BACKGROUND: Integration of oncology and palliative care has been shown to increase quality of life in advanced disease. To meet the needs of the growing older population, integration of palliative care and geriatrics has been proposed but scarcely described.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to integrate palliative care into geriatrics by a structured care guide, the Swedish Palliative Care Guide, and to evaluate its effect on patient satisfaction, health-related quality of life and symptom burden, compared to a control group.
METHODS: Geriatric in-patients over 65 years of age were included in the study, those with cognitive impairment were excluded. Data was collected before (baseline) and after the implementation (intervention) of the Swedish Palliative Care Guide. Patient satisfaction was evaluated two weeks after discharge with questions from a national patient survey. Health-related quality of life was measured with EQ-5D-3L and symptom burden with Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale.
RESULTS: In total, 400 patients were included, 200 in the baseline- and intervention group, respectively. Mean age was 83 years in both groups. Patient satisfaction was significantly higher in nine out of ten questions (p = 0.02-<0.001) in the intervention group compared to baseline. No differences between the groups were seen in health-related quality of life or symptom burden.
CONCLUSION: A significant effect on patient satisfaction was seen after implementation of the Swedish Palliative Care Guide in geriatric care. Thus, integration of palliative care and geriatrics could be of substantial benefit in the growing population of older adults with multimorbidity and frailty.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
- Aged, 80 and over
- Palliative Care
- Patient Satisfaction
- Quality of Life
- Prospective Studies