A Randomised Controlled Trial of Hospice Care

Published in: The Lancet, v. 323, no. 8382, Apr. 21, 1984, p. 890-894

by Robert L. Kane, Jeffrey Wales, Leslie Bernstein, Arleen Leibowitz, Stevan Kaplan

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Terminally ill cancer patients at a Veterans Administration hospital were randomly assigned to receive hospice or conventional care. The hospice care was provided both in a special inpatient unit and at home. 137 hospice patients and 110 control patients and their familial care givers (FCGs) were followed until the patient's death. No significant differences were noted between the patient groups in measures of pain, symptoms, activities of daily living, or affect. Hospice patients expressed more satisfaction with the care they received; and hospice patients' FCGs showed somewhat more satisfaction and less anxiety than did those of controls. Hospice care was not associated with a reduced use of hospital inpatient days or therapeutic procedures and was at least as expensive as conventional care

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