Research and Scholarship

Utilizing a Palliative Care Screening Tool in Patients With Glioblastoma

Jung Young Kim,(1) DNP, APRN, ANP, Katherine B. Peters,(1) MD, PhD, FAAN, James E. Herndon II,(2) PhD, and Mary Lou Affronti,(1) DNP, RN, MHSc, ANP

From (1)The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina; (2)Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina

Authors’ disclosures of conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Jung Young Kim, DNP, APRN, ANP, Duke University Medical Center, 401 Harkness Circle, Durham, NC 27705 E-mail: jungyoung.kim@duke.edu


J Adv Pract Oncol 2020;11(7):684–692 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2020.11.7.3 | © 2020 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Patients with glioblastoma have poor overall survival and experience significant burden from neurologic decline and adverse treatment effects. Despite the well-known benefits of early palliative care integration with oncology care, utilization of palliative care is low. The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project is to investigate the feasibility, value, and effectiveness of using an adapted palliative care screening tool to improve outpatient palliative care screening and referral of glioblastoma patients. This QI project was conducted over a 10-week period. A glioma palliative care screening tool was developed and integrated into outpatient visits. Providers were required to use the screening tool during each patient visit. Patients 18 years or older who were diagnosed with a World Health Organization grade IV glioma and returning to the neuro-oncology clinic for a brain MRI evaluation were targeted. Screening, palliative care discussion, and referral rates were evaluated. Among 530 eligible patients who returned to the clinic over a 10-week period, the tool was available for 433 patients. Fifty-six percent (n = 294/530) of the patients were screened. Nine percent (n = 27) of screened patients were identified as candidates for a palliative care referral (score ≥ 5 on the screening tool). Of these 27 patients, the proportion of patients who had a palliative care discussion was 63% (n = 17). Overall, 71% (n = 12) of patients who had a palliative care discussion were referred to a palliative care provider. Integrating a glioma palliative care screening tool with outpatient visits can draw attention to palliative care needs and lead to a referral to palliative care.




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