Browsing by Subject "Advance care planning"

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  • Rajala, Kaisa; Lehto, Juho T.; Saarinen, M.; Sutinen, E.; Saarto, T.; Myllarniemi, M. (2016)
    Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease with median survival from 2 to 7 years. Palliative care is an important part of patients' care as lung transplantation is not an option for the majority of patients. The aim of this study was to describe treatment practices, decision-making and symptoms during end-of-life care of IPF patients. Methods: We identified 59 deceased patients from a national prospective IPF cohort study (FinnishIPF) and analyzed retrospectively their health care documentation during the 6 months that preceded death. Results: Hospital was the place of death for 47 patients (80 %). A majority of the patients (93 %) were hospitalized for a mean of 30 days (range 1-96 days) during the last 6 months of their life. Altogether, patients spent 15 % of their last 6 months of life in a hospital. End-of-life decisions and do not resuscitate (DNR) orders were made for 19 (32 %) and 34 (57 %) of the patients, respectively, and 22 (42 %) of these decisions were made Conclusions: The majority of IPF patients died in a hospital with ongoing life-prolonging procedures until death. The frequent use of opioids is an indicator of an intention to relieve symptoms, but end-of-life decisions were still made very late. Early integrated palliative care with advance care plan could improve the end-of-life care of dying IPF patients.
  • Rajala, Kaisa; Lehto, Juho T; Saarinen, M.; Sutinen, E.; Saarto, T.; Myllärniemi, M. (BioMed Central, 2016)
    Abstract Background Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease with median survival from 2 to 7 years. Palliative care is an important part of patients´ care as lung transplantation is not an option for the majority of patients. The aim of this study was to describe treatment practices, decision-making and symptoms during end-of-life care of IPF patients. Methods We identified 59 deceased patients from a national prospective IPF cohort study (FinnishIPF) and analyzed retrospectively their health care documentation during the 6 months that preceded death. Results Hospital was the place of death for 47 patients (80 %). A majority of the patients (93 %) were hospitalized for a mean of 30 days (range 1–96 days) during the last 6 months of their life. Altogether, patients spent 15 % of their last 6 months of life in a hospital. End-of-life decisions and do not resuscitate (DNR) orders were made for 19 (32 %) and 34 (57 %) of the patients, respectively, and 22 (42 %) of these decisions were made ≤ 3 days prior to death. During the final hospital stay, antibiotics were given to 79 % and non-invasive ventilation to 36 % of patients. During the last 24 h of life, radiologic imaging or laboratory tests were taken in 19 % and 53 % of the hospitalized patients, respectively. These tests and life prolonging therapies were more common in tertiary hospitals compared to other places of death. Dyspnea (66 %) and pain (31 %) were the most common symptoms recorded. Opioids were prescribed to 71 % of the patients during the last week before death. Conclusions The majority of IPF patients died in a hospital with ongoing life-prolonging procedures until death. The frequent use of opioids is an indicator of an intention to relieve symptoms, but end-of-life decisions were still made very late. Early integrated palliative care with advance care plan could improve the end-of-life care of dying IPF patients.
  • Lamppu, Pauli J.; Pitkälä, Kaisu H. (2021)
    Objectives: The aim was to review evidence from all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using palliative care education or staff training as an intervention to improve nursing home residents' quality of life (QOL) or quality of dying (QOD) or to reduce burdensome hospitalizations. Design: A systematic review with a narrative summary. Setting and Participants: Residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, the Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Google Scholar, references of known articles, previous reviews, and recent volumes of key journals. RCTs were included in the review. Methodologic quality was assessed. Results: The search yielded 932 articles after removing the duplicates. Of them, 16 cluster RCTs fulfilled inclusion criteria for analysis. There was a great variety in the interventions with respect to learning methods, intensity, complexity, and length of staff training. Most interventions featured other elements besides staff training. In the 6 high-quality trials, only 1 showed a reduction in hospitalizations, whereas among 6 moderate-quality trials 2 suggested a reduction in hospitalizations. None of the high-quality trials showed effects on residents' QOL or QOD. Staff reported an improved QOD in 1 moderatequality trial. Conclusions and Implications: Irrespective of the means of staff training, there were surprisingly few effects of education on residents' QOL, QOD, or burdensome hospitalizations. Further studies are needed to explore the reasons behind these findings. (C) 2020 AMDA - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
  • Hirvonen, Outi M.; Leskela, Riikka-Leena; Gronholm, Lotta; Haltia, Olli; Voltti, Samuli; Tyynelä-Korhonen, Kristiina; Rahko, Eeva K.; Lehto, Juho T.; Saarto, Tiina (2020)
    Background In order to avoid unnecessary use of hospital services at the end-of-life, palliative care should be initiated early enough in order to have sufficient time to initiate and carry out good quality advance care planning (ACP). This single center study assesses the impact of the PC decision and its timing on the use of hospital services at EOL and the place of death. Methods A randomly chosen cohort of 992 cancer patients treated in a tertiary hospital between Jan 2013 -Dec 2014, who were deceased by the end of 2014, were selected from the total number of 2737 identified from the hospital database. The PC decision (the decision to terminate life-prolonging anticancer treatments and focus on symptom centered palliative care) and use of PC unit services were studied in relation to emergency department (ED) visits, hospital inpatient days and place of death. Results A PC decision was defined for 82% of the patients and 37% visited a PC unit. The earlier the PC decision was made, the more often patients had an appointment at the PC unit (> 180 days prior to death 72% and <14 days 10%). The number of ED visits and inpatient days were highest for patients with no PC decision and lowest for patients with both a PC decision and an PC unit appointment (60 days before death ED visits 1.3 vs 0.8 and inpatient days 9.9 vs 2.9 respectively, p <0.01). Patients with no PC decision died more often in secondary/tertiary hospitals (28% vs. 19% with a PC decision, and 6% with a decision and an appointment to a PC unit). Conclusions The PC decision to initiate a palliative goal for the treatment had a distinct impact on the use of hospital services at the EOL. Contact with a PC unit further increased the likelihood of EOL care at primary care.
