Death in the nursing home - the patient's wishes and the physician's role

Project Department: Uni Research Health (group: Research Unit for General Practice in Bergen) period: 01.06.12 - 31.12.17

Project results

  • Dying in nursing homes can be safe and dignified when doctors provide guidance, treatment and medical care based on professional skills, combined with awareness of the preferences of patient and family

  • Nursing home patients and their relatives wanted doctors more involved in end-of-life care.

  • Special attention must be drawn on patients’ competence to give consent.

  • Nursing homes as practice based learning arena can offer newly qualified doctors new insight in their role as doctors through close interaction with patients, relatives and nurses, teaching them to perform difficult dialogues, individualize medical decisions and balance their professional role in an interdisciplinary setting.

About the project

Nursing homes are the main setting for dying in Norway. How can doctors contribute to quality of end of life care in nursing homes for patients and families? Three sub-studies will shed light on the following issues:

  • Patients’ and families’ experiences and expectations

  • Nursing homes as learning arena for new doctors

  • Conditions for end-of-life care in in nursing homes in Norway and the Netherlands

    The patient's wishes

    We conducted a meta-analysis of qualitative research on patients' and relatives' experiences and expectations. Death can be safe and dignified if doctors provide expert guidance and are aware of the preferences of the patient and family. One paper is published.

    Nursing homes as learning arena

    We carried out 3 focus group interviews with interns in nursing homes to explore their learning experiences and challenges in the face of death. Such knowledge can help develop nursing homes as a venue to empower medical graduates in performing high quality end-of-life care. One paper is published.

    Conditions for medical end-of-life care in nursing homes

    In collaboration with the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, we have performed an anonymous, descriptive, comparative, electronic survey among nurdin home doctors in Norway and The Netherlands. We explored nursing home physicians’ perceptions of organizational, educational, financial, legal and personal prerequisites for quality end-of-life care. One paper is submitted.

    Overall, the ph.d project will provide new insights into how nursing home doctors can enhance the quality of end-of-life care, based on the expectations from patients and their families.

    Funding: General Practice Research Fund

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cp: 2017-12-15 16:15:59