Evaluation of an admission and discharge programme at a UK specialist palliative day hospice.

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington Hospital, Newtown, New Zealand.
International journal of palliative nursing 06/2012; 18(6):275-81. DOI: 10.12968/ijpn.2012.18.6.275
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper reports on a system of managing admissions and discharges from a specialist palliative day hospice (SPDH) in the south of England. SPDH is a well established component of palliative care provision in the UK, but studies have rarely addressed issues around admission and discharge. Case study methodology was used to evaluate the programme. Interviews were conducted with five patients who had attended the day hospice, taken a break or been discharged and returned; their carer(s); the key worker from the day hospice; and any other health professional who was involved in the patient's care during the admission. Communication issues were found within the team regarding referral and discharge processes, documentation of care, decision making, and information giving. Family members did not feel involved in decision making in relation to the programme. The most significant finding was the emotional and psychological impact on the patients of taking the break. Discharge from SPDH is known to be a difficult and sensitive issue, especially when patients are living with life-limiting illnesses that can change quickly. The patients in this study all had some form of dependency on the service and four of the five would have chosen to continue attending if they could. They experienced deterioration in psychological and physical wellbeing during the period in which they did not attend.

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract PURPOSE: Discharging a patient admitted to an inpatient palliative care unit (PCU) is a major challenge. A predictor of the feasibility of home discharge at the time of admission would be very useful. We tried to identify such predictors in a prospective observational study. METHODS: Sixty patients with advanced cancer admitted to a PCU were enrolled. Sociodemographic data were recorded and a panel of laboratory tests performed. The Karnofsky performance status scale (KPS) and the palliative performance scale (PPS) were determined. A palliative care physician and nurse independently predicted whether the patient would die at the ward. The association of these variables with home discharge or death at the PCU was determined. RESULTS: Sixty patients (26 men and 34 women) with advanced cancer were included in the study. Discharge was achieved in 45 % of patients, while 55 % of patients died at the PCU. The median stay of discharged patients was 15.2 days, and the median stay of deceased patients 13.6 days. Median KPS and PPS on admission was 56.2 % for the entire group and significantly higher for discharged patients (60.7 %) compared to deceased patients (52.4 %). Median BMI on admission was 22.8 in the entire group and was similar in discharged and deceased patients. No correlation was found between a panel of sociodemographic variables and laboratory tests with regard to discharge or death. In a binary logistic regression model, the probability of discharge as estimated by the nurse/physician and the KPS and PPS were highly significant (p = 0.008). CONCLUSION: Estimation by a nurse and a physician were highly significant predictors of the likelihood of discharge and remained significant in a multivariate logistic regression model including KPS and PPS. Other variables, such as a panel of laboratory tests or sociodemographic variables, were not associated with discharge or death.
    Supportive Care in Cancer 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00520-015-2601-4 · 2.09 Impact Factor
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