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The Liverpool Care Pathway: discarded in cancer patients but good enough for dying nursing home patients? A systematic review

By Bettina S. Husebø, Elisabeth Flo and Knut Engedal


Abstract Background The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is an interdisciplinary protocol, aiming to ensure that dying patients receive dignified and individualized treatment and care at the end-of-life. LCP was originally developed in 1997 in the United Kingdom from a model of cancer care successfully established in hospices. It has since been introduced in many countries, including Norway. The method was withdrawn in the UK in 2013. This review investigates whether LCP has been adapted and validated for use in nursing homes and for dying people with dementia. Methods This systematic review is based on a systematic literature search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Web of Science. Results The search identified 12 studies, but none describing an evidence-based adaption of LCP to nursing home patients and people with dementia. No studies described the LCP implementation procedure, including strategies for discontinuation of medications, procedures for nutrition and hydration, or the testing of such procedures in nursing homes. No effect studies addressing the assessment and treatment of pain and symptoms that include dying nursing home patients and people with dementia are available. Conclusion LCP has not been adapted to nursing home patients and people with dementia. Current evidence, i.e. studies investigating the validity and reliability in clinically relevant settings, is too limited for the LCP procedure to be recommended for the population at hand. There is a need to develop good practice in palliative medicine, Advance Care Planning, and disease-specific recommendations for people with dementia

Topics: Nursing Home, Liverpool Care Pathway, Dementia, Geriatric, Decision-making, End-of-Life-care, Medical philosophy. Medical ethics, R723-726
Publisher: BMC
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1186/s12910-017-0205-x
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