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4.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 40(11): 1811-1812, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502082
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21472, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500505

ABSTRACT

Acute healthcare services are extremely important, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, as healthcare demand has rapidly intensified, and resources have become insufficient. Studies on specific prepandemic hospitalization and emergency department visit (EDV) trends in proximity to death are limited. We examined time-trend specificities based on sex, age, and cause of death in the last 2 years of life. Datasets containing all hospitalizations and EDVs of elderly residents in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy (N = 411,812), who died between 2002 and 2014 at ≥ 65 years, have been collected. We performed subgroup change-point analysis of monthly trends in the 2 years preceding death according to sex, age at death (65-74, 75-84, 85-94, and ≥ 95 years), and main cause of death (cancer, cardiovascular, or respiratory disease). The proportion of decedents (N = 142,834) accessing acute healthcare services increased exponentially in proximity to death (hospitalizations = 4.7, EDVs = 3.9 months before death). This was inversely related to age, with changes among the youngest and eldest decedents at 6.6 and 3.5 months for hospitalizations and at 4.6 and 3.3 months for EDVs, respectively. Healthcare use among cancer patients intensified earlier in life (hospitalizations = 6.8, EDVs = 5.8 months before death). Decedents from respiratory diseases were most likely to access hospital-based services during the last month of life. No sex-based differences were found. The greater use of acute healthcare services among younger decedents and cancer patients suggests that policies potentiating primary care support targeting these at-risk groups may reduce pressure on hospital-based services.


Subject(s)
Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Hospitalization/trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cardiovascular Diseases/mortality , Cardiovascular Diseases/pathology , Cause of Death , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy , Neoplasms/mortality , Neoplasms/pathology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Terminal Care
7.
Prim Health Care Res Dev ; 22: e57, 2021 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492990

ABSTRACT

AIM: To explore the extent to which national policy in end-of-life care (EOLC) in England influences and guides local practice, helping to ensure that care for older people at the EOL is of a consistently good quality. BACKGROUND: Whilst policy is recognised as an important component in determining the effectiveness of EOLC, there is scant literature which attempts to interrogate how this happens or to hypothesise the mechanisms linking policy to better outcomes. METHOD: This article reports on the second phase of a realist evaluation comprising three case studies of clinical commissioning groups, including 98 in-depth interviews with stakeholders, meeting observation and documentary analysis. FINDINGS: This study reveals the key contextual factors which need to be in place at micro, meso and macro levels if good quality EOLC for older people is to be achieved. The findings provide insight into rising local inequalities and reveal areas of dissonance between stakeholder priorities. Whilst patients privilege the importance of receiving care and compassion in familiar surroundings at EOL, there remains a clear tension between this and the medical drive to cure disease and extend life. The apparent devaluing of social care and subsequent lack of resource has impacted significantly on the way in which dying is experienced.Patient experience at EOL, shaped by the care received both formally and informally, is driven by a fragmented health and social care system. Whilst the importance of system integration appears to have been recognised, significant challenges remain in terms of shaping policy to adequately reflect this. This study highlights the priority attached by patients and their families to the social and relational aspect of death and dying and shines a light on the stark disparities between the health and social care systems which became even more evident at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Terminal Care , Aged , Death , Humans , Pandemics , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488547

ABSTRACT

AIM: This study aims to assess the influence of training on nurses' attitudes toward end-of-life care during the COVID-19 pandemic alarm state in Spain. DESIGN: Cross-sectional descriptive study. Data collection was carried out by means of an ad hoc questionnaire using Google Forms in April and May 2020. The score of attitudes toward end-of-life care was used, to which sociodemographic variables and training in palliative care were added. METHODS: Data were collected from 238 nursing professionals who had cared for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 adult patients at the end-of-life stage in a hospital or nursing home. RESULTS: Results showed that 51% of the nurses in the sample had training in palliative care. However, the percentage decreased to 38.5% among those who cared for COVID-19 patients and to 44.5% in those who cared for non-COVID-19 patients. In relation to attitudes about end-of-life care, more positive attitudes and a higher mean score were found in the trained group. CONCLUSIONS: Palliative care training is a key element in end-of-life care and is even more important in times of COVID-19. IMPACT: Although end-of-life accompaniment has been studied, few studies have included the influence of training on this during the pandemic. This study identifies key elements of accompaniment and training in a comparison of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. In relation to attitudes toward end-of-life care, the results showed a more positive attitude and a higher mean score in the trained group (3.43 ± 0.37 versus 3.21 ± 0.32), the difference being statistically significant (p < 0.001).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nurses , Terminal Care , Attitude , Attitude of Health Personnel , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Palliative Care , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
9.
Nurs Stand ; 36(11): 61-65, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481194

