Defining patients as palliative: hospital doctors' versus general practitioners' perceptions

Farquhar, M ORCID:, Grande, G, Todd, C and Barclay, S (2002) Defining patients as palliative: hospital doctors' versus general practitioners' perceptions. Palliative Medicine, 16 (3). pp. 247-50. ISSN 0269-2163

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There appears to be a lack of consensus on the classification of individual patients as 'for palliative care', although the extent of this is unknown. General practitioners (GPs) of 213 patients with a palliative diagnosis of lung or colo-rectal cancer were sent a one-page questionnaire to assess information sent by hospital doctors, and to establish the GPs' perception of patients' palliative status. A total of 185 questionnaires were returned (87% response rate). Of those GPs receiving information from the hospital, one in four rated the adequacy as less than positive; 26% reportedly received no information or received it 'too late'. In 20% of cases, GPs did not perceive patients as palliative, although hospital records suggested that they were, and death certificates received later potentially confirmed this. There was, however, no significant difference between GPs allocating a patient to palliative status or not, in terms of the promptness or adequacy of information received from the hospital, as rated by the GP. There was a significant difference in survival between patients whom GPs perceived as for palliative care and those they did not ('palliative' patients died, on average, 117 days earlier). Possible explanations of the differing perceptions of patients' palliative status are discussed. The findings have implications for patient care in the community, patients' informed choices, and palliative care research.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: attitude of health personnel,colorectal neoplasms,health status,humans,lung neoplasms,medical records,hospital medical staff,palliative care,family physicians,referral and consultation,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Health Promotion
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Lifespan Health
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 10:00
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2023 01:49
DOI: 10.1191/0269216302pm520oa

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