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2.
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
4.
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
7.
J Hosp Palliat Nurs ; 23(4): 360-366, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254921

ABSTRACT

Patients often receive burdensome care at the end of life in the form of interventions that may need to be removed. Heated high-flow oxygen delivered through a nasal cannula (HHFNC) is one such intervention that can be delivered in the hospital yet is rarely available outside of this setting. During the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, health care systems continue to face the possibility of rationing critical life-sustaining equipment that may include HHFNC. We present a clinical protocol designed for weaning HHFNC to allow a natural death and ensuring adequate symptom management throughout the process. This was a retrospective chart review of 8 patients seen by an inpatient palliative care service of an academic tertiary referral hospital who underwent terminal weaning of HHFNC using a structured protocol to manage dyspnea. Eight patients with diverse medical diagnoses, including COVID-19 pneumonia, underwent terminal weaning of HHFNC according to the clinical protocol with 4 down-titrations of approximately 25% for both fraction of inspired oxygen and liter flow with preemptive boluses of opioid and benzodiazepine. Clinical documentation supported good symptom control throughout the weaning process. This case series provides preliminary evidence that the clinical protocol proposed has the ability to ensure comfort through terminal weaning of HHFNC.


Subject(s)
Airway Extubation/methods , Terminal Care/organization & administration , Ventilator Weaning/methods , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Airway Extubation/nursing , Airway Extubation/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/nursing , Cannula/adverse effects , Clinical Protocols , Continuous Positive Airway Pressure/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Terminal Care/psychology , Ventilator Weaning/nursing
8.
Palliat Support Care ; 19(2): 129-134, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253858

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Parents of seriously ill children worry about their vulnerable child contracting COVID-19, whether their child's palliative care providers will be able to continue to provide the same quality of care to their child, and who can be with the child to provide comfort. For providers, shifts in healthcare provision, communication formats, and support offerings for families facing distress or loss during the pandemic may promote providers' moral distress. This study aimed to define the ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted end-of-life care and approach to bereavement care in pediatric palliative care (PPC). METHOD: The Palliative Assessment of Needed DEvelopments and Modifications In the Era of Coronavirus (PANDEMIC) survey was developed to learn about the PPC experience during COVID-19 in the United States. The survey was posted with permission on seven nationally focused Listservs. RESULTS: A total of 207 PPC team members from 80 cities within 39 states and the District of Columbia participated. In the majority of hospitals, admitted pediatric patients were only allowed one parent as a visitor with the exception of both parents or nuclear family at end of life. Creative alternatives to grief support and traditional funeral services were described. The high incidence of respondents' depicted moral distress was often focused on an inability to provide a desired level of care due to existing rules and policies and bearing witness to patient and family suffering enhanced by the pandemic. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the provision of end-of-life care and bereavement for children, family caregivers, and PPC providers. Our results identify tangible limitations of restricted personal contact and the pain of watching families stumble through a stunted grieving process. It is imperative that we find solutions for future global challenges and to foster solidarity in PPC.


Subject(s)
Bereavement , COVID-19/psychology , Family/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Social Support , Terminal Care/psychology , COVID-19/nursing , Child , Female , Hospice Care , Humans , Male , Palliative Care/psychology , United States
9.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(4): 493-500, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218704