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a significant increase in the demand for palliative and end of life care, particularly in the community. Furthermore, palliative and end of life care services face growing pressures due to the increasing number of older people and increasing prevalence of chronic illness. Palliative and end of life care cannot be provided solely by specialists but needs to be integrated into mainstream healthcare. All nurses have a role in supporting patients with life-limiting conditions, and their families, by providing what is termed 'generalist palliative care'. However, some nurses may feel unprepared, unsupported or lacking the confidence and skills for that role. This article explores the definitions of palliative and end of life care, as well as the changes and challenges in service provision brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also considers how nurses who have not specialised in this area of practice can be supported to care effectively for patients with life-limiting conditions, and their families, notably through workforce development initiatives such as training programmes and clinical supervision. This could not only increase the skills of the nursing workforce but also improve patient care.


Subject(s)
Community Health Nursing/organization & administration , Nurse's Role , Nurses/psychology , Nursing Staff/education , Palliative Care/methods , Aged , COVID-19 , Clinical Competence , Hospice Care , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Terminal Care
10.
Crit Care Med ; 49(10): e1037-e1039, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475866

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine if a restrictive visitor policy inadvertently lengthened the decision-making process for dying inpatients without coronavirus disease 2019. DESIGN: Regression discontinuity and time-to-event analysis. SETTING: Two large academic hospitals in a unified health system. PATIENTS OR SUBJECTS: Adult decedents who received greater than or equal to 1 day of ICU care during their terminal admission over a 12-month period. INTERVENTIONS: Implementation of a visit restriction policy. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We identified 940 adult decedents without coronavirus disease 2019 during the study period. For these patients, ICU length of stay was 0.8 days longer following policy implementation, although this effect was not statistically significant (95% CI, -2.3 to 3.8; p = 0.63). After excluding patients admitted before the policy but who died after implementation, we observed that ICU length of stay was 2.9 days longer post-policy (95% CI, 0.27-5.6; p = 0.03). A time-to-event analysis revealed that admission after policy implementation was associated with a significantly longer time to first do not resuscitate/do not intubate/comfort care order (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.6-3.1; p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Policies restricting family presence may lead to longer ICU stays and delay decisions to limit treatment prior to death. Further policy evaluation and programs enabling access to family-centered care and palliative care during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic are imperative.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Decision Making , Health Policy , Visitors to Patients/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/psychology , Critical Illness/mortality , Critical Illness/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Terminal Care/methods , Terminal Care/psychology , Terminal Care/standards
11.
J Med Ethics ; 46(8): 514-525, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467726

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Humanitarian crises and emergencies, events often marked by high mortality, have until recently excluded palliative care-a specialty focusing on supporting people with serious or terminal illness or those nearing death. In the COVID-19 pandemic, palliative care has received unprecedented levels of societal attention. Unfortunately, this has not been enough to prevent patients dying alone, relatives not being able to say goodbye and palliative care being used instead of intensive care due to resource limitations. Yet global guidance was available. In 2018, the WHO released a guide on 'Integrating palliative care and symptom relief into the response to humanitarian emergencies and crises'-the first guidance on the topic by an international body. AIMS: This paper argues that while a landmark document, the WHO guide took a narrowly clinical bioethics perspective and missed crucial moral dilemmas. We argue for adding a population-level bioethics lens, which draws forth complex moral dilemmas arising from the fact that groups having differential innate and acquired resources in the context of social and historical determinants of health. We discuss dilemmas concerning: limitations of material and human resources; patient prioritisation; euthanasia; and legacy inequalities, discrimination and power imbalances. IMPLICATIONS: In parts of the world where opportunity for preparation still exists, and as countries emerge from COVID-19, planners must consider care for the dying. Immediate steps to support better resolutions to ethical dilemmas of the provision of palliative care in humanitarian and emergency contexts will require honest debate; concerted research effort; and international, national and local ethical guidance.


