Palliative care access for hospitalized patients with end-stage liver disease across the United States.

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Palliative care access for hospitalized patients with end-stage liver disease across the United States.

Hepatology. 2017 Nov;66(5):1585-1591

Authors: Rush B, Walley KR, Celi LA, Rajoriya N, Brahmania M

Patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) often have a high symptom burden. Historically, palliative care (PC) services have been underused in this population. We investigated the use of PC services in patients with ESLD hospitalized across the United States. We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample to conduct a retrospective nationwide cohort analysis. All patients >18 years of age admitted with ESLD, defined as those with at least two liver decompensation events, were included in the analysis. A multivariate logistic regression model predicting referral to PC was created. We analyzed 55,208,382 hospitalizations from the 2006-2012 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, with 39,349 (0.07%) patients meeting study inclusion. PC consultation was performed in 1,789 (4.5%) ESLD patients. The rate of PC referral in ESLD increased from 0.97% in 2006 to 7.1% in 2012 (P < 0.01). In multivariate analysis, factors associated with lower referral to PC were Hispanic race (odds ratio [OR], 0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66-0.89; P < 0.01) and insurance coverage (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.65-0.84; P < 0.01). Factors associated with increased referral to PC were age (per 5-year increase, OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.03-1.08; P < 0.01), do-not-resuscitate status (OR, 16.24; 95% CI, 14.20-18.56; P < 0.01), treatment in a teaching hospital (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.12-1.39; P < 0.01), presence of hepatocellular carcinoma (OR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.71-2.33; P < 0.01), and presence of metastatic cancer (OR, 2.39; 95% CI, 1.80-3.18; P < 0.01). PC referral was most common in west coast hospitals (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.53-2.14; P < 0.01) as well as large-sized hospitals (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.22-1.82; P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: From 2006 to 2012 the use of PC in ESLD patients increased substantially; socioeconomic, geographical, and ethnic barriers to accessing PC were observed. (Hepatology 2017;66:1585-1591).

PMID: 28660622 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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