Previous economic studies of person-centered palliative home care have been conducted mainly among patients with cancer. Studies on cost-effectiveness of advanced home care for patients with severe heart failure are lacking when a diagnosis of heart failure is the only main disease as the inclusion criterion.
To assess the cost-effectiveness of a new concept of care called person-centered integrated heart failure and palliative home care.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted from January 2011 to 2013 at a center in Sweden. Data collection included cost estimates for health care and the patients' responses to the EQ-5D quality of life instrument.
Patients with chronic and severe heart failure were randomly assigned to an intervention (n?=?36) or control (n?=?36) group. The intervention group received the Palliative Advanced Home Care and Heart Failure Care intervention over 6?months. The control group received the same care that is usually provided by a primary health care center or heart failure clinic at the hospital.
EQ-5D data indicated that the intervention resulted in a gain of 0.25 quality-adjusted life years, and cost analysis showed a significant cost reduction with the Palliative Advanced Home Care and Heart Failure Care intervention. Even if costs for staffing are higher than usual care, this is more than made up for by the reduced need for hospital-based care. This intervention made it possible for the county council to use €50,000 for other needs.
The Palliative Advanced Home Care and Heart Failure Care working mode saves financial resources and should be regarded as very cost-effective.
Family (i.e., unpaid) caregiving has long been thought of as a 'woman's issue', which ultimately results not only in gendered, but also financial and health inequities. Because of this, gender-based analyses have been prioritized in caregiving research. However, trends in current feminist scholarship demonstrate that gender intersects with other axes of difference, such as culture, socio-economic status, and geography to create diverse experiences. In this analysis we examine how formal front-line palliative care providers understand the role of such diversities in shaping Canadian family caregivers' experiences of end-of-life care. In doing so we consider the implications of these findings for a social benefit program aimed at supporting family caregivers, namely the Compassionate Care Benefit (CCB).
This analysis contributes to a utilization-focused evaluation of Canada's CCB, a social program that provides job security and limited income assistance to Canadian family caregivers who take a temporary leave from employment to provide care for a dying family member at end-of-life. Fifty semi-structured phone interviews with front-line palliative care providers from across Canada were conducted and thematic diversity analysis of the transcripts ensued.
Findings reveal that experiences of caregiving are not homogenous and access to services and supports are not universal across Canada. Five axes of difference were commonly raised by front-line palliative care providers when discussing important differences in family caregivers' experiences: culture, gender, geography, lifecourse stage, and material resources. Our findings reveal inequities with regard to accessing needed caregiver services and resources, including the CCB, based on these axes of difference.
We contend that without considering diversity, patterns in vulnerability and inequity are overlooked, and thus continually reinforced in health policy. Based on our findings, we demonstrate that re-framing categorizations of caregivers can expose specific vulnerabilities and inequities while identifying implications for the CCB program as it is currently administered. From a policy perspective, this analysis demonstrates why diversity needs to be acknowledged in policy circles, including in relation to the CCB, and seeks to counteract single dimensional approaches for understanding caregiver needs at end-of-life. Such findings illustrate how diversity analysis can dramatically enhance evaluative health policy research.
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The object of this study was a financial assessment of a hospital-based palliative support service, to be made by comparing the study group with a matched historical control group and a group of contemporary reference patients. The staff consisted of one full-time nurse supported by a surgeon one half-day per week. The patients in the study group utilized fewer institutional days than the control group, according to such parameters as duration of terminal hospitalization (P
Dementia has become a major public health issue worldwide due to its rapidly increasing prevalence and an increasing number of dementia-related deaths in long-term care facilities. The aim of this study was to examine health professionals' experiences of potential barriers and facilitators in providing palliative care for people with severe dementia in long-term care facilities.
This was a qualitative descriptive study. The data were collected from four focus groups and 20 individual in-depth interviews with healthcare professionals from four Norwegian nursing homes. The data were analysed by thematic text analysis, as described by Braun and Clarke.
The major findings indicate that healthcare professionals experience a lack of continuity as the main barrier to facilitating palliative care. Time pressure and increased efficiency requirements especially affect the weakest and bedridden residents with dementia. The healthcare professionals feel conflicted between wanting to spend more time caring for each individual resident and feeling pressure to help everyone. Although resources are scarce, dying residents are always given priority by healthcare professionals, either by the hiring of extra personnel or the reorganization of tasks in a way that facilitates someone staying with the terminal resident. Advanced care planning was highlighted as a facilitator in providing palliative care, but the extensive use of temporary staff among nurses and doctors and the relocation between the sheltered and long-term wards threaten the continuity in planning and providing palliative care.
The findings indicate that healthcare professionals experienced several structural barriers that prevented the provision of palliative care to people with severe dementia in long-term care facilities. Increasing demands for economic rationality lead to a lack of continuity of care. Organizational changes, such as measures to increase the competence and the proportion of permanent employees and the prevention of burdensome end-of-life transitions, should be implemented to improve continuity and quality of care.
Most terminally ill patients and relatives prefer care and death to occur at home. However, in many cases patients die in hospital and the question arises whether social inequity in palliative care exists. The aim of this study was to analyse associations between dying at home and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics adjusted for healthcare utilisation among Danish cancer patients.
Population-based, cross-sectional register study in Aarhus County, Denmark. 599 deceased adults who died from cancer from 1 March to 30 November 2006 in a well-defined geographical area were identified. Based on unique personal identifier numbers, socioeconomic data and healthcare utilisation from different registers were retrieved and analysed.
Multivariate analysis showed that dying at home was negatively associated with, first, being either 50-59 (prevalence ratio (PR): 0.67 (95% CI 0.45 to 0.99)) or 70-79 years of age (PR: 0.83 (95% CI 0.70 to 0.99)) compared with being 80 years or above; second, a middle personal income compared with a high income (PR: 0.86 (95% CI 0.75 to 1.00)); and, third, being employed or having a leadership position compared with being unemployed/student/receiving social security (PR: 0.72 (95% CI 0.53 to 0.98)).
The found socioeconomic differences in whether death occurred at home or at institutions indicate that age, income and social class must be taken into account when palliative care services engage in fulfilling preferences of dying at home. This may lead to more equality in the possibility of dying at home, despite differences in socioeconomic level.
De-institutionalization of health care services provided to terminally ill cancer patients is a cost-effective strategy that underpins health care reforms in Canada. The objective of this study therefore is to evaluate the economic implications associated with Canadian innovations in the delivery of palliative care services.
We identified 16,282 adults who died of cancer between 1993 and 2000 in two Canadian cities with newly introduced palliative care programs. Linkage of administrative databases was used to measure healthcare resource utilization. We sought to describe the utilization of palliative care services and its consequences for overall health care system costs.
Use of palliative services increased from 45 to 81% of cancer patients during the study period. Identifiable public health care services cost dollars 28093Cdn/patient (19033US dollars, 11,508GBl, 17,778 euro) for terminally ill cancer patients in their last year of life. Acute care accounted for two-thirds (67%) of these costs; physician (10%), residential hospice care (8%), nursing homes (6%), home care (6%) and prescription medications (3%) comprise the remainder. Increased costs associated with the introduction of palliative care programs were offset by cost savings realized when terminally ill cancer patients spent less time in hospital. Palliative home care and residential hospice care accounted for the bulk of this substitution effect. Cost neutrality was observed from the public perspective.
These results demonstrate that the introduction of comprehensive and community-based palliative care services resulted in increased palliative care service delivery and cost neutrality, primarily achieved through a decreased use of acute care beds.