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QOL factors in advanced cancer studied
Tuesday September 18, 2012

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A set of nine factors explains the most variance in advanced cancer patients’ quality of life at the end of life: ICU stays in the final week, hospital deaths, patient worry at baseline, religious prayer or meditation at baseline, site of cancer care, feeding tube use in the final week, pastoral care within the hospital or clinic, chemotherapy in the final week and a patient-physician therapeutic alliance in which the patient felt he or she was treated as a "whole person," according to a study.

The study by Baohui Zhang, MS, formerly of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues included 396 patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers as part of the Coping with Cancer study. The average age of patients was almost 59. "Two of the most important determinants of poor patient quality QOL at the EOL were dying in a hospital and ICU stays in the last week of life," the authors wrote. "Therefore, attempts to avoid costly hospitalizations and to encourage transfer of hospitalized patients to home or hospice might improve patient QOL at the EOL."

The study appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine. •


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Tuesday September 18, 2012
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