The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 18, Issue 1, Spring 2018

Ethics Services in Catholic Health Care

Mary E. Homan
Pages 71-92

Factors Associated with the Timing and Patient Outcomes of Clinical Ethics Consultation in a Catholic Health Care System

Little is known about how certain patient characteristics can affect the timing of an ethics consultation, which has been hypothesized to affect patient length of stay. This study assessed how specific patient characteristics affect the timing of an ethics consultation, namely, age (over 65 years), race, Medicaid status, the presence of a living will, the presence of a health care proxy, and the absence of decisional capacity. Moving beyond the typical case-series evaluation of an ethics consultation service, this study used an innovative approach to model how predisposing, enabling, and need factors affect health behavior and subsequently affect health outcomes for patients who received an ethics consultation at a Catholic health care system in Oklahoma.