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      How should we manage information needs, family anxiety, depression, and breathlessness for those affected by advanced disease: development of a Clinical Decision Support Tool using a Delphi design

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          Abstract

          Background

          Clinicians request guidance to aid the routine use and interpretation of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs), but tools are lacking. We aimed to develop a Clinical Decision Support Tool (CDST) focused on information needs, family anxiety, depression, and breathlessness (measured using the Palliative care Outcome Scale (POS)) and related PROM implementation guidance.

          Methods

          We drafted recommendations based on findings from systematic literature searches. In a modified online Delphi study, 38 experts from 12 countries with different professional backgrounds, including four patient/carer representatives, were invited to rate the appropriateness of these recommendations for problems of varying severity in the CDST. The quality of evidence was added for each recommendation, and the final draft CDST reappraised by the experts. The accompanying implementation guidance was built on data from literature scoping with expert revision (n = 11 invited experts).

          Results

          The systematic literature searches identified over 560 potential references, of which 43 met the inclusion criteria. Two Delphi rounds (response rate 66 % and 62 %; n = 25 and 23) found that good patient care, psychosocial support and empathy, and open communication were central to supporting patients and families affected by all POS concerns as a core requirement. Assessment was recommended for increasing problems (i.e. scores), followed by non-pharmacological interventions and for breathlessness and depression, pharmacological interventions. Accompanying PROM implementation guidance was built based on the 8-step International Society for Quality of Life Research framework, as revised by nine (response rate 82 %) experts.

          Conclusions

          This CDST provides a straightforward guide to help support clinical care and improve evidence-based outcomes for patients with progressive illness and their families, addressing four areas of clinical uncertainty. Recommendations should be used flexibly, alongside skilled individual clinical assessment and knowledge, taking into account patients’ and families’ individual preferences, circumstances, and resources. The CDST is provided with accompanying implementation guidance to facilitate PROM use and is ready for further development and evaluation.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0449-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references76

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          The applications of PROs in clinical practice: what are they, do they work, and why?

          Precisely defining the different applications of patient-reported outcome measures (PROs) in clinical practice can be difficult. This is because the intervention is complex and varies amongst different studies in terms of the type of PRO used, how the PRO is fed back, and to whom it is fed back. A theory-driven approach is used to describe six different applications of PROs in clinical practice. The evidence for the impact of these applications on the process and outcomes of care are summarised. Possible explanations for the limited impact of PROs on patient management are then discussed and directions for future research are highlighted. The applications of PROs in clinical practice include screening tools, monitoring tools, as a method of promoting patient-centred care, as a decision aid, as a method of facilitating communication amongst multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), and as a means of monitoring the quality of patient care. Evidence from randomised controlled trials suggests that the use of PROs in clinical practice is valuable in improving the discussion and detection of HRQoL problems but has less of an impact on how clinicians manage patient problems or on subsequent patient outcomes. Many of the reasons for this may lie in the ways in which PROs fit (or do not fit) into the routine ways in which patients and clinicians communicate with each other, how clinicians make decisions, and how healthcare as a whole is organised. Future research needs to identify ways in with PROs can be better incorporated into the routine care of patients by combining qualitative and quantitative methods and adopting appropriate trial designs.
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            Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of home palliative care services for adults with advanced illness and their caregivers

