To evaluate the documentation of advance directive (ADs) and physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST) with acceptance of palliative care (PC) services referral among patients with cancer.Methods:
We retrospectively reviewed veterans with advanced cancers at the Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System. Chi-square tests estimated AD and POLST documentation and referral to PC. Logistic regression models estimated the odds of AD and POLST documentation and PC referral.Results:
Two hundred and forty-six veterans were diagnosed with cancer. In all, 53% had a documented AD, 5% had a POLST, and 47% accepted referral to PC. The AD documentation was not associated with acceptance of PC.Discussion:
We found no association of AD documentation and PC referral. Future studies should evaluate other factors that influence referral to these services.