Table of Contents
ISRN Oncology
Volume 2014, Article ID 715396, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/715396
Clinical Study

Palliative Radiotherapy with or without Additional Care by a Multidisciplinary Palliative Care Team: A Retrospective Comparison

1Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, 8092 Bodø, Norway
2Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway

Received 17 February 2014; Accepted 11 March 2014; Published 30 March 2014

Academic Editors: N. Fujimoto and T. Komiya

Copyright © 2014 Carsten Nieder et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Purpose. To analyze pattern of care and survival after palliative radiotherapy (RT) in patients managed exclusively by regular oncology staff or a multidisciplinary palliative care team (MPCT) in addition. Methods. Retrospective analysis of 522 RT courses. Comparison of Two Groups: MPCT versus none. Results. We analyzed 140 RT courses (27%) with MPCT care and 382 without it. The following statistically significant differences were observed: 33% of female patients had MPCT care versus only 23% of male patients and 37% of patients <65 years had MPCT care versus only 22% of older patients. MPCT patients were more likely to have poor performance status and liver metastases. In the MPCT group steroid and opioid use was significantly more common. Dose-fractionation regimens were similar. Median survival was significantly shorter in the MPCT group, 3.9 versus 6.9 months. In multivariate analysis, MPCT care was not associated with survival. Adjusted for confounders, MPCT care reduced the likelihood of incomplete RT by 33%, . Conclusions. Patterns of referral and care differed, for example, regarding age and medication use. It seems possible that MPCT care reduces likelihood of incomplete RT. Therefore, the impact of MPCT care on symptom control should be investigated and objective referral criteria should be developed.