Palliative care at the end of life: Comparing quality in diverse settings

Judith A. Paice, J. Cameron Muir, Susan Shott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


There is growing awareness that pain and other symptoms are often poorly managed at the end of life. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to compare the quality of care provided to a convenience sample of 195 patients who died during a six-month period, using a retrospective chart review. Quality was defined by symptom documentation, use of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the final 48 hours of life, and determination of advance directives. Daily and total charges incurred by these patients were also captured. Symptom distress was common, and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures were widespread. These data suggest areas for improvement in clinical practice, in palliative care units, and in all settings where end-of-life care is provided. Also, the data can guide future research into the quality of care provided t o dying persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • End of life
  • Pain management
  • Palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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