Study shows many patients with cancer do not experience dignified death

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According to a new study published early online in the journal Cancer, physicians and nurses in German cancer centers feel that that many patients do not experience a dignified death. Results from the surveyed clinicians suggest that cancer centers must invest more in adequate rooms for dying patients, advance-care-planning standards, palliative care services, and staff training in end-of-life care.


In the study, researchers asked clinicians from 10 cancer centers in Germany about surrounding end-of-life care. Of the 1,131 surveyed, only 57% felt that patients could die with dignity in their cancer center. About 50% believed they did not have have enough time to care for patients dying from cancer and 55% felt the hospital rooms for dying patients were unsatisfactory. Only 6% of physicians believed they had been adequately train to care for dying patients. About 72% and 52% of surveyed physicians and nurses, respectively, believed their patients can die a dignified death. Palliative care staff indicated conditions were more positive compared with other clinicians surveyed.


The research suggests that cancer centers should invest more into palliative care and increased training regarding end-of-life care would be beneficial.

Physicians and nurses feel that that many patients do not experience a dignified death.

A new study that surveyed physicians and nurses in hospitals within cancer centers in Germany suggests that many patients there do not experience a dignified death. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates the need for cancer centers to invest more in palliative care services, adequate rooms for dying patients, staff training in end-of-life care, and advance-care-planning standards.

Previous research has shown that hospitals are often ill-prepared to provide care for dying patients. To investigate whether the circumstances for dying on cancer center wards allow for a dignified death, Karin Jors, MA, of the University Medical Center Freiburg, and her colleagues surveyed physicians and nurses in 16 hospitals belonging to 10 cancer centers in Baden-W-rttemberg, Germany.

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