In this longitudinal f/u of 323 nursing home residents with advanced dementia, over half had died by 18 months. Most suffered complications within the 18 month f/u, including eating problems (86%), fever (53%), and pneumonia (41%), and 41% of them underwent some intervention in the last 3 months of life (ED visit, hospitalization, IV therapy, or tube feeds). Those that had health care proxies that understood their prognosis were much less likely to undergo these interventions. This study highlights the grim prognosis, and high prevalence of complications and interventions, in nursing home patients with advanced dementia (abstract)
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.