There’s a lot of negative misconceptions about hospice. These misconceptions unfortunately strip patients and families of the opportunity to get the wonderful benefits hospice care provides.
We know it is an uphill battle, but we hope to shift the ideas of what hospice is to closer to the truth. As healthcare providers, you play an essential role.
Study #1 (2007): On hospice patients with congestive heart failure and certain cancers Findings: Hospice enroliment was not significantly associated with shorter survival and in some instances was associated with longer survival. Significance: “For certain well-defined terminally ill populations, patients who choose hospice care live an average of 29 days longer than similar patients who do not choose hospice,” according to the study by hospice and palliative care providers.
Study #2 (2010): On hospice patients with advanced lung cancer Findings: A New England Journal of Medicine report found that early palliative care was associated with longer survival, less aggressive end-of-life care and improved quality of life and mood. Significance: Dr. Martin calls the report “groundbreaking” in the field of hospice and palliative medicine because it led oncologists to embrace palliative care in their cancer centers.
Study #3 (2018): On hospice patients with advanced heart failure
Findings: The Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported that patients on hospice used less health care, lived longer and were less likely to die in the hospital.
Significance: This study Was notable because the researchers were cardiologists, not palliative care physicians, says Dr. Martin.
Handouts for Patients and Families
References: Connor SR, Pyenson B, Fitch K, Spence C, Iwasaki K. Comparing hospice and nonhospice patient survival among patients who die within a three-year window. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007 Mar;33(3):238-46. Temel JS, Greer JA, Muzikansky A, Gallagher ER, Admane S, Jackson VA, Dahlin CM, Blinderman CD, Jacobsen J, Pirl WF. Early. palliative care for patients with metastatic non-small-celllling cancer NEndIMed 2010:363⁄81:733-12