Aggressive Care at the End of Life in Surgical Oncology Patients
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At the Roswell Park Comprehensive Care Center, it appears that end of life (EOL) discussions, regarding MOLST forms, happen days or hours prior to death. The objective of this study is to determine if there is a relationship between palliative care consults and the aggressiveness of patient care. Previous research concluded that earlier initiation of palliative care improves patient outcome and comfort. Research will be conducted utilizing a retrospective chart review of surgical inpatients. Independent t-tests, chi-Square, and ANOVA statistical analyses will be employed to determine if statistical significance exists between palliative care consults and various dependent variables regarding patient’s care. Results concluded that there was a statistically significant relationship between earlier initiation of palliative care: dying in a hospital setting and the utilization of hospice. A statistically significant difference in average overall aggressive care use within various surgical oncology groups was proven. A statistically significant correlation occurred between the timing of EOL discussion and overall aggressive care used. Early implementation of palliative care has the potential to decrease aggressive care experienced and increase the chance of experiencing a peaceful EOL. More research needs to be conducted to analyze the qualitative reasoning behind minimal consultation of early palliative care intervention.