New palliative care model shown to reduce costs without compromising on quality of care

August 28, 2020

Findings from a large-scale clinical trial testing a new palliative care model have shown to be lower cost, viewed positively by patients and their carers while showing no difference in patient-reported outcomes when compared with standard care.

The Short-Term Integrated Palliative Care (SIPC) model seeks to improve quality of life for patients severely affected by long-term neurological conditions (LTNCs). The trial - OPTCARE Neuro - aimed to investigate how effective this short-term palliative care is and whether it represents good value for money. It is the world's largest palliative care intervention in patients severely affected by LTNCs.

LTNCs represents a major health, economic and societal burden. These conditions lead to substantial deterioration in quality of life (QoL), require lifelong support from health and social care services, and often are an immense strain physically and emotionally on informal caregivers and family members. Palliative care has shown to relieve suffering and improve QoL in patients with advanced cancer. Despite experiencing problems and care challenges similar to patients with cancer, patients with LTNCs are less likely to receive palliative care.

The findings from OPTCARE Neuro provide the most robust evidence to date to support service and policy developments that improve palliative care provision for people with LTNCs in the UK or health care systems similar to the NHS.

The study was led by researchers in the Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation at King's College London and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The findings are published in JAMA Network Open.

The SIPC in OPTCARE Neuro included approximately three contacts with a specialist palliative care team. The teams worked closely with specialist neurology teams and other services including GPs, who continued to support patients as usual. The palliative care teams' aim was to enable people to live well with increasing illness by providing the support they need to pursue the things they and the people close to them feel are important, and to plan future care, particularly for when nearing the end of life.

The trial ran across six centres in the UK: London, Nottingham, Brighton and Hove, Liverpool, Cardiff and Ashford & St Peter's and was coordinated by the research team based at the Cicely Saunders Institute.

The evaluation of the SIPC was based on questionnaires completed by both patients and their informal carers, such as family members. Data from 350 patients and 229 caregivers was analysed. Questionnaires from local health care professionals in palliative care and neurology also gathered information about their expectations and experiences of palliative care for this group of patients and referring patients to the study.

While the findings showed SIPC was not statistically significantly different from standard care for patient-reported outcomes, it was associated with lower cost and was well-received by patients and carers. The research team also concluded that more research into refining the Short-Term Integrated Palliative Care model for people with Long Term Neurological Conditions would further support service and policy developments to improve palliative care for this group.

Professor Wei Gao, Co-Chief Investigator & Trial Statistician from King's College London said: 'Now that we know now the benefits of this new palliative care model for patients with long-term neurological conditions and their unpaid carers, what we should do next is to test how best to implement it more widely so more people will benefit from it.'

King's College London

Related Palliative Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Palliative care needed across China for everyone who needs it -- study
Palliative care should extend across China and pay more attention to managing non-malignant disease -- integrated within the country's healthcare system and available to everyone who needs it, according to a new study.

New palliative care model shown to reduce costs without compromising on quality of care
Findings from a large-scale clinical trial testing a new palliative care model have shown to be lower cost, viewed positively by patients and their carers while showing no difference in patient-reported outcomes when compared with standard care.

Palliative Care in emergency departments during COVID-19 pandemic
The clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients who received intervention by a COVID-19 palliative care response team are examined in this case series.

Palliative care for patients with cancer in COVID-19 era
The considerations and challenges affecting the palliative care specialty and delivery of palliative care in the COVID-19 era, as well as potential solutions, are discussed in this Viewpoint.

To face coronavirus disease 2019, surgeons must embrace palliative care
This Viewpoint describes the relevance of a palliative care approach to surgery during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Call for palliative care to be adapted for severely ill Covid-19 patients
Emergency-style palliative care needs to implemented to meet the needs of Covid-19 patients who wouldn't benefit from a ventilator say researchers.

A COVID-19 palliative care pandemic plan: An essential tool
Palliative care physicians have created a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) palliative care plan as an essential tool to provide care and help manage scare resources during the pandemic.

MAiD is not driven by socioeconomic vulnerability or poor access to palliative care
A new study of people who received medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in Ontario found that about three-quarters were cared for by palliative care practitioners at the time of their request for MAiD, and MAiD recipients were younger, wealthier and more likely to be married than the general population at time of death.

Palliative vs. standard care for Parkinson's disease
This randomized clinical trial that included 210 patients with Parkinson's disease and related disorders and 175 caregivers examined whether outpatient palliative care was associated with better patient or caregiver outcomes compared with standard care.

Palliative care in hospitals linked to decrease in use of ICU; treatment intensity
A new study shows that implementing hospital-based palliative care services in New York State reduces treatment intensity at the end of life for hospitalized patients.

Read More: Palliative Care News and Palliative Care Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to