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Palliative Care Initiation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Prognosis-Based, Symptoms-Based or Needs-Based?

Authors Rajnoveanu RM, Rajnoveanu AG, Fildan AP, Todea DA, Man MA, Motoc NS, Mosoiu D

Received 28 March 2020

Accepted for publication 12 June 2020

Published 3 July 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1591—1600


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Ruxandra-Mioara Rajnoveanu,1 Armand-Gabriel Rajnoveanu,2 Ariadna Petronela Fildan,3 Doina Adina Todea,1 Milena Adina Man,1 Nicoleta Stefania Motoc,1 Daniela Mosoiu4

1Pneumology Department, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; 2Occupational Medicine Department, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; 3Pneumology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania; 4Hospice Casa Sperantei Brasov, Transilvania University, Brasov, Romania

Correspondence: Armand-Gabriel Rajnoveanu
Occupational Medicine Department, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca 400365, Romania
Tel +40 740 77 05 05
Fax +40 264 59 74 53
Email [email protected]

Abstract: The absence or late initiation of palliative care (PC) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is multidimensional. To provide palliative care from the moment of COPD diagnosis remains utopic. Even the advanced forms or the end-of-life stages benefit late or never from these services. In this context, the research questions for the present systematic review were focused on the prognosis variables or multicomponent indices in COPD patients alongside the symptoms and unmet needs, which may be useful for the palliative care initiation. The aim was to help clinicians to identify not only the tools reliable to predict poor survival in COPD patients but also to identify the criteria for appropriateness for early palliative care onset. The search included systematic reviews and reviews published in English in the PUBMED database from Jan 1, 2015 to Jan 6, 2020. From a total of 202 findings, after applying filters, using additional sources, and eliminating duplicates, the search strategy screened 16 articles, out of which 10 were selected and included. A Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) flow diagram was constructed. The main domains identified as barriers in providing palliative care in COPD patients were complex: from the prognosis difficulties to the prognostic variables and scores proposed for initiating PC; from the troublesome symptoms or the unidimensional symptom tools to the unmet needs of COPD patients. The review concluded that none of the existing prognostic variables and multicomponent indices are reliable enough to exclusively predict poor survival in COPD patients and the decision to initiate PC should be rather based on the presence of refractory symptoms and patients’ unmet needs and preferences. Despite the current advances, the ideal model to initiate palliative care from the moment COPD is diagnosed is a goal for clinicians trained in, and capable of providing palliative care in any COPD patient.

Keywords: COPD, palliative, care, prognosis, symptom, needs, unmet

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