End-of-Life Place of Care, Health Care Settings, and Health Care Transitions Among Cancer Patients: Impact of an Integrated Cancer Palliative Care Plan

Veronica Casotto, Maria Rolfini, Eliana Ferroni, Valentina Savioli, Nicola Gennaro, Francesco Avossa, Maurizio Cancian, Franco Figoli, Domenico Mantoan, Antonio Brambilla, Maria Cristina Ghiotto, Ugo Fedeli, Mario Saugo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Context Frequent end-of-life health care setting transitions can lead to an increased risk of fragmented care and exposure to unnecessary treatments. Objectives We assessed the relationship between the presence and the intensity of an Integrated Cancer Palliative Care (ICPC) plan and the occurrence of multiple transitions during the last month of life. Methods Decedents of cancer aged 18–85 years residents in two regions of Italy were investigated accessing their integrated administrative data (death certificates, hospital discharges, hospice, and home care records). The principal outcome was defined as having 3+ health care setting transitions during the last month of life. The ICPC plans instituted 90–31 days before death represented the main exposure of interest. Results Of the 17,604 patients, 6698 included in an ICPC, although spending in hospital a median number of only two days (interquartile range 1–2), experienced 1+ (59.8%), 2+ (21.1%), or 3+ (5.9%) health care transitions. Among the latter group, the most common trajectory of care is home-hospital-home-hospital (36.0%). The intensity of the ICPC plan showed a marked protective effect toward the event of 3+ health care setting transitions; the effect is already evident from an intensity of at least one home visit/week (odds ratio 0.73; 95% confidence interval 0.62–0.87). Conclusion A well-integrated palliative care approach can be effective in further reducing the percentage of patients who spent many days in hospital and/or undergo frequent and inopportune changes of their care setting during their last month of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017

Keywords

  • end of life
  • health care transitions
  • Palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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