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Jun 18, 2019

MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer

13 - A COMPARISON OF URGENT VERSUS ROUTINE REFERRALS TO AN OUTPATIENT ONCOLOGY PALLIATIVE CARE CLINIC

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palliative care

referrals

oncology

early palliative care

palliative care clinic

Abstract

Abstract

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Keywords

palliative care

referrals

oncology

early palliative care

palliative care clinic

Abstract

A comparison of urgent versus routine referrals to an outpatient oncology palliative care clinic Introduction: Ambulatory palliative care clinics (PCCs) are increasingly recommended for optimum early palliative care. Little is known about the characteristics of patients referred urgently to PCCs, and how they may differ from patients referred for routine assessments. Our objective was to compare these two groups. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all urgent referrals between January 2016 and December 2017, comparing these to a random selection of patients referred for routine assessment in a 1:2 ratio. Data were collected on patient demographics, tumour site, referral source, reason for referral, and disposition after the clinic visit. Results: 113 urgent referrals were compared to 217 routine assessments. Mean age of urgent referrals was 64.1± 14.6 (66.7± 12.5 for routine referrals, p=0.12). The most common tumour site referrals were lung (23% urgent; 21.2% routine), gynecological (17.7% urgent; 11.1% routine) and gastrointestinal (16.8% urgent; 22.6% routine, p=0.002). Surgical oncology was more likely to refer urgently (15% versus 5.1% for routine referrals, p=0.003). 34.6% of urgent referrals had a palliative performance status ≤50% compared to 21.6% of routine referrals (p=0.02). 17.7% of urgent referrals were admitted to hospital following the visit (0.9% of routine visits, p<0.001). Patients seen urgently had a median survival time of 4.3 months versus 8.1 months in the routine group (p=0.001). Conclusions: Patients referred urgently to PCCs have poorer performance status, are more likely to require admission, and have a shorter survival time. PCCs need to consider how to promote early referral, and how best to incorporate urgent referrals into their services.

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© Copyright 2019 Morressier GmbH.
All rights reserved.