Involvement of Specialist Palliative Care in a Stroke Unit in Austria—Challenges for Families and Stroke Teams

Riesinger, Renate, Altmann, Klaus and Lorenzl, Stefan (2021) Involvement of Specialist Palliative Care in a Stroke Unit in Austria—Challenges for Families and Stroke Teams. Frontiers in Neurology.

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Purpose: Severe stroke poses vast challenges. Appropriate goals of care according to individual preferences and values have to be developed under time restrictions—often impeded by limited ability to communicate and the need for decisions by surrogates. The aim of our study was to explore the decision-making process and the involvement of specialist palliative care in the acute phase of severe stroke. Methods: Twenty patients suffering from severe ischemic stroke treated in an Austrian acute inpatient stroke unit were included in a prospective study. Their families were interviewed with a questionnaire (FS-ICU 24), which covered satisfaction with care and decision-making. With a second questionnaire, decision-making processes within the stroke team were investigated. Results: A palliative approach and early integration of specialist palliative care in severe ischemic stroke results in individualized therapeutic goals, including withholding therapeutic or life-sustaining measures, especially in patients with pre-existing illness. Conclusions: Family members benefit from understandable and consistent information, emotional support, and a professional team identifying their needs. Stroke unit professionals need skills as well as knowledge and strategies in order to make decisions and provide treatment at the end-of-life, when there may be ethical or legal issues. Close cooperation with specialist palliative care services supports both treatment teams and families with communication and decision-making for patients with severe ischemic stroke.
Item Type: Fachpublikation (peer reviewed)
Subjects: WL Nervensystem
Divisions: Krankenhaus der Barmherzigen Schwestern Ried > Anästhesie, Intensiv- und Palliativmedizin
Depositing User: OÄ Dr. Renate Riesinger
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2022 08:13
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2022 08:13

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