Survival after enrollment in an Australian palliative care program

Good, PD, Cavenagh, J and Ravenscroft, PJ (2004) Survival after enrollment in an Australian palliative care program. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 27 4: 310-315. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2003.12.011

Author Good, PD
Cavenagh, J
Ravenscroft, PJ
Title Survival after enrollment in an Australian palliative care program
Journal name Journal of Pain and Symptom Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0885-3924
Publication date 2004
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2003.12.011
Volume 27
Issue 4
Start page 310
End page 315
Total pages 6
Language eng
Subject 2703 Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
2728 Clinical Neurology
2808 Neurology
2900 Nursing
Abstract Palliative care services aim to achieve the best quality of life for patients by controlling pain and other physical symptoms and attending to their psychospiritual needs. There have been many studies across different countries looking at timing of referral to palliative care services. Almost universally, timing of referral to palliative care is 'late' in the course of the patients' illness. This study looked at survival of patients after enrollment in an Australian integrated palliative care service that consists of inpatient beds (hospice), community care and consultation services. We analyzed the survival of 1138 patients enrolled over a 30-month period. The mean age was 70.1 years and 55% of the patients were male. The most common cancers were lung (19.1%), colorectal (13.4%) and prostate (5.8%), with nonmalignant disease accounting for 5.6% of all patients. The median length of survival was 54 days, with 9.3% of the patients dying within 7 days and 16.96% of patients living longer than six months. Perhaps more importantly than median survival is the time spent on a palliative care program in the overall context of diagnosis till death. The median percentage of time since diagnosis spent on the program was 17%. Timing of referral should be dependent on the need for intervention for physical or psychological symptoms. This can be meaningful whether the number of days till death is small or large.
Keyword Human
Palliative care
Survival analysis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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