As palliative care, with the patient rather than the disease focused approach, is now emerging as an intergrated part of mainstream health care delievry of terminally ill patients, the patient choice regarding place of death and place of end-of-life care becomes more and more important. Furthermore, reseacrh indicates that fewer patients die at home than would wish to.
The objectives of this study are to investigate the relationship bewteen place of death, place of end-of-life care, accessibility of palliative care for patients, and the quality of dying as perceived by the family/loved ones of patients and their physicians.
The project consists of two complementary studies.
(1) Death Statistics Study: a statistical analyses of the 'place of death' and the relationship between cause of death, demographic characteristics of the deceased patients, and place of death, in all death cases for the year 2001.
(2) Retrospective Interview Study: a retropective study of the prevalence and major characteristics of (palliative) care, that precede death in the last three months of life of 400 non-sudden deaths. These deaths are included on the basis of the patient populations of a representative sample of general practitioners in Flanders, Belgium.