Clinical outcomes in terminally ill patients admitted to hospice care: Diagnostic and therapeutic interventions

Luis Vitetta, David Kenner, David Kissane, Avin Sali

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15 Citations (Scopus)


This study's aim was to determine the impact of medical technologies on patient comfort and survival time, through retrospective review of the clinical course, symptom profile, and illness trajectory in 102 consecutive patients (50 males and 52 females), and of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions delivered to them. The average age of males was 72.3 years and of females 73.1 years. Ninety-four patients were admitted for palliation of symptoms due to malignant disease and eight other patients for non-malignant diseases. The median survival time was 12 days. On admission, higher univariate hazard risks for survival were significantly associated with male gender, metastatic disease, and dyspnea. Higher adjusted Charlson comorbidity scores were associated with significantly decreased survival time, while de novo symptoms and diagnostic interventions were associated with lower univariate risk rates and increased survival times. Palliative therapeutic interventions were not significantly associated with increased patient survival. A multivariate analysis showed that pain, dyspnea, immobility, and adjusted Charlson comorbidity scores were independent risks for shorter patient survival times. Diagnostic interventions were significant for increased patient survival. No requests for euthanasia had been recorded, which may, in part, reflect the significant family support most of these patients had received.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Palliative Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2001

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