The Lundquist Institute Investigator Dong Chang’s Study on Nonbeneficial ICU Treatment Published in JAMA Internal Medicine

For Critically Ill Patients with Advanced Medical Illnesses and Poor Prognoses, Overuse of Invasive ICU Treatment May Prolong Suffering

Investigator(s)

LOS ANGELES (April 13, 2021) — The Lundquist Institute (TLI) Investigator Dong W. Chang, MD, and his colleagues’ study on critically ill patients and ICU treatments was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study – “Evaluation of Time-Limited Trials Among Critically Ill Patients with Advanced Medical Illnesses and Reduction of Nonbeneficial ICU Treatments” – found that training physicians to communicate with family members of critically ill patients using a structured approach, which promotes shared decision-making, improved the quality of family meetings. This intervention was associated with reductions in invasive ICU treatments that prolonged suffering without benefit for patients and their families.

“Invasive ICU treatments are frequently delivered to patients who have very little chance of benefit. This leads to prolonged suffering for our patients and their families. We believed that poor communication was one of the key causes for this problem. In our study, we found that training physicians to use time-limited trials of ICU treatments engages families to make decisions together with the physicians and reduces unnecessary ICU treatments.” said Dr. Chang.

The published study can be assessed here (JAMA doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.1000).