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QOL of Hospice Patients: Patient/Provider Perceptions


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The quality of life of hospice patients: patient and provider perceptions.

Steele LL, Mills B, Hardin SR, Hussey LC.

Department of adult Health Nursing, College of Health and Human Services, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

The purposes of this study were to describe the quality of life (QOL) of terminally ill patients in a home-based hospice program and to examine the relationship between QOL data and patients' symptom distress, ability to function, interpersonal communication (support from family and friends), well-being (their affairs in order), and transcendence (religious comfort/support) as recorded in their charts. QOL was measured by the Missoula-Vitas Quality of Life Index (MVQOLI), an instrument designed specifically for use with terminally ill patients.

The study was conducted over a three-year period with 129 terminally ill patients enrolled in a home-based hospice program of care. The MVQOLI was administered to patients within 20 days of their admission to hospice. A retrospective chart review was conducted to determine patients' levels of symptom distress, ability to function, social support, whether or not their affairs were in order, and religious comfort/support.

The mean age of participants in this study was 67, with 54.3 percent male and 45.7 percent female. Cancer was the primary diagnosis for 92.2 percent of the sample, and 35 percent of these patients had a diagnosis of lung cancer. Of the 7.8 percent non-cancer diagnoses, five were diagnosed with AIDS, four with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and one with chronic heart failure.

The results of this study revealed positive scores on the five dimensions of the MVQOLI QOL scale, indicating that within 20 days of admission to hospice, patients rated their QOL as good to very good. Data obtained from the chart review also indicated that patients did not experience a great deal of symptom distress (e.g., pain, nausea, shortness of breath, and restlessness).

A significant correlation existed between age and QOL; number of interventions and pain levels; and marital status, well-being, interpersonal relationships, and transcendence. Shortness of breath and well-being were significantly correlated with QOL. There was no significant correlation between gender, race, or closeness to death and the five dimensions of the MVQOLI and chart review assessments.

PMID: 15853087 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2005 Mar-Apr;22(2):95-110

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As I can, I am trying to provide some research to help folks in this forum -- am looking for as recent information as I can and am specifically interested in professionally done material: am looking for the good and the bad so that folks can hopefully make an informed decision as to what's best for them. Also looking for anything relevent to specific issues surrounding the pallative care course. Right now, alot of info. is just too old for me to consider posting (like 1990's or earlier).....and some of the studies are just too small to conclude anything useful. Will keep trying though....


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