Researchers from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and University of Pennsylvania set out to determine whether hospice use by patients with cancer is associated with their families’ perceptions of patients’ symptoms, goal attainment, and quality of end-of-life care.
Find the study abstract, “Family Perspectives on Hospice Care Experiences of Patients with Cancer,” on the Journal of Clinical Oncology website.
Researchers interviewed 2,307 families of deceased patients with advanced lung or colorectal cancer who were enrolled in the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance study (a multiregional, prospective, observational study).
In the conclusion, researchers wrote, “Hospice care is associated with better symptom relief, patient-goal attainment, and quality of EOL care. Encouraging earlier and increased hospice enrollment may improve EOL experiences for patients with cancer and their families.”
In an article published by Reuters Health, reporter Lisa Rappaport wrote, “… the results add to a growing body of evidence linking hospice to better quality of life for patients, a greater likelihood of dying in the location of choice, and less bereavement-related distress for caregivers, said Dr. Camilla Zimmermann, a palliative care researcher at the University of Toronto who wasn’t involved in the study.”
Read Rappaport’s article, “Hospice care linked to higher family satisfaction.”
Individuals looking for more information about hospice care, or who need to find a hospice in their area are encouraged to visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s informational website, www.MomentsofLife.org.