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Describing Complexity in Palliative Home Care Through HexCom: A Cross-Sectional, Multicenter Study

Authors Busquet-Duran X, Jiménez-Zafra EM, Manresa-Domínguez JM, Tura-Poma M, Bosch-delaRosa O, Moragas-Roca A, Galera Padilla MC, Martin Moreno S, Martínez-Losada E, Crespo-Ramírez S, López-Garcia AI, Torán-Monserrat P

Received 2 December 2019

Accepted for publication 18 February 2020

Published 19 March 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 297—308


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Xavier Busquet-Duran,1–3 Eva Maria Jiménez-Zafra,1 Josep Maria Manresa-Domínguez,2,4,5 Magda Tura-Poma,1 Olga Bosch-delaRosa,6 Anna Moragas-Roca,1 Maria Concepción Galera Padilla,1 Susana Martin Moreno,1 Emilio Martínez-Losada,1 Silvia Crespo-Ramírez,6 Ana Isabel López-Garcia,1 Pere Torán-Monserrat2,4

1Home Care Program, Support Team, PADES Granollers, Vallès Oriental Primary Health Care Services, Catalan Institute of Health, Barcelona, Spain; 2Multidisciplinary Research Group on Health and Society (GREMSAS), Barcelona, Spain; 3Department of Nursing, University Foundation of Bages (FUB), University of Vic. Central University of Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain; 4Metropolitan Nord Unit of Research Support, University Institute of Research in Primary Care (IDIAP) Jordi Gol, Barcelona, Spain; 5Department of Nursing, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 6Psychosocial Care Team (EAPS), Red Cross, Granollers, Barcelona, Spain

Correspondence: Xavier Busquet-Duran
Email [email protected]

Background: Complexity has become a core issue in caring for patients with advanced disease and/or at the end-of-life. The Hexagon of Complexity (HexCom) is a complexity assessment model in the process of validation in health-care settings. Our objective is to use the instrument to describe differences in complexity across disease groups in specific home care for advanced disease and/or at the end-of-life patients, both in general and as relates to each domain and subdomain.
Methods: Cross-sectional study of home care was conducted in Catalonia. The instrument includes 6 domains of needs (clinical, psychological/emotional, social/family, spiritual, ethical, and death-related), 4 domains of resources (intrapersonal, interpersonal, transpersonal, and practical), and 3 levels of complexity (High (H), Moderate (M), and Low (L)). Interdisciplinary home care teams assessed and agreed on the level of complexity for each patient.
Results: Forty-three teams participated (74.1% of those invited). A total of  832 patients were assessed, 61.4% of which were cancer patients. Moderate complexity was observed in 385 (47.0%) cases and high complexity in 347 (42.4%). The median complexity score was 51 for cancer patients and 23 for patients with dementia (p< 0.001). We observed the highest level of complexity in the social/family domain. Patients/families most frequently used interpersonal resources (80.5%).
Conclusions: This study sheds light on the high-intensity work of support teams, the importance of the social/family domain and planning the place of death, substantial differences in needs and resources across disease groups, and the importance of relationship wellbeing at the end-of-life.

Keywords: home care services, palliative care, terminally ill, terminal care, non-cancer patient, complexity, interdisciplinary research

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