Wright’s team studied 342 terminal cancer patients and their loved ones until the patients died, usually about 4 1/2 months later.
Although most patients with cancer preferred to die at home, 36% die in a hospital and 8% die in an intensive care unit (ICU).
When patients died in an ICU, their loved ones were five times more likely to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 21% of caregivers of patients who died in an ICU developed PTSD, compared with 4.4% of those caring for patients who died with home hospice.
Families and loved ones of patients who died in the hospital were also more likely to have prolonged grief disorder, an intense, disabling form of grief that lasts more than six months.
Home-based hospice care is meant to relieve suffering, but at least one study last month showed it may also help cancer patients live a little longer.
Source: J Clin Oncol. Posted online September 13, 2010. Abstract
Please visit healthreason.com for more health related articles.