End-of-life care in nursing home settings: do race or age matter?
ABSTRACT One-quarter of all U.S. chronic-disease deaths occur in nursing homes, yet few studies examine palliative care quality in these settings. This study tests whether racial and/or age-based differences in end-of-life care exist in these institutional settings.
We abstracted residents' charts (N = 1133) in 12 nursing homes. Researchers collected data on indicators of palliative care in two domains of care--advance care planning and pain management--and on residents' demographic and health status variables. Analyses tested for differences by race and age.
White residents were more likely than minorities to have DNR orders (69.5% vs. 37.3%), living wills (39% vs. 5%), and health care proxies (36.2% vs. 11.8%; p < .001 for each). Advance directives were highly and positively correlated with age. In-depth advance care planning discussions between residents, families, and health care providers were rare for all residents, irrespective of demographic characteristics. Nursing staff considered older residents to have milder and less frequent pain than younger residents. We found no disparities in pain management based on race.
To the extent that advance care planning improves care at the end of life, racial minorities in nursing homes are disadvantaged compared to their white fellow residents. Focusing on in-depth discussions of values and goals of care can improve palliative care for all residents and may help to ameliorate racial disparities in end-of-life care. Staff should consider residents of all ages as appropriate recipients of advance care planning efforts and should be cognizant of the fact that individuals of all ages can experience pain. Nursing homes may do a better job than other health care institutions in eliminating racial disparities in pain management.
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ABSTRACT: Recent genome-wide association studies have identified multiple genetic loci and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with either increased or decreased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). In the present study, our objective was to determine whether 11 of the new susceptibility CRC loci are associated with tumor morphology and to confirm these loci as distinct and etiologically different risk factors in the development of CRC. The following clinical and morphological parameters were analyzed in 1572 samples: tumor size, T-stage, lymph node metastases, degree of differentiation, mucin production, Crohn-like peritumoral lymphocytic infiltration, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, desmoplastic reaction, necrosis, invasion of blood or lymph vessels, perineural growth, medullary type, budding, and tumor margin. One SNP from each of the 11 loci (rs6983267 on 8q24.21, rs16892766 on 8q23.3, rs719725 on 9p24.1, rs10795668 on 10p14, rs3802842 on 11q23.1, rs4444235 on 14q22.2, rs4779584 on 15q13.3, rs9929218 on 16q22.1, rs4939827 on 18q21.1, rs10411210 on 19q13.11, and rs961253 on 20p12.3) was genotyped for all cases. Odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals, and the corresponding P values were calculated for the 11 SNPs identified above. A cross tabulation between SNPs and morphology was performed. Several loci showed statistically significant associations with specific phenotypes. The findings are consistent with pathogenic variants in several loci that act in distinct CRC and morphogenetic pathways. Further large-scale studies are required to validate these findings.American Journal Of Pathology 12/2010; 177(6):2688-93. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: CONTEXT: Most patients with serious and life-limiting illness experience pain at some point in the illness trajectory. OBJECTIVES: To describe baseline pain management practices for imminently dying patients in Veterans Administration Medical Centers (VAMCs) and examine factors associated with these processes, including presence of opioid orders at the time of death and medication administration in the last seven days, 48 hours, and 24 hours of life. METHODS: Data on orders and administration of opioid pain medication at the end of life were abstracted from the medical records of veterans who died in six VAMC hospitals in 2005. RESULTS: Of 1068 patient records, 686 (64.2%) had an active order for an opioid medication at the time of death. Of these, 69.8% of patients had received the medication at some time within the last seven days of life, 61.2% within the last 48 hours, and 47.0% within the last 24 hours. In multivariable models, presence of an order for opioid pain medication at the time of death and administration within the last 24 hours were both significantly associated with having a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order (P<0.0001/0.0002), terminal condition (P<0.0001/<0.0001), family presence (P<0.0001/0.0023), location of death (P=0.003/0.0005), and having pain noted in the care plan (P=0.0073/0.0007). CONCLUSION: Findings indicate a need for improving availability of opioids for end-of-life care in the inpatient setting. Modifiable factors, such as family presence and goals-of-care discussions, suggest potential targets for intervention to improve recognition of the dying process and proactive planning for pain control.Journal of pain and symptom management 07/2012; · 2.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This article reviews the literature on advance directives among U.S. older adults published from 2008 through 2013, with a focus on advance directive prevalence, implications of advance directives on patient care, and impact of interventions to increase advance directive completion. Advance directive completion varies by demographic characteristics and is affected by patient attitudes toward advance directives and end-of-life care. Patients with advance directives are less likely to receive feeding tubes, experience burdensome transitions between nursing homes and hospitals, and die in the hospital. Advance directive completion increases when health care providers ask culturally sensitive questions and educate patients about advance directives, but better documentation and communication of advance directives are needed to ensure adherence to these measures. Despite increasing advance directive completion as patients move from community to nursing homes to hospice, advance directives are often insufficiently detailed and current for health care professionals to be confident they are acting in accordance with what patients would choose for themselves. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, xx(x), xx-xx.].Journal of Gerontological Nursing 03/2014; · 0.81 Impact Factor