For patients with cancer and their caregivers, high quality end-of-life care is incredibly important, as one expert explained.
“There has been a fair amount of research done that has shown that when patients do not receive what is considered quality end of life care ... not only are there poor patient outcomes — so patients usually tend to have more of a prolonged death, oftentimes they experience more pain, etc. — but it is also usually more traumatic for the caregivers,” said Sara Douglas, the Gertrude Perkins Oliva Professor in oncology nursing at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in Cleveland.
“There's a higher incidence of regret post-death among caregivers, higher incidence of depression and, in some cases, higher incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder, again, depending upon the circumstances,” Douglas told CURE. “And so, there's been a fair amount of research that has shown that poor-quality patient care at end of life has a negative impact not only on the patient, but obviously on the caregiver who survives and then lives with the decisions that were made at the end of life.”