Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 68--75

Clinical and socio-demographic profile of hospice admissions: Experience from New Delhi

1 Department of Onco-anaesthesia and Palliative Medicine, DR.B.R.A.I.R.C.H, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Medical Officer, Shanti-Avedna Saan (Hospice), New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sushma Bhatnagar
Department of Palliative Medicine, Room No. 242, DR.B.R.A.I.R.C.H., AIIMS, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_43_20

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Background: Our hospice caters to referrals from the wide areas in the northern Indian territory. A descriptive analysis of hospice admissions can bring to light, the status of palliative care in the region overall. Aim: The aim was to assess the clinical and demographic profile of hospice admissions in New Delhi during the time period 2016–2017. Methods: Hospice admission records from the calendar year 2016 were digitized from paper charts, and statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS v21. Patient and caregiver demographic profile and dominant referral and utilization patterns were retrospectively assessed. Results: One hundred and fifty-four admissions (mean age 51.8 ± 15 years; 60% females) were recorded. Up to one-third of the patients (48, 31%) were single at the time of admission. Majority of the patients had below 10th grade literacy level (116, 75.3%) and belonged to low socioeconomic status. Two large tertiary care centers were the most common referrers (54.6%). The top three diagnoses were head-and-neck cancers (56, 36.4%), gastrointestinal cancers (27, 17.5%), and metastatic breast cancer (23, 14.9%). Major patient-reported debilities were pain (73%), dysphagia (51%), and incontinence (45%). The mean duration from diagnosis to hospice referral was 2.7 ± 0.7 years. Majority of the patients (76%) reported to have undergone some form of oncologic treatment. Up to two-thirds of the patients received opioids with or without additional supportive care. Conclusion: Pain, dysphagia, and incontinence were the most common reasons for hospice referral, with incontinence being significantly correlated with the divorced status. There were no differences in the prevalence of other symptoms with relation to the marital status. Data on hospice utilization patterns in India are limited to pilot experiences. More data are needed to drive national-level policies.


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