Assessment of GP management of symptoms of dying patients in an Australian community hospice by chart audit

Mitchell, Geoffrey K. (1998) Assessment of GP management of symptoms of dying patients in an Australian community hospice by chart audit. Family Practice, 15 5: 420-425. doi:10.1093/fampra/15.5.420


Author Mitchell, Geoffrey K.
Title Assessment of GP management of symptoms of dying patients in an Australian community hospice by chart audit
Journal name Family Practice   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0263-2136
1460-2229
Publication date 1998-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/fampra/15.5.420
Volume 15
Issue 5
Start page 420
End page 425
Total pages 6
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject C1
Formatted abstract
Background:. With specialist palliative care services becoming widespread, and the place of the GP in palliative care being examined, audit of patient care delivered by GPs is required in order to ensure adequate standards of care.
Objective: We aimed to evaluate symptomatic care delivered to palliative care patients by GPs in an Australian community hospice with a developed quality assurance programme.
Methods: The study was set in a newly established community-based, GP-run hospice in a provincial city in Queensland, Australia. A chart audit was carried out of the first 20 patients admitted to a community-based hospice, in order to establish (i) whether attempts were made by the treating doctor to find the direct cause of symptoms before initiating management; and (ii) whether management accorded with developed consensus-based guidelines.
Results: Twenty patients were treated by 14 GPs; 135 new symptoms were identified in the records of these patients. Of the 125 symptoms for which guidelines could be identified in the literature, in 87 (70%) an attempt by the treating GP to find a direct cause could be demonstrated. Of the 114 symptoms with treatments defined in the guidelines, 107 (90%) treatments conformed to the guidelines. Constipation, nausea/vomiting, anorexia and back pain were the conditions for which there were the fewest attempts at establishing a direct cause before treatment. In most cases these conditions were treated in accordance with the guidelines.
Conclusion: Quality assurance mechanisms present in an in-patient palliative care setting appear to be associated with high-quality care by GPs.
Keyword Medicine, General & Internal
Audit
Gps
Guidelines
Palliative Care
General-practice
Cancer-patients
Terminal Care
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 20:47:30 EST