Improving comfort around dying in elderly people

A cluster randomised controlled trial

Kim Beernaert, Tinne Smets, Joachim Cohen, Rebecca Verhofstede, Massimo Costantini, Kim Eecloo, Nele Van Den Noortgate, Luc Deliens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Over 50% of elderly people die in acute hospital settings, where the quality of end-of-life care is often suboptimum. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of the Care Programme for the Last Days of Life (CAREFuL) at improving comfort and quality of care in the dying phase in elderly people. Methods: We did a cluster randomised controlled trial in acute geriatric wards in ten hospitals in Flemish Region, Belgium, between Oct 1, 2012, and March 31, 2015. Hospitals were randomly assigned to implementation of CAREFuL (CAREFuL group) or to standard care (control group) using a random number generator. Patients and families were masked to interventaion allocation; hospital staff were unmasked. CAREFuL comprised a care guide for the last days of life, training, supportive documentation, and an implementation guide. Primary outcomes were comfort around dying, measured with the End-of-Life in Dementia-Comfort Assessment in Dying (CAD-EOLD), and symptom management, measured with the End-of-Life in Dementia-Symptom Management (SM-EOLD), by nurses and family carers. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01890239. Findings: 451 (11%) of 4241 beds in ten hospitals were included in the analyses. Five hospitals were randomly assigned to standard health care practice and five to the CAREFuL programme; 118 patients in the control group and 164 in the CAREFuL group were eligible for assessment. Assessments were done for 132 (80%) of 164 patients in the CAREFuL group and 109 (92%) of 118 in the control group by nurses, and 48 (29%) in the CAREFuL group and 23 (19%) in the control group by family carers. Implementation of CAREFuL compared with control significantly improved nurse-assessed comfort (CAD-EOLD baseline-adjusted mean difference 4·30, 95% CI 2·07-6·53; p<0·0001). No significant differences were noted for the CAD-EOLD assessed by family carers (baseline-adjusted mean difference -0·62, 95% CI -6·07 to 4·82; p=0·82) or the SM-EOLD assessed by nurses (-0·41, -1·86 to 1·05; p=0·58) or by family carers (-0·59, -3·75 to 2·57; p=0·71). Interpretation: Although a continuous monitoring of the programme is warranted, these results suggest that implementation of CAREFuL might improve care during the last days of life for patients in acute geriatric hospital wards. Funding: The Flemish Government Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology and the Belgian Cancer Society "Kom Op Tegen Kanker".

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Lancet
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017

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Randomized Controlled Trials
Caregivers
Nurses
Control Groups
Geriatrics
Dementia
Government Agencies
Intention to Treat Analysis
Terminal Care
Quality of Health Care
Belgium
Program Evaluation
Documentation
Quality of Life
Technology
Delivery of Health Care
Neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Beernaert, K., Smets, T., Cohen, J., Verhofstede, R., Costantini, M., Eecloo, K., ... Deliens, L. (Accepted/In press). Improving comfort around dying in elderly people: A cluster randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31265-5

Improving comfort around dying in elderly people : A cluster randomised controlled trial. / Beernaert, Kim; Smets, Tinne; Cohen, Joachim; Verhofstede, Rebecca; Costantini, Massimo; Eecloo, Kim; Van Den Noortgate, Nele; Deliens, Luc.

In: The Lancet, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Beernaert, K, Smets, T, Cohen, J, Verhofstede, R, Costantini, M, Eecloo, K, Van Den Noortgate, N & Deliens, L 2017, 'Improving comfort around dying in elderly people: A cluster randomised controlled trial', The Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31265-5
Beernaert, Kim ; Smets, Tinne ; Cohen, Joachim ; Verhofstede, Rebecca ; Costantini, Massimo ; Eecloo, Kim ; Van Den Noortgate, Nele ; Deliens, Luc. / Improving comfort around dying in elderly people : A cluster randomised controlled trial. In: The Lancet. 2017.
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abstract = "Background: Over 50{\%} of elderly people die in acute hospital settings, where the quality of end-of-life care is often suboptimum. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of the Care Programme for the Last Days of Life (CAREFuL) at improving comfort and quality of care in the dying phase in elderly people. Methods: We did a cluster randomised controlled trial in acute geriatric wards in ten hospitals in Flemish Region, Belgium, between Oct 1, 2012, and March 31, 2015. Hospitals were randomly assigned to implementation of CAREFuL (CAREFuL group) or to standard care (control group) using a random number generator. Patients and families were masked to interventaion allocation; hospital staff were unmasked. CAREFuL comprised a care guide for the last days of life, training, supportive documentation, and an implementation guide. Primary outcomes were comfort around dying, measured with the End-of-Life in Dementia-Comfort Assessment in Dying (CAD-EOLD), and symptom management, measured with the End-of-Life in Dementia-Symptom Management (SM-EOLD), by nurses and family carers. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01890239. Findings: 451 (11{\%}) of 4241 beds in ten hospitals were included in the analyses. Five hospitals were randomly assigned to standard health care practice and five to the CAREFuL programme; 118 patients in the control group and 164 in the CAREFuL group were eligible for assessment. Assessments were done for 132 (80{\%}) of 164 patients in the CAREFuL group and 109 (92{\%}) of 118 in the control group by nurses, and 48 (29{\%}) in the CAREFuL group and 23 (19{\%}) in the control group by family carers. Implementation of CAREFuL compared with control significantly improved nurse-assessed comfort (CAD-EOLD baseline-adjusted mean difference 4·30, 95{\%} CI 2·07-6·53; p<0·0001). No significant differences were noted for the CAD-EOLD assessed by family carers (baseline-adjusted mean difference -0·62, 95{\%} CI -6·07 to 4·82; p=0·82) or the SM-EOLD assessed by nurses (-0·41, -1·86 to 1·05; p=0·58) or by family carers (-0·59, -3·75 to 2·57; p=0·71). Interpretation: Although a continuous monitoring of the programme is warranted, these results suggest that implementation of CAREFuL might improve care during the last days of life for patients in acute geriatric hospital wards. Funding: The Flemish Government Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology and the Belgian Cancer Society {"}Kom Op Tegen Kanker{"}.",
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T1 - Improving comfort around dying in elderly people

