Prevalence and Clinical Intentions of Antithrombotic Therapy on Discharge to Hospice Care

Christina A. Kowalewska, Brie N. Noble, Erik K. Fromme, Mary Lynn McPherson, Kristi N. Grace, Jon P. Furuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: There are no guidelines for antithrombotic therapy on admission to hospice care. Antithrombotic therapy may offer some benefit in these patients, but is also associated with well-described risks. Objective: We quantified the frequency and characteristics of patients prescribed antithrombotic therapy on discharge from acute care to hospice care. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Settings/Subjects: Adult (age> = 21 years) patients discharged from acute care to hospice care between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2014. Measures: Our primary outcome of interest was receiving an outpatient prescription for antithrombotic therapy on discharge to hospice care. Results: Among 1141 eligible patients, 77 (6.7%) patients received a prescription for antithrombotic therapy on discharge to hospice care, most frequently, aspirin (57.1%), enoxaparin (26.0%), and warfarin (20.8%). Patients actively treated for deep vein thromboembolism or pulmonary embolism, or with a history of atrial fibrillation or aortic/mitral valve replacement were significantly more likely to receive antithrombotic therapy. Patients with a history of cancer, cerebrovascular disease, or liver disease were significantly less likely to receive antithrombotic therapy (p < 0.05 for all). Among patients who received antithrombotic therapy, 22% were not receiving antithrombotic therapy before the index admission. Among patients previously receiving antithrombotic therapy, 55% continued on the same medication, of which 54.5% did not have any documented rationale for continuation. Conclusions: Prescriptions for antithrombotic therapy were infrequent and often lacked a documented rationale. Further research is needed on the safety and effectiveness of antithrombotic therapy in hospice care and what drives current medication decisions in the absence of these data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1225-1230
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • anticoagulation
  • antithrombotic therapy
  • care transitions
  • hospice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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