Changes in symptoms and pain intensity of cancer patients after enrollment in palliative care at home

Luminita Dumitrescu*, Marinela van den Heuvel-Olaroiu, Wim J. A. van den Heuvel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This study describes the activities and interventions carried out by an at-home palliative care team treating cancer patients who died within two years of being enrolled in a palliative care program. It analyzes which changes in symptoms and pain occurred and which sociodemographic and medical characteristics were related to these changes. The analysis is based on 102 cancer patients. Data were collected through systematic registration during the palliative care process. At enrollment, patients were interviewed by the coordinating general practitioner concerning their sociodemographic background, medical history, psychological status, and symptoms. During the palliative care process, symptoms and functioning of the patients were recorded by the physician and nurses. The results show that cancer patients enrolled in palliative care at home have many symptoms, often associated with metastatic disease and comorbidities. The palliative care teams delivered frequent and various interventions. The number of symptoms decreased considerably, as did pain intensity and the intensity of other symptoms. Patients living in urban areas and with low income particularly benefited from a reduction in the number of symptoms they displayed. Cancer patients who needed palliative care benefited significantly from this at-home palliative care service.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-496
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2007

Keywords

  • palliative care at home
  • evaluation of palliative care at home
  • advanced cancer
  • symptoms
  • intensity of pain
  • SERVICE

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