Book

A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

Edited by Joachim Cohen and Luc Deliens

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599400
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739170 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599400.001.0001
A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

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Worldwide, more than 50 million people die each year and it is estimated on the basis of the conditions leading to death that up to 60% of them could benefit from some form of palliative care. It is a public health challenge to ensure that these people can access good palliative or end-of-life care. Pursuing good population health essentially also implies striving for a ‘good enough death’ and a good quality of care at the end of life. Safeguarding a good quality of the end of life for patient populations for whom it is appropriate requires a public health approach. In most developed countries ageing populations that increasingly die from chronic diseases after a prolonged — often degenerative — dying trajectory make up the public health challenges for palliative care. The very large baby boom generation will soon reach old age and can be expected to pose strong demands regarding the circumstances and care at their end of life. Only by applying a public health approach to palliative care (instead of individual patient perspectives), can societies successfully help to organize and plan end-of-life care in accordance with these aspirations. This book presents a synthesis and overview of relevant research and empirical data on the end of life that can bear a basis for a more systematic ‘public health of the end of life’. The book focuses on population health, rather than clinical interventions or other aspects of individual health, and discusses studies using different methodologies (not only epidemiological research). The focus is on the quality of the end-of-life of populations, in particular from social sciences, environmental sciences, and humanities perspectives.

Keywords: death; palliative care; public health; end-of-life care; population health; chronic disease; quality of life; patient populations

Book.  272 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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Table of Contents

Applying a public health perspective to end-of-life care in A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

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Place of death and end-of-life care in A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

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Circumstances of death and dying in A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

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End-of-life decisions in A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

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Aggressive treatment and palliative care at the end of life in A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

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Access to palliative care in A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

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Communication between patient and caregiver in A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

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Palliative care in primary care in A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

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Palliative care in institutional long-term care settings in A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

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