Published August 17, 2020
Research Update: Hospice Advanced Cancer Video StudyReading Time: 2 minutes
Although the benefits of hospice include high-quality end-of-life care for patients, lower caregiver depression and complicated bereavement, and less aggressive and costly care at the end of life, patients and their caregivers have substantial misperceptions regarding hospice, which contributes to its underuse. Only approximately 40-50% of patients in the United States die while under hospice care, with approximately one-third of those patients using hospice for < 7 days*.
Between February 2017 and January 2019, ACP Decisions collaborated with researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Florida, Gainesville to conduct a single-site randomized trial of a video educational tool (intervention) versus a verbal description of hospice (control) in 150 hospitalized patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers.
Patients receiving the video intervention were shown, Hospice: Advanced Cancer**, which describes: 1) the role of hospice; 2) who benefits from hospice; 3) the appropriate time to enroll in hospice; and 4) how hospice services are covered financially.
Amongst patients that participated in the video intervention, post-intervention results included an increase in patients’ preference for hospice (70% to 87%), an increase in patients’ knowledge regarding hospice (9.0 versus 8.4), and a lower likelihood by patients to endorse that hospice was only about death (6.7% versus 21.6%). Most surprisingly, among deceased patients, those assigned to the video intervention were also more likely to have used hospice (85.2% versus 63.6%) and to have had a longer hospice length of stay (median, 12 days versus 3 days).
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*References for all figures can be found in the research article.
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