Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Continuum of care and placements: where will you die?

There are a couple of flaws to this study, before we apply it to Canadian healthcare:

  1. Healthcare in Canada is different than in the US.
  2. There are more than two options; people die at home, in emergency, in retirement homes and in long-term care.
We must educate physicians, no question. And nurses, and professional caregivers.
We need patient advocates to support them.
There is much research to indicate that caregivers suffer financially, emotionally, socially, psychologically.
Physicians, on the whole, are the least trained and the worst at delivering palliative care.

The Canadian Researchers at the End of Life Network (CARENET) is a group of health care professionals from across the country who collaborate with each other to understand and improve palliative and end-of-life care.
What are CARENET researchers doing? Find out more

Study Finds Where Patients Die Affects Quality of Life and Mental Health of Caregivers

  • Summary of study being published online September 13, 2010, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, finding that patients with cancer who died in a hospital or intensive care unit had a worse quality of life than those who died at home with hospice, and their bereaved caregivers are at increased risk for developing a psychiatric illness.

  • Links to additional information on Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient Website

    Jennifer C. Obel, MD, Member of ASCO’s Cancer Communications Committee

    “These findings are striking for a number of reasons. As physicians, we can do a much better job of discussing end-of-life options for patients with advanced cancer. These results show that there are real consequences to the choices made, in terms of quality of life for both patients and caregivers. We must approach educating patients about choices near the end of life with the same rigor that we approach educating them about treatment options like chemotherapy and surgery.”

    Click here to read the full JCO article.

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