Publications

The effect of underlying health status on patient or surrogate preferences for end-of-life care: a pilot study

This study explored the role of health status, as measured by the Palliative Performance Score, in shaping patient preferences for end-of-life care. Scores were correlated with 3 potential goals of care: prolonging life, maintaining function, and maximizing comfort among patients seen in palliative care consultation. Eighty-six patients expressed treatment preferences: 16 (19%) preferred prolonging life, 23 (27%) preferred maintaining function, and 47 (54%) preferred maximizing comfort (P < .0001); their average scores +/- standard deviation were, respectively, 51.9 +/- 19.4, 56.5 +/- 16.7, and 45.3 +/- 14.1 (P = .0459). There was a significant relationship between patient preferences and Palliative Performance Score, with lower scores indicating preferences for comfort and higher scores indicating a preference for maintaining function and life expectancy. Further research is needed to test the sensitivity of health status, as measured by the Palliative Performance Score, in affecting patient preferences.