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Care provided to cancer patients in their last month of life: a retrospective study in Patients who died in Dutch university hospitals.

Fransen, H.P., Raijmakers, N.J.H., Lokker, M.E., Brom, L., Linden, Y.M., Teunissen, C.C.M., Wartenberg, H.C., Reynerz, A.K.L., Francke, A.L. Care provided to cancer patients in their last month of life: a retrospective study in Patients who died in Dutch university hospitals. European Journal of Palliative Care: 2017 946. Abstract. In: Abstractbook 15th World congress of the European association for Palliative care: Progressing Palliative Care. 18-20 mei 2017, Madrid.
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A quarter of all patients die in a hospital. Insight into their received care can provide important information.

Aim
To describe the care provided in the last month of life to patients with cancer who died in an university hospital.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted within all Dutch University Medical Centres.The Dutch Cancer Registry was used to identify 150 deceased patients per entre. Only patients who died in the hospital due to cancer were selected. Trained data managers derived 38 preselected items from the patient file. Whether a patient was admitted to the hospital during a palliative care trajectory was retrospectively assessed by an oncologist AR) and a specialized nurse (ML).

Results
Data of ninety-four patients were included; mean age was 64 years and 63% were men. Most common diagnoses were lung cancer(29%) and gastrointestinal tumour(16%). Upon admission, 47% of the patients were in a palliative care trajectory, 19% were treated with a curative intent, 28% were admitted pro diagnosi and for 6% it was unknown.
Patients in a palliative care trajectory less often underwent invasive procedures than patients in a curative or diagnostic trajectory.

Conclusion
This retrospective chart review shows that a large proportion of cancer patients who die in a university hospital receive anticancer treatment and diagnostic interventions in their last month of life. However, the majority of those patients were in a diagnostic or curative trajectory upon admission.