Oxford University Press
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Innovation in Aging, 2017, 1 (suppl_1), pp. 254 - 255
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End-of-life (EOL) communication in long-term care (LTC) is often inadequate and delayed, leaving residents dying with unknown preferences or goals of care. Poor communication with staff contributes to families feeling unprepared, distressed and unsatisfied negatively effecting bereavement. Family Care Conferences (FCC) aim to increase structured, systematic communication around goals and plans for EOL. FCCs were implemented as part of the ‘Strengthening a Palliative Approach to Care’ (SPA-LTC) project in four LTC sites in Ontario, Canada. The purpose of this sub-study is to evaluate: a) content, b) processes, and c) interdisciplinary engagement using mixed methods. Twenty-four FCCs were held for residents with a Palliative Performance Scale of 40% (nearing death) considered appropriate by staff. Data was collected from FCC forms (i.e., Family Questionnaires, Conference Summaries) and electronic charts. Through directed-analysis, data was analyzed using the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association’s ‘Square of Care’ model which includes eight domains of care: Disease Management, Physical, Psychological, Social, Practical, Spiritual, EOL, and Loss/Bereavement. Findings showed on average each FCC documented 66% of domains with physical and EOL care domains being used the most, and content about loss/bereavement documented the least. Use of FCC hard copy forms had benefits over standard electronic charts including: higher proportion of goals, timely completion, category for end-of-life care and accessibility. FCCs were attended by an average of three disciplines prompting holistic content although Personal Support Workers (PSW) and physicians attended minimally. Implications to optimize FCCs include tailoring use of FCCs forms, prompting bereavement discussion, furthering engagement of PSWs and physicians.
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