MONDAY, Aug. 31, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For patients with long-term neurological conditions, a short-term integrated palliative care (SIPC) intervention does not alter palliative care outcomes or patient-reported outcomes compared with standard care, according to a study published online Aug. 28 in JAMA Network Open.

Wei Gao, Ph.D., from King’s College London, and colleagues randomly assigned 350 patients with any advanced stage of multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, idiopathic Parkinson disease multiple system atrophy, or progressive supranuclear palsy to receive either SIPC or standard care (176 and 174 patients, respectively). The primary outcome measured was change in eight key palliative care symptoms from baseline to 12 weeks.

The researchers observed no differences between the groups in the primary outcome, any other patient-reported outcomes, adverse events, or survival. More symptom reduction was seen in the SIPC group in relation to mean change in the primary outcome; however, the between-group difference was not statistically significant (−0.78 versus −0.28). From baseline to 12 weeks, there was a decrease noted in mean health and social care costs in the SIPC and control groups (−$1,367 and −$653, respectively). Patients and caregivers perceived SIPC as building resilience, attending to function and deficits, and enabling caregivers.

“Refining referral criteria to better match patients to SIPC and intervention optimization may help to support wider implementation of this new care model in practice,” the authors write.

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