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Evaluating the association between the implementation of the PoET (Prevention of Error-Based Transfers) Southwest Spread Project and palliative care provision: a quasi-experimental matched cohort study using population-level health administrative data


Objectives — The PoET (Prevention of Error-based Transfers) project seeks to align long-term care (LTC) home informed consent practices to existing legislation, thereby reducing consent-related error-based transfers to acute care. We sought to measure changes in resident-level palliative care provision after participating in the PoET Southwest Spread Project (PSSP), and to identify patient and LTC home characteristics associated with palliative care provision.

Design — Quasi-experimental matched (1:1 ratio) cohort study design using linked population-based health administrative data.

Setting — Sixty LTC homes (PSSP = 30; Control = 30) in Ontario, Canada, from November 2019 to December 2021.

Methods — We matched 30 PSSP to 30 control homes and described incidence rates for resident-level palliative care provision (ie, physician palliative care encounters and palliative medication prescriptions) during the 7-month postimplementation period. We used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate the association between PSSP implementation and palliative care provision during the postimplementation period. We adjusted for resident-level characteristics (ie, age, sex, comorbidity status) and home-level characteristics (ie, rurality status, profit model, COVID-19 impact). We identified a decedent subcohort to measure palliative care provision patterns during the last 2 months of life.

Results — We captured a matched cohort of 8894 residents (PSSP = 4103; Control = 4791). Incidence rates of palliative care encounters increased during the postimplementation period for PSSP (82.6 to 85.4 per 100 person-months) but not for control residents (68.8 to 65.3 per 100 person-months). After adjusting for key covariates, PSSP exposure was associated increased palliative care provision (incidence rate ratio 2.47, 95% CI 2.31-2.64) and palliative care medication prescription (1.16, 95% CI 1.12-1.20). Larger home size, certain health regions, and higher number of comorbidities were associated with increased physician palliative care encounters.

Conclusions and Implications — By promoting correct informed consent practices in LTC, PSSP participation increased palliative care provision for PSSP LTC residents across all settings.



Siu HYH, Hafid S, Kirkwood D, Elston D, Perez R, Jones A, Oliver J, Chidwick P, Nitti T, Costa A. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2024; Feb 28 [Epub ahead of print].

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