Palliative Care and Neurology Needs in Patients With and Without COVID-19

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Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic led to increased neurology and palliative care needs. We compare the characteristics of COVID-19 positive vs negative patients who received consultation by neurology and palliative care services during the 2020 COVID-19 surge in New York City to see how the groups differ in their consultation needs and to identify opportunities to improve care. Methods: This retrospective analysis was performed within a multi-center hospital system in New York City, USA over a 2-month period (15 March to 15 May, 2020) which represented the peak of the first COVID-19 wave. Hospitalized patients who received a consultation from neurology and palliative care services were included. The patients were classified according to COVID-19 status (positive or negative based on PCR testing). Data abstracted from chart review included demographic data, details of neurology and palliative care consultations, duration of admission, ICU admission, intubation, code status, and death. Results: The study included 70 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and 39 patients who tested negative for a total of 109 patients. Compared to the patients who tested negative for COVID-19, the patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to have palliative care consultation for management of goals of care (70 [100%] vs 33 [84.6%], P =.003) and less likely for management of symptoms (2 [2.9%] vs 7 [17.9%], P =.02). Conclusion: The findings emphasize the need for collaboration between palliative care and neurology, which was heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a particular need for communication surrounding goals of care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • coronavirus
  • covid
  • inpatient
  • neurology
  • neuropalliative care
  • pandemic

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