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.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Clinicians, older adults and caregivers frequently meet to make decisions around treatment and lifestyle during an acute hospital admission. Patient age, psychological status and health locus of control (HLC) influence patient preference for consultation involvement and information but overall, a shared-decision-making (SDM) approach is favoured. However, it is not known whether these characteristics and the presence of cognitive impairment influence SDM competency during family meetings. OBJECTIVE: To describe meetings between older adults, caregivers and geriatricians in intermediate care and explore patient and meeting characteristics associated with a SDM communication style. METHODS: Fifty-nine family meetings involving geriatricians, patients in an intermediate care setting following an acute hospital admission and their caregivers were rated using the OPTION system for measuring clinician SDM behaviour. The geriatric depression scale and multidimensional HLC scale were completed by patients. The mini-mental state exam (MMSE) assessed patient's level of cognitive impairment. RESULTS: Meetings lasted 38 min (SD 13) and scored 41 (SD 17) of 100 on the OPTION scale. Nine (SD 2.2) topics were discussed during each meeting, and most were initiated by the geriatrician. Meeting length was an important determinant of OPTION score, with higher SDM competency displayed in longer meetings. Patient characteristics, including MMSE, HLC and depression did not explain SDM competency. CONCLUSION: Whilst SDM can be achieved during consultations frail older patients and their caregivers, an increased consultation time is a consequence of this approach.Health expectations: an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy 05/2013; · 1.80 Impact Factor
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