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A Pilot of a Telehealth-Hospice Transition Intervention for Children and Young Adults with Cancer

HumanInsight A Pilot of a Telehealth-Hospice Transition Intervention for Children and Young Adults with Cancer

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2024 Mar 31:S0885-3924(24)00678-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2024.03.023. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Telehealth can improve care for patients with progressive cancer enrolling in hospice. Coordinated telehealth visits (patient/family-hospital-hospice) may improve communication, satisfaction with and interdisciplinary hospice collaboration. This pilot examines the impact of three coordinated telehealth visits on these outcomes.

METHODS: This is a prospective pilot study of 0-29-year-old patients with cancer initiating hospice care between 2021-2023. Adult patients, caregivers, oncology and palliative care clinicians, hospice nurses and administrators were surveyed about feasibility and acceptability with telehealth (Technology Acceptance Model 2) after first and third telehealth visits. Hospice satisfaction (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) was completed by caregivers after visit 3 and during bereavement. Healthcare professionals completed the Assessment of Interprofessional Team Collaboration Scale II (AITCS-II). Survey responses were summarized and differences in scores were analyzed.

RESULTS: Of 40 eligible patients, 24 enrolled, 19 completed visit 1, and 13 completed visit 3. Fourteen caregivers and two adult patients completed visit 1 surveys; nine caregivers and two adult patients completed visit 3 surveys. Participants highly rated telehealth acceptability after visit 1 (Median: 4.5, IQR: 4.0-4.7) and 3 (Median: 4.4, IQR: 4.0-4.7). Hospice services were highly satisfactory at visit 3 (Median: 4.0, IQR: 3.7 - 4.0) and bereavement (Median: 3.7, IQR: 3.5 - 4.0). Healthcare professionals (n=85 surveys) reported excellent interprofessional collaboration (Visit 1 Median: 99/115 and Visit 3: 111/115 points, among hospital clinicians and hospice teams).

CONCLUSIONS: Participants found coordinated telehealth visits to be feasible, acceptable, and satisfactory. Telehealth may be utilized as an acceptable alternative to clinic visits and fosters hospital-hospice collaboration.

PMID:38561131 | DOI:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2024.03.023

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