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Definiëring van de patiëntenpopulatie: een probleem bij het onderzoek naar palliatieve zorg.

Borgsteede, S., Deliens, L., Francke, A., Stalman, W., Willems, D., Eijk, J. van, Wal, G. van der. Definiëring van de patiëntenpopulatie: een probleem bij het onderzoek naar palliatieve zorg. Huisarts en Wetenschap: 2008, 51(2), 85-89
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In research into palliative care there is a lack of clear definition of the patient population and of clear inclusion criteria. The aim of this study was to describe the consequences brought about by three inclusion criteria in the make-up of different study populations studied in terms of size, number of doctor-patient contacts and demographic characteristics. General practitioners were sent a questionnaire on all patients who died during the second Dutch National Survey of General Practice (n = 2194), to determine whether (1) patients received non-curative treatment; (2) patients received palliative care; and (3) death was expected (total response rate = 73%). The criterion ‘death was expected’ included most patients (62%) followed by ‘palliative care’ (46%) and ‘non-curative treatment’ (39%). Similarity between the definition-based populations was fair to moderate. In cancer patients the ‘palliative care’ and ‘death was expected’ categories occurred more frequently than in ‘non-curative treatment’ patients. The conclusions show substantial differences in populations according to the different inclusion criteria used to select them. Future research into palliative care should acknowledge the limitations of using certain inclusion criteria and explore potential bias. (aut. ref.)
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