Emergency Department–Initiated Palliative Care in Advanced Cancer

Cancer Services News

Grudzen, C. et al. JAMA Oncol. Published online January 14, 2016

a&e department

Objective  To compare quality of life, depression, health care utilization, and survival in ED patients with advanced cancer randomized to ED-initiated palliative care consultation vs care as usual.

Design, Setting, and Participants  A single-blind, randomized clinical trial of ED-initiated palliative care consultation for patients with advanced cancer vs usual care took place from June 2011 to April 2014 at an urban, academic ED at a quaternary care referral center. Adult patients with advanced cancer who were able to pass a cognitive screen, had never been seen by palliative care, spoke English or Spanish, and presented to the ED met eligibility criteria; 136 of 298 eligible patients were approached and enrolled in the ED and randomized via balanced block randomization.

Interventions  Intervention participants received a comprehensive palliative care consultation by the inpatient team, including an assessment of symptoms…

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