Possible associations between palliative care conferences and positive outcomes when performing palliative care for patients with end-stage heart failure: a nationwide cross-sectional questionnaire survey
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Palliative care for end-stage heart failure should be provided by a multidisciplinary team. However, the influence of each occupational category on patients receiving palliative care for end-stage heart failure remains unclear. Thus, this study investigated the relationships between palliative care conferences and positive outcomes of palliative care for end-stage heart failure patients. We sent questionnaires to all cardiology training hospitals authorized by the Japanese Circulation Society (n = 1004); of these, responses from the directors at 554 institutions were analyzed. We divided the responding institutions into two groups according to their implementation of palliative care conferences for patients with end-stage heart failure. The institutions that had held such conferences (n = 223) had a larger number of hospital beds, beds in the cardiovascular department, and patients admitted to the cardiovascular department, compared with institutions that had not held these conferences (n = 321). The usage rates of opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and sedatives were significantly higher in institutions that held these conferences. Multivariate analysis revealed that nutritionists and medical social workers had greater involvement in the improvement of mental symptoms and ensuring that patients could stay where they wished, respectively. The presence of palliative care physicians, physical therapists, or pharmacists was associated with multiple positive outcomes. This study indicated that there are possible associations between palliative care conferences and positive outcomes when performing palliative care for patients with end-stage heart failure.
KeywordsHeart failure Palliative care Multidisciplinary team management Nationwide survey
The authors would like to acknowledge the directors and staff of the 1004 cardiology training hospitals authorized by the Japanese Circulation Society for their cooperation with this survey. The authors thank Koji Shimamoto, MS (MediStatLab Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, https://www.medistatlab.com/) for assistance with statistical methods.
This study received no grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
For this type of study, formal consent is not required.
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