The general public and the medical community often perceive dying patients' quality of life (QOL) as rapidly deteriorating before death. However, with appropriate palliative services, this effect may be positively modified. Objective data are lacking on the true experience of dying from the point of view of the patient that this pilot study begins to address. Patient, caregivers, and staff in our hospice program completed questionnaires evaluating the patient's QOL every 2 weeks until the patient's death. This pilot study found that patients' QOL was relatively high and stable over time. Primary caregivers rated the patient's QOL lower than patient self-ratings, whereas the hospice staff evaluated the patient's QOL similarly to the patient. Many dying patients suffer and are perceived as having no QOL in the final days by their caregivers. This perception may be modified to maintain one's QOL with the help of palliative medical services, thereby relieving the suffering of those who are actively facing death.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health