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What determines referral of UK patients with haematological malignancies to palliative care services? An exploratory study using hospital records

Ansell, P., Howell, D., Garry, A., Kite, S., Munro, J., Roman, E. and Howard, M. (2007) What determines referral of UK patients with haematological malignancies to palliative care services? An exploratory study using hospital records. Palliative Medicine, 21 (6). pp. 487-492. ISSN 0269-2163

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Abstract

We investigated the frequency and characteristics of patients with haematological malignancies (HMs) who were, or were not, referred for specialist palliative care (SPC). Data were abstracted from hospital records of 108 patients who died — 27 with leukaemia, 11 with myelodysplastic syndromes, 48 with lymphoma and 22 with myeloma. Ninety-three patients (86.1%) were >60 years of age at diagnosis, with 33 (30.6%) being 80 years and 31 (28.7%) having existing comorbidities. Thirty-three patients (30.6%) were referred to SPC services. There was little difference by age or HM diagnosis in referred patients. Seventeen of 67 patients (25.4%) dying on a hospital ward received SPC compared with 6/7 (85.7%) dying at home. Time between diagnosis and death influenced the referral — 24/52 patients (46.2%) dying 30 days after diagnosis received SPC compared with 8/42 (19.1%) dying within 30 days. In 14 patients, HM diagnosis was confirmed after death. Identification of these 14 patients is likely to be a unique feature of our study, as patients were selected from a regional, population-based register with centralized diagnostic services, enabling the identification of all patients with HM. The interface between curative and palliative treatment in HM is more complex than the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommendations suggest. Palliative Medicine 2007; 21: 487—492

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Health Sciences (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2009 14:48
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2009 14:48
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269216307082020
Status: Published
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1177/0269216307082020
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7159

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