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. 2017 Feb 3;12(2):e0171365.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171365. eCollection 2017.

The Effects of Hospice-Shared Care for Gastric Cancer Patients

Free PMC article

The Effects of Hospice-Shared Care for Gastric Cancer Patients

Kun-Siang Huang et al. PLoS One. .
Free PMC article


Background: Hospice care has been proved to result in changes to the medical behaviors of terminally ill patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects and medical behavior changes of hospice-shared care intervention among terminally ill gastric cancer patients.

Methods: A total of 174 patients who died of gastric cancer between 2012 and 2014 were identified. These patients were divided into two groups: a hospice-shared care group (n = 93) and a control group (n = 81).

Results: Among the 174 patients, 84% had advanced stage (stage III or stage IV) cancer. The females and the patients cared by medical oncologists had a higher percentage of hospice-shared care than the males (71% vs 44%, p = 0.001) and those cared by other physicians (63% vs 41%, p = 0.004). Compared to the control group, the hospice-shared care group underwent lower incidence of life sustaining or aggressive medical treatments, including intensive care unit admission (2% vs 26%, p<0.001), intubation (1% vs 27%, p<0.001), cardiopulmonary-cerebral resuscitation (0% vs 11%, p = 0.001), ventilator use (1% vs 27%, p<0.001), inotropic agent use (8% vs 46%, p<0.001), total or partial parenteral nutrition use (38% vs. 58%, p = 0.029), and blood transfusion (45% vs 74%, p<0.001). Besides, the hospice-shared care group had a higher percentage of palliative treatments than the control group, including signed Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders (95% vs 37%, p<0.001), receiving home hospice care (16% vs 1%, p<0.001), and indicating home as the realistically preferred place of death (41% vs 19%, p = 0.001). The hospice ward admission rate in the hospice-shared care group increased from 30% to 53% from 2012 to 2014.

Conclusion: The use of hospice-shared care for gastric cancer patients could increase the rate of signed DNR orders, decrease the use of life sustaining and aggressive/palliative treatments, and improve quality of life.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1. The hospice ward admission rates of the gastric cancer patients who received hospice care.

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Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.