BMC Palliative Care

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ISSN / EISSN : 1472-684X / 1472-684X
Published by: Springer Nature (10.1186)
Total articles ≅ 1,092
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Clément Cormi, Marie Petit, Juline Auclair, Emmanuel Bagaragaza, Isabelle Colombet, Stéphane Sanchez
Published: 14 October 2021
BMC Palliative Care, Volume 20, pp 1-9; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-021-00864-6

Abstract:
Background Despite increasing use of telemedicine in the field of palliative care, studies about the best circumstances and processes where it could replace face-to-face interaction are lacking. This study aimed to: (1) identify situations that are most amenable to the use of telemedicine for the provision of palliative care to patients in nursing homes; and (2) understand how telemedicine could best be integrated into the routine practice of mobile palliative care teams. Methods A qualitative study based on semi-structured focus groups (n = 7) with professionals (n = 33) working in mobile palliative care teams in France. Results Between June and July 2019, 7 mobile palliative care teams participated in one focus group each. Using thematic analysis, we found that telemedicine use in palliative care is about navigating between usual and new practices. Several influencing factors also emerged, which influence the use of telemedicine for palliative care, depending on the situation. Finally, we built a use-case model of palliative care to help mobile palliative care teams identify circumstances where telemedicine could be useful, or not. Conclusions The potential utility of telemedicine for delivering palliative care in nursing homes largely depends on the motive for calling on the mobile palliative care team. Requests regarding symptoms may be particularly amenable to telemedicine, whereas psycho-social distress may not. Further studies are warranted to assess the impact of influencing factors on real-life palliative care practices. Telemedicine could nonetheless be a useful addition to the mobile palliative care teams’ armamentarium.
Håkon Johansen, Ann Karin Helgesen
Published: 14 October 2021
BMC Palliative Care, Volume 20, pp 1-9; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-021-00860-w

Abstract:
Background Approaches involving resource nurses have been used in several fields of practice to enhance quality of care. A literature review reveals limited research on the role of the resource nurse in palliative care in the community. Aim To explore experiences related to the role of the resource nurse in palliative care in the setting of nursing homes in Norway. Design The study has an explorative design with a qualitative approach. Methods Two semi structured group interviews were conducted. Five resource nurses participated in the first interview, two resource nurses participated in the last interview. The group interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim and analysed with systematic text condensation. Results The resource nurses wish to promote high-quality palliative care. They are skilled palliative nurses working clinically, and they use their experience and knowledge to talk about and demonstrate good practice. By conveying knowledge and being role models, they bolster their colleagues’ confidence and skills in palliative care and contribute to a shared view of quality. They can potentially play an important role in facilitating reflection and collaboration in the palliative care team. However, the resource nurse’s function is affected by interpersonal, managerial and organisational factors. Conclusion The resource nurse most important tool in promoting high-quality palliative care may be to support their colleagues being a role model, and sharing knowledge and experience. The resource nurses play an important role in facilitating reflection and collaboration in the palliative care team and may contribute to ethical awareness and proper dialogues about end of life issues.
Valeria Cardenas, Anna Rahman, Jenna Giulioni, Alexis Coulourides Kogan, Susan Enguidanos
Published: 14 October 2021
BMC Palliative Care, Volume 20, pp 1-11; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-021-00856-6

Abstract:
Background Researchers are encountering increasing challenges in recruiting participants for palliative and healthcare research. This paper aims to understand challenges to and methods for engaging physicians and seriously ill patients and their caregivers in research studies. Methods Between October 2019 to July 2020, we conducted qualitative interviews with 25 patients, proxies, and caregivers participants who were eligible for a randomized controlled trial of home-based palliative care and 31 physicians from participating accountable care organizations. Using thematic analysis, we analyzed participants’ responses to identify concepts and key ideas within the text. From these initial concepts, core themes around barriers to research and preferred research recruitment approaches were generated. Results Themes from patient and caregiver interviews included time constraints, privacy concerns, lack of research familiarity, disconnect with research institution, self-perceived health status, and concerns with study randomization. Physician-identified barriers focused on time constraints and study randomization. Patient and caregiver recommendations for study recruitment included in-person recruitment, recruitment at healthcare providers’ offices, recruitment via mail, additional study information, and frequent calls. Physician recommendations were related to placement of flyers at clinics, financial incentives, and formal events. Conclusions Findings demonstrated that although patients and caregivers prefer that their physicians recruit them for health-related research studies, physicians identified time constraints as a consistent barrier to research involvement.
Rebecca L. Edwards, Patricia A. Patrician, ,
Published: 13 October 2021
BMC Palliative Care, Volume 20, pp 1-19; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-021-00863-7

