Susan W. Tolle

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BACKGROUND AND METHODS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neuromuscular disease that causes gradual paralysis, respiratory failure, and death, usually within three to five years after it has been diagnosed. Between 1995 and 1997, we surveyed patients with this disease in Oregon and Washington, as well as their family care givers, in order to determine(More)
OBJECTIVES To evaluate the relationship between two methods to communicate treatment preferences (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program vs traditional practices) and documentation of life-sustaining treatment orders, symptom assessment and management, and use of life-sustaining treatments. DESIGN Retrospective observational cohort(More)
Where Americans die is much more influenced by what part of the country they live in than by what their preferences are for location of death. Although most Americans report a preference for death at home, a majority still die in acute care hospitals. We describe the experiences of patients who died in Oregon (the state that currently has the lowest(More)
OBJECTIVES To evaluate the consistency between treatments provided and Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) orders. DESIGN Retrospective chart abstraction. SETTING Stratified, random sample of 90 nursing facilities in Oregon, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. PARTICIPANTS Eight hundred seventy living and deceased nursing facility(More)
Understanding dying patients' symptom distress is an important component of efforts to improve care at the end of life. It can, however, be problematic to conduct research with dying patients. Family members can serve as sources of information about decedents' last days of life. In order to assess family reports of decedents' global symptom distress in the(More)
BACKGROUND Since the Oregon Death with Dignity Act was passed in November 1994, physicians in Oregon have faced the prospect of legalized physician-assisted suicide. We studied the attitudes and current practices of Oregon physicians in relation to assisted suicide. METHODS From March to June 1995, we conducted a cross-sectional mailed survey of all(More)
We conducted a national survey to explore how women in academic medicine balance career and family responsibilities. A questionnaire was mailed to all women 50 years of age and under who held full-time appointments in departments of medicine (n = 862), as listed in the faculty roster of the Association of American Medical Colleges. The survey included(More)
BACKGROUND Little is known about the attitudes of internists regarding their ethical obligation to provide or withhold tube feeding in three clinical contexts when patient preferences are not known: acute pneumonia, severe dementia, and persistent vegetative state. METHODS A written questionnaire with patient scenarios was mailed to a randomized national(More)
Senior mentors and role models have a positive influence on the career advancement of junior professionals in law, business, and medicine. In medicine an increasing number of women are pursuing academic careers, but available senior mentors to provide career guidance are often lacking. We report on the results of a national survey of 558 full-time faculty(More)