Family meetings in palliative care: are they effective?
ABSTRACT Despite the promotion of family meetings as an essential tool for information sharing and planning in palliative care, minimal evidence exists to show their effectiveness. We sought to rectify this gap in evidence-based practice by evaluating recently developed clinical guidelines for facilitating family meetings. Palliative care nurses were trained to conduct family meetings using the guidelines. To assess the effectiveness of the guidelines, primary family carers who attended a family meeting completed a self-report instrument to measure unmet needs at three time periods: immediately before the meeting (T1), immediately after the meeting (T2) and two days after the meeting (T3). Phone interviews with carers were also conducted at T3. Patients, health professionals and family meeting facilitators were also invited to complete an evaluation form at T2. A focus group was conducted at the end of the project to gain reflections from the family meeting facilitators about their role, re-evaluate the family meeting clinical guidelines and discuss barriers and facilitators for ongoing implementation. Twenty family meetings were conducted at St Vincent's Hospital (Melbourne, Australia). A total of 42 participants were involved, including 20 family carers, 4 patients and 18 health professionals. Family carers reported a statistically significant increase in having their care needs met, from T1 to T2, which was maintained at T3; they also reported that the meetings were useful. Health professionals and patients advised that the meetings were well facilitated. The results from this pilot study indicate that family meetings, conducted using specific clinical practice guidelines, were useful and effective. However, more research is required to confirm these findings. Strategies for implementation and further research are outlined.
Article: Geriatric Renal Palliative Care.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Elderly patients with advanced chronic kidney disease or who are on dialysis should be able to live as fully and comfortably as possible. Geriatric patients are most interested in outcomes that will optimize mental and physical function and limit suffering and pain. Nephrologists must help them answer the question: "How will my kidney problem affect the way I live now and in the future?" This means management must move beyond glomerular filtration rate-related targets and incorporate geriatric principles that focus on assessment of function, comorbidities, geriatric syndromes, and quality of life issues. Therapeutic decisions should be individualized and directed by patient goals of care, which must be explored and documented. Accomplishing this requires inclusion of the patient's family-support system in the shared decision-making process. There is no substitute for spending time listening to and understanding the patient and family agenda, providing timely medical and prognostic updates; discussing realistic scenarios to balance expectations; and planting the seeds of change as the quantity and quality of medical events, geriatric syndromes, and comorbidities accumulate. Synergy of the interdisciplinary renal team with geriatric and palliative medicine specialists provides the expertise to achieve these goals. This falls into the domain of geriatric renal palliative or supportive care (1) and is the subject of this practical review.The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 10/2012; · 4.31 Impact Factor
Dataset: Family Perceptions of IPC
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ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to pilot test the effectiveness of using recently developed clinical guidelines from Australia for conducting palliative care family meetings in Japan. METHODS: Palliative care family meetings were conducted using clinical guidelines with 15 primary family carers of cancer patients who were admitted to an acute care hospital in Japan. Using the pre-family meeting questionnaire, the primary carers were asked to write key concerns to discuss during the family meetings and rate their concerns via a numerical rating scale: how upset/worried they were about the problem, frequency in which problem occurs, life interference with the problem, and the confidence to deal with the problem. Within 3 days after the meeting, the primary carers were asked to complete the post-meeting questionnaire to evaluate the effectiveness of the family meeting. RESULTS: There was a significant improvement in family carers' psychological well-being in the post-meeting questionnaires compared to the pre-meeting questionnaires as follows: how upset/worried they were about the problem, t(14) = 3.1071, p < 0.000011; frequency in which problem occurs, t(14) = 3.2857, p < 0.000013; life interference with the problem, t(14) = 2.7857, p < 0.000008; and the confidence to deal with the problem, t(13) = -2.3007, p < 0.005480. CONCLUSIONS: In accordance with the study aims, we were able to demonstrate the utility of a questionnaire as an essential tool to plan and conduct effective communication between health professionals and primary family carers in Japanese cancer patients. This pilot test should be followed up with a larger sample and a controlled trial.Supportive Care in Cancer 05/2012; · 2.09 Impact Factor