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

Macmillan Cancer Support
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Outlines initial findings from three pieces of research to explore the difficulties people have talking about death, the importance of advance care planning in improving care for dying people, and what needs to change to support people to die well. The research involved: a survey of the general public, where 1,786 answered questions on death and dying from a totals sample of 2,096; a YouGov survey to 2,005 people with cancer, with 1,878 answering questions on death and dying, and a qualitative study exploring the experiences of cancer patients at end of life and the wider health and social care system. The findings of the YouGov survey, found almost one in four (23 percent) people with cancer think about their death ‘constantly’ or ‘often’ during treatment, but less than one in 10 (8 percent) shared their feelings with their healthcare team. The survey also found that just 1 per cent of people with cancer want to die in hospital, with most (64 percent) preferring to die in their own home, or in a hospice (18 percent). The report argues that talking more about death and encouraging advance care planning could improve people’s experience of care; enable more patients to die in their preferred place and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions. It concludes by making recommendations to the governments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
end of life care, advance care planning, user views, cancer, surveys, communication, dying, death;
Content type:
United Kingdom
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