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Impact of palliative care consult service in inpatient hospital setting: a systematic literature review
  1. Elene Janberidze1,2,3,
  2. Kristýna Poláková1,4,
  3. Lucie Bankovská Motlová1 and
  4. Martin Loučka1,4
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology - Division of Medical Psychology, Charles University, Third Faculty of Medicine, Praha, Czech Republic
  2. 2Department of Gerontology and Palliative Medicine, Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University/Institute of Morphology, Tbilisi, Georgia
  3. 3Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences and Public Health, University of Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia
  4. 4Center for Palliative Care, Praha, Czech Republic
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elene Janberidze, Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology - Division of Medical Psychology, Charles University, Third Faculty of Medicine, Praha, Czech Republic; elene.janberidze{at}


Objectives Despite a number of studies on effectiveness of palliative care, there is a lack of complex updated review of the impact of in-hospital palliative care consult service. The objective is to update information on the impact of palliative care consult service in inpatient hospital setting.

Methods This study was a systematic literature review, following the standard protocols (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, Joanna Briggs Institute tools) to ensure the transparent and robust review procedure. The effect of palliative care consult service was classified as being associated with improvement, no difference, deterioration or mixed results in specific outcomes. PubMed, Scopus, Academic Search Ultimate and SocINDEX were systematically searched up to February 2020. Studies were included if they focused on the impact of palliative care consult service caring for adult palliative care patients and their families in inpatient hospital setting.

Results After removing duplicates, 959 citations were screened of which 49 full-text articles were retained. A total of 28 different outcome variables were extracted. 18 of them showed positive effects within patient, family, staff and healthcare system domains. No difference was observed in patient survival and depression. Inconclusive results represented patient social support and staff satisfaction with care.

Conclusions Palliative care consult service has a number of positive effects for patients, families, staff and healthcare system. More research is needed on factors such as patient spiritual well-being, social support, performance, family understanding of patient diagnosis or staff stress.

  • hospital care
  • clinical assessment
  • communication
  • quality of life
  • service evaluation
  • symptoms and symptom management

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  • Contributors EJ and ML made a contribution to the design of the work, the analysis and interpretation of data. EJ made the database searches. EJ and KP contributed to the screening process and full-text reading of the articles. EJ drafted the article, which was revised critically by ML, KP and LBM. All coauthors commented on the draft and agree on the final content.

  • Funding EJ was supported by the International Mobility of Researchers grant, financed by Operational Programme Research, Development and Education, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Czech Republic (CZ.02.2.69/0.0./0.0/16_027/0008495) and LBM was supported by Progres Q35 research grant by Charles University.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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