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1.
Yonsei Medical Journal ; : 463-470, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1003223

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Korea elicited changes in healthcare service utilization. This study aimed to report changes in healthcare service utilization among cancer patients during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Korea. @*Materials and Methods@#We analyzed records from National Health Insurance Service Database and identified cancer patients as those with specific beneficiary codes (“V193” or “V194”) assigned to cancer patients. We calculated percentage changes in the number of patients between 2019 and 2020 based on claims records for outpatient clinic visits, hospitalization, and emergency room visits by month, age group, residential areas, and hospital location. @*Results@#The number of newly diagnosed cancer patients in 2020 decreased by 3.2%, compared to the previous year. The number of patients who visited an outpatient clinic, were hospitalized, and visited the emergency room decreased by 2.6%, 4.0%, and 3.5%, respectively, in 2020, compared to the year 2019. @*Conclusion@#During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of newly diagnosed cancer patients decreased by 3.2%, compared to the previous year, and their utilization of healthcare services declined significantly after the outbreak of COVID-19.

2.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e182-2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1001137

ABSTRACT

Background@#Clinical ethics support is a form of preventive ethics aimed at mediating ethicsrelated conflicts and managing ethical issues arising in the healthcare setting. However, limited evidence exists regarding the specific ethical issues in clinical practice. This study aimed to explore the diverse ethical issues of cases referred to clinical ethics support after the new legislation on hospice palliative care and end-of-life decision-making was implemented in Korea in 2018. @*Methods@#A retrospective study of cases referred to clinical ethics support at a university hospital in Korea from February 2018 to February 2021 was conducted. The ethical issues at the time of referral were analyzed via qualitative content analysis of the ethics consultationrelated documents. @*Results@#A total of 60 cases of 57 patients were included in the study, of whom 52.6% were men and 56.1% were older than 60 years of age. The majority of cases (80%) comprised patients from the intensive care unit. One-third of the patients were judged as being at the end-of-life stage. The most frequent ethical categories were identified as goals of care/ treatment (78.3%), decision-making (75%), relationship (41.7%), and end-of-life issues (31.7%). More specifically, best interests (71.7%), benefits and burdens/harms (61.7%), refusal (53.3%), and surrogate decision-making (33.3%), followed by withholding or withdrawal (28.3%) were the most frequent ethical issues reported, which became diversified by year. In addition, the ethical issues appeared to differ by age group and judgment of the end-of-life stage. @*Conclusion@#The findings of this study expand the current understanding of the diverse ethical issues including decision-making and goals of care/treatment that have been referred to clinical ethics support since the enforcement of the new legislation in Korea. This study suggests a need for further research on the longitudinal exploration of ethical issues and implementation of clinical ethics support in multiple healthcare centers.

3.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e169-2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-976951

ABSTRACT

Background@#Healthcare professionals often experience moral distress while providing endof-life care. This study explored how physicians and nurses experienced moral distress when they cared for critically and terminally ill patients in tertiary hospitals in South Korea. @*Methods@#This study used semi-structured in-depth interviews. A total of 22 people in two tertiary hospitals were interviewed, nine (40.9%) of which were physicians and 13 (59.1%) were nurses. The recorded interview files and memos were analyzed using grounded theory. @*Results@#Most physicians and nurses encountered similar feelings of anger, helplessness, and burden owing to a lack of appropriate resources for end-of-life care. However, the factors and contexts of their moral distress differed. Nurses mainly addressed poorly organized end-of-life care, intensive labor conditions without support for nurses, and providing care without participation in decision-making. Meanwhile, physicians addressed the prevailing misperceptions on end-of-life care, communication failure between physicians owing to hierarchy and fragmented disciplines, the burden of responsibility in making difficult decisions, and the burden of resource allocation. @*Conclusion@#Differences in moral distress between physicians and nurses leave them isolated and can affect communication regarding healthcare. Mutual understanding between job disciplines will enhance their communication and help resolve conflicts in end-of-life care.

4.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e111-2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-925886

ABSTRACT

Advances in medical technology have increased people’s lifespans, and evidence-based medicine that utilizes health technology assessments has contributed significantly to medical development. Owing to the ever-increasing costs of medical services, cost-effectiveness analysis has been adopted to ensure the efficient use of limited healthcare resources.However, problems that cannot be solved through medical technology alone have emerged because of the aging of the global population. When faced with a choice providing lifesustaining treatment to a terminally ill patient or offering them comfortable end-of-life care in a hospice, value-based choice takes precedence over technical judgment.In addition to cost, various values must be considered when making medical decisions. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expect “value-based healthcare” (VBHC) to play a major role in solving these problems. 1 However, the concept itself remains vague and has not attracted significant attention in the field of medicine.

