Talking about dying: How to begin honest conversations about what lies ahead

November 28, 2018

Source: Royal College of Physicians

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Date of publication: October 2018

Publication type: Report

In a nutshell: This report seeks to offer advice and support for doctors who meet challenges when caring for patients with a diagnosis of a serious, potentially life-limiting illness. It highlights some of the barriers, and busts common myths that might hamper a successful conversation between doctor and patient. The document also contains a series of resources to aid doctors in developing confidence when discussing their patients’ preferences and values as they approach the end of life.

Length of publication: 19 pages


No regrets: how talking more openly about death could help people die well

May 17, 2017

Source: Macmillan Cancer Support

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Date of publication: April 2017

Publication type: Report

In a nutshell: This report by Macmillan Cancer Support finds that more than 62,000 people die of cancer in hospitals each year in the UK despite a significant majority stating that they would like to die at home. It reveals the challenging obstacles that people face when discussing death and highlights the need for better communication to help people plan for their final days.

Length of publication: 15 pages


Keep in Touch (KIT): feasibility of using internet-based communication and information technology in palliative care

May 17, 2017

Source: BMC Palliative Care 2017 May; 16 (1): 29

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Date of publication: May 2017

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: This study aims to explore the feasibility of introducing internet-based communication and information technologies for in-patients and their families and to describe their experience in using this technology.

Length of publication: 13 pages

Communication between family carers and health professionals about end-of-life care for older people in the acute hospital setting: a qualitative study

September 7, 2015

Source: BMC Palliative Care 2015

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Date of publication: August 2015

Publication type: Article

In a nutshell: This paper focuses on communication between hospital staff and family carers of patients dying on acute hospital wards, with an emphasis on the family carers’ perspective. The results of this research indicate that carers’ experience of the end of life care of their relative was enhanced when mutual understanding was achieved with healthcare professionals. However, some carers reported communication to be ineffective. They felt unsure about what was happening with their relative and were distressed by the experience of their relative’s end of life care. In conclusion, it is suggested that establishing a concordant relationship, based on negotiated understanding of shared perspectives, can help to improve communication between healthcare professionals and family carers of their patients.

Length of publication: 14 pages


Changing the conversation: Care and support for people with a terminal illness now and in the future

May 14, 2015

Source: Marie Curie

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Date of publication: April 2015

Publication type: report

In a nutshell: Marie Curie want to change the conversation about terminal illness in order not to fail vulnerable people when they need Marie Curie the most. Marie Curie believes the conversation needs to move on urgently to meet the growing challenges as the post-war generation moves beyond retirement age.

Length of publication: 16p.


General practitioners perceptions on advance care planning for patients living with dementia

May 6, 2015

Source: BMC Palliative Care 2015 14; 14

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Date of publication: April 2015

Publication type: Research article

In a nutshell: Advance care planning (ACP) facilitates communication and understanding of preferences, nevertheless the use of ACPs in primary care is low. The uncertain course of dementia and the inability to communicate with the patient living with dementia are significant challenges for GPs to initiate discussions on goals of care. A cross-sectional survey, using a purposive, cluster sample of GPs across Northern Ireland with registered dementia patients was used. The results suggest that while most respondents felt that GPs should take the initiative to introduce and encourage ACP, most survey participants acknowledged the need for improved knowledge to involve families in caring for patients with dementia at the end of life and that a standard format for ACP documentation was needed. In conclusion the article suggests optimal timing of ACP discussions should be determined by the readiness of the patient and family carer to face end of life. ACP discussions can be enhanced by educational strategies directed towards the patient and family carer that enable shared decision-making with their GP when considering options in future care.

Length of publication: 6 pages


Communicating with patients and their families about palliative and end-of-life care: comfort and educational needs of nurses

April 10, 2015

Source: International Journal of Palliative Nursing 2015 v.21 (3)

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Date of publication: March 2015

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: The purpose of this study was to determine perceived needs of inpatient nurses for communicating with patients and families about palliative and end-of-life (EoL) care.

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