Impact of Early Palliative Care on End-of-Life Outcomes in Hematologic Malignancies.

Conference Paper

Background: Patients with hematologic malignancies (HMs) receive more disease directed care at the end of life (EOL) and often die in the hospital. The impact of early palliative care (PC) consultation on EOL quality outcomes in HMs has not been well described. Objectives: In 2017 we embedded a PC specialist within our inpatient malignant hematology team at our hospital in Providence, Rhode Island to facilitate the use of early PC. We sought to determine if this practice was accompanied by a shift in EOL outcomes. Design/Setting: We conducted a retrospective review of patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) at our institution in the two years before (Cohort A) and after (Cohort B) insertion of a PC specialist. We identified patients who received a PC consultation and whether it was early or late. We then examined EOL quality outcomes: hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in the last 30 days of life, chemotherapy use in the last 14 days of life, use of hospice, and death out of hospital. Results: Among 139 AML patients, 46 in Cohort A and 93 in Cohort B, we identified 34 and 47 decedents in each cohort, respectively. There was no significant improvement in EOL outcomes between Cohort A and B or among patients receiving early PC (p > 0.05); however, PC in general across all cohorts was associated with significant increase in hospice use and fewer ICU admissions (p = 0.016 and 0.0043, respectively). Conclusion: Earlier PC consultation in AML was not significantly associated with improvement in EOL quality outcomes; however, PC use in general was with improvement in use of hospice and ICU utilization. Further studies are needed to more definitively examine the relationship between early PC and EOL outcomes in patients with HMs and to examine non EOL outcomes such as patient experience and quality-of-life measures.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pelcovits, A; Olszewski, AJ; Decker, D; Guyer, D; Leblanc, TW; Egan, P

Published Date

  • April 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 556 - 561

PubMed ID

  • 34842462

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1557-7740

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/jpm.2021.0193

Conference Location

  • United States