5.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 20-29, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-913837

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#This study aimed to confirm the decision-making patterns for life-sustaining treatment (LST) and analyze medical service utilization changes after enforcement of the Life-Sustaining Treatment Decision-Making Act. @*Materials and Methods@#Of 1,237 patients who completed legal forms for life-sustaining treatment (hereafter called the LST form) at three academic hospitals and died at the same institutions, 1,018 cancer patients were included. Medical service utilization and costs were analyzed using claims data. @*Results@#The median time to death from completion of the LST form was three days (range, 0 to 248 days). Of these, 517 people died within two days of completing the document, and 36.1% of all patients prepared the LST form themselves. The frequency of use of the intensive care unit, continuous renal replacement therapy, and mechanical ventilation was significantly higher when the families filled out the form without knowing the patient’s intention. In the top 10% of the medical expense groups, the decision-makers for LST were family members rather than patients (28% patients vs. 32% family members who knew and 40% family members who did not know the patient’s intention). @*Conclusion@#The cancer patient’s own decision-making rather than the family’s decision was associated with earlier decision-making, less use of some critical treatments (except chemotherapy) and expensive evaluations, and a trend toward lower medical costs.

6.
Korean Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care ; : 130-134, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-902159

ABSTRACT

In the era of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), social distancing and strict visitation policies at hospitals have made it difficult for medical staff to provide high-quality endof-life (EOL) care to dying patients and their families. There are various issues related to EOL care, including psychological problems of patients and their families, difficulties in EOL decision-making, the complicated grief of the bereaved family, moral distress, and exhaustion of medical staff. In relation to these issues, we aimed to discuss practical considerations in providing high-quality EOL care in the COVID-19 pandemic. First, medical staff should discuss advance care planning as early as possible and use the parallel planning strategy. Second, medical staff should play a role in facilitating patient-family communication. Third, medical staff should actively and proactively evaluate and alleviate dying patients’ symptoms using non-verbal communication. Lastly, medical staff should provide care for family members of the dying patient, who may be particularly vulnerable to postbereavement problems in the COVID-19 era. Establishing a system of screening highrisk individuals for complicated grief and connecting them to bereavement support services might be considered. Despite the challenging and limited environment, providing EOL care is essential for patients to die with dignity in peace and for the remaining family to return to life after the loved one’s death. Efforts considering the practical issues faced by all medical staff and healthcare institutions caring for dying patients should be made.

7.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 584-592, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-897422

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#This study aimed to investigate difficulties doctors experience during life-sustaining treatment (LST) discussion with seriously ill patients and their families after enactment of the LST Decisions Act in February 2018. @*Materials and Methods@#A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a tertiary hospital in the Republic of Korea in August 2019. Six hundred eighty-six doctors who care for seriously ill patients were given a structured questionnaire, and difficulties during the discussion were examined. @*Results@#One hundred thirty-two doctors completed the questionnaire. Eighty-five percent answered they treat cancer patients. Most (86.4%) experienced considerable difficulties during LST discussions (mean score, 7.4±1.6/10). The two most common difficulties were communication with patients and family and determining when to discuss LST. Two-thirds of doctors found direct discussions with the patient difficult and said they would initiate LST discussions only with family. LST discussions were actually initiated later than considered appropriate. When medically assessing whether the patient is imminently dying, 56% of doctors experienced disagreements with other doctors, which could affect their decisions. @*Conclusion@#This study found that most doctors experienced serious difficulties regarding communication with patients and family and medical assessment of dying process during LST discussions. To alleviate these difficulties, further institutional support is needed to improve the LST discussion between doctors, patients, and family.

8.
Korean Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care ; : 130-134, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-894455

ABSTRACT

In the era of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), social distancing and strict visitation policies at hospitals have made it difficult for medical staff to provide high-quality endof-life (EOL) care to dying patients and their families. There are various issues related to EOL care, including psychological problems of patients and their families, difficulties in EOL decision-making, the complicated grief of the bereaved family, moral distress, and exhaustion of medical staff. In relation to these issues, we aimed to discuss practical considerations in providing high-quality EOL care in the COVID-19 pandemic. First, medical staff should discuss advance care planning as early as possible and use the parallel planning strategy. Second, medical staff should play a role in facilitating patient-family communication. Third, medical staff should actively and proactively evaluate and alleviate dying patients’ symptoms using non-verbal communication. Lastly, medical staff should provide care for family members of the dying patient, who may be particularly vulnerable to postbereavement problems in the COVID-19 era. Establishing a system of screening highrisk individuals for complicated grief and connecting them to bereavement support services might be considered. Despite the challenging and limited environment, providing EOL care is essential for patients to die with dignity in peace and for the remaining family to return to life after the loved one’s death. Efforts considering the practical issues faced by all medical staff and healthcare institutions caring for dying patients should be made.

