Anne Taylor, Oncology Roundtable
Despite strong patient preferences regarding end-of-life care, oncology care does not always align with patients’ expressed wishes. A 2005 University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Healthcare survey of over 2,500 Medicare-aged individuals reported that, in the event of a hypothetical terminal illness, 86% of respondents would prefer to die at home; only 9% of respondents would prefer to die in the hospital.
Unfortunately, there is a significant disparity between patients’ end-of-life preferences and the reality of end-of-life care in oncology practice. According to the Dartmouth Atlas Project Report on Quality End-of-Life Care , 29% of Medicare-aged patients who died of cancer died in the hospital.
Place of death often incongruent with patient preferences