FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Hospitalized patients with advanced cancer who have difficulty with activities of daily living (ADLs) experience worse clinical outcomes, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Daniel E. Lage, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues assessed patients’ ability to conduct ADLs (mobility, feeding, bathing, dressing, and grooming) among 971 patients with advanced cancer with unplanned hospitalizations from September 2014 through March 2016.

The researchers found that 40.2 percent of patients had functional impairment. Compared with those without functional impairment, those with functional impairment were older (mean age, 67.18 versus 60.81 years) and had a higher physical symptom burden. Patients with impairment were also more likely to report moderate-to-severe pain (74.9 versus 63.1 percent) as well as symptoms of depression (38.3 versus 23.6 percent) and anxiety (35.9 versus 22.4 percent). There was an association noted between functional impairment and longer hospital length of stay and worse survival (hazard ratio, 1.73).

“These findings provide data supporting routine assessment of patients’ functional outcomes during hospital admission and the use of this information to inform discharge planning, target palliative care and psychosocial support services, and guide prognostic discussions between patients and their care team in order to enhance quality of life and clinical outcomes for these patients,” the authors write.

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