Family perceptions and satisfaction with end-of-life care in long-term care facilities

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Thompson, Genevieve
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The purpose of this study was, first, to further our understanding of the experience of dying in a long-term care (LTC) facility from the perspective of family members and second, to identify the relationships between the various factors which may influence satisfaction with end-of-life care. Using a sequential mixed methods design, a convenience sample of 87 family members completed a survey interview using a modified version of the Toolkit of Instruments to Measure End-of-life Care (TIME) Nursing Home Version in the first phase of the study. Findings from the parametric and non-parametric analyses indicated that family satisfaction with end-of-life care was best predicted by contact and communication with nursing staff, feeling that care provided at the end of life met expectations, staff providing consistent care, feeling that the health care aide listened to their concerns about care and that respondents felt they had received enough emotional support. Being transferred to hospital in the last month of life, dying in a place other than the LTC facility, and respondent age and employment status were all associated with significant mean differences in satisfaction scores. In the second phase, three focus groups were conducted to further explore areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with end-of-life care. Focus groups provided confirmation of the findings of the first phase of the study and were instrumental in developing a list of ten recommendations for improvements in end-of-life care delivery. Recommendations for future research are made based on the study results.
end-of-life care, long-term care