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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 106

of 'Benefits, services, and models of subspecialty palliative care'

Home versus hospice inpatient care: discharge characteristics of palliative care patients in an acute care hospital.
Fainsinger RL, Demoissac D, Cole J, Mead-Wood K, Lee E
J Palliat Care. 2000;16(1):29.
This prospective survey was initiated to identify factors that helped and hindered home discharge for 100 consecutive patients who did not require further specialist palliative or acute care. Information was collected on demographics, functional ability (using the Palliative Performance Scale [PPS]and Karnofsky Performance Scale [KPS]), cognitive function at discharge as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), home support circumstances, and patient and family preference for discharge. 59 patients were discharged home and 41 were transferred to a hospice. Younger patients with younger caregivers were discharged home more often. Patients with better MMSE and better functional ability (PPS and KPS) were also more likely to go home. Patients going home were more likely to be married. Preference for site of discharge was met for 76% of patients and 90% of families. Of the patients going to a hospice, 24% of patients and 7% of families preferred a home discharge. More physical support at home could have facilitated a home discharge for 13 patients. Functionally dependent and cognitively impaired patients were generally unable to return home. To support patients and their families in an environment of their choice, access to increased physical support in the home must be addressed.
Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Canada.