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

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  • Lone Ross, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Mette Asbjoern Neergaard
  • Morten Aagaard Petersen, Bispebjerg og Frederiksberg Hospital
  • ,
  • Mogens Groenvold, University of Copenhagen

PURPOSE: About half of Danish patients dying from cancer have never been in contact with specialized palliative care. Non-specialized palliative care in Denmark, i.e., somatic hospital departments, community nurses, and general practitioners, has rarely been described or evaluated. We aim to assess how non-specialized palliative care was evaluated by bereaved spouses, and to test whether distress when completing the questionnaire and ratings of aspects of end-of-life care was associated with satisfaction with place of death and overall quality of end-of-life care.

METHODS: Bereaved spouses of 792 cancer patients who had received non-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) 3-9 months after the patient's death.

RESULTS: A total of 280 (36%) of 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 70% of the cases. Satisfaction was associated with respondent's current distress (p = 0.0004). Eighty percent of bereaved spouses believed that the patient had died in the right place. Satisfaction with place of death was associated with place of death (p = 0.012) and the respondent's current distress (p = 0.0016).

CONCLUSION: Satisfaction with place of death and overall quality of services was generally high but was rated lower by spouses reporting higher levels of distress when completing the questionnaire. Distress should be taken into account whenever services are evaluated by bereaved relatives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSupportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

    Research areas

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

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