Older persons and persons with diseases other than cancer are often discriminated against when applying for palliative care despite growing numbers of both older persons and individuals with chronic diseases. An intention for palliative care in Sweden is that all persons in the final stage of life, irrespective of age, domicile, diagnosis, and care place shall have access to palliative care on equal terms. One way to support these persons in final stage of life and their relatives is to offer sitting service.
To describe individuals who were identified and documented as being in a palliative phase in a Swedish municipality, with respect to demographics, use of a sitting service, continuity of care in the last month of life and the place of death. A second aim was to describe and compare the groups who received/did not receive sitting services related to the aforementioned variables.
Retrospective data from nursing records and palliative care identification forms were analyzed with descriptive and analytic statistical methods.
Among individuals deceased during 2007, 51% were identified and documented as being in palliative phase. The majority was older people (mean 83 years) with a noncancer diagnosis (58%). Twenty-eight individuals (16%) had received a sitting service between 8 and 249 hours (one extreme value = 2211). It is indicated that sitting service significantly increased the possibility of dying at home (p = 0.00004), but did not affect how often the place of care changed during the last month of life.
A small sample from a Swedish context must be considered.
These results can be related to an awareness in the municipality that led to adopting the concept of palliative care as not only for those with a cancer diagnosis.
Rectal cancer is quite easy to identify. Simple methods of investigations and early symptoms should allow a good prognosis. This is patholphysiologically supported by slow increasement and relatively late filialisation along long metastatic roads. Therefore it is to be regretted, that of 632 patients, suffering from rectal cancer in the years 1955-1970, 179 (28,3%) could not be treated on cure. Even palliative procedures had a postoperative mortality of 24,6%. This delay in early diagnose reduced the time of survival from 72% 2-jears-survival, when operated on cure (see article) to 59,1% (see article), respectively from 52,1% 5-years-survival (see article) to 38,5% (see article). These results can be only improved by regular prophylactic examinations.
OBJECTIVE: To define factors that predict mortality and survival in patients with colorectal cancer who are aged 75 or over. DESIGN: Retrospective study. SETTING: University hospital, Finland. SUBJECTS: 231 patients aged 75 or over who were admitted to hospital with colorectal cancer during the 14-year period 1980-93. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Morbidity, mortality, recurrence, and survival. RESULTS: In-hospital mortality after any kind of operation was 8/211 (4%), and 8/175 (5%) of those who had their tumours resected. Morbidity was 35/175 (20%). Factors associated with mortality were weight loss, Dukes'stage, extent of resection, and type of operation. Overall 5-year survival was 28%, overall 10-year survival was 4%, and median survival was 33 months (range 0-150). Survival was most closely related to Duke's stage, extent of resection, and recurrent disease on univariate analysis, but multivariate analysis identified only mode of recurrence (p
The effect of surgical training level, experience, and operation volume on complications and survival in colorectal cancer during a 10-year period in a medium-volume university hospital was retrospectively studied.
Four hundred and fifty-six patients were resected for primary colorectal adenocarcinoma during the 10-year period of 1981-1990, and of these, 387 patients underwent resection with curative intent. The surgeons were divided into three groups according to training level and volume: group 1, surgeons in training and other surgeons operating annually on only 1-4 patients; group 2, surgeons specializing in gastrointestinal surgery (average annual volume 4-13 operations); group 3, specialists in gastrointestinal surgery (average annual volume 3-8 operations). Postoperative morbidity and mortality rates, as well as long-term survival rates, were analysed, and comparisons were made between the patients in the three groups.
There were no statistically significant differences between the three groups in postoperative morbidity or mortality. Cancer-specific 5-year survival rate of all patients was 57%, and that of those resected in the aforementioned three groups was 51%, 63%, and 55%, respectively, P=0.087. The 5-year survival rates for colon cancer were 59% (total), 52%, 69%, and 58%, respectively, P=0.067, and for rectal cancer were 51% (total), 42%, 53%, and 52%, respectively, P=0.585.
There were no significant differences in the rates of postoperative mortality, morbidity, and long-term overall survival between the volume groups. However, in patients with colon cancer, there was a trend for better survival for those operated on by the surgeons specializing in gastrointestinal surgery, and in rectal cancer patients, a tendency of fewer local recurrences in those operated on by the specialist surgeons.
To describe the patients who received care from the 8 dedicated pediatric palliative care programs in Canada in 2002 and to estimate the number of children who may have benefited but did not receive services from these programs.
Retrospective review of medical records combined with a survey of each program.
Seven pediatric palliative care programs based in tertiary care settings and 1 freestanding children's hospice.
The programs cared for 317 children during 2002, of whom 123 died during that year. An additional 32 children died by the end of 2003.
