Objectives: (1) To describe the prevalence, timing and setting of documented end-of-life (EOL) discussions in patients with advanced ovarian cancer; and (2) to assess the impact of timing and setting of documented end-of-life discussions on EOL quality care measures.
Methods: A retrospective study of women who died of ovarian cancer diagnosed between 1999 and 2008 was conducted. The following are the EOL quality measures assessed: chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life, >1 hospitalization in the last 30 days, >1 ER visit in the last 30 days, intensive care unit (ICU) admission in the last 30 days, dying in an acute care setting, admitted to hospice ≤3 days.
Results: One hundred seventy-seven (80%) patients had documented end-of-life discussions. Median interval from EOL discussion until death was 29 days. Seventy-eight patients (44%) had EOL discussions as outpatient and 99 (56%) as inpatient. Sixty-four out of 220 (29%) patients' care did not conform to at least one EOL quality measure. An EOL discussion at least 30 days before death was associated with a lower incidence of: chemotherapy in the last 14 days of life (p=0.003), >1 hospitalization in the last 30 days (p<0.001), ICU admission in the last 30 days (p=0.005), dying in acute care setting (p=0.01), admitted to hospice ≤3 days (p=0.02). EOL discussion as outpatient was associated with fewer patients hospitalized >1 in the last 30days of life (p<0.001).
Conclusions: End-of-life care discussions are occurring too late in the disease process. Conformance with EOL quality measures can be achieved with earlier end-of-life care discussions.
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