Palliative care consultation and end-of-life outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients
Cheruku SR, Barina A, Kershaw CD, et al. Palliative care consultation and end-of-life outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Resuscitation. 2022;170:230-237. doi:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2021.12.011
Rationale:The impact of palliative care consultation on end-of-life care has not previously been evaluated in a multi-center study.
Objectives:To evaluate the impact of palliative care consultation on the incidence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performed and comfort care received at the end-of-life in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Methods:We used the Society of Critical Care Medicine's COVID-19 registry to extract clinical data on patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between March 31st, 2020 to March 17th, 2021 and died during their hospitalization. The proportion of patients who received palliative care consultation was assessed in patients who did and did not receive CPR (primary outcome) and comfort care (secondary outcome). Propensity matching was used to account for potential confounding variables.
Measurements and main results:3,227 patients were included in the analysis. There was no significant difference in the incidence of palliative care consultation between the CPR and no-CPR groups (19.9% vs. 19.4%, p = 0.8334). Patients who received comfort care at the end-of-life were significantly more likely to have received palliative care consultation (43.3% vs. 7.7%, p < 0.0001). After propensity matching for comfort care on demographic characteristics and comorbidities, this relationship was still significant (43.2% vs. 8.5%; p < 0.0001).
Conclusion:Palliative care consultation was not associated with CPR performed at the end-of-life but was associated with increased incidence of comfort care being utilized. These results suggest that utilizing palliative care consultation at the end-of-life may better align the needs and values of patients with the care they receive.