Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Clinicians' attention lacking in discussions of end-of-life care

Date:
May 16, 2011
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Clinicians consistently fall short in discussing end-of-life care with patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), according to a study completed by researchers in Washington. The study focused on the communication skills of staff physicians, physician trainees and advanced practice nurses.

Clinicians consistently fall short in discussing end-of-life care with patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), according to a study completed by researchers in Washington. The study focused on the communication skills of staff physicians, physician trainees and advanced practice nurses.

Related Articles


Results of the study were presented at the ATS 2011 International Conference in Denver.

Although previous studies have shown that patients and healthcare systems benefit when clinicians engage in end-of-life conversations with patients diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses, current research suggests that clinicians often elect to focus on life-preserving treatments and avoid conversations about patients' preferences for end-of-life care, noted study author Lynn F. Reinke, PhD, ARNP, research investigator at VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle.

"In this study, clinicians under-addressed all seven end-of-life topics with their patients, with four of the items being rarely discussed and the remaining three items discussed only some of the time," she said "The findings from our study confirm previous research that clinicians under-address end-of-life topics that are important to patients."

Dr. Reinke said the goal of the study was to describe patient-clinician communication practices about end-of-life care from patients' perspectives by examining responses from a specially designed questionnaire focusing on the quality of communication.

"We were interested in which end-of-life care topics were addressed and which were not, as well as patient ratings of the quality of communication about those topics," she said. "We also looked at whether clinician characteristics such as training, practice location, sex and length of clinician-patient relationship were associated with specific end-of-life communication topics being addressed or not addressed."

The researchers reviewed questionnaire responses from 376 patients diagnosed with severe, stable COPD, who were seen by a total of 92 clinicians, including 31 staff physicians, 33 physician trainees and 28 advanced practice nurses. Most of the clinicians practiced in general internal medicine clinics and pulmonary clinics.

The researchers found all seven end-of-life topics were under-addressed and of those, four were not discussed 77 percent to 94 percent of the time, including how long patients might live; what dying may be like; future treatment decisions; and patients' spiritual/religious beliefs. When these topics were addressed, patients reported high satisfaction levels for discussions of three of the four items, while discussion of the topic of what dying may be like was rated poor to fair.

There were no associations between clinicians' characteristics that were measured and whether or not they addressed end-of-life topics.

"Only one item -- 'involving you in decisions about the treatments that you want if you get too sick to speak for yourself' -- was addressed more often by clinicians that had a relationship with the patient of more than five years," Dr. Reinke said.

Dr. Reinke said she hopes these results will be used to help develop and test practical skills to help clinicians effectively address patients' end-of-life care concerns in an outpatient setting.

"It may be difficult for clinicians to discuss end-of-life topics, but our study and previous studies confirm that most patients with COPD want to have these conversations," Dr. Reinke said. "Developing an intervention that focuses on these specific sensitive topics and the appropriate time to address these issues with patients may improve patient satisfaction with clinicians' care.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Clinicians' attention lacking in discussions of end-of-life care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516111654.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2011, May 16). Clinicians' attention lacking in discussions of end-of-life care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516111654.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Clinicians' attention lacking in discussions of end-of-life care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516111654.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins