Browsing by Subject "END"

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  • Hirvonen, Outi M.; Leskelä, Riikka-Leena; Gronholm, Lotta; Haltia, Olli; Rissanen, Antti; Tyynela-Korhonen, Kristiina; Rahko, Eeva K.; Lehto, Juho T.; Saarto, Tiina (2019)
    Background: To avoid aggressive treatments at the end-of-life and to provide palliative care (PC), physicians need to terminate futile anti-cancer treatments and define the palliative goal of the treatment in time. This single center study assesses the practices used to make the decision that leads to treatment with a palliative goal, i.e., the PC decision and its effect on anti-cancer treatments at the end of life. Material and methods: Patients with a cancer diagnosis treated in tertiary hospital during 1st January 2013 - 31st December 2014 and deceased by the end of 2014 were identified in the hospital database (N = 2737). Of these patients, 992 were randomly selected for this study. The PC decision was screened from patient records, i.e., termination of cancer-specific treatments and a focus on symptom-centered PC. Results: The PC decision was defined in 82% of the patients during the last year of life (49% >30 days and 33%
  • Hemminki, Kari; Kanerva, Anna; Försti, Asta; Hemminki, Akseli (2022)
    Background: Incidence of cervical cancer has been reduced by organized screening while for vaginal and vulvar cancers no systematic screening has been implemented. All these cancers are associated with human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. We wanted to analyze incidence trends and relative survival in these cancers with specific questions about the possible covariation of incidence, survival changes coinciding with incidence changes and the role of treatment in survival. We used nationwide cancer registry data for Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), Norway (NO) and Sweden (SE) to address these questions. Methods: We use the NORDCAN database for the analyses: incidence data were available from 1943 in DK, 1953 in FI and NO and 1960 in SE, through 2016. Survival data were available from 1967 through 2016. World standard population was used in age standardization. Results: In each country the incidence of cervical cancer declined subsequent to rolling out of screening activities. The attained plateau incidence was lowest at 4/100,000 in FI and highest at 10/100,000 in DK and NO. The incidence of vaginal and vulvar cancer remained relatively constant at about 2/100,000. Relative 1-year survival in cervical cancer improved in all countries from low 80%s to high 80%s in the 50-year period, and 5-year survival improved also but at 20% units lower level. Survival gains were found only in patients diagnosed before age 60 years. Survival in vaginal and vulvar cancer followed the same patterns but at a few % units lower level. Conclusion: Cervical cancer screening appeared to have reached its limits in the Nordic countries by year 2000. Novel treatments, such as immunotherapy, would be needed to improve survival until HPV vaccination will reach population coverage and boost the global fight against these cancers.
  • Hemminki, Kari; Försti, Asta; Chen, Tianhui; Hemminki, Akseli (2021)
    Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare but fatal cancer, which is largely caused by exposure to asbestos. Reliable information about the incidence of MPM prior the influence of asbestos is lacking. The nationwide regional incidence trends for MPM remain poorly characterized. We use nationwide MPM data for Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), Norway (NO) and Sweden (SE) to assess incidence, mortality and survival trends for MPM in these countries. Methods: We use the NORDCAN database for the analyses: incidence data were available from 1943 in DK, 1953 in FI and NO and 1958 in SE, through 2016. Survival data were available from 1967 through 2016. World standard population was used in age standardization. Results: The lowest incidence that we recorded for MPM was 0.02/100,000 for NO women and 0.05/100,000 for FI men in 1953–57, marking the incidence before the influence of asbestos. The highest rate of 1.9/100,000 was recorded for DK in 1997. Female incidence was much lower than male incidence. In each country, the male incidence trend for MPM culminated, first in SE around 1990. The regional incidence trends matched with earlier asbestos-related industrial activity, shipbuilding in FI and SE, cement manufacturing and shipbuilding in DK and seafaring in NO. Relative 1-year survival increased from about 20 to 50% but 5-year survival remained at or below 10%. Conclusion: In the Nordic countries, the male incidence trends for MPM climaxed and started to decrease, indicating that the prevention of exposure was beneficial. Survival in MPM has improved for both sexes but long-term survival remains dismal.
