Effect of the duration of hospice and palliative care on the quality of dying and death in patients with terminal cancer: A nationwide multicentre study

J. Y. Choi, K. A. Kong, Y. J. Chang, H. J. Jho, E. M. Ahn, S. K. Choi, S. Park, M. K. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Early referral to hospice and palliative care (HPC) has significant benefits, but little is known about the appropriate time for referral. The purpose of this study of terminal cancer patients was to identify the most appropriate time for referral to HPC. Cross-sectional correlation study design was used. Participants were the bereaved relatives, who were the adult primary caregivers of the 1,829 terminal cancer patients who died 2–6 months previously in nationwide centres that provide HPC in Korea. A post-bereavement survey (Good Death Inventory, GDI) of family caregivers was used to assess patients' quality of dying and death. Relative to patients who were in HPC for 3–7 days and HPC for 8–21 days, those in HPC for 22–84 days had significantly higher quality of dying. Propensity score matched comparison between the group hospitalised for 22–84 days (n = 65) and the group hospitalised for 85 days or longer (n = 65) showed no significant differences in all the items on quality of dying and death. Our results suggest that terminal cancer patients who stay in HPC at least for 22 days have improved quality of dying and death.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12771
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Keywords

  • appropriate time of referral
  • quality dying
  • quality of life
  • terminal cancer

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