T2 - A cluster randomised controlled trial

AU - Beernaert, Kim

AU - Smets, Tinne

AU - Cohen, Joachim

AU - Verhofstede, Rebecca

AU - Costantini, Massimo

AU - Eecloo, Kim

AU - Van Den Noortgate, Nele

AU - Deliens, Luc

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Background: Over 50% of elderly people die in acute hospital settings, where the quality of end-of-life care is often suboptimum. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of the Care Programme for the Last Days of Life (CAREFuL) at improving comfort and quality of care in the dying phase in elderly people. Methods: We did a cluster randomised controlled trial in acute geriatric wards in ten hospitals in Flemish Region, Belgium, between Oct 1, 2012, and March 31, 2015. Hospitals were randomly assigned to implementation of CAREFuL (CAREFuL group) or to standard care (control group) using a random number generator. Patients and families were masked to interventaion allocation; hospital staff were unmasked. CAREFuL comprised a care guide for the last days of life, training, supportive documentation, and an implementation guide. Primary outcomes were comfort around dying, measured with the End-of-Life in Dementia-Comfort Assessment in Dying (CAD-EOLD), and symptom management, measured with the End-of-Life in Dementia-Symptom Management (SM-EOLD), by nurses and family carers. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01890239. Findings: 451 (11%) of 4241 beds in ten hospitals were included in the analyses. Five hospitals were randomly assigned to standard health care practice and five to the CAREFuL programme; 118 patients in the control group and 164 in the CAREFuL group were eligible for assessment. Assessments were done for 132 (80%) of 164 patients in the CAREFuL group and 109 (92%) of 118 in the control group by nurses, and 48 (29%) in the CAREFuL group and 23 (19%) in the control group by family carers. Implementation of CAREFuL compared with control significantly improved nurse-assessed comfort (CAD-EOLD baseline-adjusted mean difference 4·30, 95% CI 2·07-6·53; p<0·0001). No significant differences were noted for the CAD-EOLD assessed by family carers (baseline-adjusted mean difference -0·62, 95% CI -6·07 to 4·82; p=0·82) or the SM-EOLD assessed by nurses (-0·41, -1·86 to 1·05; p=0·58) or by family carers (-0·59, -3·75 to 2·57; p=0·71). Interpretation: Although a continuous monitoring of the programme is warranted, these results suggest that implementation of CAREFuL might improve care during the last days of life for patients in acute geriatric hospital wards. Funding: The Flemish Government Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology and the Belgian Cancer Society "Kom Op Tegen Kanker".

AB - Background: Over 50% of elderly people die in acute hospital settings, where the quality of end-of-life care is often suboptimum. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of the Care Programme for the Last Days of Life (CAREFuL) at improving comfort and quality of care in the dying phase in elderly people. Methods: We did a cluster randomised controlled trial in acute geriatric wards in ten hospitals in Flemish Region, Belgium, between Oct 1, 2012, and March 31, 2015. Hospitals were randomly assigned to implementation of CAREFuL (CAREFuL group) or to standard care (control group) using a random number generator. Patients and families were masked to interventaion allocation; hospital staff were unmasked. CAREFuL comprised a care guide for the last days of life, training, supportive documentation, and an implementation guide. Primary outcomes were comfort around dying, measured with the End-of-Life in Dementia-Comfort Assessment in Dying (CAD-EOLD), and symptom management, measured with the End-of-Life in Dementia-Symptom Management (SM-EOLD), by nurses and family carers. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01890239. Findings: 451 (11%) of 4241 beds in ten hospitals were included in the analyses. Five hospitals were randomly assigned to standard health care practice and five to the CAREFuL programme; 118 patients in the control group and 164 in the CAREFuL group were eligible for assessment. Assessments were done for 132 (80%) of 164 patients in the CAREFuL group and 109 (92%) of 118 in the control group by nurses, and 48 (29%) in the CAREFuL group and 23 (19%) in the control group by family carers. Implementation of CAREFuL compared with control significantly improved nurse-assessed comfort (CAD-EOLD baseline-adjusted mean difference 4·30, 95% CI 2·07-6·53; p<0·0001). No significant differences were noted for the CAD-EOLD assessed by family carers (baseline-adjusted mean difference -0·62, 95% CI -6·07 to 4·82; p=0·82) or the SM-EOLD assessed by nurses (-0·41, -1·86 to 1·05; p=0·58) or by family carers (-0·59, -3·75 to 2·57; p=0·71). Interpretation: Although a continuous monitoring of the programme is warranted, these results suggest that implementation of CAREFuL might improve care during the last days of life for patients in acute geriatric hospital wards. Funding: The Flemish Government Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology and the Belgian Cancer Society "Kom Op Tegen Kanker".

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