Journal of Palliative Medicine

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN: 10966218 / 15577740
Total articles ≅ 6,883

Latest articles in this journal

, Hieronimus Loho, Brett Prestia
Published: 30 January 2023
Journal of Palliative Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0460

Abstract:
Background: Patients with serious illness may elect to transition their care to comfort measures only (CMO) while in the hospital. Although studies have shown that routine hospice care is underutilized, the rate of general inpatient hospice (GIP) use among CMO patients during their terminal admission remains unclear. Objectives: We sought to (1) examine the rate of GIP utilization and (2) identify factors associated with its use among hospitalized CMO decedents. Methods: CMO decedents in two academic, tertiary care hospitals in the United States who died between October 1, 2020 and October 31, 2021, were subgrouped based on their primary medical service (GIP vs. non-GIP) at the time of inpatient death. Data abstracted from the electronic health record included demographics, primary diagnosis codes, Rothman Index (RI), time of CMO order, ordering clinician type, time of death, and length of stay (LOS). Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed, adjusting for relevant covariates. Results: Of 1475 CMO decedents, only 321 (n = 22%) patients received GIP. On multivariable analysis, CMO patients who died in an ICU were five times less likely (odds ratio [OR] = 0.18, confidence interval [95% CI] 0.11–0.29) to receive GIP. Every 10-point increase in RI raised the likelihood of receiving GIP by 59% (OR = 1.59, 95% CI 1.39–1.80). Conclusions: Most CMO decedents died in the hospital without GIP. Compared with GIP decedents, non-GIP decedents were less acutely ill. There was no difference in total LOS between the two groups. CMO decedents were much less likely to receive GIP in an ICU. The RI may help clinicians identify CMO patients who would benefit from GIP earlier in their terminal admission.
, Martha Nance, Benzi M. Kluger, Chen Yeh, Jane S. Paulsen, Alexander K. Smith, Danny Bega
Published: 27 January 2023
Journal of Palliative Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0143

Abstract:
Background: Most people prefer to die at home. Hospice is the standard in end-of-life care for people with Huntington disease (HD), a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects people in middle adulthood. Yet, we have little knowledge regarding the place of death for people with HD. Therefore, the current state of knowledge limits HD clinicians' ability to conduct high-quality goals of care conversations. Objectives: We sought to determine the factors associated with the place of death in people with HD. Design: We obtained cross-sectional data from Enroll-HD and included participants with a positive HD mutation of 36 or more CAG repeats. Results: Out of 16,120 participants in the Enroll-HD study, 536 were reported as deceased. The mean age at death was 60. The leading place of death was home (29%), followed by the hospital (23%). The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of dying at a skilled nursing facility was significantly lower for those partnered (aOR: 0.48, confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.26–0.86). The aOR for dying on hospice compared to home was increased in a person with some college and above (aOR: 2.40, 95% CI: 1.21–4.75). Conclusions: Our data further suggest that models that predict the place of death for serious illnesses do not appear to generalize to HD. The distribution in the places of death within HD was not uniform. Our findings may assist HD clinicians in communication during goals of care conversations.
James Gerhart, Katherine Ramos, Laura S. Porter, Scott Ravyts, Sonia Malhotra, Brenna Mossman, Ashley Eaton England, Sarah Alonzi, Tristen Peyser, Seowoo Kim, et al.
Published: 27 January 2023
Journal of Palliative Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0571

Abstract:
Seriously ill patients often experience persistent pain. As a part of a comprehensive repertoire of pain interventions, palliative care clinicians can help by using behavioral pain management. Behavioral pain management refers to evidence-based psychosocial interventions to reduce pain intensity and enhance functional outcomes and quality of life. Conceptualized using the biopsychosocial model, techniques involve promoting helpful behaviors (e.g., activity pacing, stretching, and relaxation exercises) and modifying underlying patterns of thinking, feeling, and communicating that can exacerbate pain. The authors have expertise in pain management, clinical health psychology, geropsychology, behavioral science, and palliative medicine. The article reviews the current evidence for behavioral interventions for persistent pain and provides 10 recommendations for behavioral pain management.
Kate Cicozi, , Daniel H. Grossoehme, Audrey Hiltunen, Catherine Roth, Gwendolyn Richner, Stephani S. Kim, Sarah Friebert
Published: 25 January 2023
Journal of Palliative Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0480

