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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
E-pub ahead of print

Age, cancer site and gender associations with symptoms and problems in specialised palliative care: a large, nationwide, register-based study

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  1. Danish Palliative Care Database

    Project: Types of projectsProject

  1. Early specialised palliative care: interventions, symptoms, problems

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  2. Oncology to specialised palliative home care systematic transition: the Domus randomised trial

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  3. Clinical research in cancer palliative care: a metaresearch analysis

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  4. Bereaved caregivers of patients with high-grade glioma: a systematic review

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  1. Regional and age differences in specialised palliative care for patients with pancreatic cancer

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  2. Bereavement Among Adult Siblings: An Examination of Health Services Utilization and Mental Health Outcomes

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  3. Early specialised palliative care: interventions, symptoms, problems

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Patients referred to specialised palliative care are troubled by symptoms/problems, but more knowledge is needed on the level and frequency of symptoms/problems. It is also uncertain how gender, age and cancer diagnosis, respectively, are associated with symptoms/problems.

AIMS: To describe symptoms/problems in patients with cancer at the start of specialised palliative care, and to study how age, gender and cancer diagnosis were associated with symptoms/problems.

DESIGN: A register-based study including data from the Danish Palliative Care Database.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Patients with cancer who reported their symptoms/problems using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionaire-Core-15-Palliative Care (EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL) at the start of specialised palliative care were included. Ordinal logistic regression was performed to test if gender, age and cancer diagnosis were associated with each symptom/problem.

RESULTS: 31 771 patients with cancer were included in the study. The most prevalent and severe symptoms/problems were pain, appetite loss, fatigue, poor physical function and poor quality of life. Gender, age and cancer diagnosis were significantly associated with most symptoms/problems. The strongest associations between symptoms/problems and gender and age, respectively, were increased risk of nausea in women, as well as increased risk of poor physical function and reduced risk of sleeplessness and pain with increasing age. Patients with brain/central nervous system cancer had the lowest risk of symptoms but the highest risk of poor physical function.

CONCLUSION: At the start of specialised palliative care, patients with cancer experience severe levels of symptoms, poor physical function and poor quality of life. Age, gender and diagnosis were significantly associated with most symptoms/problems, but the strength and direction of the associations differed across symptoms/problems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Supportive and Palliative Care
ISSN2045-435X
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Sep 2019

ID: 61360963