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has affected the hospital experience for patients, visitors, and staff. OBJECTIVE: To understand clinician perspectives on adaptations to end-of-life care for dying patients and their families during the pandemic. DESIGN: Mixed-methods embedded study. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04602520). SETTING: 3 acute care medical units in a tertiary care hospital from 16 March to 1 July 2020. PARTICIPANTS: 45 dying patients, 45 family members, and 45 clinicians. INTERVENTION: During the pandemic, clinicians continued an existing practice of collating personal information about dying patients and "what matters most," eliciting wishes, and implementing acts of compassion. MEASUREMENTS: Themes from semistructured clinician interviews that were summarized with representative quotations. RESULTS: Many barriers to end-of-life care arose because of infection control practices that mandated visiting restrictions and personal protective equipment, with attendant practical and psychological consequences. During hospitalization, family visits inside or outside the patient's room were possible for 36 patients (80.0%); 13 patients (28.9%) had virtual visits with a relative or friend. At the time of death, 20 patients (44.4%) had a family member at the bedside. Clinicians endeavored to prevent unmarked deaths by adopting advocacy roles to "fill the gap" of absent family and by initiating new and established ways to connect patients and relatives. LIMITATION: Absence of clinician symptom or wellness metrics; a single-center design. CONCLUSION: Clinicians expressed their humanity through several intentional practices to preserve personalized, compassionate end-of-life care for dying hospitalized patients during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canadian Critical Care Trials Group Research Coordinator Fund.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Death , COVID-19/epidemiology , Family/psychology , Infection Control/organization & administration , Personnel, Hospital/psychology , Terminal Care/psychology , Aged , Empathy , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Professional-Family Relations , SARS-CoV-2
10.
J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care ; 17(2-3): 173-185, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177220

ABSTRACT

Comfort care homes are community-run, residential homes that provide end-of-life care to terminally ill individuals who lack safe, secure housing and a reliable caregiver system. As nonprofit, non-medical facilities, these homes have faced both new and magnified challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article highlights the value of collaborative interagency partnerships and shares reflections on the unique pandemic pressures faced by comfort care homes. Innovative ideas for improving community-based end-of-life care and implications for social work practice are included.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Caregivers/psychology , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Patient Comfort/methods , Terminal Care/methods , COVID-19/psychology , Clinical Competence , Humans , Palliative Care/methods , Terminal Care/psychology
12.
Trials ; 21(1): 1019, 2020 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146386

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Burnout is an occupational syndrome that leads to mental health problems, job turnover, and patient safety events. Those caring for critically ill patients are especially susceptible due to high patient mortality, long hours, and regular encounters with trauma and ethical issues. Interventions to prevent burnout in this population are needed. Preliminary studies suggest debriefing sessions may reduce burnout. This study aims to assess whether participation in regular debriefing can prevent burnout in intensive care unit (ICU) clinicians. METHODS: A randomized controlled trial will be conducted in two large academic medical centers. Two hundred ICU clinicians will be recruited with target enrollment of 100 physicians and 100 non-physicians (nurses, pharmacists, therapists). Participants must have worked in the ICU for the equivalent of at least 1 full time work week in the preceding 4 weeks. Enrolled subjects will be randomized to virtually attend biweekly debriefing sessions facilitated by a psychotherapist for 3 months or to a control arm without sessions. Our debriefs are modeled after Death Cafés, which are informal discussions focusing on death, dying, loss, grief, and illness. These sessions allow for reflection on distressing events and offer community and collaboration among hospital employees outside of work. The primary outcome is clinician burnout as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) Score. Secondary outcomes include depression and anxiety, as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire 8 (PHQ-8) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale (GAD-7), respectively. Questionnaires will be administered prior to the intervention, at 1 month, at 3 months, and at 6 months after enrollment. These values will be compared between groups temporally. Qualitative feedback will also be collected and analyzed. DISCUSSION: With ICU clinician burnout rates exceeding 50%, Death Café debriefing sessions may prove to be an effective tool to avert this debilitating syndrome. With COVID-19 limiting social interactions and overloading ICUs worldwide, the virtual administration of the Death Café for ICU clinicians provides an innovative strategy to potentially mitigate burnout in this vulnerable population. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04347811 . Registered on 15 April 2020.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional/prevention & control , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Stress/psychology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Terminal Care/psychology , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/epidemiology , Awareness/physiology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Communication , Critical Illness/mortality , Critical Illness/psychology , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Occupational Stress/epidemiology , Patient Health Questionnaire/statistics & numerical data , Patient Safety/statistics & numerical data , Personnel Turnover/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , User-Computer Interface
14.
Pan Afr Med J ; 35(Suppl 2): 130, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1106476

