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Top 25 Studies in Hospice and Palliative Care (#HPMtop25)

A recent article in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published a list of 27 “landmark” peer-reviewed foundational articles that have helped to shape the contemporary practice of geriatric medicine. The authors of this article did a quite extensive process to identify these articles that included:
  • First finding candidate articles through a literature review and expert opinion survey of geriatric medicine faculty.
  • Winnowing this list down to 30 and then performing a bibliometric analysis that combined journal impact factor and average monthly citation index. 
  • Lastly, bring a panel together to review articles to assess each manuscript’s clinical relevance.

For each of the final 27 articles, a score was determined by averaging, with equal weight, the opinion survey, bibliometric analysis, and consensus panel review.  We’ve included in the note section below a list and ranking of the Geriatrics Landmark articles, and have included links to their PubMed pages.  While we can probably think of other articles not on this list, the published list does serve as a wonderful resource for anyone in the field of geriatrics.

Top 25 Studies in Hospice and Palliative Care

Thinking about these top 27 articles in geriatrics got us interested in putting together a list of the top 25 articles in palliative care. The timing is good as on February 19th we will be giving a talk to our palliative care fellows on this very subject. We have decided to focus on palliative care studies and trials - as opposed to review articles, consensus statements and opinion pieces - in order to narrow our focus and cater to our academically-oriented fellows.

We're guessing there may be some overlap with the published geriatrics list.  We are also guessing it may include many of the articles that Diane Meier wrote about in her book Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness. However, we are interested to see what articles you all think have shaped the contemporary practice of the hospice and palliative care field.

So here is a plea for your help: What articles have you found most impactful in the fields of hospice and palliative care? What studies do you most commonly think about, mention, and cite during your clinical work?
  • Tweet your landmark articles using the #HPMtop25 hashtag on twitter
  • Write a list of your landmark articles below in the comments 
  • Share your thoughts on our Facebook page
Thank you for your help!

By: Kara Bishoff (@Kara_Bishoff) and Eric Widera (@ewidera)

Note: Here is the list of the articles that were identified as landmark in geriatrics:
  1. Treatment of hypertension in patients 80 years of age or older. Beckett NS et al. NEJM, May 2008 
  2. Effectiveness of atypical antipsychotic drugs in patients with Alzheimer’s disease Schneider LS et al. NEJM, Oct 2006. 
  3. The clinical course of advanced dementia Mitchell SL et al. NEJM, Oct 2009 
  4. Rehospitalizations among patients in the Medicare fee-for-service program Jencks SF et al. NEJM, Apr 2009 
  5. A multicomponent intervention to prevent delirium in hospitalized older patients Inouye SK et al. NEJM, Mar 1999
  6. Clinical practice guidelines and quality of care for older patients with multiple comorbid diseases—implications for pay for performance Boyd CM et al. JAMA, Aug 2005
  7. A multifactorial intervention to reduce the risk of falling among elderly people living in the community Tinetti ME et al. NEJM, Sept 1994
  8. A randomized trial of care in a hospital medical unit especially designed to improve functional outcomes of acutely ill older patients Landefeld CS et al. NEJM, May 1995 
  9. Emergency hospitalization for adverse drug events in older Americans Budnitz DS et al. NEJM, Nov 2011 
  10. Updating the Beers criteria for potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults—results of a U.S. consensus panel of expertsa Fick DM et al. Arch Int Med, Dec 2003 
  11. Gait speed and survival in older adults Studenski S et al. JAMA, Jan 2011
  12. A multidisciplinary intervention to prevent the readmission of elderly patients with congestive heart failure Rich MW et al. NEJM, Nov 1995
  13. Exercise training and nutritional supplementation for physical frailty in very elderly people Fiatarone MA et al. NEJM, Jun 1994
  14. A controlled trial of inpatient and outpatient geriatric evaluation and management Cohen HJ et al. NEJM, Mar 2002
  15. Hazards of hospitalization of the elderly Creditor MC. Ann Int Med. Feb 1993
  16. Trajectories of disability in the last year of life Gill TM et al. NEJM, Apr 2010
  17. The care transitions intervention—results of a randomized controlled trial Coleman EA et al. Arch Int Med, Sept 2006 
  18. Tube feeding in patients with advanced dementia: a review of the evidence Finucane TE et al. JAMA, Oct 1999 
  19. Appropriate use of artificial nutrition and hydration: fundamental principles and recommendations Casarett D et al. NEJM, Dec 2005 
  20. Cancer screening in elderly patients—a framework for individualized decision making. Walter LC & Covinsky KE. JAMA, Jun 2001 
  21. Aging, natural death, and the compression of morbidity Fries JF. NEJM 1980 
  22. Frailty in older adults: evidence for a phenotype Fried LP et al. J Gerontol, Mar 2001
  23. Change in disability after hospitalization or restricted activity in older persons Gill TM et al. JAMA, Nov 2010 
  24. Geriatric care management for low-income seniors—a randomized controlled trial. Counsell SR et al. JAMA, Dec 2007 
  25. Behavioral training with and without biofeedback in the treatment of urge incontinence in older women—a randomized controlled trial. Burgio KL et al. JAMA, Nov 2002 
  26. Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults Willis SL et al. JAMA, Dec 2006 
  27. Shared risk factors for falls, incontinence, and functional dependence: unifying the approach to geriatrics syndromes Tinetti ME et al. JAMA, May 1995


Anonymous said…
Thank you for this list. I wish more specialties did this Great source to refer to periodically.
Dan Matlock said…
WOW! Just came to this looking for a list of articles.

This post most seriously needs a follow-up post!
Eric Widera said…
Anything for you Dan!

Eric Widera said…
Ok. Here is the list:

What changes would you make?


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