Update in Hospital Palliative Care: Symptom Management, Communication, Caregiver Outcomes, and Moral Distress JOURNAL OF HOSPITAL MEDICINE Havyer, R. D., Pomerantz, D. H., Jayes, R. L., Harris, P. F., Harman, S. M., Ansari, A. A. 2018; 13 (6): 419–23


Updated knowledge of the palliative care (PC) literature is needed to maintain competency and best address the PC needs of hospitalized patients. We critiqued the recent PC literature with the highest potential to impact hospital practice.We reviewed articles published between January 2016 and December 2016, which were identified through a handsearch of leading journals and a MEDLINE search. The final 9 articles selected were determined by consensus based on scientific rigor, relevance to hospital medicine, and impact on practice.Key findings include the following: scheduled antipsychotics were inferior to a placebo for nonterminal delirium; a low-dose morphine was superior to a weak opioid for moderate cancer pain; methadone as a coanalgesic improved high-intensity cancer pain; many hospitalized patients on comfort care still receive antimicrobials; video decision aids improved the rates of advance care planning (ACP) and hospice use and decreased costs; standardized, PC-led intervention did not improve psychological outcomes in families of patients with a chronic critical illness; caregivers of patients surviving a prolonged critical illness experienced high and persistent rates of depression; people with non-normative sexuality or gender faced additional stressors with partner loss; and physician trainees experienced significant moral distress with futile treatments.Recent research provides important guidance for clinicians caring for hospitalized patients with serious illnesses, including symptom management, ACP, moral distress, and outcomes of critical illness.

View details for PubMedID 29261818