Abstract:
Background: Pediatric home-based palliative care and/or hospice provider (Physician, Advanced Practice Nurse, or Physician Assistant) home visits are an underexplored subject in the literature with little available descriptive data and limited evidence guiding how best to utilize them. Objectives: Describe the population receiving hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) provider home visits and characterize visit themes. Design: Retrospective chart review of electronic medical record (EMR) data Setting/Subjects: A total of 226 individuals 1 month to 21 years of age, who received an HPM provider home visit from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2018; two large quaternary medical centers in the Midwest. Measurements: Demographic data, content, and details from home visit abstracted from the EMR. Results: The three most common diagnostic groups receiving HPM provider home visits were neurological (42%), congenital chromosomal (26%), and prematurity-related (14%) conditions. Goals of care (GOC) were discussed at 29% of visits; most commonly, goals related to code status (42%), technology dependence (20%), and nutrition/hydration (15%). A change in GOC occurred in 44% of visits. Forms of anticipatory guidance addressed were nutrition (68%), side effects of treatment (63%), pain assessment (59%), decline/death (32%), and allow natural death/do not resuscitate/advance directives (26%). Conclusion: HPM provider visits are diverse in content and changes in plan of care with potential for proactive identification of GOC and provision of important anticipatory guidance around patient decline and end of life. Further research is indicated to establish which populations benefit most and how to leverage this scarce resource strategically.
, Amanda H. Mercer, Jessica C. Raisanen, Nicholas A. Jabre, Holly Hoa Vo, Alison Miles, Jennifer Shepard, Carrie M. Henderson, Renee D. Boss, Benjamin S. Wilfond
Published: 20 January 2023
Journal of Palliative Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0426

Abstract:
Background: Families who must decide about pediatric home ventilation rely on the clinicians who counsel them for guidance. Most studies about pediatric home ventilation decisions focus on families who opt for this intervention, leaving much unknown about the families who decline. Objective: To describe the rationales of families who decline home ventilation. Design: Semi-structured interview study. Setting/Subjects: We interviewed 16 families in hospitals across 3 U.S. states, identified by their clinicians as previously deciding to not pursue home ventilation via tracheostomy within the past five years. Measurements: Targeted content and narrative analyses were used to understand family intentions and reasons for declining. Results: The clinical and social context varied among the 16 families in this study. Families' intentions in saying “no” fell into two categories: (1) definitive “No”: Families who stood firm on in their decision and (2) contingent “No”: Families who may consider this in the future. Families described four reasons why their child did not receive home ventilation: (1) concern about medical impacts, (2) concern about physical and/or communication restrictions, (3) concern that there would be no clear health benefit, and (4) concern about no clear meaningful life. Most families mentioned all four reasons, but concern about no clear meaningful life predominated. Conclusions: Though these families did not see home ventilation as an appropriate option, each reported a complex interplay of intentions behind and reasons for declining. Clinicians who counsel families about home ventilation could share the reasons that families commonly decline this intervention to facilitate a balanced discussion.
, Andrew J. Lawton, April Zehm, Leah B. Rosenberg, Sudha Natarajan
Published: 18 January 2023
Journal of Palliative Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0285

Abstract:
In the young and rapidly evolving field of hospice and palliative medicine (HPM), the transition from early to mid-career can be a precarious time. The high rates of burnout and low rates of work–life balance and satisfaction found in mid-career jeopardize our field's ability to maintain a healthy workforce. In this series, we present three cases that highlight common issues encountered during the early to mid-career transition in academic HPM and present several strategies for navigating challenges. A web of mentors/connections, academic map, and continuing education to enhance teaching skills are several concrete tools explored. To sustain a robust HPM workforce, such practical and structured supports during the particularly challenging mid-career transition are crucial.
, Camilla Zimmermann, Peter Selby, Andrea D. Furlan
Published: 18 January 2023
Journal of Palliative Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0355

