Trends in appropriateness of end-of-life care in people with cancer, COPD or with dementia measured with population-level quality indicators

Robrecht De Schreye, Luc Deliens, Lieven Annemans, Birgit Gielen, Tinne Smets, Joachim Cohen

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INTRODUCTION: Measuring changes in the appropriateness of end-of-life care provided to patients with advanced illness such as cancer, COPD or dementia can help governments and practitioners improve service delivery and quality of life. However, an assessment of a possible shift in appropriateness of end-of-life care across the population is lacking.

AIM: Measuring quality indicators with routinely collected population-level data, this study aims to evaluate the appropriateness of end-of-life care for people with cancer, COPD or dementia in Belgium.

DESIGN: A population-level decedent cohort study, using data from eight population-level databases, including death certificate and health claims data. We measured validated sets of quality indicators for appropriateness of end-of-life care.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: All people who died from cancer or COPD or with dementia between 1st January 2010 and 1st January 2016 in Belgium.

RESULTS: We identified three main trends over time across the three disease groups of increasing use of: family physicians in the last 30 days of life (+21.7% in cancer, +33.7% in COPD and +89.4% in dementia); specialist palliative care in the last 14 days of life (+4.6% in cancer, +36.9% in COPD, +17.8% in dementia); and emergency department in the last 30 days of life (+7.0% in cancer, +4.4% in COPD and +8.2% in dementia).

CONCLUSIONS: Although we found an increase of both specialized palliative care and generalist palliative care use, we also found an increase in potentially inappropriate care, including ED and ICU admissions. To increase the quality of end-of-life care, both timely initiating (generalist and specialist) palliative care and avoiding potentially inappropriate care transitions, treatments and medications need to be quality performance targets.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummere0273997
Pagina's (van-tot)1-16
Aantal pagina's16
TijdschriftPLOS ONE
Volume18
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
DOI's
StatusPublished - feb 2023

Bibliografische nota

Funding Information:
This study is part of a research study funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO grant number G012414N). (website: https://www.fwo.be/en/) The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2023 De Schreye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Copyright:
Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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