Do Perceptions about Palliative Care Affect Emergency Decisions of Health Personnel for Patients with Advanced Dementia?
【Abstract】 Decision analysis regarding emergency medical treatment in patients with advanced dementia has seldom been investigated. We aimed to examine the preferred medical treatment in emergency situations for patients with advanced dementia and its association with perceptions of palliative care. We conducted a survey of 159 physicians and 156 nurses from medical and surgical wards in two tertiary hospitals. The questionnaire included two case scenarios of patients with advanced dementia presenting gastrointestinal bleeding (scenario I) or pneumonia (scenario II) with a list of possible interventions and 11 items probing perceptions towards palliative care. Low burden interventions such as laboratory tests and intravenous administration of antibiotics/blood were preferred. Palliative measures such as analgesia/sedation were chosen by about half of the participants and invasive intervention by 41.6% (gastroscopy in scenario I) and 37.1% (intubation/mechanical ventilation in scenario II). Medical ward staff had a more palliative approach than surgical ward staff in scenario I, and senior staff had a more palliative approach than junior staff in scenario II. Most participants (90.4%) agreed that palliative care was appropriate for patients with advanced dementia. Stress in caring for patients with advanced dementia was reported by 24.5% of participants; 33.1% admitted fear of lawsuit, 33.8% were concerned about senior-level responses, and 69.7% were apprehensive of family members’ reaction to palliative care. Perceptions of health care workers towards palliative care were associated with preferred treatment choice for patients with advanced dementia, mainly in scenario II. Attitudes and apprehensions regarding palliative care in these situations may explain the gap between positive attitudes towards palliative care and the chosen treatment approach. Acquainting emergency care practitioners with the benefits of PC may impact their decisions when treating this population.
【Author】 Meira Erel, Esther-Lee Marcus, Samuel N. Heyman, Freda DeKeyser Ganz
【Journal】 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health(IF：2.5) Time：2022-08-18