Pediatric palliative care program.
Nearly half (48.6%) of the patients were younger than 5 years, and almost half of these were younger than 1 year. Primary diagnoses were disorders of the nervous system (39.1%), malignancies (22.1%), and conditions arising in the perinatal period or congenital anomalies (22.1%). Most of the children (43.9%) died at home, with those centers reporting more comprehensive home care services having the highest percentage of home deaths. From a national perspective, between 5% and 12% of the children who could benefit from palliative care received services from 1 of these programs.
Pediatric palliative care programs in Canada care for a diverse population of patients with a wide range of age and disease conditions. Only a small percentage of children who die, however, receive services from these dedicated programs.
To improve their ability to estimate the survival of terminally ill cancer patients, palliative care physicians require accurate information on prognostic factors. The objective of this study was to assess the extent to which variables such as patient characteristics and primary tumor site affect the length of survival of terminally ill cancer patients. The study population consisted of 1081 cancer patients admitted for terminal care to a 15-bed palliative care unit from 1985 to 1991. Univariate Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and multivariate Cox regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between patient characteristics at admission and survival time. The factor most strongly associated with shorter survival was poor performance status; this strong relationship was not altered by taking into account sex and primary cancer site in the multivariate analysis. For patients who were bedridden at admission, the death rate was 5.5 times higher (95% confidence interval (Cl) 3.4-9.0) than that for ambulatory patients during the first four days of stay, and it was 2.8 times higher (95% Cl 2.0-3.9) subsequently (up to 19 days). The other prognostic factors significantly but slightly associated with poorer survival in the univariate analysis were primary lung cancer, male sex, and living with a spouse. These findings indicate that performance status is the main prognostic factor for accurately estimating the survival time of terminally ill cancer patients.
This retrospective descriptive study of 73 patients who died in St. Peter's Hospital examines and contrasts the patients profile and referral sources of a palliative care unit in a chronic care hospital over two six-month periods during 1994 and 1995. Shortened length of stay (83.8 and 43.2 days respectively), documentation issues, CPR practices (CPR was desired by seven patients up to the time of death), and lack of referrals from long-term care facilities have led St. Peter's Hospital to ask further questions of its palliative care program, e.g. given the lack of referrals from long-term care facilities, how is palliative care being managed in this sector? In Ontario, palliative care has been placed under the domain of chronic care and program development depends in part on the knowledge of the population it serves. This study is a first step.
The purpose of this retrospective cohort study was to identify aspects of caregiving associated with health status among family caregivers in bereavement. Study participants included 151 family caregivers of terminally ill patients who had died, on average, 294 days prior to the study telephone interview. The interview covered two main areas: patient characteristics and caregiver characteristics. Multivariate linear regressions revealed that as the age of the care recipient (regression coefficient [b] = -0.32; 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.48,-0.15) and caregiver (b = -0.14; 95% CI = -0.25, -0.02) increased, caregivers experienced a decline in their physical health during bereavement. Furthermore, caregivers who reported that caregiving interrupted their usual activities (b = -5.97; 95% CI = -9.79, -2.15) had a decline in physical health during bereavement. A poorer mental health status during bereavement was seen in caregivers who reported poor physical health during caregiving (b = -4.31; 95% CI = -8.17, -0.45); and that they received insufficient family support in caregiving (b = -6.01; 95% CI = -9.75, -2.27). It was also revealed that a home death was associated with higher mental health of the caregiver (b = 3.55; 95% CI = 0.26, 6.84). The practice implications of these findings are discussed in this paper.
Rapid response teams (RRTs) were created to stabilize acutely ill patients on the ward, but recent studies suggest that RRTs may improve end-of-life care (EOLC). To learn more about the role of the RRT in EOLC at our institutions, we conducted a retrospective review.
Retrospective review of 300 RRT consultations at 3 academic hospitals in Toronto, Canada.
The typical consultation was for an elderly patient with chronic illness. More than 90% had a "full resuscitation" order at the time of consultation. One third were admitted to the intensive care unit within 48 hours of the RRT consultation, and 24.7% ultimately died. Twenty-seven (9.3%) had a patient/family conference on the ward within 48h of the RRT consultation, 24 (8.3%) of whom changed their resuscitation order as a result. Among those who changed their resuscitation order, fewer than 20% were referred to the palliative care or spiritual care service, or prescribed comfort medications as needed (pro re nata), within 48 h of the RRT consultation; 2 patients died without receiving any common EOLC orders, and 15 (63%) died before discharge.
RRT consultation is an important milestone for many patients approaching EOL. RRTs frequently participate in EOL discussions and decision-making, but they may miss opportunities to facilitate EOLC.