Abstract:
Background Provision of palliative care to individuals with late-stage serious illnesses is critical to reduce suffering. Palliative care is slowly gaining momentum in Jamaica but requires a highly skilled workforce, including nurses. Out-migration of nurses to wealthier countries negatively impacts the delivery of health care services and may impede palliative care capacity-building. This critical review aimed to explore the evidence pertaining to the nurse migration effect on the integration of palliative care services in Jamaica and to formulate hypotheses about potential mitigating strategies. Methods A comprehensive search in the PubMed, CINAHL, and ProQuest PAIS databases aimed to identify articles pertinent to nurse migration in the Caribbean context. Grant and Booth’s methodologic framework for critical reviews was used to evaluate the literature. This methodology uses a narrative, chronologic synthesis and was guided by the World Health Organization (WHO) Public Health Model and the Model of Sustainability in Global Nursing. Results Data from 14 articles were extracted and mapped. Poorer patient outcomes were in part attributed to the out-migration of the most skilled nurses. ‘Push-factors’ such as aggressive recruitment by wealthier countries, lack of continuing educational opportunities, disparate wages, and a lack of professional autonomy and respect were clear contributors. Gender inequalities negatively impacted females and children left behind. Poor working conditions were not necessarily a primary reason for nurse migration. Four main themes were identified across articles: (a) globalization creating opportunities for migration, (b) recruitment of skilled professionals from CARICOM by high income countries, (c) imbalance and inequities resulting from migration, and (d) mitigation strategies. Thirteen articles suggested education, partnerships, policy, and incentives as mitigation strategies. Those strategies directly align with the WHO Public Health Model drivers to palliative care integration. Conclusion Emerged evidence supports that nurse migration is an ongoing phenomenon that strains health systems in Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) countries, with Jamaica being deeply impacted. This critical review demonstrates the importance of strategically addressing nurse migration as part of palliative care integration efforts in Jamaica. Future studies should include targeted migration mitigation interventions and should be guided by the three working hypotheses derived from this review.
Filippo Binda, Marco Clari, Gabriella Nicolò, Simone Gambazza, Barbara Sappa, Paola Bosco, Dario Laquintana
Published: 12 October 2021
BMC Palliative Care, Volume 20, pp 1-9; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-021-00862-8

Abstract:
Background In the last decade, access to national palliative care programs have improved, however a large proportion of patients continued to die in hospital, particularly within internal medicine wards. Objectives To describe treatments, symptoms and clinical management of adult patients at the end of their life and explore whether these differ according to expectation of death. Methods Single-centre cross-sectional study performed in the medical and surgical wards of a large tertiary-level university teaching hospital in the north of Italy. Data on nursing interventions and diagnostic procedure in proximity of death were collected after interviewing the nurse and the physician responsible for the patient. Relationship between nursing treatments delivered and patients’ characteristics, quality of dying and nurses’ expectation about death was summarized by means of multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). Results Few treatments were found statistically associated with expectation of death in the 187 patients included. In the last 48 h, routine (70.6%) and biomarkers (41.7%) blood tests were performed, at higher extent on patients whose death was not expected. Many symptoms classified as severe were reported when death was highly expected, except for agitation and respiratory fatigue which were reported when death was moderately expected. A high Norton score and absence of anti-bedsore mattress were associated with unexpected death and poor quality of dying, as summarized by MCA. Quality of dying was perceived as good by nurses when death was moderately and highly expected. Physicians rated more frequently than nurses the quality of dying as good or very good, respectively 78.6 and 57.8%, denoting a fair agreement between the two professionals (k = 0.24, P < 0.001). The palliative care consultant was requested for only two patients. Conclusion Staff in medical and surgical wards still deal inadequately with the needs of dying people. Presence of hospital-based specialist palliative care could lead to improvements in the patients’ quality of life.
Ylva Åkerblom, Lena Zetterberg, Birgitta Jakobsson Larsson, Dag Nyholm, Ingela Nygren, Pernilla Åsenlöf
Published: 12 October 2021
BMC Palliative Care, Volume 20, pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-021-00848-6

