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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

The quality of end of life care for Danish cancer patients who have received specialized palliative: a national survey using the Danish version of VOICES-SF

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BACKGROUND: National recommendations state that Danish patients with complex palliative needs should have access to specialized palliative care but little is known about the perceived quality of this care or end of life care in general.

AIM: To assess how end of life care was evaluated by the bereaved spouses and to investigate whether the perceived quality was associated with (1) quantity of specialized palliative care provided, (2) place of death, and (3) emotional state when completing the questionnaire.

DESIGN: The bereaved spouses of 1584 cancer patients who had received specialized palliative care were invited to answer the Views Of Informal Carers - Evaluation of Services - Short Form (VOICES-SF) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) approximately 3-9 months after the patient's death.

RESULTS: A total of 787 (50%) of the invited spouses participated. In the last 3 months of the patient's life, the quality of all services taken together was rated as good, excellent, or outstanding in 83% of the cases and it was significantly associated with place of death (p = 0.0051, fewest considered it "fair" or "poor" if the patient died at home). In total, 93% reported that the patient died at the right place although only 74% died at the patient's preferred place. Higher levels of anxiety (p = 0.01) but not depression at the time of questionnaire completion was associated with lower satisfaction with the overall quality of care.

CONCLUSION: The quality of care was rated very highly by bereaved spouses of patients receiving specialized palliative care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSupportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)3593-3602
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

    Research areas

  • Cancer, End of life care, Palliative care, Place of death, Satisfaction with care, Spouses

ID: 73105468