End-of-life care pathways for improving outcomes in caring for the dying (Review)

Chan, Raymond & Webster, Joan (2010) End-of-life care pathways for improving outcomes in caring for the dying (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, pp. 1-16.

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Background In many clinical areas, integrated care pathways are utilised as structured multidisciplinary care plans which detail essential steps in caring for patients with specific clinical problems. Particularly, care pathways for the dying have been developed as a model to improve the end-of-life care of all patients. They aim to ensure that the most appropriate management occurs at the most appropriate time and that it is provided by the most appropriate health professional. Clinical pathways for end-of-life care management are used widely around the world and have been regarded as the gold standard. Therefore, there is a significant need for clinicians to be informed about the utilisation of end-of-life care pathways with a systematic review.

Objectives To assess the effects of end-of-life care pathways, compared with usual care (no pathway) or with care guided by another end-of-life care pathway across all healthcare settings (e.g. hospitals, residential aged care facilities, community).

Search strategy The Cochrane Register of controlled Trials (CENTRAL), the Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Review group specialised register,MEDLINE, EMBASE, review articles and reference lists of relevant articles were searched. The search was carried out in September 2009.

Selection criteria All randomised controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-randomised trial or high quality controlled before and after studies comparing use versus non-use of an end-of-life care pathway in caring for the dying.

Data collection and analysis Results of searches were reviewed against the pre-determined criteria for inclusion by two review authors.

Main results The search identified 920 potentially relevant titles, but no studies met criteria for inclusion in the review.

Authors’ conclusions Without further available evidence, recommendations for the use of end-of-life pathways in caring for the dying cannot be made. RCTs or other well designed controlled studies are needed for evaluating the use of end-of-life care pathways in caring for dying people.

Impact and interest:

75 citations in Scopus
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21 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 29859
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: This Review is published as a Cochrane Protocol in the Cochrane Database of Systematice Reviews 2010, Issue 1. Cochrane Protocols and Reviews are regularly updated as new evidence emerges and in response to comments and criticisms, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews should be consulted for the most recent version of the review.
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Keywords: End-of-life care, Care pathway, Clinical pathway, Palliative Care, Systematic review
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008006.pub2
ISSN: 1469-493X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OTHER MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (119900) > Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified (119999)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 The Cochrane Collaboration.
Deposited On: 08 Feb 2010 23:32
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:22

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