  • Hirvonen, Outi M; Leskelä, Riikka-Leena; Grönholm, Lotta; Haltia, Olli; Voltti, Samuli; Tyynelä-Korhonen, Kristiina; Rahko, Eeva K; Lehto, Juho T; Saarto, Tiina (BioMed Central, 2020)
    Abstract Background In order to avoid unnecessary use of hospital services at the end-of-life, palliative care should be initiated early enough in order to have sufficient time to initiate and carry out good quality advance care planning (ACP). This single center study assesses the impact of the PC decision and its timing on the use of hospital services at EOL and the place of death. Methods A randomly chosen cohort of 992 cancer patients treated in a tertiary hospital between Jan 2013 –Dec 2014, who were deceased by the end of 2014, were selected from the total number of 2737 identified from the hospital database. The PC decision (the decision to terminate life-prolonging anticancer treatments and focus on symptom centered palliative care) and use of PC unit services were studied in relation to emergency department (ED) visits, hospital inpatient days and place of death. Results A PC decision was defined for 82% of the patients and 37% visited a PC unit. The earlier the PC decision was made, the more often patients had an appointment at the PC unit (> 180 days prior to death 72% and < 14 days 10%). The number of ED visits and inpatient days were highest for patients with no PC decision and lowest for patients with both a PC decision and an PC unit appointment (60 days before death ED visits 1.3 vs 0.8 and inpatient days 9.9 vs 2.9 respectively, p < 0.01). Patients with no PC decision died more often in secondary/tertiary hospitals (28% vs. 19% with a PC decision, and 6% with a decision and an appointment to a PC unit). Conclusions The PC decision to initiate a palliative goal for the treatment had a distinct impact on the use of hospital services at the EOL. Contact with a PC unit further increased the likelihood of EOL care at primary care.
  • Ranni, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Abstract Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease with unknown pathogenesis and beyond curative treatment. Due to severe and progressive problems in swallowing, speech, respiration and mobility, palliative care has a significant role in the treatment of ALS throughout the disease trajectory. Aim To investigate the early integration of structured palliative care pathway for patients with ALS Design A retrospective follow-up study Setting The study population consisted of all ALS patients (69 patients, 35 male, median age 66) referred to the Palliative Care Unit at the Helsinki University Hospital according to the palliative care pathway in 2015 and 2016. The observation period continued until 2018 or death. The data was collected retrospectively from the patient records. Results The median time from the diagnosis to the first contact of the Unit was five months (range 0-88 months). Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) was placed to 38 (55 %) patients, and 36 (52 %) used non-invasive ventilation (NIV). The median survival was 11 months (range 0-40 months) from the first contact to the Unit, and respectively 18 months (range one month - ten years) from the time of diagnosis. Fifty-seven (83 %) of the 69 patients died during the observation period. Sixty per cent of patients received specialized end of life care, and hospice was the most common place of death (47 %). Conclusions Structured palliative care pathway enables integration of palliative care into the care of ALS patients and specialized end of life care for most of the patients.
  • Lamppu, Pauli J.; Laurila, Jouko; Finne-Soveri, Harriet; Laakkonen, Marja-Liisa; Kautiainen, Hannu; Pitkälä, Kaisu H. (2019)
    Key summary pointsAimWe present the design, intervention, baseline findings and feasibility of a randomized, controlled trial examining the effectiveness of staff training in palliative care on nursing home residents' hospitalizations and health-related quality-of-life.FindingsMost staff members participated in the training sessions and they gave good feedback. Our patient groups are fairly well balanced in their characteristics.MessageIf our further trial shows patient-related benefits, we will have a well-defined model for improving palliative care in nursing homes. AbstractPurposeWe aim to describe the design, educational intervention, baseline findings and feasibility of our training intervention. Our trial will aim to improve the residents' health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations.MethodsWe recruited 340 residents from 20 nursing home wards in Helsinki, and they were randomized into intervention and control groups. At baseline, all the participants were assessed for demographics, medical history, medication, HRQOL, symptoms, hospitalizations, advance care plans, and proxies' satisfaction with care. The staff in the intervention wards were offered four 4-h educational sessions on the principles of palliative care (advance care planning, the adverse effects of hospitalizations, symptom management, communication, giving support to proxies and challenging situations). The sessions were based on constructive learning methods and patient cases.ResultsThe mean age of residents was 84years and 76% were women. The intervention and control groups did not differ with respect to demographics, terminal diseases, comorbidities, nutritional status, cognition or the use of palliative medication. However, the control residents were more likely to be bed-bound and to have a do-not-resuscitate order on their medical chart. Of about 180 staff members, 132 completed the educational intervention. The discussions in the training sessions were lively and the participants gave an overall rating of 4.6/5 for the education.ConclusionsWe have successfully randomized nursing home wards in this trial and completed staff training with very positive feedback. If our trial shows resident-related benefits, we will have a well-defined model for improving palliative care in nursing homes. The study was registered in the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry under the intervention code: ACTRN12617001040358.