Characteristics of Patients Who Refuse Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders Upon Admission to an Acute Palliative Care Unit in a Comprehensive Cancer Center
Parsons, Henrique A
de la Cruz, Maxine J
Zhukovsky, Donna S
Delgado-Guay, Marvin O
Akitoye, Adenike E
El Osta, Badi
Palla, Shana L
Cancer 2010 Jun 15; 116(12): 3061-70
BACKGROUND: Refusal of appropriately indicated do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders may cause harm and distress for patients, families, and the medical team. We conducted a retrospective study to determine the frequency and predictors of refusals of DNR in advanced cancer patients admitted to an acute palliative care unit. METHODS: A total of 2538 consecutive admissions were reviewed. Demographic and clinical characteristics from 200 consecutive patients with DNR orders and 100 consecutive patients who refused DNR were collected, and differences between the groups were determined by multivariate regression and recursive partitioning analysis. RESULTS: Of 2538 admissions, 2530 (99%) were appropriate for DNR discussion. Of the 2530 admissions, 2374 were unique patients, and 100 (4%) of 2374 refused DNR. Refusers had median (interquartile range, IQR) pain of 7 (4-9) versus 5 (3-8, P = .0005), nausea of 2 (0-7) versus 1 (0-4, P = .05), and dyspnea of 1 (0-5) versus 4 (0-7, P = .002) as compared with DNR nonrefusers, respectively. Patients with hematological malignancies and advance directives had a lower DNR refusal risk (odds ratio [OR], 0.38; P = .02, and OR, 0.36; P
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