Effectiveness of Hospital Palliative Care Teams for Cancer Inpatients: A Systematic Review.
J Palliat Med. 2016 Jun 30;
Authors: Yang GM, Neo SH, Lim SZ, Krishna LK
BACKGROUND: Although the benefits of palliative care in the outpatient setting are well established, there has been little to support the employing of hospital palliative care services for inpatients with cancer.
OBJECTIVE: We conducted a systematic literature review to evaluate the effectiveness of palliative care for cancer patients in the acute inpatient hospital setting.
METHODS: Two electronic databases-PubMed and CINAHL Plus-were searched for articles published between 1 January 2005 and 28 May 2015. The search was augmented by hand-searches of specific journals and by examining the reference lists of short-listed articles. Studies were included if they evaluated a hospital palliative care service for cancer patients. Data extracted included study design, patient population, study setting, composition of the team, nature of the intervention, outcomes measured, and main findings.
RESULTS: No randomized controlled trials were found. There were 14 pre-post studies that evaluated patient outcomes, of which only 2 had a control group. We also reviewed a further seven studies that evaluated other aspects of the palliative care intervention. The studies were not robust enough to confirm the efficacy of hospital palliative care services for cancer patient outcomes. Nonetheless, published studies provide a glimpse into the wider benefits of palliative care interventions.
CONCLUSIONS: Data to support the benefit of palliative care interventions in the inpatient acute hospital setting are still lacking. Future studies should employ innovative strategies to further this field of research.
PMID: 27362627 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]