Comfort goal of care and end-of-life outcomes in dementia: A prospective study
SourcePalliative Medicine, 29, 6, (2015), pp. 538-546
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: Many people with dementia die in a nursing home. A comfort care goal may be beneficial. Little research has examined the relationship between care goals and outcome. AIM: To investigate whether family satisfaction with end-of-life care and quality of dying is associated with whether or not dementia patients have a comfort goal shortly after admission. DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective data collection from 28 long-term care facilities (the Dutch End of Life in Dementia study). We included 148 patients who died after prospective follow-up. Main outcomes were family satisfaction (End-of-Life in Dementia-Satisfaction with Care scale; range: 10-40) and quality of dying (End-of-Life in Dementia-Comfort Assessment in Dying; range: 14-42). We performed generalized estimating equations regression analyses to analyze whether these outcomes are associated with a comfort goal established shortly after admission compared with another or no care goal as reported by the physician. RESULTS: Families of patients were more satisfied with end-of-life care when a comfort goal was established shortly after admission. We found this pattern only for patients who died within 6 months of admission (adjusted b: 4.5; confidence interval: 2.8, 6.3 vs -1.2; confidence interval: -3.0, 0.6 for longer stay). For quality of dying, no such association was found. CONCLUSION: We found that family satisfaction with care is related to a comfort care goal shortly after admission, but quality of dying did not. Establishing a comfort goal at an early stage may be important to the family. Advance care planning interventions should be studied for their effects on patient and family outcome.
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