A Randomised Controlled Trial of Hospice Care
Kane, Robert L.
Lancet. 1984 Apr 21; 1(8382): 890-894.
A study conducted at a Veterans Administration teaching hospital in West Los Angeles, in which terminally ill cancer patients were randomly assigned to receive hospice or conventional care, suggests that hospice care offers little substantive difference from conventional terminal care in cost or effectiveness. Outcomes were similar for both groups regarding pain, costs, length of hospital stay, survival curves, use of major surgical procedures and chemotherapy, and activities-of-daily-life scores. However, hospice patients experienced significantly less depression and expressed more satisfaction with care. The authors recommend that hospice care should be available as a matter of choice. They conclude that conventional care may have improved because the hospice movement has sensitized practitioners to earlier inadequacies. (KIE abstract)
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