Chapter

Circumstances of death and dying

Irene J. Higginson

in A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599400
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739170 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599400.003.0022
Circumstances of death and dying

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From a public health perspective it is important to understand and map the circumstances in which people die, including symptoms, physical, psychological, social and spiritual concerns, the quality of life and of dying, and the experiences of caregivers. Such information is critical for planning interventions and services to improve palliative and end-of-life care. This chapter appraises research and other evidence about the experiences of patients and families towards the end of life, and the circumstances of death and dying. Public health takes a population perspective, concerned with the health and health care for individuals needing palliative and end-of-life care. Five aspects are considered — who is affected, the patient and family (lay caregiver) reports of the circumstances of death and dying, when are we concerned, inequities in care, and (briefly) models to improve care.

Keywords: end-of-life care; palliative care; patients; families; public health

Chapter.  6988 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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