Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2021 , Vol 24, Issue 3
VALUATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE END OF LIFE HOSPITALIZATION NEEDS AND EARLY PRESENTING TO PALLIATIVE CARE
Ufuk ÜNLÜ1, Nagihan YILDIZ ÇELTEK1
1Tokat Gaziosmanpaşa University School of Medicine, Family Medicine, Tokat, Turkey DOI : 10.31086/tjgeri.2021.236 Background: For a number of reasons, hospitalizations, and the need for intensive care increases during the last months of life in patients with lifethreatening illnesses. We aimed to investigate the impact of the timing of presenting to palliative care on hospitalization (intensive care unit, palliative care and other departments inpatient services) during the end-of-life period and finally places of the death.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the hospitalization data of adult patients who were treated in the Tokat Gaziosmanpaşa University Palliative Care Center and died between January 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020. Data that included the duration of time spent in inpatient care and the intensive care units at the end of life and the place of death were compared in relationship to their time of presentation to palliative care. Presentation timing was evaluated as early (>90 days before death) or late (<90 days before death) period.

Results: A total of 146 patients were included: 66.4% applied to the palliative care center in the late period and 33.6% in the early period. Their mean age was 67.4 years. The patients in the early-presenting group were found to have been hospitalized for less statistically significant time during the last six weeks of their lives (p = 0.002). However, the data do not show a statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of length of stay in the intensive care unit.

Conclusion: For cancer patients, earlier palliative care provides improvement in symptom control, increases their quality of life, decreases unnecessary hospitalizations. Keywords : Palliative Care; Terminal Care; Hospitalization; Intensive Care Units; Death