Scientific article
Open access

Physicians' Views and Agreement about Patient- and Context-Related Factors Influencing ICU Admission Decisions: A Prospective Study

Published inJournal of Clinical Medicine, vol. 10, no. 14, 3068
Publication date2021

Background: Single patient- and context-related factors have been associated with admission decisions to intensive care. How physicians weigh various factors and integrate them into the decision-making process is not well known. Objectives: First, to determine which patient- and context-related factors influence admission decisions according to physicians, and their agreement about these determinants; and second, to examine whether there are differences for patients with and without advanced disease. Method: This study was conducted in one tertiary hospital. Consecutive ICU consultations for medical inpatients were prospectively included. Involved physicians, i.e., internists and intensivists, rated the importance of 13 factors for each decision on a Likert scale (1 = negligible to 5 = predominant). We cross-tabulated these factors by presence or absence of advanced disease and examined the degree of agreement between internists and intensivists using the kappa statistic. Results: Of 201 evaluated patients, 105 (52.2%) had an advanced disease, and 140 (69.7%) were admitted to intensive care. The mean number of important factors per decision was 3.5 (SD 2.4) for intensivists and 4.4 (SD 2.1) for internists. Patient's comorbidities, quality of life, preferences, and code status were most often mentioned. Inter-rater agreement was low for the whole population and after stratifying for patients with and without advanced disease. Kappa values ranged from 0.02 to 0.34 for all the patients, from −0.05 to 0.42 for patients with advanced disease, and from −0.08 to 0.32 for patients without advanced disease. The best agreement was found for family preferences. Conclusion: Poor agreement between physicians about patient- and context-related determinants of ICU admission suggests a lack of explicitness during the decision-making process. The potential consequences are increased variability and inequity regarding which patients are admitted. Timely advance care planning involving families could help physicians make the decision most concordant with patient preferences.

  • Decision making
  • Intensive care
  • Admission
  • Palliative care
  • Triage
  • Quality of care
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - National Research Program “End of Life” (NRP 67), grant n◦139304
Citation (ISO format)
CULLATI, Stéphane et al. Physicians” Views and Agreement about Patient- and Context-Related Factors Influencing ICU Admission Decisions: A Prospective Study. In: Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2021, vol. 10, n° 14, p. 3068. doi: 10.3390/jcm10143068
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2077-0383

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