Comparison of end-of-life care in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer: A systematic review

Lung Cancer
03/06/2020

Butler SJ, et al. Palliat Med 2020.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Palliative care has been widely implemented in clinical practice for patients with cancer but is not routinely provided to people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

AIM: The study aims were to compare palliative care services, medications, life-sustaining interventions, place of death, symptom burden and health-related quality of life among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer populations.

DESIGN: Systematic review with meta-analysis (PROSPERO: CRD42019139425).

DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, CINAHL and PsycINFO were searched for studies comparing palliative care, symptom burden or health-related quality of life among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer or populations with both conditions. Quality scores were assigned using the QualSyst tool.

RESULTS: Nineteen studies were included. There was significant heterogeneity in study design and sample size. A random effects meta-analysis (n = 3-7) determined that people with lung cancer had higher odds of receiving hospital (odds ratio: 9.95, 95% confidence interval: 6.37-15.55, p < 0.001) or home-based palliative care (8.79, 6.76-11.43, p < 0.001), opioids (4.76, 1.87-12.11, p = 0.001), sedatives (2.03, 1.78-2.32, p < 0.001) and dying at home (1.47, 1.14-1.89, p = 0.003) compared to people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. People with lung cancer had lower odds of receiving invasive ventilation (0.26, 0.22-0.32, p < 0.001), non-invasive ventilation (0.63, 0.44-0.89, p = 0.009), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (0.29, 0.18-0.47, p < 0.001) or dying at a nursing home/long-term care facility (0.32, 0.16-0.64, p < 0.001) than people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Symptom burden and health-related quality of life were relatively similar between the two populations.

CONCLUSION: People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease receive less palliative measures at the end of life compared to people with lung cancer, despite a relatively similar symptom profile.