Abstract:
Background Up to 85% of people with motor neuron disease (MND) report pain, but whether pain has negative impact on quality of life is unclear. The aim was to study associations between pain, disease severity and individual quality of life (IQOL) in patients with MND. Methods In this cross sectional study, 61 patients were recruited from four multidisciplinary teams in Sweden, whereof 55 responded to the pain measure (The Brief Pain Inventory – Short form) and were included in the main analyses. Disease severity was measured with the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale - Revised Version, and individual quality of life was measured with a study-specific version of the Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life - Direct Weighting. Results Forty-one (74%) of the participants who answered BPI-SF (n = 55) reported pain. Thirty-nine (71%) of those reported pain during the past 24 h. The severity of pain was on average moderate, with eight participants (14%) reporting severe pain (PSI ≥ 7). Satisfaction with IQOL for the entire sample was good (scale 1-7, where 1 equals poor quality of life): median 5, interquartile range (IQR) 2.75 and there was no difference in satisfaction with IQOL between those reporting pain/not reporting pain (median 5, IQR 2/median 5, IQR 3.5, Mann-Whitney U = 249, p = 0.452). There was neither any correlation between pain severity and satisfaction with IQOL, nor between disease severity and satisfaction with IQOL. Conclusions The results add to the hypothesis that associations between non-motor symptoms such as pain prevalence and pain severity and IQOL in MND are weak. Pain prevalence was high and the results pointed to that some participants experienced high pain severity, which indicate that pain assessments and pain treatments tailored to the specific needs of the MND population should be developed and scientifically evaluated.
Hui-Lin Cheng, Doris Yin Ping Leung, Po Shan Ko, Ming Wai Chung, Wai Man Lam, Po Tin Lam, Andrew Leung Luk, Simon Ching Lam
Published: 9 October 2021
BMC Palliative Care, Volume 20, pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-021-00852-w

Abstract:
Background Among the few existing needs assessment tools for family carers, the 14-item Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) is the only brief and holistic needs screening tool designed for everyday use in palliative care practices. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability, validity, and acceptability of the traditional Chinese version of the CSNAT in palliative care settings in Hong Kong. Methods This adopted a cross-sectional and correlation design with repeated measures. The participants were 125 family carers of palliative cancer patients and 10 healthcare providers (HCPs) that were recruited from two local hospitals. The evaluation of psychometric properties included the following: (1) content validity through HCPs including frontline physicians, nurses, social workers, and clinical psychologists; (2) construct validity between the CSNAT items and those of the validated tools that measured caregiver burden, social support, and caregiving self-efficacy; and (3) one-week test-retest reliability in a sub-sample of 81 caregivers. The acceptability of the tool was assessed by the carers using several closed-ended questions. Results The content validity index of the CSNAT at the scale level was 0.98. Each item of the CSNAT was significantly and moderately correlated with caregiver burden (Spearman’s r = 0.24 to 0.50) and caregiving self-efficacy (r = − 0.21 to − 0.52), but not for social support. All CSNAT items had fair to moderate test-retest reliability (weighted kappa = 0.21 to 0.48), with the exception of two items “managing your relatives’ symptoms, including giving medicines” and “having time for yourself in the day”. Regarding the acceptability of the CSNAT, almost all HCPs were willing to use the CSNAT for carer assessment and support. 89.6% of the carers demonstrated a comprehensibility of the CSNAT tool and 92.9% felt comfortable answering the questions. Around 90% of the carers agreed to use the tool for screening, discussing needs, and making referrals. Conclusion The traditional Chinese version of the CSNAT is a tool with high validity and acceptability and adequate reliability that measures family carers’ support needs, which should be considered for wide application in local palliative care practices.
Sakiko Fukui, Naoko Otsuki, Sumie Ikezaki, Hiroki Fukahori, Saori Irie
Published: 30 September 2021
BMC Palliative Care, Volume 20, pp 1-9; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-021-00847-7

