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Palliat Med. 2016 Sep;30(8):789-99. doi: 10.1177/0269216316634241. Epub 2016 Mar 2.

Factors influencing the initiation of intensive care in elderly patients and their families: A retrospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea realrain7@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The number of elderly patients admitted to the intensive care unit is constantly growing. However, a decision regarding intensive care in these populations remains a challenge.

AIM:

To identify factors that influences the decision of elderly patients and their families about whether to initiate intensive care in case of an acute event.

DESIGN/PARTICIPANTS:

Medical records of patients (>80 years), who were admitted to general wards and referred for intensive care, were retrospectively reviewed. Patients who received intensive care were compared with those not agreeing to the initiation of intensive care.

RESULTS:

Among the 125 patients, 45 agreed to receiving intensive care. Baseline characteristics at the time of intensive care unit referral were similar between the intensive care and non-intensive care groups. Only one patient had advance directives before the intensive care unit referral. Lower economic status (odds ratio = 0.27, 95% confidence interval = 0.08-0.94) and cognitive impairment (odds ratio = 0.20, 95% confidence interval = 0.07-0.56) were found associated with a lower likelihood of agreeing to intensive care, while a large number of participants involved in the decision-making process were associated with a higher likelihood of intensive care unit use (odds ratio = 1.82, 95% confidence interval = 1.08-3.09). Mean duration of hospital stay was longer for the intensive care group as compared with the non-intensive care group (28.8 days and 19.8 days, respectively, p = 0.03). However, there was no significant difference in the survival rate.

CONCLUSION:

The initiation of intensive care in elderly patients was influenced not only by medical conditions but also by the patient's economic status and the number of family members involved in the decision-making process.

KEYWORDS:

Intensive care; aged; retrospective cohort study; terminal care

PMID:
26934945
DOI:
10.1177/0269216316634241
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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