Hospice use and outcomes in nursing home residents with advanced dementia
Year of Publication 2010
Objectives: To identify characteristics of nursing home (NH) residents with advanced dementia and their healthcare proxies (HCPs) associated with hospice referral and to examine the association between hospice use and the treatment of pain and dyspnea and unmet needs during the last 7 days of life.; Design: Prospective cohort study.; Setting: Twenty-two Boston-area NHs.; Participants: Three hundred twenty-three NH residents with advanced dementia and their HCPs.; Measurements: Data were collected at baseline and quarterly for up to 18 months. Hospice referral, frequency of pain and dyspnea, and treatment of these symptoms was ascertained. HCPs reported unmet needs during the last 7 days of the residents’ lives for communication, information, emotional support, and help with personal care.; Results: Twenty-two percent of residents were referred to hospice. After multivariable adjustment, factors associated with hospice referral were nonwhite race, eating problems, HCP’s perception that the resident’s had less than 6 months to live, and better HCP mental health. Residents in hospice were more likely to receive scheduled opioids for pain (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=3.16; 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=1.57-6.36) and oxygen, morphine, scopolamine, or hyoscyamine for dyspnea (AOR=3.28, 95% CI=1.37-7.86). HCPs of residents in hospice reported fewer unmet needs in all domains during the last 7 days of the residents’ life.; Conclusion: A minority of NH residents with advanced dementia received hospice care. Hospice recipients were more likely to received scheduled opioids for pain and symptomatic treatment for dyspnea and had fewer unmet needs at the end of life.; © 2010, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2010, The American Geriatrics Society.