Goals of Care Infrequently Discussed among Hospitalized Long-Term Care Residents


Clinical Question: How often are goals of care (GOC) discussed during hospitalization of long-term care residents, and what patient characteristics make this more likely to occur?

Background: GOC discussions during hospitalization have the potential to better align patient wishes with care received and to reduce unwanted care. Previous studies have examined barriers to GOC discussions, but less is known about factors associated with GOC discussions occurring and the outcomes of these discussions.

Study Design: Retrospective chart review.

Setting: Two academic hospitals in Toronto.

Synopsis: In the review, 665 hospitalized patients during a one-year period were identified as being >65 years old and from a long-term care facility. Of the 665 patients, a random sampling of 200 unique patients was reviewed. Of these, 37.5% had a documented GOC discussion. Lower Glasgow Coma Scale scores and higher respiratory rates were correlated with a higher incidence of GOC discussions. Patients with GOC discussions had higher rates of no resuscitation and comfort care orders; these patients also had higher odds of in-hospital death and one-year mortality. Of patients that had a change in their GOC, 74% did not have this change reflected in the discharge summary.

Although this study is a retrospective review and limited to two Canadian teaching hospitals, there is likely an opportunity for hospitalists to more frequently discuss and document GOC in hospitalized long-term care patients.

Bottom Line: In hospitalized long-term care patients, GOC are infrequently discussed and documented. Frequency of discussions is correlated with illness severity.

Citation: Wong HJ, Wang J, Grinman M, Wu RC. Goals of care discussions among hospitalized long-term care residents: predictors and associated outcomes of care [published online ahead of print July 21, 2016]. J Hosp Med.

Short Take

Sleep-Promoting Interventions Improve Sleep in Hospitalized Patients

A non-blinded, quasi-randomized pilot study of 112 patients demonstrated that sleep-promoting interventions, including education and environmental control to minimize sleep disruption, improved total nighttime sleep time as well as qualitative measures of sleep.

Citation: Gathecha E, Rios R, Buenaver LF, Landis R, Howell E, Wright S. Pilot study aiming to support sleep quality and duration during hospitalizations. J Hosp Med. 2016;11(7):467-472.