Prospective Evaluation of Intensity of Symptoms, Therapeutic Procedures and Treatment in Palliative Care Patients in Nursing Homes
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AuthorPuente Fernández, Daniel; Roldán López Del Hierro, Concepción Beatriz; Campos Calderón, Concepción P.; Hueso Montoro, César; García Caro, María Paz; Montoya Juárez, Rafael
Palliative careNursing homesSymptom assessmentDrug therapyTherapeuticsLongitudinal studies
Puente-Fernández, D., Roldán-López, C. B., Campos-Calderón, C. P., Hueso-Montoro, C., García-Caro, M. P., & Montoya-Juarez, R. (2020). Prospective Evaluation of Intensity of Symptoms, Therapeutic Procedures and Treatment in Palliative Care Patients in Nursing Homes. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(3), 750.
SponsorshipThis paper has been partially supported by the Junta de Andalucía, by project FQM-235 and the Andalusian CICYE project AP-0105-2016
The aim of the study is to evaluate the intensity of symptoms, and any treatment and therapeutic procedures received by advanced chronic patients in nursing homes. A multi-centre prospective study was conducted in six nursing homes for five months. A nurse trainer selected palliative care patients from whom the sample was randomly selected for inclusion. The Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scale, therapeutic procedures, and treatment were evaluated. Parametric and non-parametric tests were used to evaluate month-to-month differences and differences between those who died and those who did not. A total of 107 residents were evaluated. At the end of the follow-up, 39 had (34.6%) died. All symptoms (p < 0.050) increased in intensity in the last week of life. Symptoms were more intense in those who had died at follow-up (p < 0.05). The use of aerosol sprays (p = 0.008), oxygen therapy (p < 0.001), opioids (p < 0.001), antibiotics (p = 0.004), and bronchodilators (p = 0.003) increased in the last week of life. Peripheral venous catheters (p = 0.022), corticoids (p = 0.007), antiemetics (p < 0.001), and antidepressants (p < 0.05) were used more in the patients who died. In conclusion, the use of therapeutic procedures (such as urinary catheters, peripheral venous catheter placement, and enteral feeding) and drugs (such as antibiotics, anxiolytics, and new antidepressant prescriptions) should be carefully considered in this clinical setting.