Do patients, families, and healthcare teams benefit from the integration of palliative care in burn intensive care units? Results from a systematic review with narrative synthesis

André Filipe Ribeiro*, Sandra Martins Pereira, Barbara Gomes, Rui Nunes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Burn units are intensive care facilities specialized in the treatment of patients with severe burns. As burn injuries have a major impact in physical, psychosocial, and spiritual health, palliative care can be a strengthening component of integrated care. Aim: To review and appraise the existing evidence about the integration of palliative care in burn intensive care units with respect to (1) the concept, model and design and (2) the benefits and outcomes of this integration. Design: A systematic review was conducted following PRISMA guidelines. Protocol registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018111676). Data sources: Five electronic databases were searched (PubMed/NLM, Web of Science, MEDLINE/TR, Ovid, and CINAHL/EBSCO) until May 2019. A narrative synthesis of the findings was constructed. Hawker et al.’s tool was used for quality appraisal. Results: A total of 299 articles were identified, of which five were included for analysis involving a total of 7353 individuals. Findings suggest that there may be benefits from integrating palliative care in burn units, specifically in terms of patients’ comfort, decision-making processes, and family care. Multidisciplinary teams may experience lower levels of burden as result of integrating palliative care in burn units. Conclusion: This review reflects the challenging setting of burn intensive care units. Evidence from these articles suggests that the integration of palliative care in burn intensive care units improves patients’ comfort, decision-making process, and family care. Further research is needed to better understand how the integration of palliative care in burn intensive care units may be fostered and to identify the outcomes of this integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1254
Number of pages14
JournalPalliative Medicine
Volume33
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Burn units
  • Decision-making
  • Integrated care
  • Integration
  • Intensive care
  • Palliative care

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