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Perception of the Quality of Communication With Physicians Among Relatives of Dying Residents of Long-term Care Facilities in 6 European Countries: PACE Cross-Sectional Study.

Authors
  • Barańska, Ilona1
  • Kijowska, Violetta2
  • Engels, Yvonne3
  • Finne-Soveri, Harriet4
  • Froggatt, Katherine5
  • Gambassi, Giovanni6
  • Hammar, Teija4
  • Oosterveld-Vlug, Mariska7
  • Payne, Sheila5
  • Van Den Noortgate, Nele8
  • Smets, Tinne9
  • Deliens, Luc9
  • Van den Block, Lieve9
  • Szczerbińska, Katarzyna10
  • 1 Unit for Research on Aging Society, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland; Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland. , (Poland)
  • 2 Unit for Research on Aging Society, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland. , (Poland)
  • 3 Department of Anesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 4 National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 5 Division of Health Research, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK.
  • 6 Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy; Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 7 Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 8 Department of Geriatric Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 9 Department of Family Medicine and Chronic Care, End-of- Life Care Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Ghent University, Brussels, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 10 Unit for Research on Aging Society, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Poland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2020
Volume
21
Issue
3
Pages
331–337
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2019.05.003
PMID: 31272854
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

To examine how relatives evaluate the quality of communication with the treating physician of a dying resident in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and to assess its differences between countries. A cross-sectional retrospective study in a representative sample of LTCFs conducted in 2015. Relatives of residents who died during the previous 3 months were sent a questionnaire. 761 relatives of deceased residents in 241 LTCFs in Belgium, England, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland. The Family Perception of Physician-Family Communication (FPPFC) scale (ratings from 0 to 3, where 3 means the highest quality) was used to retrospectively assess how the quality of end-of-life communication with treating physicians was perceived by relatives. We applied multilevel linear and logistic regression models to assess differences between countries and LTCF types. The FPPFC score was the lowest in Finland (1.4 ± 0.8) and the highest in Italy (2.2 ± 0.7). In LTCFs served by general practitioners, the FPPFC score differed between countries, but did not in LTCFs with on-site physicians. Most relatives reported that they were well informed about a resident's general condition (from 50.8% in Finland to 90.6% in Italy) and felt listened to (from 53.1% in Finland to 84.9% in Italy) and understood by the physician (from 56.7% in Finland to 85.8% in Italy). In most countries, relatives assessed the worst communication as being about the resident's wishes for medical treatment at the end of life, with the lowest rate of satisfied relatives in Finland (37.6%). The relatives' perception of the quality of end-of-life communication with physicians differs between countries. However, in all countries, physicians' communication needs to be improved, especially regarding resident's wishes for medical care at the end of life. Training in end-of-life communication to physicians providing care for LTCF residents is recommended. Copyright © 2019 AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. All rights reserved.

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