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    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Palliative Medicine, 34 (9), 2020, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Palliative Medicine page: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/pmj on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/

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The need for early referral to palliative care especially for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in a COVID-19 pandemic: Findings from a service evaluation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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  • C. Chidiac
  • D. Feuer
  • M. Flatley
  • A. Rodgerson
  • K. Grayson
  • N. Preston
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/10/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Palliative Medicine
Issue number9
Volume34
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)1241-1248
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date31/07/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Background: Palliative care services face challenges in adapting and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding how palliative care needs and outcomes have changed during the pandemic compared to before the pandemic is crucial to inform service planning and research initiatives. Aim: To evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on symptoms, clinical characteristics, and outcomes for patients referred to a hospital-based palliative care service in a district general hospital in London, UK. Design: A retrospective service evaluation. Data were extracted from the electronic patient records. Setting/participants: The first 60 inpatients with confirmed COVID-19 infection, referred to the hospital palliative care service between 1 March 2020 and 23 April 2020, and another 60 inpatients, referred to the hospital palliative care service between 11 March 2019 and 23 April 2019, were included from a district general hospital in East London, UK. Results: Patients with COVID-19 have lower comorbidity scores, poorer performance status, and a shorter time from referral to death compared to patients without COVID-19. Breathlessness, drowsiness, agitation, and fever are the most prevalent symptoms during COVID-19 compared to pain and drowsiness pre-COVID-19. Time from admission to referral to palliative care is longer for Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients, especially during COVID-19. Conclusion: Early referral to palliative care is essential in COVID-19, especially for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. There is urgent need to research why Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients are referred late; how palliative care services have changed; and possible solutions to setting up responsive, flexible, and integrated services.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Palliative Medicine, 34 (9), 2020, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Palliative Medicine page: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/pmj on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/