Viewing Hospice Decision Making as a Process

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Research focused on understanding that the nature of hospice decision making has both described the characteristics of those who do and do not utilize hospice and identified many factors related to choosing hospice. However, this literature has not explored the underlying decision-making processes, limiting our understanding. We examine the extant literature and propose a framework that views hospice decisions as an evolving process, identify key factors that bear directly on this process, and discuss the contextual environment, including the idea of a decision maker triad. We end with a discussion of how this framework can be used to support clinical practice and future research. Our goal is to provide a framework from which to understand the end-of-life needs of all patients, no matter where they receive care.

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