower likelihood of receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (AOR = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.06-0.70) as well as intubation and mechanical ventilation support (AOR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.14-0.70) during the last month of life in older patients.
CONCLUSION: AD completion was associated with a lower likelihood of receiving life-sustaining treatments during the last month of life in older patients. These findings support the continued use of AD in older population.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders affect outcomes in patients with sepsis admitted to intensive care unit (ICU).
Design: This is a retrospective observational study.
Participants: We enrolled 796 consecutive adult intensive care patients at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, a 2700-bed tertiary teaching hospital in southern Taiwan. A total of 717 patients were included.
Main measures: Clinical factors such as age, gender and other clinical factors possibly related to DNR orders and hospital mortality were recorded.
Key results: There were 455 patients in the group without DNR orders and 262 patients in the group with DNR orders. Within the DNR group, patients were further grouped into early (orders signed on intensive care day 1, n=126) and late (signed after day 1, n=136). Patients in the DNR group were older and more likely to have malignancy than the group without DNR orders. Mortality at days 7, 14 and 28, as well as intensive care and hospital mortality, were all worse in these patients even after propensity-score matching. There were higher Charlson Comorbidity Index in the emergency room, but better outcomes in those with early-DNR orders compared with late-DNR orders.
Conclusion: DNR orders may predict worse outcomes for patients with sepsis admitted to medical ICUs. The survival rate in the early-DNR order group was not inferior to the late-DNR order group.
BACKGROUND: Factors facilitating/hindering concordance between preferred and received life-sustaining treatments may be distorted if preferences and predictors are measured long before death.
AIM: To examine factors facilitating/hindering concordance between cancer patients' preferred and received life-sustaining-treatment states in their last 6 months.
DESIGN: Longitudinal, observational design.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: States of preferred and received life-sustaining treatments (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, intensive care unit care, cardiac massage, intubation with mechanical ventilation, intravenous nutritional support, and nasogastric tube feeding) were examined in 218 Taiwanese cancer patients by a latent transition model with hidden Markov modeling. Multivariate logistic regression modeling was used to examine factors facilitating/hindering concordance between preferred and received life-sustaining-treatment states.
RESULTS: Concordance between preferred and received life-sustaining-treatment states was poor (40.8%, kappa value (95% confidence interval): 0.05 [-0.03, 0.14]). Patients who accurately understood their prognosis and preferred comfort care were significantly more likely to receive preferred life-sustaining treatments before death than those who did not know their prognosis but wanted to know, those who were uniformly uncertain about what life-sustaining treatments they preferred to receive, and those who preferred nutritional support but declined other life-sustaining treatments. Patient age, physician-patient end-of-life-care discussions, symptom distress, and functional dependence were not associated with concordance between preferred and received life-sustaining-treatment states.
CONCLUSION: Prognostic awareness and preferred states of life-sustaining treatments were significantly associated with concordance between preferred and received life-sustaining-treatment states. Personalized interventions should be developed to cultivate terminally ill cancer patients' accurate prognostic awareness, allowing them to formulate realistic life-sustaining-treatment preferences and facilitating their receiving value-concordant end-of-life care.