Impact of palliative care consultative service on disease awareness for patients with terminal cancer

Wen Chi Chou, Yu Shin Hung, Chen Yi Kao, Po Jung Su, Chia Hsun Hsieh, Jen Shi Chen, Chi Ting Liau, Yung Chang Lin, Chuang Chi Liaw, Hung Ming Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: Awareness of the status of disease among terminally ill cancer patients is an important part of the end-of-life care. We have evaluated how palliative care consultative service (PCCS) affects patient disease awareness and determined who may benefit from such services in Taiwan. Methods: In total, 2,887 terminally ill cancer patients consecutively received PCCS between January 2006 and December 2010 at a single medical center in Taiwan, after which they were evaluated for disease awareness. At the beginning of PCCS, 31 % of patients (n = 895) were unaware of their disease status. The characteristics of these 895 patients were analyzed retrospectively to determine variables pertinent to patient disease awareness after PCCS. Results: In total, 485 (50 %) of the 895 patients became aware of their disease at the end of PCCS. Factors significantly associated with higher disease awareness included a longer interval between the date of hospital admission and that of PCCS referral (>4 weeks versus ≤2 weeks), a longer duration of PCCS (>14 days versus ≤7 days), the male gender, divorced marital status (versus married), and family awareness (versus lack of family awareness). Lower disease awareness was associated with older age (age > 75 years versus age = 18-65 years), referral from non-oncology departments, and primary cancer localization (lung, colon-rectum, or urological versus liver). Conclusions: Disease awareness is affected by multiple factors related to the patients, their families, and the clinicians. The promotion of PCCS increased disease awareness among terminally ill cancer patients in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1973-1981
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - 07 2013


  • Consultative service
  • Disease awareness
  • Palliative care
  • Terminal cancer


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