Characteristics of Hospitalized Cancer Patients Referred for Inpatient Palliative Care Consultation.

Link to article at PubMed

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Characteristics of Hospitalized Cancer Patients Referred for Inpatient Palliative Care Consultation.

J Palliat Med. 2017 Jun 19;:

Authors: Penrod JD, Garrido MM, McKendrick K, May P, Aldridge MD, Meier DE, Ornstein KA, Morrison RS

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Palliative care is associated with improved patient and family outcomes and lower cost of care, but studies estimate that <50% of hospitalized adults in the United States who are appropriate for palliative care receive it. Few studies have addressed demographic and clinical factors associated with receipt of palliative care.
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to identify characteristics of hospitalized advanced cancer patients that are associated with referral to an interdisciplinary hospital-based palliative care team.
METHODS: The data are from a prospective observational study of hospitalized advanced cancer patients in five hospitals. We used multivariable logistic regression to estimate the relationship between patient characteristics and palliative care referral.
RESULTS: The sample includes 3096 patients; 81% received usual care and 19% were referred to palliative care. Advanced cancer patients were twice as likely to receive palliative care referral if, at admission, they needed assistance with transfer from bed (p = 0.002) and about 1.5 times as likely if they were taking medication for pain (p = 0.002), nausea (p = 0.04), or constipation (p = 0.04). Patients with more comorbidities (p = 0.001) and higher symptom burden (p = 0.001) were more likely to be referred.
CONCLUSION: Advanced cancer patients were more likely to be referred to the palliative care consultation team if they had high symptom burden at hospital admission. Overall a minority of advanced cancer patients were referred. Standardized screening for palliative care may be needed to ensure that advanced cancer patients receive the highest quality of evidence based care.

PMID: 28628352 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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