Subject(s)
Bioethical Issues , Delivery of Health Care/ethics , Disaster Planning , Palliative Care/ethics , Pandemics/ethics , Terminal Care/ethics , Altruism , Betacoronavirus , Bioethics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Critical Care , Decision Making/ethics , Emergencies , Ethics, Clinical , Global Health , Health Care Rationing , Health Equity , Health Resources , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Stress, Psychological
12.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 998, 2021 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435242

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, protection measures, as well as visiting restrictions, had a severe impact on seriously ill and dying patients and their relatives. The study aims to describe the experiences of bereaved relatives of patients who died during the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, regardless of whether patients were infected with SARS-CoV2 or not. As part of this, experiences related to patients' end-of-life care, saying goodbye, visiting restrictions and communication with the healthcare team were assessed. METHODS: An open observational post-bereavement online survey with free text options was conducted with 81 bereaved relatives from people who died during the pandemic in Germany, with and without SARS-CoV2 diagnosis. RESULTS: 67/81 of the bereaved relatives were female, with a mean age of 57.2 years. 50/81 decedents were women, with a mean age of 82.4 years. The main underlying diseases causing death were cardiovascular diseases or cancer. Only 7/81 of the patients were infected with SARS-CoV2. 58/81 of the relatives felt burdened by the visiting restrictions and 60/81 suffered from pandemic-related stress. 10 of the patients died alone due to visiting restrictions. The burden for relatives in the hospital setting was higher compared to relatives of patients who died at home. 45/81 and 44/81 relatives respectively reported that physicians and nurses had time to discuss the patient's condition. Nevertheless, relatives reported a lack of proactive communication from the healthcare professionals. CONCLUSIONS: Visits of relatives play a major role in the care of the dying and have an impact on the bereavement of relatives. Visits must be facilitated, allowing physical contact. Additionally, virtual contact with the patients and open, empathetic communication on the part of healthcare professionals is needed. TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00023552).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Terminal Care , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Soc Sci Med ; 287: 114397, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401873

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Disease outbreaks and disasters can result in excess deaths and severe disruption of usual end-of-life care processes. We aimed to: i) synthesise evidence describing the experiences of health and social care staff providing end-of-life care during a disease outbreak or humanitarian disaster, ii) understand the impact on their mental health and wellbeing and, iii) identify means of support. METHODS: A systematic review with meta-synthesis was conducted including studies of health and social care staff providing end-of-life care during disease outbreaks (Ebola, COVID-19, SARs, MERs) or humanitarian disasters (2001-2020). MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase, PsycInfo, Web of Science, and grey literature databases were searched systematically, with forward and backward citation searching of included studies. Any research study designs, in any care settings, were included. Study quality was assessed using an appraisal tool relevant to each study design. Qualitative meta-synthesis was used to analyse the findings, which were then reported narratively. PROSPERO registration: CRD42020181444. RESULTS: Nineteen studies were included, including 10 Ebola studies and two COVID-19 studies. The analysis generated two superordinate themes: individual experience and organisational responsibilities. Individual experience comprised four themes: dignity in death, positive experiences, negative experience and support for staff. Organisational responsibilities comprised four themes: preparation, adaption, resources, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). DISCUSSION: No studies quantitively measured the impact of providing end-of-life care on staff mental health and wellbeing, however qualitative studies described experiences in varied settings. Serious disease outbreaks and disasters can expose care staff to abnormally high levels of mortality and suffering. Health and social care systems need to proactively prepare for future events and enable peer support mechanisms that may help mitigate experiences of psychological distress in humanitarian crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Terminal Care , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support
16.
BMJ Support Palliat Care ; 11(3): 303-304, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379624
17.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0254870, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378134

