A study of quality of life of hospice patients on admission and at week 3

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the patient's quality of life as perceived by the patient and primary caregiver at admission and after hospice services had been implemented. The sample consisted of newly admitted patients and their primary caregivers. Thirty-one patient/caregiver dyads were included in the study. The patient's quality of life was assessed using the Sendera Quality of Life Index (SQLI), a 25-item visual analogue scale. Total scores may range from 0 to 100. The SQLI was administered to both patients and caregivers at admission and at week 3 after hospice services were implemented. Although there was no significant difference in the patients' mean scores from admission to week 3 (45.2 to 45.7), 50% of patients did report an improvement in quality of life over the 3-week period. Caregivers reported a significant increase in the patient's quality of life from admission to week 3 (means 47 to 53). The correlations between patient and caregiver scores for admission (r = 0.45) and week 3 (r = 0.39) were moderate. Results show that hospice services may have a positive influence on some aspects of quality of life for some persons who are near death. Further research is needed to explore variables that are most influenced by hospice services.

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