Saturday, March 28, 2015

Less Futile End-Of-Life Care Observed Where Palliative Care Knowledge Is Greater

News Brief by Kathryn Gibb
Researchers at Brown University’s School of Public Health have released a study that analyzes how informed nursing directors at nursing homes are regarding palliative care methods. The study also indicates a negative correlation between the level of knowledge and the number of unnecessary end of life treatments that patients receive.  Although the study found 43% of the nursing directors surveyed were well informed of palliative care, there was still roughly 20% of directors that had little to no knowledge on the subject.  Data from Medicare demonstrated that nursing homes with directors who had little to no knowledge on palliative care were more likely to recommend their patients to receive aggressive end of life care.  These treatments, such as the insertion of a feeding tube, injections, restraints, or emergency room visits often led to increased distress.  On the other hand, those who were knowledgeable in palliative care were able to provide comfort for patients in their last days of life.  The study demonstrated room for improvement on behalf of these directors at nursing homes to learn more about palliative care in order to provide better care for their patients.

Brown University. "Less futile end-of-life care observed where palliative care knowledge is greater." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2015. .

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