  • Olenius, Tobias; Koskenvuo, Laura; Koskensalo, Selja; Lepisto, Anna; Böckelman, Camilla (2022)
    Background Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence in Finland has risen steadily. Given development in cancer treatments in recent decades, disease-specific data on the long-term prognosis of patients may be obsolete. Thus, this study aimed to report 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) and relative survival based on tumour spread and site among CRC patients diagnosed between 1991 and 2015 in Finland. Material and methods We conducted a population-based registry study among 59 465 CRC patients identified from the Finnish Cancer Registry. Results The 5-year DSS for all CRC patients was 56.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 56.3-57.1%] for 1991 through 2015. Tumour site-specific survival has improved for the period 2006-2015 versus 1991-2005 for right-sided colon cancer from 54.8% (95% CI 53.8-55.8%) to 59.9% (95% CI 58.7-61.1%), for left-sided colon cancer from 54.1% (95% CI 52.9-55.3%) to 61.0% (95% CI 59.8-62.2%) and for rectal cancer from 53.6% (95% CI 52.2-55.0%) to 62.3% (95% CI 61.3-63.3%). The 5-year relative survival for the period 2006 through 2015 was 93.6% for localised disease (stage I); 84.2% for locally advanced tumour invading adjacent structures (stage II); 68.2% for regional disease with regional lymph node metastases (stage III); and 14.0% for metastatic disease (stage IV). Conclusions This study confirms that survival for CRC has improved in recent decades in Finland, mirroring observations from other Western countries. However, the classification of tumour spread within the Finnish Cancer Registry differs slightly from the TNM classification, thereby limiting the generalisability of these results.
  • Kuosmanen, Lotta; Hupli, Maija; Ahtiluoto, Satu; Haavisto, Elina (2021)
    Background Shared decision-making is a process where the decisions regarding patients' care are done in collaboration with the patient, the patient's family and a healthcare professional or an interdisciplinary team. Shared decision-making is considered to be a part of patient centred care, and it enables patient autonomy which is a cornerstone of palliative care. In the past, research on the experiences of palliative care patients' participation in shared decision-making involving a nurse has been limited as the focus has mainly been on specific medical interventions, rather than holistic palliative care. Objectives To synthesise research findings on patient participation in shared decision-making in palliative care. Research design An integrative literature review. Methods The literature search was conducted by searching computerised databases (CINAHL, PubMed, PsychINFO and COCHRANE). The search resulted in 12 articles. The quality of the included articles was evaluated with JBI checklist, and the data analysis was done using inductive content analysis. Reporting was done according to a PRISMA checklist. Findings Patients do participate in shared decision-making and desire to participate in everyday nursing care decisions, treatment-related medical decisions and end-of-life decisions. The prerequisites for patient participation in shared decision-making are interdisciplinary teamwork, open communication, good patient-healthcare professional relationship, a favourable environment and mutual information. Conclusion Palliative care patients do participate and desire to participate in decisions that cover a much broader range of topics than just medical interventions and this should be addressed in future research and in practise. The main responsibility for successful patient participation in shared decision-making lies with the healthcare professionals and the organisations providing palliative care. There is a need to conduct more research from the patient's perspective and explore the meaning of participating in shared decision-making from the patient's point of view.
  • Forma, Leena Päivikki; Aaltonen, Mari; Raitanen, Jani; Anthun, Kjartan Sarheim; Kalseth, Jorid (2020)
    Aims: This study aimed to find out how place of death varied between countries with different health and social service systems. This was done by investigating typical groups (concerning age, sex and end-of-life trajectory) of older people dying in different places in Finland and Norway. Methods: The data were derived from national registers. All those who died in Finland or Norway at the age of ⩾70 years in 2011 were included. Place of death was analysed by age, sex, end-of-life trajectory and degree of urbanisation of the municipality of residence. Two-proportion z-tests were performed to test the differences between the countries. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed separately for both countries to find the factors associated with place of death. Results: The data consisted of 68,433 individuals. Deaths occurred most commonly in health centres in Finland and in nursing homes in Norway. Deaths in hospital were more common in Norway than they were in Finland. In both countries, deaths in hospital were more common among younger people and men. Deaths in nursing homes were commonest among frail older people, while most of those who had a terminal illness died in health centres in Finland and in nursing homes in Norway. Conclusions: Both Finland and Norway have a relatively low share of hospital deaths among older people. Both countries have developed alternatives to end-of-life care in hospital, allowing for spending the last days or weeks of life closer to home. In Finland, health centres play a key role in end-of-life care, while in Norway nursing homes serve this role.