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The concept of death is abstract, complex and has a number of meanings. Thus, its understanding and the approach taken to it depend, to a large extent, on aspects such as age, culture, training and religion. Nursing students have regular contact with the process of death and so it is of great interest to understand the attitudes they have towards it. As we live in a plural society it is even more interesting to not only understand the attitudes of Spanish students but, also, those of students coming from other countries. In the present article, we seek to identify and compare the attitudes held by nursing degree students at Hekima-Santé University (Senegal) and the University of Huelva (Spain) about end of life processes. The study identifies elements that condition attitudes and coping with death, whilst considering curricular differences with regards to specific end of life training. METHOD: A descriptive, cross-sectional and multi-center study was conducted. The overall sample (N = 142) was divided into groups: Hekima-Santé University (Dakar, Senegal) and the University of Huelva (Huelva, Spain). The measurement instruments used were an ad-hoc questionnaire and Bugen´s Coping with Death Scale. RESULTS: Statistically significant differences (p = 0.005, 95%CI) were found in relation to overall Bugen Scale scores. We can confirm that specialized end of life training (University of Huelva, Spain) did not lead to better coping when compared with a population whose academic curriculum did not provide specific training and who engaged in more religious practices (Hekima-Santé University, Senegal). CONCLUSIONS: In cultures where religion not only influences the spiritual dimension of the individual, but acts in the ethical and moral system and consequently in the economic, educational and family sphere, the accompaniment at the end of life transcends the formative plane. Considering the plural society in which we live, the training that integrates the Degree in Nursing with regard to the care of the final process, must be multidimensional in which spirituality and faith are integrated, working emotional and attentional skills, as well as cultural competence strategies in this process.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , Culture , Students, Nursing/psychology , Terminal Care/psychology , Death , Emotions/physiology , Female , Humans , Male , Senegal , Spain , Young Adult
18.
19.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 57(9)2021 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374457

ABSTRACT

Background and Objectives: Descriptions of end-of-life in COVID-19 are limited to small cross-sectional studies. We aimed to assess end-of-life care in inpatients with COVID-19 at Alicante General University Hospital (ALC) and compare differences according to palliative and non-palliative sedation. Material and Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study in inpatients included in the ALC COVID-19 Registry (PCR-RT or antigen-confirmed cases) who died during conventional admission from 1 March to 15 December 2020. We evaluated differences among deceased cases according to administration of palliative sedation. Results: Of 747 patients evaluated, 101 died (13.5%). Sixty-eight (67.3%) died in acute medical wards, and 30 (44.1%) received palliative sedation. The median age of patients with palliative sedation was 85 years; 44% were women, and 30% of cases were nosocomial. Patients with nosocomial acquisition received more palliative sedation than those infected in the community (81.8% [9/11] vs 36.8% [21/57], p = 0.006), and patients admitted with an altered mental state received it less (20% [6/23] vs. 53.3% [24/45], p = 0.032). The median time from admission to starting palliative sedation was 8.5 days (interquartile range [IQR] 3.0-14.5). The main symptoms leading to palliative sedation were dyspnea at rest (90%), pain (60%), and delirium/agitation (36.7%). The median time from palliative sedation to death was 21.8 h (IQR 10.4-41.1). Morphine was used in all palliative sedation perfusions: the main regimen was morphine + hyoscine butyl bromide + midazolam (43.3%). Conclusions: End-of-life palliative sedation in patients with COVID-19 was initiated quite late. Clinicians should anticipate the need for palliative sedation in these patients and recognize the breathlessness, pain, and agitation/delirium that foreshadow death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Terminal Care , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Hypnotics and Sedatives/therapeutic use , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
20.
J Palliat Care ; 37(1): 3-7, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358979

ABSTRACT

With coronavirus disease 2019, the risk of death has increased in the general population. In these unprecedented times and even otherwise, it is important for the health care professionals caring for Hindu patients to be aware of the end of life practices in Hinduism. There is limited information in the medical literature about traditions and practices followed in Hinduism which is observed by 15% of the world population. Hinduism is currently the third largest religion following Christianity and Islam. Based on Hindu beliefs about life, death, and reincarnation, we propose 10 end of life best practices for Hindu patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Terminal Care , Hinduism , Humans , Islam , SARS-CoV-2
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