Characteristics of advanced cancer patients who were readmitted to an acute palliative/supportive care unit

Alessandra Casuccio, Claudio Adile, Sebastiano Mercadante, Patrizia Ferrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the characteristics of patients readmitted to an acute supportive/palliative care unit (ASPCU), the reasons for readmission, and the outcome after receiving specialistic assessment and treatment. Methods: A consecutive sample of patients was assessed for a period of 10 months. Epidemiological characteristics, including age, gender, Karnofsky level, diagnosis, caregivers, education, disease awareness, kind of admission, and anticancer treatment in the previous 30 days, were recorded, as well as hospital stay, death, and discharge at home. The principal reasons for admission were recorded. Symptom intensity and opioid doses, expressed as oral morphine equivalents, were also measured. Results: In the study period, 79 (25.2%) readmissions were recorded. Thirty-seven (46.8%) readmissions occurred within 30 days after discharge. Pain was more frequently reported as indication for admission at the first and the second readmission in comparison with the first admission. The burden of symptoms was significantly higher in patients with a readmission in comparison with patients at the first admission. Opioid doses, expressed as oral morphine equivalents, were significantly different between the first admission and readmissions. In both patients at the first admission or readmission, a significant decrease in symptom intensity has been reported at discharge. Conclusion: About 25% of patients discharged from an ASCPU are expected to be readmitted for reemerging of clinical problems. Re-exacerbation of pain seems to be the most frequent reason. A further clinical reassessment and treatment were equally effective in controlling the symptom burden of these patients at any readmission.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1947-1952
Number of pages6
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume25
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology

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