9.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 584-592, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-889718

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#This study aimed to investigate difficulties doctors experience during life-sustaining treatment (LST) discussion with seriously ill patients and their families after enactment of the LST Decisions Act in February 2018. @*Materials and Methods@#A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a tertiary hospital in the Republic of Korea in August 2019. Six hundred eighty-six doctors who care for seriously ill patients were given a structured questionnaire, and difficulties during the discussion were examined. @*Results@#One hundred thirty-two doctors completed the questionnaire. Eighty-five percent answered they treat cancer patients. Most (86.4%) experienced considerable difficulties during LST discussions (mean score, 7.4±1.6/10). The two most common difficulties were communication with patients and family and determining when to discuss LST. Two-thirds of doctors found direct discussions with the patient difficult and said they would initiate LST discussions only with family. LST discussions were actually initiated later than considered appropriate. When medically assessing whether the patient is imminently dying, 56% of doctors experienced disagreements with other doctors, which could affect their decisions. @*Conclusion@#This study found that most doctors experienced serious difficulties regarding communication with patients and family and medical assessment of dying process during LST discussions. To alleviate these difficulties, further institutional support is needed to improve the LST discussion between doctors, patients, and family.

10.
Korean Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care ; : 126-138, 2020.
Article | WPRIM | ID: wpr-836571

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#In Korea, since the Act on Hospice and Palliative Care and Decisions on LifeSustaining Treatment for Patients at the End of Life was implemented in February 2018, advance directives (ADs) have become legally effective and should be documented after sufficient explanation by a registered counselor. However, little is known regarding the adequacy of current AD counseling. This qualitative study aimed to explore the barriers to AD counseling based on counselors’ experiences. @*Methods@#We conducted focus group interviews using purposive sampling. Seven counselors working at hospitals, community health institutions, and non-profit organizations participated in this study. They were asked about the challenges and problems they encountered during AD counseling. @*Results@#Three themes emerged from this study; 1) issues regarding consistency in AD counseling, 2) issues regarding AD counselors’ competency and work environment, and 3) issues regarding the adequacy of the service system. The interviewees stated that the lack of a manual for standardized service made AD counseling inconsistent. The limited competency and poor work environment of counselors were pointed out as major barriers. The interviewees also stated that a proper service system considering individual circumstances is absent. @*Conclusion@#The goals of AD counseling should be clarified and guidance should be implemented for providing standardized services. Further efforts to enhance the competency of AD counselors and to improve their working conditions are needed. Establishing an integrated framework for an adequate service system is also essential to overcome systematic barriers to AD counseling.

11.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 917-924, 2020.
Article | WPRIM | ID: wpr-831100

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#Life-sustaining treatment (LST) decisions for patients and caregivers at the end-of-life (EOL) process are supported by the “Act on Hospice and Palliative Care and Decisions on LST for Patients at the EOL,” enforced in February 2018. Itremains unclearwhetherthe act changes EOL decisions and LST implementation in clinical practice. For this study, we investigated patients’ decision-making regarding LSTs during the EOL process since the act’s enforcement. @*Materials and Methods@#Retrospective reviews were conducted on adult patients who were able to decide to terminate LST and died at Seoul National University Hospital between February 5, 2018, and February 5, 2019. We examined demographics, who made the decisions, the type and date of documentation confirming patient's LST, and whether the LST was withheld or withdrawn. @*Results@#Of 809 patients who were enrolled, 29% (n=231) completed forms regarding LST themselves, and 71% (n=578) needed family members to decide. The median time from confirmation of the EOL process to death and from the Advance Statement to death were 2 and 5 days, respectively (both ranges, 0 to 244). In total, 90% (n=727) of patients withheld treatment, and 10% (n=82)withdrewit. We found a higherwithdrawalratewhen family members made the decisions (13.3% vs. 1.7%, p < 0.001). @*Conclusion@#After the act’s enforcement, withdrawing LSTs became lawful and self-determination rates increased. Family members still make 71% of decisions regarding LSTs, but these are often inconsistent with the patients’ wishes; thus, further efforts are needed to integrate the new act into clinical practice.

