Family members and friends play a large role in end-of-life care and generally think communication with health care providers is lacking, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded.
The study found that:
- About three-quarters of patients in their last year of life received care from a family member or friend;
- Health care providers recognize the importance of family and friends in end-of-life care, but there is no procedure for integrating them into the process; and
- Improved communication with health care providers could benefit patients and their families and friends.
The study recommends that policymakers adjust the end-of-life care system to better accommodate the needs of patients and their families and friends (Wolff et al., Archives of Internal Medicine, 1/8).
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