  • Jakobsson, Martin; O'Regan, Matt; Morth, Carl-Magnus; Stranne, Christian; Weidner, Elizabeth; Hansson, Jim; Gyllencreutz, Richard; Humborg, Christoph; Elfwing, Tina; Norkko, Alf; Norkko, Joanna; Nilsson, Bjorn; Sjöström, Arne (2020)
    Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) influences ocean chemistry, circulation, and the spreading of nutrients and pollutants; it also shapes sea floor morphology. In the Baltic Sea, SGD was linked to the development of terraces and semicircular depressions mapped in an area of the southern Stockholm archipelago, Sweden, in the 1990s. We mapped additional parts of the Stockholm archipelago, areas in Blekinge, southern Sweden, and southern Finland using high-resolution multibeam sonars and sub-bottom profilers to investigate if the sea floor morphological features discovered in the 1990s are widespread and to further address the hypothesis linking their formation to SGD. Sediment coring and sea floor photography conducted with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and divers add additional information to the geophysical mapping results. We find that terraces, with general bathymetric expressions of about 1 m and lateral extents of sometimes > 100 m, are widespread in the surveyed areas of the Baltic Sea and are consistently formed in glacial clay. Semicircular depressions, however, are only found in a limited part of a surveyed area east of the island of Asko, southern Stockholm archipelago. While submarine terraces can be produced by several processes, we interpret our results to be in support of the basic hypothesis of terrace formation initially proposed in the 1990s; i.e. groundwater flows through siltier, more permeable layers in glacial clay to discharge at the sea floor, leading to the formation of a sharp terrace when the clay layers above seepage zones are undermined enough to collapse. By linking the terraces to a specific geologic setting, our study further refines the formation hypothesis and thereby forms the foundation for a future assessment of SGD in the Baltic Sea that may use marine geological mapping as a starting point. We propose that SGD through the submarine sea floor terraces is plausible and could be intermittent and linked to periods of higher groundwater levels, implying that to quantify the contribution of freshwater to the Baltic Sea through this potential mechanism, more complex hydrogeological studies are required.
  • Hemminki, Kari; Försti, Asta; Hemminki, Akseli; Ljungberg, Börje; Hemminki, Otto (2021)
    Global survival studies have shown favorable development in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) treatment but few studies have considered extended periods or covered populations for which medical care is essentially free of charge. We analyzed RCC survival in Finland and Sweden over a 50-year period (1967-2016) using data from the NORDCAN database provided by the local cancer registries. While the health care systems are largely similar in the two countries, the economic resources have been stronger in Sweden. In addition to the standard 1- and 5-year relative survival rates, we calculated the difference between these as a measure of how well survival was maintained between years 1 and 5. Relative 1- year survival rates increased almost linearly in both countries and reached 90% in Sweden and 80% in Finland. Although 5-year survival also developed favorably the difference between 1- and 5-year survival rates did not improve in Sweden suggesting that the gains in 5-year survival were entirely due to gains in 1-year survival. In Finland there was a gain in survival between years 1 and 5, but the gain in 1-years survival was the main contributor to the favorable 5-year survival. Age group specific analysis showed large survival differences, particularly among women. Towards the end of the follow-up period the differences narrowed but the disadvantage of the old patients remained in 5-year survival. The limitations of the study were lack of information on performed treatment and clinical stage in the NORDCAN database. In conclusion, the available data suggest that earlier diagnosis and surgical treatment of RCC have been the main driver of the favorable change in survival during the past 50 years. The main challenges are to reduce the age-specific survival gaps, particularly among women, and push survival gains past year 1.
  • Hui, David; Mori, Masanori; Watanabe, Sharon M.; Caraceni, Augusto; Strasser, Florian; Saarto, Tiina; Cherny, Nathan; Glare, Paul; Kaasa, Stein; Bruera, Eduardo (2016)
    Although outpatient specialty palliative-care clinics improve outcomes, there is no consensus on who should be referred or the optimal timing for referral. In response to this issue, we did a Delphi study to develop consensus on a list of criteria for referral of patients with advanced cancer at secondary or tertiary care hospitals to outpatient palliative care. 60 international experts (26 from North America, 19 from Asia and Australia, and 11 from Europe) on palliative cancer care rated 39 needs-based criteria and 22 time-based criteria in three iterative rounds. Nearly all experts responded in each round. Consensus was defined by an a-priori agreement of 70% or more. Panellists reached consensus on 11 major criteria for referral: severe physical symptoms, severe emotional symptoms, request for hastened death, spiritual or existential crisis, assistance with decision making or care planning, patient request for referral, delirium, spinal cord compression, brain or leptomeningeal metastases, within 3 months of advanced cancer diagnosis for patients with median survival of 1 year or less, and progressive disease despite second-line therapy. Consensus was also reached on 36 minor criteria for specialist palliative-care referral. These criteria, if validated, could provide guidance for identification of patients suitable for outpatient specialty palliative care.
