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Table 2 Comparison of characteristics between the ‘Full active ICU care’ cohort and the ‘EOLC’ cohort

From: Quality of transition to end-of-life care for cancer patients in the intensive care unit

Characteristic Full active ICU care n = 47 EOLC n = 38 P value
Age, median (range) in years 59 (19–88) 66.5 (28–81) 0.017
Gender, n (%) M 21 (44.7%) M 19 (50.0%) 0.62
F 26 (55.3%) F 19 (50.0%)
APACHE II score median (range) 16 (5–31) 21 (10–47) <0.0001
Type of cancer, n (%)
 Solid tumour 35 (74.5%) 24 (63.2%) 0.26
 Haematological tumour 12 (25.5%) 14 (36.8%) 0.26
Stage of disease, n (%)*
 No known spread 7 (14.9%) 6 (15.8%) 0.92
 Local spread (spread to neighbouring tissues) 7 (14.9%) 2 (5.3%) 0.14
 Nodal spread (spread to lymph nodes) 7 (14.9%) 5 (13.2%) 0.82
 Distant metastases 23 (48.9%) 21 (55.3%) 0.47
Cancer treatment, n (%)
 Chemotherapy 32 (68%) 29 (76.3%) 0.4
 Radiotherapy 11 (23.4%) 4 (10.5) 0.16
 Palliative treatment (definitions in text) 19 (43.1%) 17 (44.7%) 0.69
 Curative treatment (definitions in text) 22 (46.8%) 16 (42.1%) 0.66
 No treatment 6 (12.8%) 3 (7.9%) 0.51
Reason for ICU admission, n (%)**
 Respiratory failure 19 (40.4%) 17 (44.7%) 0.69
 Renal failure 10 (21.3%) 9 (23.7%) 0.79
 Cardiac 7 (14.9%) 3 (7.9%) 0.5
 Sepsis 11 (23.4%) 12 (31.6%) 0.4
 Neurology 2 (4.3%) 1 (2.6%) 0.69
 Other 8 (17.0%) 7 (18.4%) 0.73
Time of referral to ICU, n (%)
 Out of hours 22 (46.8%) 16 (42.1%) 0.82
 Weekend 11 (23.4%) 6 (15.8%) 0.55
Organ support required during ICU stay, n (%)
 Invasive ventilation 6 (12.8%) 17 (44.7%) 0.001
 Vasopressors 13 (27.7%) 21 (55.3%) 0.014
 Renal replacement therapy (RRT) 4 (8.5%) 11 (28.9%) 0.021
 Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) 9 (19.1%) 12 (31.6%) 0.19
Baseline performance status documented, n (%) 18 (38.3%) 16 (45.7%) 0.72
Need for symptom control in ICU, n (%) 27 (57.0%) 27 (71.0%) 0.19
Seen by palliative care in ICU, n (%) 7 (19.1%) 20 (52.6%) 0.001
Cancer prognosis documented prior to ICU, n (%) 10 (21.2%) 4 (10.5%) 0.15
  1. Statistically significant variables are in italics
  2. * 3 patients in ‘full active ICU care’ cohort and 4 patients in ‘EOLC’ cohort had leukaemia and therefore were excluded from this analysis.
  3. ** Some patients had more than one reason for admission hence total numbers greater than 100% per cohort.