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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Palliative care for people with advanced liver disease: A feasibility trial of a supportive care liver nurse specialist
Author(s): Kimbell, Barbara
Murray, Scott A
Byrne, Heidi
Baird, Andrea
Hayes, Peter C
MacGilchrist, Alastair
Finucane, Anne
Young, Patricia Brookes
O'Carroll, Ronan
Weir, Christopher
Kendall, Marilyn
Boyd, Kirsty
Keywords: Liver failure
palliative care
supportive care
care planning
nurse specialist
feasibility trial
generalist palliative care
Issue Date: 1-May-2018
Citation: Kimbell B, Murray SA, Byrne H, Baird A, Hayes PC, MacGilchrist A, Finucane A, Young PB, O'Carroll R, Weir C, Kendall M & Boyd K (2018) Palliative care for people with advanced liver disease: A feasibility trial of a supportive care liver nurse specialist, Palliative Medicine, 32 (5), pp. 919-929.
Abstract: Background:  Liver disease is an increasing cause of death worldwide but palliative care is largely absent for these patients.  Aim:  We conducted a feasibility trial of a complex intervention delivered by a supportive care liver nurse specialist to improve care coordination, anticipatory care planning and quality of life for people with advanced liver disease and their carers.  Design:  Patients received a 6-month intervention (alongside usual care) from a specially trained liver nurse specialist. The nurse supported patients/carers to live as well as possible with the condition and acted as a resource to facilitate care by community professionals. A mixed-method evaluation was conducted. Case note analysis and questionnaires examined resource use, care planning processes and quality-of-life outcomes over time. Interviews with patients, carers and professionals explored acceptability, effectiveness, feasibility and the intervention.  Setting/participants:  Patients with advanced liver disease who had an unplanned hospital admission with decompensated cirrhosis were recruited from an inpatient liver unit. The intervention was delivered to patients once they had returned home.  Results:  We recruited 47 patients, 27 family carers and 13 case-linked professionals. The intervention was acceptable to all participants. They welcomed access to additional expert advice, support and continuity of care. The intervention greatly increased the number of electronic summary care plans shared by primary care and hospitals. The Palliative care Outcome Scale and EuroQol-5D-5L questionnaire were suitable outcome measurement tools.  Conclusion:  This nurse-led intervention proved acceptable and feasible. We have refined the recruitment processes and outcome measures for a future randomised controlled trial.
DOI Link: 10.1177/0269216318760441
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (

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