12.
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine ; : 1116-1124, 2019.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-919139

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIMS@#Although crizotinib is standard chemotherapy for advanced anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), clinical factors affecting progression-free survival (PFS) have not been reported. The purpose of this study was to identify clinical factors affecting PFS of crizotinib and develop a prognostic model for advanced ALK-positive NSCLC.@*METHODS@#Clinicopathologic features of patients enrolled in PROFILE 1001, 1005, 1007, and 1014 (training cohort) were reviewed. We conducted multivariate Cox analysis for PFS and overall survival (OS) in the training cohort (n = 159) and generated a proportional hazards model based on significant clinicopathologic factors, and then validated the model in an independent validation cohort (n = 40).@*RESULTS@#In the training cohort, the objective response rate was 81.5%. Median PFS and OS from the start of crizotinib were 12.4 and 31.3 months, respectively. Multivariate Cox analysis showed poor performance status, number of metastatic organs (≥ 3), and no response to crizotinib independently associated shorter PFS. Based on a score derived from these three factors, median PFS and OS of patients with one or two factors were significantly shorter compared to those without these factors (median PFS, 22.4 months vs. 10.5 months vs. 6.5 months; median OS, not reached vs. 29.1 months vs. 11.8 months, respectively; p < 0.001 for each group). This model also had validated in an independent validation cohort.@*CONCLUSIONS@#Performance status, number of metastatic organs, and response to crizotinib affected PFS of crizotinib in ALK-positive NSCLC. Based on these factors, we developed a simple and useful prediction model for PFS.

13.
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine ; : 1313-1323, 2019.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-919113

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIMS@#Since patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have favorable outcomes after treatment, treatment de-escalation for these patients is being actively investigated. However, not all HPV-positive HNSCCs are curable, and some patients have a poor prognosis. The purpose of this study was to identify poor prognostic factors in patients with HPV-positive HNSCC.@*METHODS@#Patients who received a diagnosis of HNSCC and tested positive for HPV from 2000 to 2015 at a single hospital site (n = 152) were included in this retrospective analysis. HPV typing was conducted using the HPV DNA chip assay or liquid bead microarray system. Expression of p16 in the tumors was assessed by immunohistochemistry. To determine candidate factors associated with overall survival (OS), univariate and multivariable Cox regression analyses were performed.@*RESULTS@#A total of 152 patients with HPV-positive HNSCC were included in this study; 82.2% were male, 43.4% were current or former smokers, and 84.2% had oropharyngeal cancer. By univariate analysis, old age, performance status ≥ 1, non-oropharyngeal location, advanced T classification (T3–4), and HPV genotype 18 were significantly associated with poor OS. By multivariable analysis, performance status ≥ 1 and non-oropharyngeal location were independently associated with shorter OS (hazard ratio [HR], 4.36, p = 0.015; HR, 11.83, p = 0.002, respectively). Furthermore, HPV genotype 18 positivity was also an independent poor prognostic factor of OS (HR, 10.87, p < 0.001).@*CONCLUSIONS@#Non-oropharyngeal cancer, poor performance status, and HPV genotype 18 were independent poor prognostic factors in patients with HPV-positive HNSCC. Patients with these risk factors might not be candidates for de-escalation treatment.

14.
Korean Journal of Medicine ; : 68-73, 2018.
Article in Korean | WPRIM | ID: wpr-741108

ABSTRACT

Mastocytosis is a disorder characterized by abnormal mast cell proliferation and accumulation in one or more tissues. It presents in two major variants: cutaneous mastocytosis and systemic mastocytosis. Because the symptoms are related to mast cells, histamine receptor antagonists and leukotriene receptor antagonists are recommended as therapeutic options. Here, we report a 54-year-old male patient with a history of urticaria pigmentosa who presented with recurrent anaphylaxis. His serum tryptase level was 31.7 ng/mL and mast cell infiltration was observed in his bone marrow. He had frequent attacks of anaphylaxis despite treatment with ketotifen, levocetirizine, and montelukast. Symptoms related to systemic mastocytosis were controlled and the patient exhibited no recurrence of anaphylaxis following the introduction of monthly omalizumab injection. Omalizumab can be considered as a treatment option in patients with systemic mastocytosis unresponsive to conventional oral medications.


