Hospice Care Helps Relieve Survivors' Depression, Study Finds
by J. Oberst; http://www.providermagazine.com; 5/27/15

Hospice care usually alleviate depression amongst survivors even with a slow death, new research within the Journal from the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine found.

Caregiving poses mental and our health risks (depression, heart disease) to your spouse both both before and after someone you care about dies, in line with they who conducted the analysis.

“We are seeing as hospice can give good results for caregivers,” says Katherine Ornstein, lead study author and epidemiologist within the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine on the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Hospice care is targeted on palliative instead of curative care and includes medical services, symptom management, spiritual counseling, social services, and bereavement counseling delivered by an interdisciplinary team of professionals (social workers, nurses, chaplains) for patients who are dying. Most hospice care includes counseling services to see relatives members before a patient’s death; telephone calls are produced periodically to bereaved members of the family, they said.

While these results might seem expected, prior reports have only been observational, involved low amounts of participants, and involved mainly spouses of cancer patients.

Ornstein’s group collected data in the Health and Retirement Study, a national telephone survey of community-dwelling adults fifty years or older, and linked it to Medicare claims, and that is how hospice is often billed. They compared spouses of people signed up for hospice for at least 72 hours before death with spouses of people who didn't use hospice using both spousal sets for as much as 2 yrs and measuring depressive symptoms with questions from your Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

Of the 1,106 spouses followed, 30 % used hospice services. Overall, 52 percent with the spouses experienced more depressive symptoms over time— irrespective of whether or otherwise hospice care was utilized. A slight however, not statistically significant improvement of depression scores happened in 28.2 percent of spouses of hospice users, in contrast to 21.7 percent of spouses whose partners wouldn't use hospice, the study found.

Similarly, one of many 662 spouses have been primary caregivers, 27.3 % in the spouses of hospice users had improved (though not by statistically relevant depression scores), compared to 20.7 percent whose spouses didn’t use hospice.

Further statistical adjustment by the study that took under consideration other patient and spousal characteristics stated spouses of hospice users were considerably more likely than spouses of non-hospice users to have their depression slightly lifted.

Not only are surviving spouses benefitting from hospice care, but health care costs for seriously ill patients and, downstream, themselves, in the united states may very well be curtailed, case study concluded.

“Because these types of spouses are themselves Medicare beneficiaries, caring because of their well-being isn't only necessary for individual health but will also be fiscally prudent,” says Ornstein, whose group hopes to eventually tease apart exactly which services that hospice provides contributes on the lowered depression a lot of widows and widowers.

In an accompanying commentary inside the same journal, Holly Prigerson and Kelly Trevino, of Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, wrote: “Should we conclude that hospice care will be the first- line cure for depressions regarding widowhood? Probably not, but this could lighten the heavy load of looking after a terminally ill spouse and will ease the trauma of watching and worrying while someone close dies, and also the transition to widowhood.”




“Under the care of Leo J. Borrell, M.D. since December 2001, I have seen a remarkable improvement in my mother’s condition. She is responding dramatically to the new regiment Dr. Borrell has prescribed”

- Beth Rose


Feb 3, 2008

The Interdisciplinary Team; The Role of the Psychiatrist

by Dr. Leo J. Borrell, featured in Assisted Living Consult for November/December 2006. A HealthCom Media Publication