Early Palliative Care in Advanced Lung Cancer A Qualitative Study
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND Early ambulatory palliative care (PC) is an emerging practice, and its key elements have not been defined. We conducted a qualitative analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial that demonstrated improved quality of life, mood, and survival in patients with newly diagnosed metastatic non-small cell lung cancer who received early PC integrated with standard oncologic care vs standard oncologic care alone. Our objectives were to (1) identify key elements of early PC clinic visits, (2) explore the timing of key elements, and (3) compare the content of PC and oncologic visit notes at the critical time points of clinical deterioration and radiographic disease progression. METHODS We randomly selected 20 patients who received early PC and survived within 4 periods: less than 3 months (n = 5), 3 to 6 months (n = 5), 6 to 12 months (n = 5), and 12 to 24 months (n = 5). We performed content analysis on PC and oncologic visit notes from the electronic health records of these patients. RESULTS Addressing symptoms and coping were the most prevalent components of the PC clinic visits. Initial visits focused on building relationships and rapport with patients and their families and on illness understanding, including prognostic awareness. Discussions about resuscitation preferences and hospice predominantly occurred during later visits. Comparing PC and oncologic care visits around critical time points, both included discussions about symptoms and illness status; however, PC visits emphasized psychosocial elements, such as coping, whereas oncologic care visits focused on cancer treatment and management of medical complications. CONCLUSIONS Early PC clinic visits emphasize managing symptoms, strengthening coping, and cultivating illness understanding and prognostic awareness in a responsive and time-sensitive model. During critical clinical time points, PC and oncologic care visits have distinct features that suggest a key role for PC involvement and enable oncologists to focus on cancer treatment and managing medical complications.
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Palliative care and preparation for liver transplantation are often perceived as conflicting for patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD). We sought to improve both simultaneously through a case finding and care coordination quality improvement intervention. Methods: We identified patients with cirrhosis using validated ICD-9 codes and screened them for ESLD by assessing medical records at a VA hospital for either a model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) ≥14 or a diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) between October 2012 and January 2013. A care coordinator followed veterans from the index hospitalization through April 2013 and encouraged treating physicians to submit liver transplant evaluation consults for all veterans with a MELD ≥14 and palliative care consults for all veterans with a MELD ≥20 or inoperable HCC. Results: We compared rates of consultation for 49 hospitalized veterans and compared their outcomes to 61 pre-intervention veterans. Veterans were more likely to be considered for liver transplantation (77.6% versus 31.1%, p<0.001) and receive palliative care consultation during the intervention period, although the latter finding did not reach statistical significance (62.5% versus 47.1%, p=0.38). Conclusions: Active case finding improved consideration for liver transplantation without decreasing palliative care consultation.Journal of Palliative Medicine 12/2014; 18(4). DOI:10.1089/jpm.2014.0265 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We examined the impact of palliative care (PC) on aggressiveness of end-of-life care for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Measures of aggressive care included chemotherapy within 14 days of death; and at least one intensive care unit (ICU) admission, more than one emergency department (ED) visit, and more than one hospitalization, all within 30 days of death. A retrospective population-based cohort study using administrative data was conducted in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer from 2005 to 2010 in Ontario, Canada. Multivariable logistic regression was performed with the above measures of aggressive care as the outcomes of interest and PC as the main exposure, adjusting for covariables. Secondary analyses examined intensity of PC as the main exposure defined in two ways: 1) absolute number of PC visits before the outcome of interest (0, 1, 2, 3+ visits) and 2) monthly rate of PC visits. The cohort included 5381 patients (median survival 75 days); 2816 (52.3%) had received a PC consultation. PC consultation was associated with decreased use of chemotherapy near death (odds ratio [OR] = 0.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.25 to 0.46); lower risk of ICU admission: OR = 0.12, 95% CI = 0.08 to 0.18; multiple ED visits: OR = 0.19, 95% CI = 0.16 to 0.23; multiple hospitalizations near death: OR = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.19 to 0.31). A per-unit increase in the monthly rate of PC visits was associated with lower odds of aggressive care for all four outcomes. PC consultation and a higher intensity of PC were associated with less aggressive care near death in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 03/2015; 107(3). DOI:10.1093/jnci/dju424 · 15.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Many patients wish to stay at home during the terminal stage of cancer. However, there is concern that medical care provided at home may negatively affect survival. This study therefore explored whether the survival duration differed between cancer patients who received inpatient care and those who received home care. We retrospectively investigated the place of care/death and survival duration of 190 cancer patients after their referral to a palliative care consultation team in a Japanese general hospital between 2007 and 2012. The patients were classified into a hospital care group consisting of those who received palliative care in the hospital until death, and a home care group including patients who received palliative care at home from doctors in collaboration with the palliative care consultation team. Details of the place of care, survival duration, and patient characteristics (primary site, gender, age, history of chemotherapy, and performance status) were obtained from electronic medical records, and analyzed after propensity score matching in the place of care. Median survival adjusted for propensity score was significantly longer in the home care group (67.0 days, n = 69) than in the hospital care group (33.0 days, n = 69; P = 0.0013). Cox's proportional hazard analysis revealed that the place of care was a significant factor for survival following adjustment for covariates including performance status. This study suggests that the general concern that home care shortens the survival duration of patients is not based on evidence. A cohort study including more known prognostic factors is necessary to confirm the results.BMC Palliative Care 12/2015; 14(1):7. DOI:10.1186/s12904-015-0003-5 · 1.79 Impact Factor