Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

End-Of-Life Care in the Time of COVID-19: Communication Matters More Than Ever.

Ersek M, Smith D, Griffin H, Carpenter JG, Feder SL, Shreve ST, Nelson FX, Kinder D, Thorpe JM, Kutney-Lee A. End-Of-Life Care in the Time of COVID-19: Communication Matters More Than Ever. Journal of pain and symptom management. 2021 Aug 1; 62(2):213-222.e2.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

CONTEXT: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in visitation restrictions across most health care settings, necessitating the use of remote communication to facilitate communication among families, patients and health care teams. OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of remote communication on families'' evaluation of end-of-life care during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Retrospective, cross-sectional, mixed methods study using data from an after-death survey administered from March 17-June 30, 2020. The primary outcome was the next of kin''s global assessment of care during the Veteran''s last month of life. RESULTS: Data were obtained from the next-of-kin of 328 Veterans who died in an inpatient unit (i.e., acute care, intensive care, nursing home, hospice units) in one of 37 VA medical centers with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases. The adjusted percentage of bereaved families reporting excellent overall end-of-life care was statistically significantly higher among those reporting Very Effective remote communication compared to those reporting that remote communication was Mostly, Somewhat, or Not at All Effective (69.5% vs. 35.7%). Similar differences were observed in evaluations of remote communication effectiveness with the health care team. Overall, 81.3% of family members who offered positive comments about communication with either the Veteran or the health care team reported excellent overall end-of-life care vs. 28.4% who made negative comments. CONCLUSIONS: Effective remote communication with the patient and the health care team was associated with significantly better ratings of the overall experience of end-of-life care by bereaved family members. Our findings offer timely insights into the importance of remote communication strategies.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.