Wednesday, January 20, 2016

JAMA Focuses on Care at End of Life

Hospice and palliative care professionals and advocates will be interested in the current edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, January 19, 2016, Vol 315, No. 3, that contains a collection of articles and research studies on care of the dying.

Contributing authors include Harvey Max Chochinov, MD, Atul Gawande, MD, Timothy E. Quill, MD, Joan Teno, MD, Alexi A. Wright, MD, and many others recognized in the field of medicine and end-of-life care.

One of the original articles being made available free of charge online and of interest to ehospice readers is "Comparison of Site of Death, Health Care Utilization, and Hospital Expenditures for Patients Dying With Cancer in 7 Developed Countries."  In the conclusion of this research article, study authors write, "Among patients older than 65 years who died with cancer in 7 developed countries in 2010, end-of-life care was more hospital-centric in Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, and Norway than in the Netherlands or the United States."

An infographic also available to the public is "When and Why People Die in the United States, 1990-2013."

In his editorial, "Quantity and Quality of Life," Dr. Gawande writes "The picture of care at the end of life that emerges is therefore disturbing. A widespread perception among both the medical profession and the public at large has been that seeking palliative care consultation or hospice services, or even just having advance planning discussions, amounts to “giving up” and is only relevant when people no longer have options for disease-based therapy. This view is incorrect and harmful."

Find the full listing of articles in this edition on the JAMA website.

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