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End-of-life care in Germany: Study design, methods and first results of the EPACS study (Establishment of Hospice and Palliative Care Services in Germany).

Escobar Pinzón LC, Münster E, Fischbeck S, Unrath M, Claus M, Martini T, Weber M - BMC Palliat Care (2010)

Bottom Line: In order to tackle the deficits in the provision of palliative home care, profound structural changes in the outpatient sector were introduced by law in Germany in 2007.Predictors of good care, as well as obstacles to it, must be further investigated.In the long run, a follow-up survey must be conducted to compare quality of home care before and after the structural changes in Germany.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Obere Zahlbacher Strasse 67, 55131 Mainz, Germany. escobar@uni-mainz.de.

ABSTRACT

Background: In order to tackle the deficits in the provision of palliative home care, profound structural changes in the outpatient sector were introduced by law in Germany in 2007. The EPACS study was carried out (Research Accompanying the Establishment of Hospice and Palliative Care Services in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany) to document the quality of inpatient and outpatient end-of-life care in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, before the implementation of these changes. With this article we focus on the study design and methods of the EPACS-Study. We further report first results regarding several aspects of outpatient end-of-life care.

Methods: The cross-sectional survey was based on a random sample of 5000 inhabitants of Rhineland-Palatinate that had died from May 25 until August 24 of the year 2008. Relatives of these randomly drawn deceased persons were interviewed by means of a written survey.

Results: The overall response proportion considering only those questionnaires that actually were delivered (n = 3833) was 36.0%. Factors influencing participation were age, sex, and marital status. 355 (25.8%) deceased persons had used professional home care in the four weeks prior to their death, but only very few persons had used a specialised palliative home care service (n = 30; 8.5%). There was a clear gap between the need for specialised outpatient care and the actual utilisation of these services.

Conclusions: Satisfaction with professional home care was relatively high, but physicians were rated less favourable than nurses. There were deficits especially with respect to physicians' communicative and supportive skills. Further analyses are necessary to provide more detailed information about quality of care in different care settings and for distinct groups. Predictors of good care, as well as obstacles to it, must be further investigated. In the long run, a follow-up survey must be conducted to compare quality of home care before and after the structural changes in Germany.

No MeSH data available.


Information given by the physician about therapies, n = 355. *includes missing values and the categories "professional was not involved" and "don't know"
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Figure 5: Information given by the physician about therapies, n = 355. *includes missing values and the categories "professional was not involved" and "don't know"

Mentions: As can be seen from figures 5 and 6, less than half of the participants rather agreed that the information given by the physician about therapies (48.5%; n = 172) and the current health status (45.6%; n = 162) was easy to comprehend and sufficient. 42 (11.8%) and 50 (14.1%) participants, respectively, rather disagreed that the quality of information given by the physician was good with respect to completeness and comprehensibility.


End-of-life care in Germany: Study design, methods and first results of the EPACS study (Establishment of Hospice and Palliative Care Services in Germany).

Escobar Pinzón LC, Münster E, Fischbeck S, Unrath M, Claus M, Martini T, Weber M - BMC Palliat Care (2010)

Information given by the physician about therapies, n = 355. *includes missing values and the categories "professional was not involved" and "don't know"
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2921359&req=5

Figure 5: Information given by the physician about therapies, n = 355. *includes missing values and the categories "professional was not involved" and "don't know"
Mentions: As can be seen from figures 5 and 6, less than half of the participants rather agreed that the information given by the physician about therapies (48.5%; n = 172) and the current health status (45.6%; n = 162) was easy to comprehend and sufficient. 42 (11.8%) and 50 (14.1%) participants, respectively, rather disagreed that the quality of information given by the physician was good with respect to completeness and comprehensibility.

Bottom Line: In order to tackle the deficits in the provision of palliative home care, profound structural changes in the outpatient sector were introduced by law in Germany in 2007.Predictors of good care, as well as obstacles to it, must be further investigated.In the long run, a follow-up survey must be conducted to compare quality of home care before and after the structural changes in Germany.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Obere Zahlbacher Strasse 67, 55131 Mainz, Germany. escobar@uni-mainz.de.

ABSTRACT

Background: In order to tackle the deficits in the provision of palliative home care, profound structural changes in the outpatient sector were introduced by law in Germany in 2007. The EPACS study was carried out (Research Accompanying the Establishment of Hospice and Palliative Care Services in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany) to document the quality of inpatient and outpatient end-of-life care in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, before the implementation of these changes. With this article we focus on the study design and methods of the EPACS-Study. We further report first results regarding several aspects of outpatient end-of-life care.

Methods: The cross-sectional survey was based on a random sample of 5000 inhabitants of Rhineland-Palatinate that had died from May 25 until August 24 of the year 2008. Relatives of these randomly drawn deceased persons were interviewed by means of a written survey.

Results: The overall response proportion considering only those questionnaires that actually were delivered (n = 3833) was 36.0%. Factors influencing participation were age, sex, and marital status. 355 (25.8%) deceased persons had used professional home care in the four weeks prior to their death, but only very few persons had used a specialised palliative home care service (n = 30; 8.5%). There was a clear gap between the need for specialised outpatient care and the actual utilisation of these services.

Conclusions: Satisfaction with professional home care was relatively high, but physicians were rated less favourable than nurses. There were deficits especially with respect to physicians' communicative and supportive skills. Further analyses are necessary to provide more detailed information about quality of care in different care settings and for distinct groups. Predictors of good care, as well as obstacles to it, must be further investigated. In the long run, a follow-up survey must be conducted to compare quality of home care before and after the structural changes in Germany.

No MeSH data available.