Abstract:
Background Japan has the largest population of older adults in the world; it is only growing as life expectancy increases worldwide. As such, solutions to potential obstacles must be studied to maintain healthy, productive lives for older adults. In 2011, the Japanese government has started a policy to increase “Elderly Housing with Care Services (EHCS)”, which is one of a private rental housing, as a place where safe and secure end-of-life care can be provided. The government expect for them to provide end-of-life care by collaborating with the Home-Visit Nursing Agencies (HVNA). The purpose of this study is to clarify the situation of the end-of-life care provision in EHCS in collaboration with HVNA and to examine the factors that associate with the provision of the end-of-life care in EHCS. Methods A two-stage nationwide survey (fax and mail surveys) were conducted. Of the 5,172 HVNA of the National Association for Visiting Nurse Services members, members from 359 agencies visited EHCS. Logistic regression analysis was conducted with the provision of end-of-life care to EHCS in 2017 as the dependent variable, and the following as independent variables: characteristics of HVNA and EHCS; characteristics of residents; collaborations between HVNA and EHCS; and the reasons for starting home-visit nursing. Results Of the 342 HVNA who responded to the collaborations with EHCS, 21.6% provided end-of-life care. The following factors were significantly associated with the provision of end-of-life care to inmates in elderly care facilities: being affiliated with a HVNA, admitting many residents using long-term care insurance, collaborating with each other for more than three years, and started visiting-nurse services after being requested by a resident’s physician. Conclusions This study clarified the situation of the provision of end-of-life care in EHCS in collaboration with HVNA and the related factors that help in providing end-of-life care in EHCS.
Liujin Li, Jingmin Lv, Lingling Zhang, Yalan Song, Ying Zhou, Jiaxian Liu
Published: 29 September 2021
BMC Palliative Care, Volume 20, pp 1-9; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-021-00846-8

Abstract:
Backgrounds An understanding of the oncology nurse spiritual care competence would help nurse managers recognize weakness in spiritual practice and improve the quality of spiritual care. But the relationship between attitude towards death and spiritual care competence is unknown. Methods We recruited 326 nurses from hospitals in Guangzhou, China. The nurses completed the Chinese Spiritual Care Competence Scale and the Chinese Death Attitude Profile-Revised questionnaires. Results The total score of spiritual care competence was 61.62 ± 16.10. And the lowest score of attitude towards death was for escape acceptance, 2.64 ± 0.82. Factors associated with nurse spiritual care competence were work department, whether trained in spiritual care, approaching acceptance, and escaping acceptance of attitude towards death. Conclusion Nurses need to perfect their spiritual care competence and establish positive attitudes towards death.
Malin Eneslätt, Gert Helgesson, Carol Tishelman
Published: 22 September 2021
BMC Palliative Care, Volume 20, pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-021-00839-7

Abstract:
Background End-of-life preferences may change over time, e.g. due to illness progression or life events. Research on stability of end-of-life preferences has largely focused on life-sustaining treatments in seriously ill patients or medical decision-making based on hypothetical illness scenarios and possible treatment options. Few studies focus on community-dwellers in natural settings. The aim of this study was thus to explore if and how community-dwelling, older adults’ prioritizations and reasoning about values and preferences for future end-of-life care change over time. Methods Using a mixed-methods design, we explored stability of end-of-life preferences in older community-dwelling adults without imminent end-of-life care needs. At two timepoints (T1 and T2), 5.5–12 months apart, 52 individuals discussed what would be important to them at the end-of-life, through open conversations and while using DöBra cards, a Swedish version of GoWish cards. Participants ranked their most important card statements from 1 to 10. Stability in card rankings, i.e. a card recurring in the top-10 ranking at T2 regardless of position, was explored using descriptive statistics and non-parametric analyses. Participants’ reasoning about card choices were explored with longitudinal qualitative analysis. Results Stability between T1 and T2 in the top-10 priorities ranged from 20 to 80%, median 60%. Stability in cards rankings could not be explained by changes in participants’ health status, extent of card use (no/little/frequent use) between interviews, or days between T1 and T2, nor was it related to demographic variables. Qualitative analysis showed that consistent reasoning was not always paired with consistency in card choices and changed card choices were not always related to changes in reasoning. Conclusions Longitudinal exploration combining DöBra card rankings with underlying reasoning about end-of-life preferences over time furthers knowledge on the dynamics between values and preferences in end-of-life decision-making. Individuals’ end-of-life preferences in form of card choices were relatively stable over time albeit with large variation between different individuals. However, the values and underlying reasoning that participants used to motivate their choices appeared more stable than ranking of card choices. We thus conclude that concurrent conversation-based exploration is a more comprehensive indicator of end-of-life values and preferences over time than ranking of cards alone.
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