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Support Care Cancer. 2005 Aug;13(8):565-72. Epub 2005 Apr 6.

Factors influencing preferences for place of terminal care and of death among cancer patients and their families in Korea.

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  • 1Research Institute, National Cancer Center 809, Madu-dong, Ilsan-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 411-769, South Korea.

Abstract

GOALS OF WORK:

This study examined cancer patient and family member preferences-and the reasons for the preferences-regarding place of terminal care and of death.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We constructed a questionnaire that included demographic, clinical, and support network data for 371 patients who were treated at any of the seven university hospitals or the National Cancer Center in Korea and 281 of their family members.

MAIN RESULTS:

About half of the interviewed patients and half of the family members expressed a preference for the patient being cared for and dying at home. The preference reflected a wish for patients to live out their lives in privacy and to be with their family when their life ended. Those who expressed a preference to be cared for or to die in a hospital wanted to get medical treatment during the last days of life and to relieve their families of the burden of caring for them. Of the variables examined, support network factors and some sociodemographic factors (sex, family members' age, and place of residence) were strongly predictive of preferences.

CONCLUSION:

A majority of cancer patients preferred to receive terminal care at home. Cancer patients and family members with strong support groups were more likely to prefer the home as the place of terminal care and dying. Hence, improving support networks might increase the proportion of patients receiving home care and dying at home.

PMID:
15812653
DOI:
10.1007/s00520-005-0809-4
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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