Abstract:
Background: Patients with life-limiting cancers are commonly prescribed opioids to manage pain, dyspnea, and cough. Proper prescription opioid disposal is essential to prevent poisonings and deaths. Objective: We examined opioid disposal practices of patients referred to a Canadian outpatient palliative care clinic (OPCC). The primary objective was to determine the prevalence of OPCC patients who did not routinely dispose their opioids. The secondary objectives were to examine their methods of opioid disposal and to identify patient characteristics associated with routine disposal of opioids. Design and Setting: This cross-sectional study involved a retrospective chart review of new, adult patients who were seen in a Canadian OPCC (September 2018–August 2019) and completed a survey about opioid-related constructs: source of prescriptions, use, storage, disposal, and knowledge about associated harms. Results: Among the 122 study participants, half (58/111, 52.3%) reported that they did not routinely dispose their opioids. The most common method of disposal was by giving them to pharmacists (69/88, 78.4%). Cannabis use (odds ratio [OR]: 3.7, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1–11.8) and neuropathic medication use (OR: 3.0, 95% CI: 1.2–7.2) were positively associated with routine disposal of opioids. Conversely, reports of an increased amount of opioid use in the past six months were negatively associated with routine disposal of opioids (OR: 0.38, 95% CI: 0.16–0.88). Conclusion: The high prevalence of people with life-limiting illnesses who do not routinely dispose their opioids requires increased attention. Interventions, such as education, are needed to reduce medication waste and opioid-related harms.
, Steven Smith, Kate Cicozi, Rachel Jenkins, Gwendolyn Richner, Audrey Hiltunen, Sarah Friebert
Published: 16 January 2023
Journal of Palliative Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0477

Abstract:
Background: Children and adolescents with serious conditions may benefit from simultaneous hospice and palliative care. Although the Affordable Care Act covers concurrent care, uptake has been limited. Limited descriptive data exist on receiving simultaneous community hospice and pediatric palliative care. Objective: Characterize a population of children and adolescents receiving simultaneous pediatric home-based hospice and palliative care (HBHPC). Design/Setting/Subjects:Post hoc analysis of retrospective study of N = 31 patients enrolled in pediatric HBHPC, with comparison to larger two-site sample receiving either hospice or palliative care at home. Measurement: Demographic and clinical data extracted from the electronic medical record. Results: Data characterizing the population receiving simultaneous care are presented; compared with those receiving either hospice or palliative care at home, the only significant differences were a greater proportion of decedent children and greater billable hours. Conclusions: Findings support the lack of meaningful distinction between hospice and palliative care in pediatrics.
, Ann Guastella, Meghan Haas, Reem Akel, David Craig
Published: 12 January 2023
Journal of Palliative Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0436

Abstract:
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) secondary to malignancy leads to significant distress and subsequently impacts a patient's quality of life. Use of methadone as a first-line opioid analgesic in this subset of oncology patients is uncommon and is rarely initiated after traditional first-line therapies have failed. We report two patients with TN secondary to tumor burden who experienced significant analgesia within 24 hours of methadone initiation.
David H. Wang, , Justin K. Brooten, Kenneth C. Hanson
Published: 6 January 2023
Journal of Palliative Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0537

Abstract:
Emergency medical services (EMS) clinicians increasingly encounter seriously ill patients and their caregivers in times of distress. When crises arise or care coordination falls short, these high-stakes interactions highlight opportunities to improve care experience and outcomes. Efforts must address wide educational gaps, absence of specialized care protocols, and systematic fragmentation leading to hyperlocal practice. The authors represent cross-sectional expertise in palliative care and EMS. This article describes unmet needs at the EMS-palliative interface, challenges with collaboration, and where directional progress exists.
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