Navigation Links
Pitt study: End-of-life decisions take longer if patient hasn't shared wishes with family
Date:1/19/2011

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 18 Family caregivers who had not discussed life support measures with critically ill patients took nearly two weeks longer to decide to forego further medical intervention than those who had prior conversations about the issues, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Public Health. They share their findings in a poster presentation at the Society of Critical Care Medicine congress this week in San Diego.

Also, a patient's loved ones were more confident about acting as surrogate decision-makers when they perceived their communication with intensive care physicians to be of high quality, said senior investigator Douglas B. White, M.D., MAS., associate professor and director of the Program on Ethics and Decision-Making in Critical Illness, Department of Critical Care Medicine.

"This is the first evidence to suggest that how a doctor guides family members through the foreign territory of critical illness may influence their ability to act as a surrogate," he noted. "Teaching doctors to be better communicators may be an important step in improving end-of-life decisions for patients. The study also reinforces the value of patients, families and friends having prior conversations about the end of life so that they can feel comfortable with their decisions about medical care."

For the study, conducted at four intensive care units at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center between 2005 and 2008, the researchers surveyed 230 caregivers who were making decisions on behalf of incapacitated patients on ventilators with greater than a 50 percent chance of dying from their illnesses.

They found caregivers who hadn't had a prior conversation with patients about treatment preferences were less confident about making decisions and it took them 40 percent longer 33 days versus 21 days to decide to discontinue life support.

"This prolongation of the dying process may not be in the best interest of patients and it places an enormous burden on the health care system," Dr. White said. "Health care reform will provide incentives for formal advance care planning between physicians and patients, such as the completion of advance directives and living wills. Our findings indicate that informal conversations between patients and their families may be very important for both patient-centered decisions and the family's comfort with the huge responsibility of being a surrogate."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
SrikamAV@upmc.edu
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study: Abuse rates higher among deaf and hard-of-hearing children compared with hearing youths
2. Henry Ford Hospital study: Shoulder function not fully restored after surgery
3. U-M study: Kids frequently exposed to medical imaging procedures that use radiation
4. Penn study: Hospital CPR quality is worse at night
5. Study: Tai Chi relieves arthritis pain, improves reach, balance, well-being
6. UF study: Emotional effects of heavy combat can be lifelong for veterans
7. VCU study: Researchers discover a drug combination that shrinks tumors in vivo
8. Study: Doctors overprescribe antibiotics for respiratory infections
9. Study: How Palestinian and Israeli children are psychologically scarred by exposure to war
10. Study: Mental illness stigma entrenched in American culture; new strategies needed
11. New study: Serious gaps in medical journals disclosure of physician relationships with industry
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... ... Data Management Solution Providers list for its expertise in eClinical Solutions. DDi has ... to serve the technology needs of global clients. DDi provides smarter technology for ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... organization devoted exclusively to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community ... hosted over 250 members of South Florida’s philanthropic community at its 10th anniversary ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... Coco Libre, the maker of coconut water beverages with ... Style Lounge Event. Coco Libre will offer musicians and celebrities the company’s signature Organic ... The invitation-only gifting suite, held this year at the W Hollywood Hotel, has become ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fisher House Foundation Chairman and CEO Kenneth Fisher ... Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, and Peggy Kearns Director, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare ... System. This will be the first Fisher House in Nevada, and will provide ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 ... ... serving families of the Pittsburgh metro area, celebrates the beginning of the latest ... help children develop social skills through art. Donations to this worthy cause are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Feb. 12, 2016  SI-BONE, Inc., ... Implant System ® ("iFuse"), a minimally invasive surgical (MIS) device ... announced that National Government Services, Inc. (NGS), the Medicare Administrative Contractor ... Illinois , Maine , ... Hampshire , New York , ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... SEOUL, South Korea , Feb. 12, 2016 ... today announced they will form a partnership to ... medicine in cancer. The goal of the collaboration ... with Macrogen,s high-throughput Next Generation Sequencing capabilities toward ... Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 by the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016  Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., today ... million Series D preferred stock financing, co-led ... Capital Group and venBio Global Strategic Fund, ... IB Investment, and Epidarex Capital. The proceeds of ... advance clinical trials in the Company,s ongoing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: