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The ACS-TQIP palliative care guidelines at two level I trauma centres: a prospective study of patient and caregiver satisfaction


Objectives To measure trauma patient and caregiver satisfaction before and after implementation of standardised palliative care (PC) guidelines.

Methods Prospective pre–post study at two level-I trauma centres. PC satisfaction surveys were administered prior to discharge for consented trauma patients (Family Satisfaction with Advanced Cancer Scale, Patient (FAMCARE-P13) survey)≥55 years, and their caregivers (FAMCARE survey), from 1 November 2016 to 30 November 2018. Standardised PC guidelines were implemented January 2018 and included consultations, prognostication assessments, identification of proxies, review of advanced directives and do not resuscitate orders within 24 hours of admission, while advanced goals of care, formal family meetings and spiritual care support were recommended within 72 hours of admission. Generalised linear models were used to determine whether differences in patient or caregiver satisfaction existed pre versus post implementation.

Results There were 572 patients (299 pre; 273 post) and 595 caregivers (334 pre; 261 post) included. Overall patient satisfaction significantly increased post implementation (82.0 vs 86.0, p=0.001). After adjustment, the implementation of the guidelines was an independent predictor of higher overall patient satisfaction (least squares mean (LSM= (83.8% (95%CI 81.2%-86.5%) vs 80.3% (77.7%-82.9%), p=0.003)). Compared with preimplementation, patient satisfaction was significantly higher post implementation in the following domains: information giving (80.9 vs 85.5, p=0.001), followed by physical care (82.2 vs 86.0, p=0.002), availability of care (83.4 vs 86.8, p=0.007) and psychosocial care (84.7 vs 87.6, p=0.04). No significant differences in caregiver satisfaction were found before or after adjustment (LSMpre: 83.1% (95%CI 80.9%-85.3%) vs. post: 82.4% (80.3%-84.5%), p=0.56))

Conclusions Our data suggest that the implementation of PC guidelines significantly improved patient satisfaction following traumatic injury, while maintaining robust caregiver satisfaction.

  • supportive care
  • family management
  • education and training
  • communication
  • clinical assessment

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