  • Saarelainen, Suvi-Maria; Vähäkangas, Auli; Anttonen, Mirja Sisko (2020)
    Increasingly more older people are now being cared for in their own homes. Furthermore, it has become more common that people stay at home to receive end-of-life care. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), we analyzed the religious experiences of older people (aged 65+). We answered these questions: What kind of religious experiences do older people have when death is approaching? What does this tell us about their religious coping? As IPA is based on the in-depth analysis of small amounts of homogenous data, we analyzed five interviews with older people who were dying. We identified three main themes. First, religious experiences are relational, that is, deeply rooted in personal relationships. Second, religious experiences are real and can provide both struggles and comfort in the last stage of life. Third, the experience of encountering one's mortality and planning for one's death was calming; while many had unclear views on the afterlife, the idea of continuing bonds after death was comforting. More open discussion on religious matters, death, and dying would be welcomed as part of home-based end-of-life care.
  • Hemminki, Kari; Försti, Asta; Hemminki, Akseli (2021)
    Objectives Global survival studies have shown favourable development in colon and rectal cancers but few studies have considered extended periods or covered populations for which medical care is essentially free of charge. Design We analysed colon and rectal cancer survival in Finland and Sweden over a 50-year period (1967-2016) using data from the Nordcan database. In addition to the standard 1-year and 5-year survival rates, we calculated the difference between these as a novel measure of how well survival was maintained between years 1 and 5. Results Relative 1-year and 5-year survival rates have developed favourably without major shifts for men and women in both countries. For Finnish men, 1-year survival in colon cancer increased from 50% to 82%, and for rectal cancer from 62% to 85%. The Swedish survival was a few per cent unit better for 1-year survival but for 5-year survival the results were equal. Survival of female patients for both cancers was somewhat better than survival in men through 50 years. Overall the survival gains were higher in the early compared with the late follow-up periods, and were the smallest in the last 10 years. The difference between 1-year and 5-year survival in colon cancer was essentially unchanged over the 50-year period while in rectal cancer there was a large improvement. Conclusions The gradual positive development in survival suggests a contribution by many small improvements rather than single breakthroughs. The improvement in 5-year survival in colon cancer was almost entirely driven by improvement in 1-year survival while in rectal cancer the positive development extended to survival past year 1, probably due to successful curative treatments. The current challenges are to reinvigorate the apparently stalled positive development and to extend them to old patients. For colon cancer, survival gains need to be extended past year 1 of diagnosis.
  • 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.
  • Lamppu, Pauli J.; Laakkonen, Marja-Liisa; Finne-Soveri, Harriet; Kautiainen, Hannu; Laurila, Jouko V.; Pitkälä, Kaisu H. (2021)
    Context. Long-term care facility (LTCF) residents have unmet needs in end-of-life and symptom care. Objectives. This study examines the effects of an end-of-life care staff training intervention on LTCF residents' pain, symptoms, and psychological well-being and their proxies' satisfaction with care. Methods. We report findings from a single-blind, cluster randomized controlled trial featuring 324 residents with end-of-life care needs in 20 LTCF wards in Helsinki. The training intervention included four 4-hour educational workshops on palliative care principles (advance care planning, adverse effects of hospitalizations, symptom management, communication, supporting proxies, challenging situations). Training was provided to all members of staff in small groups. Education was based on constructive learning methods and included participants' own resident cases, role-plays, and small-group discussions. During a 12-month follow-up we assessed residents' symptoms with the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS), pain with the PAINAD instrument and psychological well-being using a PWB questionnaire. Proxies' satisfaction with care was assessed using the SWC-EOLD. Results. The change in ESAS symptom scores from baseline to 6 months favored the intervention group compared with the control group. However, the finding was diluted at 12 months. PAINAD, PWB, and SWC-EOLD scores remained unaffected by the intervention. All follow-up analyses were adjusted for age, gender, do-not-resuscitate order, need for help, and clustering. Conclusion. Our rigorous randomized controlled trial on palliative care training intervention demonstrated mild effects on residents' symptoms and no robust effects on psychological well-being or on proxies' satisfaction with care. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.