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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 129

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

129
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Do patients with advanced cancer and unmet palliative care needs have an interest in receiving palliative care services?
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Schenker Y, Park SY, Maciasz R, Arnold RM
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J Palliat Med. 2014 Jun;17(6):667-72. Epub 2014 Mar 27.
 
BACKGROUND: It is not known whether unmet palliative care needs are associated with an interest in palliative care services among patients with advanced cancer receiving ongoing oncology care.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between unmet palliative care needs and patient interest in subspecialty palliative care services.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional telephone survey.
SUBJECTS AND SETTING: One hundred sixty-nine patients with advanced cancer receiving care from 20 oncologists at two academic cancer centers.
MEASUREMENTS: Surveys assessed palliative care needs in six domains. Patients were read a description of palliative care and then asked three questions about their current interest in subspecialty palliative care services (perceived need, likelihood of requesting, willingness to see if their oncologist recommended; all outcomes on 0-10 Likert scale).
RESULTS: The vast majority of patients described unmet palliative care needs, most commonly related to psychological/emotional distress (62%) and symptoms (62%). In fully adjusted models accounting for clustering by oncologist, unmet needs in these domains were associated with a higher perceived need for subspecialty palliative care services (psychological/emotional needs odds ratio [OR]1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI]1.06-1.58; p=0.01; symptom needs OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.01-1.60; p=0.04). There was no significant association between unmet needs and likelihood of requesting palliative care services. Willingness to see palliative care if oncologist recommended was high (mean 8.6/10, standard deviation [SD]2).
CONCLUSION: Patients with advanced cancer and unmet symptom and psychological/emotional needs perceive a high need for subspecialty palliative care services but may not request them. Efforts to increase appropriate use of subspecialty palliative care for cancer may require oncologist-initiated referrals.
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1 Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics , Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
PMID