Abstract 11924: Prevalence and Predictors of End-of-Life Discussions in Patients Hospitalized With Acute Decompensated Heart Failure
Introduction: Although national guidelines call on physicians to conduct regular conversations about end-of-life (EOL) care and planning with patients with heart failure (HF), research suggests that physicians often avoid these discussions. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether patients hospitalized with acute decompensated HF (ADHF) reported ever discussing their preferences for EOL care with their physicians.
Methods: Between January 2014 and January 2016, Southeastern Minnesota residents hospitalized with ADHF at Mayo Clinic hospitals in Rochester, MN were prospectively recruited into an observational cohort study that included the administration of face-to-face questionnaires. Patients were asked questions regarding details of EOL discussions with their physicians, their preference for prognostic information, whether they had an advanced directive, attitudes about dying and hospice, and familiarity with palliative care and hospice.
Results: Among 400 patients (mean age 77.7 years, 46% female, 48% preserved ejection fraction), only 68 (17.5%) reported previously discussing EOL wishes with their physician. Most patients (62.2%) indicated a preference to discuss their prognosis with their physician. Patients reporting prior EOL discussions were more often anemic (82.6% vs. 68.9%, p=0.022), hyponatremic (28.6% vs. 12.5%, p=0.002), and married (68.1% vs. 51.5%, p=0.012). They more often recognized the term ‘hospice’ (95.7% vs. 87.3%, p=0.045), had more favorable attitudes of dying and hospice (p=0.030), and more often had an advanced directive (83.6% vs. 67.7%, p=0.010). No other differences in demographics, comorbidity burden, HF characteristics, or in-hospital and 30-day outcomes were observed.
Conclusions: Only 17.5% of patients hospitalized with ADHF reported previously discussing their preferences for EOL care with their physician. Patients reporting EOL discussions were more knowledgeable about EOL options and more likely to have completed advance care planning documents. Despite increasing recognition of the importance of these conversations, they are still occurring infrequently, and represent an important modifiable gap in the optimal longitudinal care of patients with HF.
Author Disclosures: K.A. Young: None. J.J. Strand: None. M.M. Redfield: None. S.M. Dunlay: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.