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Impact of a half-day multidisciplinary symptom control and palliative care outpatient clinic in a comprehensive cancer center on recommendations, symptom intensity, and patient satisfaction: a retrospective descriptive study

Florian Strasser, Catherine Sweeney, Jie Willey, Susanne Benisch-Tolley, J Lynn Palmer & Eduardo Bruera

abstract To characterize a new, one-stop multidisciplinary palliative care (MD) clinic which offers standardized multidisciplinary assessment, specific care recommendations, patient and family education, and on-site counseling, we retrospectively compared the assessments of 138 consecutive patients with advanced cancer referred to the MD clinic and 77 patients referred to a traditional pain and symptom management (PSM) clinic. The two groups were similar in tumor type, demographics, and symptom distress. The MD clinic team (physicians; nurses; pharmacists; physical, speech, and occupational therapists; social workers; chaplains; nutritionists; psychiatric nurse practitioner) delivered 1,066 non-physician recommendations (median 4 per patient, range 0-37). The PSM clinic team made no non-physician recommendations, but referred 14 patients to other medical specialists. In 80 (58%) MD-clinic patients with follow-up 9 days (median) after assessment, significant improvement was observed in pain, nausea, depression, anxiety, sleep, dyspnea, and well-being, but not in fatigue, anorexia, or drowsiness. In 83 patients interviewed after the MD clinic, satisfaction was rated as excellent (5 out of 5) in 86-97% of seven areas. Assessment at an MD clinic results in a high number of patient care recommendations, improved symptoms, and high levels of patient satisfaction.
   
citation Strasser F, Sweeney C, Willey J, Benisch-Tolley S, Palmer J L, Bruera E. Impact of a half-day multidisciplinary symptom control and palliative care outpatient clinic in a comprehensive cancer center on recommendations, symptom intensity, and patient satisfaction: a retrospective descriptive study. Journal of pain and symptom management 2004; 27:481-91.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 6-2004
journal title Journal of pain and symptom management (27/6)
ISSN print 0885-3924
pages 481-91
PubMed 15165646
DOI 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2003.10.011