The Bologna Eubiosia Project: hospital-at-home care for advanced cancer patients

J Palliat Care. Summer 1992;8(2):11-7.

Abstract

Since 1985 the Associazione Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori Solidi (ANT), an Italian nonprofit anticancer organization, has provided a hospital-at-home care program for advanced and very advanced cancer patients. This program is part of the Eubiosia Project which also includes a number of complementary services. Teams of doctors, nurses, and psychologists work round-the-clock in the region and on hospital wards, assisted by diagnostic and therapeutic facilities applicable at home and by a round-the-clock on-call service seven days a week. The patients who were treated between December 1985 and December 1991 numbered 5603, of whom 2130 received treatment in 1991 alone, with 702 patients on line at the end of the period. The mean duration of home care for the first 2803 deceased patients was 62 days, and the percentage of deaths at home was 70%. We analyzed control of the main symptoms and the residual survival in three groups of patients--stomach, lung, and breast cancer sufferers--and found that acceptable pain control was achieved in 95% of cases. From the retrospective analysis of our data it can be seen that the eligibility criteria for entry to home care should not only depend upon performance status and the presence of symptoms, but should also take into account the factors that are inherent to the natural history of any kind of tumor as well as the social, domestic, and psychological characteristics of the patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Length of Stay
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Palliative Care*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach Neoplasms / therapy