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Late Hospice Referral and Quality of Care Perception


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Late referral to hospice and bereaved family member perception of quality of end-of-life care.

Schockett ER, Teno JM, Miller SC, Stuart B.

Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, and Department of Community Health, Brown Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

The Family Evaluation of Hospice Services was used to document bereaved family members' perceptions of whether their loved ones were referred too late to hospice and to examine the association of that perception and quality of end-of-life care.

A mortality follow-back survey of bereaved family members from two not-for-profit hospices found that 13.7% of decedents were referred at a time too late for hospice services. Family members of persons referred too late reported lower satisfaction with hospice services, a higher rate of unmet needs for information about what to expect at time of death, lower confidence in participating in patient care at home, more concerns with coordination of care, and lower overall satisfaction.

Families reported physicians as an important barrier to earlier hospice referral in nearly one-half of cases. These results indicate a need for improved services for shorter-stay hospice patients/families and for physicians to help facilitate earlier hospice admission.

PMID: 16310614 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2005 Nov;30(5):400-7.

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