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Perspectives of patients, close relatives, nurses, and physicians on end-of-life medication management

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 August 2017

Marianne K. Dees
Affiliation:
Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, IQ Healthcare, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Eric C.T. Geijteman
Affiliation:
Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Department of Medical Oncology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Wim J.M. Dekkers
Affiliation:
Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, IQ Healthcare, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Bregje A.A. Huisman
Affiliation:
Department of Anesthesiology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Roberto S.G.M. Perez
Affiliation:
Department of Anesthesiology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Lia van Zuylen
Affiliation:
Department of Medical Oncology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Agnes van der Heide
Affiliation:
Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Evert van Leeuwen
Affiliation:
Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, IQ Healthcare, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Corresponding

Abstract

Objective:

Our aim was to gain insight into the perspectives of patients, close relatives, nurses, and physicians on medication management for patients with a life expectancy of less than 3 months.

Method:

We conducted an empirical multicenter study with a qualitative approach, including in-depth interviews with patients, relatives, nurses, specialists, and general practitioners (GPs). We used the constant comparative method and ATLAS.ti (v. 7.1) software for our analysis.

Results:

Saturation occurred after 18 patient cases (76 interviews). Some 5 themes covering 18 categories were identified: (1) priorities in end-of-life care, such as symptom management and maintaining hope; (2) appropriate medication use, with attention to unnecessary medication and deprescription barriers; (3) roles in decision making, including physicians in the lead, relatives' advocacy, and pharmacists as suppliers; (4) organization and communication (e.g., transparency of tasks and end-of-life conversations); and (5) prerequisites about professional competence, accessibility and quality of medical records, and financial awareness. Patients, relatives, nurses, specialists, and GPs varied in their opinions about these themes.

Significance of Results:

This study adds to our in-depth understanding of the complex practice of end-of-life medication management. It provides knowledge about the diversity of the perspectives of patients, close relatives, nurses, and physicians regarding beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, skills, behavior, work setting, the health system, and cultural factors related to the matter. Our results might help to draw an interdisciplinary end-of-life medication management guide aimed at stimulating a multidisciplinary and patient-centered pharmacotherapeutic care approach.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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