Transitions between care settings after enrollment in a palliative care service in Italy: a retrospective analysis
This study was a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data that aimed to map patients' care transitions following admission to a specialist palliative care service in Italy called Antea Centre. Patients' data was extracted from the Antea local database from 2007 to 2011. External transitions were defined as a change in the setting of care, with the patient no longer being cared for by Antea staff. Internal transitions were defined as a change in the setting of care, with the care still being provided by Antea staff. A total of 1123 patients out of 5313 admitted to the palliative service (21%) experienced transitions. Patients who experienced no transitions after their admission to the palliative care service were more likely to have a Karnofsky Performance Scale Index <30, to have been referred by a hospital physician, to have a shorter survival time, and to have home as their place of death (P<0.001). Although the patients with no transitions had worse clinical conditions, organisations should pay attention to reducing the possible negative effects of transitions, such as discontinuity of care and poor coordination.