Can an Integrated Palliative and Oncology Co-rounding Model Reduce Aggressive Care at the End of Life? Secondary Analysis of an Open-label Stepped-wedge Cluster-randomized Trial

Link to article at PubMed

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2023 May 28:10499091231180460. doi: 10.1177/10499091231180460. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Clinical trial evidence on the effect of palliative care models in reducing aggressive end-of-life care is inconclusive. We previously reported on an integrated inpatient palliative care and medical oncology co-rounding model that significantly reduced hospital bed-days and postulate additional effect on reducing care aggressiveness.

OBJECTIVES: To compare the effect of a co-rounding model vs usual care in reducing receipt of aggressive treatment at end-of-life.

METHODS: Secondary analysis of an open-label stepped-wedge cluster-randomized trial comparing two integrated palliative care models within the inpatient oncology setting. The co-rounding model involved pooling specialist palliative care and oncology into one team with daily review of admission issues, while usual care constituted discretionary specialist palliative care referrals by the oncology team. We compared odds of receiving aggressive care at end-of-life: acute healthcare utilization in last 30 days of life, death in hospital, and cancer treatment in last 14 days of life between patients in two trial arms.

RESULTS: 2145 patients were included in the analysis, and 1803 patients died by 4th April 2021. Median overall survival was 4.90 (4.07 - 5.72) months in co-rounding and 3.75 (3.22 - 4.21) months in usual care, with no difference in survival (P = .12). We found no significant differences between both models with respect to receipt of aggressive care at end-of-life. (Odds Ratio .67 - 1.27; all P > .05).

CONCLUSION: The co-rounding model within an inpatient setting did not reduce aggressiveness of care at end-of-life. This could be due in part to the overall focus on resolving episodic admission issues.

PMID:37246153 | DOI:10.1177/10499091231180460

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