Palliative care consultation and aggressive care at end of life in unresectable pancreatic cancer

C. Lees, S. Weerasinghe, N. Lamond, T. Younis, Ravi Ramjeesingh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Palliative care (pc) consultation has been associated with less aggressive care at end of life in a number of malignancies, but the effect of the consultation timing has not yet been fully characterized. For patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer (upcc), aggressive and resource-intensive treatment at the end of life can be costly, but not necessarily of better quality. In the present study, we investigated the association, if any, between the timing of specialist pc consultation and indicators of aggressive care at end of life in patients with upcc. Methods This retrospective cohort study examined the potential effect of the timing of specialist pc consultation on key indicators of aggressive care at end of life in all patients diagnosed with upcc in Nova Scotia between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2015. Statistical analysis included univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Results In the 365 patients identified for inclusion in the study, specialist pc consultation was found to be associated with decreased odds of experiencing an indicator of aggressive care at end of life; however, the timing of the consultation was not significant. Residency in an urban area was associated with decreased odds of experiencing an indicator of aggressive care at end of life. We observed no association between experiencing an indicator of aggressive care at end of life and consultation with medical oncology or radiation oncology. Conclusions Regardless of timing, specialist pc consultation was associated with decreased odds of experiencing an indicator of aggressive care at end of life. That finding provides further evidence to support the integral role of pc in managing patients with a life-limiting malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Oncology
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aggressive care
  • Palliative care
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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