Title
Priorities for treatment, care and information if faced with serious illness : a comparative population-based survey in seven European countries Priorities for treatment, care and information if faced with serious illness : a comparative population-based survey in seven European countries
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Palliative medicine. - London
Volume/pages
28(2014) :2 , p. 101-110
ISSN
0269-2163
ISI
000329687600002
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Background: Health-care costs are growing, with little population-based data about people's priorities for end-of-life care, to guide service development and aid discussions. Aim: We examined variations in people's priorities for treatment, care and information across seven European countries. Design: Telephone survey of a random sample of households; we asked respondents their priorities if faced with a serious illness, like cancer, with limited time to live' and used multivariable logistic regressions to identify associated factors. Setting/participants: Members of the general public aged 16 years residing in England, Flanders, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Results: In total, 9344 individuals were interviewed. Most people chose improve quality of life for the time they had left', ranging from 57% (95% confidence interval: 55%-60%, Italy) to 81% (95% confidence interval: 79%-83%, Spain). Only 2% (95% confidence interval: 1%-3%, England) to 6% (95% confidence interval: 4%-7%, Flanders) said extending life was most important, and 15% (95% confidence interval: 13%-17%, Spain) to 40% (95% confidence interval: 37%-43%, Italy) said quality and extension were equally important. Prioritising quality of life was associated with higher education in all countries (odds ratio = 1.3 (Flanders) to 7.9 (Italy)), experience of caregiving or bereavement (England, Germany, Portugal), prioritising pain/symptom control over having a positive attitude and preferring death in a hospice/palliative care unit. Those prioritising extending life had the highest home death preference of all groups. Health status did not affect priorities. Conclusions: Across all countries, extending life was prioritised by a minority, regardless of health status. Treatment and care needs to be reoriented with patient education and palliative care becoming mainstream for serious conditions such as cancer.
E-info
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