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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2005 Jul;30(1):70-4.

Home death--the caregivers' experiences.

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  • 1Palliative Care Unit and Sial Research Center for Family Medicine and Primary Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.


The objectives of this study were to evaluate caregivers' experiences concerning the care of a terminally ill loved one at home, and to compare the death experiences of caregivers with and without access to homecare programs. The primary caregivers of all the patients who died of cancer 6-18 months before the study period (1999-2001) in the Negev area were contacted. This group included 240 caregivers of patients who died in the home palliative care program and 404 caregivers of patients who died with no access to a home palliative care program. A total of 159 caregivers were interviewed, 76 from the home palliative program and 83 who had no access to a palliative care program. Death at home occurred for 80.3% of patients with access to homecare and 20.5% of those without access. Despite the fact that caring for a loved one at home was a greater financial and emotional burden, there was a greater overall satisfaction with the caring experience of those whose loved ones died at home and had access to the homecare program. Given appropriate professional support systems, home-based care at the end of life is preferable to most caregivers.

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