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.

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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