BACKGROUND: Identifying patients who require palliative care approach is challenging for family physicians, even though several identification tools have been developed for this purpose.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the prevalence and characteristics of family practice patients who need palliative care approach as determined using Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool (SPICT™, April 2015) in Japan.
DESIGN: Single-center cross-sectional study.
SETTING/SUBJECTS: We enrolled all patients ≥65 years of age who visited the chief researcher's outpatient clinic in October 2016.
MEASUREMENTS: We used Japanese version of SPICT (SPICT-J) to identify patients who need palliative care approach. We assessed patients' backgrounds and whether they had undergone advance care planning with their family physicians.
RESULTS: This study included 87 patients (61 females) with a mean age of 79.0 ± 7.4 years. Eight patients (9.2%) were identified as needing palliative care approach. The mean age of patients who needed this approach was 82.3 ± 8.3 years and main underlying conditions were heart/vascular disease (37.5%), dementia/frailty (25.0%), and respiratory disease (12.5%). Only two of eight patients identified as needing palliative care approach had discussed advance care planning with their family physicians.
CONCLUSIONS: In family practice, 9.2% of outpatients ≥65 years of age were identified as needing palliative care approach. Family physicians should carefully evaluate whether outpatients need palliative care approach.
- Journal Article