Kathleen Bailey wins Student Poster Competition at the NWO Palliative Booster

 Kathleen Bailey wins Student Poster Competition at the Northwestern Ontario Palliative Booster on November 15th, 2013.Her poster was entitled: Caregiver and Nursing Team Involvement in End-of-Life Decision Making when Patients Die with Dementia compared with Cancer. Kathleen will receive a $100 cheque in recognition of the award.

 The following is a description of her poster: All end of life decisions are complicated clinical and ethical events, the difficulty of which can be exacerbated when a patientís capacity to participate in decision making is removed. This is often the case when a person dies with dementia, necessitating more active involvement of the care team. We examined incidence and characteristics of end of life decisions when patients died with dementia (n=361) or with cancer (n=1276) in a nationally representative sample of deaths in Belgium using a physician survey. Decision making for dementia patients more often than for cancer patients involved the patientís family (OR 1.96, p=0.003) and the nursing team (OR 1.64, p=0.020). Low quality of life, the lack of improvement prospects, preventing future suffering and pointless life prolongation were important reasons for end of life decisions in dementia. These results suggest that advance care planning needs to be encouraged earlier to increase involvement of dementia patients and their family in treatment decisions before the end of life, and that family and other caregivers are playing a significant role in end of life decisions when the patient is dying with dementia.

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