            Background Extensive evidence shows that well over 50% of people prefer to be cared for and to die at home provided circumstances allow choice. Despite best efforts and policies, one-third or less of all deaths take place at home in many countries of the world. Objectives 1. To quantify the effect of home palliative care services for adult patients with advanced illness and their family caregivers on patients' odds of dying at home; 2. to examine the clinical effectiveness of home palliative care services on other outcomes for patients and their caregivers such as symptom control, quality of life, caregiver distress and satisfaction with care; 3. to compare the resource use and costs associated with these services; 4. to critically appraise and summarise the current evidence on cost-effectiveness. Search methods We searched 12 electronic databases up to November 2012. We checked the reference lists of all included studies, 49 relevant systematic reviews, four key textbooks and recent conference abstracts. We contacted 17 experts and researchers for unpublished data. Selection criteria We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials (CCTs), controlled before and after studies (CBAs) and interrupted time series (ITSs) evaluating the impact of home palliative care services on outcomes for adults with advanced illness or their family caregivers, or both. Data collection and analysis One review author assessed the identified titles and abstracts. Two independent reviewers performed assessment of all potentially relevant studies, data extraction and assessment of methodological quality. We carried out meta-analysis where appropriate and calculated numbers needed to treat to benefit (NNTBs) for the primary outcome (death at home). Main results We identified 23 studies (16 RCTs, 6 of high quality), including 37,561 participants and 4042 family caregivers, largely with advanced cancer but also congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis (MS), among other conditions. Meta-analysis showed increased odds of dying at home (odds ratio (OR) 2.21, 95% CI 1.31 to 3.71; Z = 2.98, P value = 0.003; Chi2 = 20.57, degrees of freedom (df) = 6, P value = 0.002; I2 = 71%; NNTB 5, 95% CI 3 to 14 (seven trials with 1222 participants, three of high quality)). In addition, narrative synthesis showed evidence of small but statistically significant beneficial effects of home palliative care services compared to usual care on reducing symptom burden for patients (three trials, two of high quality, and one CBA with 2107 participants) and of no effect on caregiver grief (three RCTs, two of high quality, and one CBA with 2113 caregivers). Evidence on cost-effectiveness (six studies) is inconclusive. Authors' conclusions The results provide clear and reliable evidence that home palliative care increases the chance of dying at home and reduces symptom burden in particular for patients with cancer, without impacting on caregiver grief. This justifies providing home palliative care for patients who wish to die at home. More work is needed to study cost-effectiveness especially for people with non-malignant conditions, assessing place of death and appropriate outcomes that are sensitive to change and valid in these populations, and to compare different models of home palliative care, in powered studies. PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of home-based palliative care services for adults with advanced illness and their caregivers When faced with the prospect of dying with an advanced illness, the majority of people prefer to die at home, yet in many countries around the world they are most likely to die in hospital. We reviewed all known studies that evaluated home palliative care services, i.e. experienced home care teams of health professionals specialised in the control of a wide range of problems associated with advanced illness – physical, psychological, social, spiritual. We wanted to see how much of a difference these services make to people's chances of dying at home, but also to other important aspects for patients towards the end of life, such as symptoms (e.g. pain) and family distress. We also compared the impact on the costs with care. On the basis of 23 studies including 37,561 patients and 4042 family caregivers, we found that when someone with an advanced illness gets home palliative care, their chances of dying at home more than double. Home palliative care services also help reduce the symptom burden people may experience as a result of advanced illness, without increasing grief for family caregivers after the patient dies. In these circumstances, patients who wish to die at home should be offered home palliative care. There is still scope to improve home palliative care services and increase the benefits for patients and families without raising costs.
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              A systematic review of prognostic/end-of-life communication with adults in the advanced stages of a life-limiting illness: patient/caregiver preferences for the content, style, and timing of information.

              Evidence-based recommendations concerning how to discuss dying, life expectancy, and likely future symptoms with patients with a limited life expectancy and their families are lacking. The aim of this systematic review was to review studies regarding prognostic/end-of-life communication with adult patients in the advanced stages of a life-limiting illness and their caregivers. Relevant studies meeting the inclusion criteria were identified by searching computerized databases up to November 2004. One hundred twenty-three studies met the criteria for the full review, and 46 articles reported on patient/caregiver preferences for content, style, and timing of information. The majority of the research was descriptive. Although there were individual differences, patients/caregivers in general had high levels of information need at all stages of the disease process regarding the illness itself, likely future symptoms and their management, and life expectancy and information about clinical treatment options. Patient and caregiver information needs showed a tendency to diverge as the illness progressed, with caregivers needing more and patients wanting less information. Patients and caregivers preferred a trusted health professional who showed empathy and honesty, encouraged questions, and clarified each individual's information needs and level of understanding. In general, most patients/caregivers wanted at least some discussion of these topics at the time of diagnosis of an advanced, progressive, life-limiting illness, or shortly after. However, they wanted to negotiate the content and extent of this information.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                +44 20 78485805 , liesbeth.van_vliet@kcl.ac.uk
                richard.harding@kcl.ac.uk
                claudia.bausewein@med.uni-muenchen.de
                s.a.payne@lancaster.ac.uk
                irene.higginson@kcl.ac.uk
                Journal
                BMC Med
                BMC Med
                BMC Medicine
                BioMed Central (London )
                1741-7015
                13 October 2015
                13 October 2015
                2015
                : 13
                : 263
                Affiliations
                [ ]Department of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation, Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London, Bessemer Road, London, SE5 9PJ UK
                [ ]Department of Palliative Medicine, Munich University Hospital, Munich, Germany
                [ ]International Observatory on End of Life Care, Division of Health Research, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
                Article
                449
                10.1186/s12916-015-0449-6
                4604738
                26464185
                0196da7b-a1b1-49ae-8869-1c259a259f89
                © van Vliet et al. 2015

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                History
                : 18 June 2015
                : 12 August 2015
                Categories
                Guideline
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2015

                Medicine
                clinical decision support tools,delphi studies,implementation,palliative care,palliative care outcome scale (pos),patient reported outcome measures

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