Canada needs to improve end-of-life care

Oct 27, 2010

Better psychological and spiritual support, improved planning of care and stronger relationships with physicians are necessary to improve end-of-life care in Canada, according to a study by a Queen's University professor.

"High quality end-of-life care should be the right of every Canadian," says professor of Medicine and Daren Heyland, who is also a researcher at Kingston General Hospital. "But it's not always happening. We know from international studies that Canada ranks ninth in the world in terms of quality of care provided at the end of life."

The study, a questionnaire that aimed to measure satisfaction with end-of-life care for patients with advanced diseases and their families, involved 363 patients over 55 years of age and 193 .

While overall satisfaction for end-of-life care was rated as good, ratings for complete satisfaction ranged from nine per cent to a high of only 57 per cent, suggesting the need for improvement.

The highest priorities were improving the for patients, better communication and involvement in decisions and improving the relationship between the patient, family and doctor.

Patients were least satisfied with their understanding of what to expect in the end stage, discussions with their physician regarding final location of care, and the use of technology at the end of life.

The study has been accepted for publication in the .

Explore further: Bar attendance supports heavy drinking by young adults in the US-Mexico border region

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Improving end-of-life care

Oct 04, 2010

Better psychological and spiritual support, better planning of care and stronger relationships with physicians are necessary to improve end-of-life care in Canada, states a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Associati ...

End of life physician-patient communication

Jul 22, 2008

Although a growing body of research supports a link between effective communication and patient, family and physician satisfaction, doctors, including oncologists and other specialists who frequently care for terminal patients, ...

Recommended for you

Study examines effect of hospital switch to for-profit status

10 hours ago

Hospital conversion from nonprofit to for-profit status in the 2000s was associated with better subsequent financial health but had no relationship to the quality of care delivered, mortality rates, or the proportion of poor ...

Hospital acquisitions leading to increased patient costs

10 hours ago

The trend of hospitals consolidating medical groups and physician practices in an effort to improve the coordination of patient care is backfiring and increasing the cost of patient care, according to a new study led by the ...

User comments : 0