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Outcomes of an Integrated Urology-Palliative Care Clinic for Patients With Advanced Urological Cancers: Maintenance of Quality of Life and Satisfaction and High Rate of Hospice Utilization Through End of Life.
Huen K, Huang C, Liu H, Kwan L, Pannell S, Laviana A, Saucedo J, Lorenz K, Bennett C, Bergman J. Outcomes of an Integrated Urology-Palliative Care Clinic for Patients With Advanced Urological Cancers: Maintenance of Quality of Life and Satisfaction and High Rate of Hospice Utilization Through End of Life. The American journal of hospice & palliative care. 2019 Sep 1; 36(9):801-806.
Systematic integration of palliative care in a surgical setting is important, but has yet to be achieved. Despite evidence of early palliative care improving patients' quality of life, hospice utilization remains low. Through an integrated palliative care-urology clinic, we aim to assess the effect of early outpatient palliative care on hospice utilization, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and satisfaction in patients with advanced urological cancers.
Participants were recruited from 2012 through 2016 in the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital. We partnered with palliative care clinicians to develop an integrated urology-palliative care clinic, where participants were seen by the palliative care team on the same day as their urological visit. The 12-item Short-Form Survey, Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire Short-Form, Patient Health Questionnaire, and Brief Pain Inventory were administered at initial and subsequent visits. Follow-up questionnaire results were compared between baseline and the 2 follow-up visits, and hospice utilization rates were assessed.
Fifty-three participants completed baseline questionnaires. Of those 22 (42%) patients completed at least one follow-up assessment. The median time for the first and second follow-up visits was 2.9 and 7.8 months, respectively. There were no significant differences in HRQOL and satisfaction between baseline and subsequent follow-up visits. A total of 36 (68%) of 53 participants who were enrolled at the start of the study were deceased. Of those, 29 (81%) expired within a home or inpatient hospice.
Rates of hospice use were high in an integrated palliative care-urology model. Health-related quality of life and satisfaction did not worsen over time.