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained health care systems beyond capacity resulting in many people not having access to life-sustaining measures even in well-resourced countries. Palliative and end-of-life care are therefore essential to alleviate suffering and ensure a continuum of care for patients unlikely to survive. This is challenging in sub-Saharan Africa where lack of trained teams on basic palliative care and reduced access to opioids limit implementation of palliative and end-of-life care. At the same time, health care providers have to cope with local cultural conceptions of death and absence of advance care directives.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Palliative Care/organization & administration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Terminal Care/organization & administration , Advance Directives , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Analgesics, Opioid/supply & distribution , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Attitude to Death , COVID-19 , Communication Barriers , Continuity of Patient Care , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Culture , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Palliative Care/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Professional-Patient Relations , Respiratory Insufficiency/drug therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Respiratory Insufficiency/mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Stigma , Terminal Care/psychology
18.
Age Ageing ; 50(2): 294-306, 2021 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-990552

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has affected the functioning and capacity of healthcare systems worldwide. COVID-19 has also disproportionately affected older adults. In the context of COVID-19, decision-making surrounding place of care (PoC) and place of death (PoD) in older adults involves significant new challenges. AIMS: To explore key factors that influence PoC and PoD decisions in older adults. A secondary aim was to investigate key factors that influence the process and outcome of these decisions in older adults. To apply findings from current evidence to the context of COVID-19. METHODS: Rapid review of reviews, undertaken using WHO guidance for rapid reviews for the production of actionable evidence. Data extracted was synthesised using narrative synthesis, with thematic analysis and tabulation. RESULTS: 10 papers were included for full data extraction. These papers were published between 2005 and 2020. Papers included discussed actual PoD, as well as preferred. Results were divided into papers that explored the process of decision-making, and those that explored decision-making outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The process and outcomes of decision-making for older people are affected by many factors-all of which have the potential to influence both patients and caregivers experience of illness and dying. Within the context of COVID-19, such decisions may have to be made rapidly and be reflexive to changing needs of systems and of families and patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Decision Making, Shared , Palliative Care , Terminal Care , Adaptation, Psychological , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/therapy , Frail Elderly , Humans , Palliative Care/ethics , Palliative Care/psychology , Terminal Care/ethics , Terminal Care/psychology
20.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 69(3): 587-592, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977505

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in rapid changes to end-of-life care for hospitalized older adults and their families, including visitation restrictions. We examined bereaved families' perceptions of the quality of end-of-life communication among Veterans, families and staff in Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Qualitative descriptive study using data from a survey of bereaved family members of Veterans administered from March-June 2020. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. SETTING: VA medical centers with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases during the study period. PARTICIPANTS: Next-of-kin of 328 Veterans who died in one of 37 VA medical centers' acute care, intensive care, nursing home, or hospice units. MEASUREMENTS: Open-ended survey questions (response rate = 37%) about family member's perceptions of: (1) communication with the healthcare team about the patient, (2) communication with the patient, and (3) use of remote communication technologies. RESULTS: Bereaved family members identified contextual factors perceived to impact communication quality including: allowing family at the bedside when death is imminent, fears that the patient died alone, and overall perceptions of VA care. Characteristics of perceived high-quality communication included staff availability for remote communication and being kept informed of the patient's condition and plan of care. Low-quality communication with staff was perceived to result from limited access to staff, insufficient updates regarding the patient's condition, and when the family member was not consulted about care decision-making. Communication quality with the patient was facilitated or impeded by the availability and use of video-enabled remote technologies. CONCLUSION: Communication between patients, families, and healthcare teams at the end of life remains critically important during times of limited in-person visitation. Families report that low-quality communication causes profound distress that can affect the quality of dying and bereavement. Innovative strategies are needed to ensure that high-quality communication occurs despite pandemic-related visitation restrictions.


Subject(s)
Bereavement , COVID-19/psychology , Family/psychology , Professional-Family Relations , Terminal Care/psychology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Communication , Female , Hospitals, Veterans , Humans , Male , Perception , Qualitative Research , Quality of Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , United States Department of Veterans Affairs , Veterans/psychology
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