Significant improvement in quality of life of patients with incurable cancer after designation to a palliative homecare team

Authors

  • C. MELIN-JOHANSSON rn , phd , student ,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborgs University, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Göteborg, and Department of Health Science, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • B. AXELSSON md , phd , chief physician ,

    1. Department of General Surgery, Östersund Hospital, Östersund, The Research and Development Unit, Jamtland County Council, Östersund, and Institute of Radiation Sciences Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • F. GASTON-JOHANSSON rn , phd , faan , professor ,

    1. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • E. DANIELSON rn , phd , professor

    1. The Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborgs University, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Göteborg, and Department of Health Science, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author

Christina Melin-Johansson, Department of Health Science, Mid Sweden University, SE 831 25 Östersund, Sweden (e-mail: titti.melin-johansson@miun.se).

Abstract

MELIN-JOHANSSON C., AXELSSON B., GASTON-JOHANSSON F. & DANIELSON E. (2010) European Journal of Cancer Care19, 243–250
Significant improvement in quality of life of patients with incurable cancer after designation to a palliative homecare team

The aims of this study were to describe and compare quality of life before and after designation to a palliative homecare team in patients with different cancer diagnoses and to identify pre-designation predictors of post-designation global quality of life. We measured patients’ quality of life 1 week before designation and 11 days (median time) after with the Assessment of Quality of life at the End of Life (Axelsson & Sjödén 1999). Of 163 eligible patients 63 participated without attrition. Patients’ quality of life improved in the physical, psychological, medical and global areas. Six items significantly improved: hours recumbent during the day (P = 0.009), nausea (P = 0.008), anxiety (P = 0.007), getting hold of staff (P = 0.000), received care (P = 0.003) and global quality of life (P = 0.023). Depression/low in mood (r = 0.55) and meaningfulness (r = 0.70) associated to global quality of life. Furthermore, pain (P = 0.028) and meaningfulness (P = 0.028) predicted global quality of life. In the existential area, it is important to further explore how meaningfulness is associated to and predicts global quality of life.

Ancillary