"Improving Doctor-Patient Communication at the End of Life: Multi-Center Study Suggests It Can Be Done"
To find out whether an intervention could increase the number of discussions between clinicians and patients with heart failure about the kinds of treatments they would want at the end of their lives, also known as advance care planning, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai developed a rigorous six-center study to investigate a novel communication intervention. The study appears in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “This is the first study that we know of to demonstrate that we can change cardiologist behavior in terms of the ways they speak to patients with advanced heart disease, which represents millions of patients, a number that is sure to grow as patients live longer lives,” said lead author Nathan Goldstein, MD, professor of medicine and geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He added, “It is an awful thing for a patient to experience shocks when they’re dying. Patients don’t realize that we can easily deactivate the device and clinicians find it difficult to bring up the option. It’s tough to talk to a patient about turning off something that they've come to trust may save their lives.”
— Nathan E. Goldstein, MD, Professor, Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai