Objective: To describe the characteristics of palliative care team (PCT) consultation for patients with cancer who are admitted in hospital and to investigate when and why PCTs are consulted. Methods: In this descriptive study in ten Dutch hospitals, the COMPASS study, we compared characteristics of patients with cancer for whom a PCT was or was not consulted (substudy 1). We also collected information about the process of PCT con‐ sultations and the disciplines involved (substudy 2). Results: In substudy 1, we included 476 patients. A life expectancy <3 months, un‐ planned hospitalisation and lack of options for anti‐cancer treatment increased the likelihood of PCT consultation. In substudy 2, 64% of 550 consultations concerned pa‐ tients with a life expectancy of <3 months. The most frequently mentioned problems that were identified by the PCTS were complex pain problems (56%), issues around the organisation of care (31%), fatigue (27%) and dyspnoea (27%). There was much variance between hospitals in the disciplines that were involved in consultations. Conclusion: Palliative care teams in Dutch hospitals are most often consulted for patients with a life expectancy of <3 months who have an unplanned hospital admis‐ sion because of physical symptoms or problems. We found much variance between hospitals in the composition and activities of PCTs.

descriptive study, hospitals, neoplasms, palliative care, palliative medicine, referral and consultation
dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecc.13172, hdl.handle.net/1765/120516
VSNU Open Access deal
European Journal of Cancer Care
Department of Public Health

Brinkman-Stoppelenburg, A, Polinder, S, Meerum-Terwogt, J., de Nijs, E., van der Padt-Pruijsten, A., Peters, L., … van der Heide, A. (2019). The COMPASS study: A descriptive study on the characteristics of palliative care team consultation for cancer patients in hospitals. European Journal of Cancer Care. doi:10.1111/ecc.13172