Subject(s)
Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Anaphylaxis , Bone Marrow , Ketotifen , Leukotriene Antagonists , Mast Cells , Mastocytosis , Mastocytosis, Cutaneous , Mastocytosis, Systemic , Omalizumab , Receptors, Histamine , Recurrence , Tryptases , Urticaria Pigmentosa
15.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 720-728, 2018.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-715833

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to investigate trends of aggressive treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients at the end-of-life (EOL) during the recent 5 years and examine the relationship between hospice consultation (HC) and aggressive care. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The medical records of 789 patients with stage IIIB-IV NSCLC at Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) who received palliative chemotherapy and died from 2010 to 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. Indicators of aggressive treatment were evaluated, and the association of HC with these indicators was analyzed. RESULTS: During the last 5 years, the frequency of HC increased from 26.7% to 43.6%. The time interval from last chemotherapy to death increased, and the proportion of patients who received palliative chemotherapy, visited an emergency room, were admitted to intensive care unit, during the last month of life, and died in SNUH significantly decreased over time. Referral to HC was significantly associated with lower intensive care unit admission rates, lower out-of-hospital death rates, and less use of the chemotherapy within 1 month prior to death. Overall survival did not differ by HC. CONCLUSION: The pattern of cancer care nearthe EOL has become less aggressivewhen HCwas provided. The positive association of HCwith better EOL care suggests that providing HC at the optimal time might help to avoid futile aggressive treatment.


Subject(s)
Humans , Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung , Drug Therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospice Care , Hospices , Intensive Care Units , Lung Neoplasms , Lung , Medical Records , Mortality , Palliative Care , Referral and Consultation , Retrospective Studies , Seoul , Terminal Care
16.
Korean Journal of Medicine ; : 68-73, 2018.
Article in Korean | WPRIM | ID: wpr-938554

ABSTRACT

Mastocytosis is a disorder characterized by abnormal mast cell proliferation and accumulation in one or more tissues. It presents in two major variants: cutaneous mastocytosis and systemic mastocytosis. Because the symptoms are related to mast cells, histamine receptor antagonists and leukotriene receptor antagonists are recommended as therapeutic options. Here, we report a 54-year-old male patient with a history of urticaria pigmentosa who presented with recurrent anaphylaxis. His serum tryptase level was 31.7 ng/mL and mast cell infiltration was observed in his bone marrow. He had frequent attacks of anaphylaxis despite treatment with ketotifen, levocetirizine, and montelukast. Symptoms related to systemic mastocytosis were controlled and the patient exhibited no recurrence of anaphylaxis following the introduction of monthly omalizumab injection. Omalizumab can be considered as a treatment option in patients with systemic mastocytosis unresponsive to conventional oral medications.

17.
Soonchunhyang Medical Science ; : 64-66, 2016.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-99541

ABSTRACT

When physicians meet patients who expectorate blood, hemoptysis should be distinguished from pseudohemoptysis, i.e., bleeding from the upper respiratory tract or upper gastrointestinal tract. Herein, we present a case of hemangioma in the palate that caused bleeding mimicking hemoptysis. Hemangioma in the palate occurs rarely, but it can be easily diagnosed and the patient may avoid unnecessary tests if a physician examines the oral cavity closely at the initial visit.


Subject(s)
Humans , Hemangioma , Hemoptysis , Hemorrhage , Mouth , Palate , Respiratory System , Upper Gastrointestinal Tract
18.
Journal of Gynecologic Oncology ; : 367-375, 2013.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-102409

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Little is known regarding cervical cancer survivors' employment status, which represents social integration of cancer survivors as a pivotal domain of long-term quality of life. The goal of this study was to assess the correlates of unemployment and evaluate the impact on the comprehensive quality of life in cervical cancer survivors. METHODS: We enrolled 858 cervical cancer survivors from the gynecologic oncology departments of multi-centers in Korea. Factors associated with unemployment were identified using multivariate logistic regression analyses. We assessed different health-related quality of life domains with multivariate-adjusted least-square means between cervical cancer survivors who currently work and do not. RESULTS: After diagnosis and treatment, the percentage of unemployed survivors increased from 50.6% to 72.8%. Lower income (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38 to 2.81), medical aid (aOR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.05 to 2.38), two or more comorbidities (aOR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.12 to 2.90), current alcohol drinkers (aOR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.54 to 3.52), and employed at the time of diagnosis (aOR, 10.72; 95% CI, 7.10 to 16.16) were significantly associated with unemployment. Non-working groups showed significant differences with respect to physical functioning, role functioning, depression, and existential well-being. CONCLUSION: The proportion of unemployed cervical cancer survivors seems to increase, with low-income status and the presence of medical aid negatively being associated with employment, in addition to other comorbidities and previous working status. Effort should be made to secure the financial status of cervical cancer survivors.


Subject(s)
Humans , Comorbidity , Depression , Employment , Korea , Logistic Models , Odds Ratio , Quality of Life , Survivors , Unemployment , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
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