Study shows decisions over life-sustaining treatment are likely to change

Patients with chronic conditions are likely to change their preferences for receiving emergency procedures in the event of cardiac arrest, according to new findings.

The study, which will be presented at the European Respiratory Society Annual Congress in Amsterdam today (26 September 2011), suggests that different factors could influence patients' decisions to undergo life-sustaining treatments, but this will often go unnoticed by their healthcare provider.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure involving , which is used to restore in a person having a cardiac arrest. Similarly, can also be used to help a patient to breathe when their spontaneous breathing function is not working.

When patients have been diagnosed with a potentially life-limiting illness, they are able to decide in advance, after a discussion with their doctor, whether they are happy for these procedures to be used in the event of a cardiac arrest.

The research analysed 206 patients who had (COPD), or chronic renal failure but were in a stable condition when the study began. They monitored patients every four months for a year and assessed their preferences for CPR and mechanical ventilation.

The researchers also assessed a number of health and , including presence of other diseases, , health status, care dependency, mobility, depression and anxiety, in order to determine if these factors could be linked with changes in patients' preferences for life-sustaining treatments.

The results showed that 38% of people changed their preferences for CPR and / or mechanical ventilation over the year. This has significant implications for clinical care as healthcare providers need to be aware of the fact that these preferences should be evaluated regularly.

The results also showed that patients were more likely to change their preferences if they experienced a change in health status, mobility, symptoms of anxiety and depression or marital status.

Dr Daisy Janssen, lead author from the CIRO+, Centre of Expertise for Chronic Organ Failure, in the Netherlands, said: "Our findings have given us a key insight into how patients' preferences change regarding life-sustaining treatments. We suggest that regular re-evaluation of advance care planning is necessary when patients experience a change in health status, mobility, symptoms of anxiety and depression or marital status."

Provided by European Lung Foundation

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Heart attack not a death sentence

Jul 18, 2008

Survivors of cardiac arrest who received intensive care can expect long-term quality of life at reasonable expense to the health care system. Research published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care is the ...

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

Apr 16, 2014

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

Italy scraps ban on donor-assisted reproduction

Apr 09, 2014

Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a Catholic Church-backed ban against assisted reproduction with sperm or egg donors that has forced thousands of sterile couples to seek help abroad.

User comments