Updates in Hospital Palliative Care
American Journal of Hospital Medicine
This review critiques recent palliative care (PC) literature with likelihood of impacting general hospital practice in order to help address the PC needs of patients. Methods: Articles published between January and December 2018 were identified through handsearch of leading PC journals and MEDLINE search. The final ten selected articles were determined by consensus based on scientific rigor, relevance to general hospital medicine, and impact to practice. Results: Key findings include: Early PC
... include: Early PC interventions reduced healthcare costs; Prognostic awareness of surrogates of patients with advanced dementia was associated with reduced burdensome interventions; Care transitions, especially in the last 3 days of life, can be detrimental to caregivers' well-being and perceptions of care; Haloperidol was effective for treatment of nausea and vomiting without untoward effects; Antipsychotics did not improve delirium symptoms in hospitalized patients; A fan directed to the face improved dyspnea; Disparities in advance directive completion disappeared when equal opportunities were given; Improving communication with families of critically ill patients improved perceptions of patient-centered care; Communication-priming tools improved the quality and documentation of goals of care conversations; Discussing prognosis did not harm the patient-provider relationship. AJHM Volume 3 Issue 4 (Oct-Dec 2019) REVIEW ARTICLE Havyer et al. www.ajhm.org 2 Conclusion: Recent PC research affirmed the importance of PC delivery to patients with lifelimiting illness and provided important guidance to hospitalists on symptom management, advance care planning, and communication.