Promoting patient centred palliative care through case conferencing
Shelby-James, Tania Maree
Currow, David Christopher
Phillips, Paddy Andrew
Abernethy, Amy Pickar
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
BACKGROUND What are the characteristics of case conferences between general practitioners and specialised palliative care services (SPCS)? METHODS Study participants were adults (N=461) with pain in the preceding 3 months who were referred to a SPCS and their GPs (N=230). Patients were randomised to case conferences or routine care by SPCS. RESULTS One hundred and sixty-seven conferences were held; 46 patients withdrew and 142 died before the conference could be conducted. Medicare payment was requested for 72 (43%) conferences. Median time from randomisation to case conference was 52 days (SD: 55), and from case conference to death/end of study was 79 days (SD: 166). Twenty-five percent of conferences had over three health professionals participant; patients and/or their caregivers participated in 91%. Average conference duration was 39 minutes (SD: 13). Mean conference length did not increase when more health professionals were present (3 vs. >3, 39 [SD: 14] vs. 42 [SD 11] minutes, p=0.274), nor when patients/caregivers were present (present vs. absent, 39 [SD: 13] vs. 44 [SD: 14] minutes, p=0.159). DISCUSSION Case conferencing involving SPCS, the GP, other health professionals and the patient can be an efficient part of routine care.
Shelby-James, T.M., Currow, D.C., Phillips, P.A., Williams, H. and Abernethy, A.P., 2007. Promoting patient centred palliative care through case conferencing. Australian Family Physician, 36(11), 961-964.