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A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care$
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Joachim Cohen and Luc Deliens

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599400

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599400.001.0001

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Circumstances of death and dying

Circumstances of death and dying

(p.35) Chapter 3 Circumstances of death and dying
A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

Irene J. Higginson

Oxford University Press

From a public health perspective it is important to understand and map the circumstances in which people die, including symptoms, physical, psychological, social and spiritual concerns, the quality of life and of dying, and the experiences of caregivers. Such information is critical for planning interventions and services to improve palliative and end-of-life care. This chapter appraises research and other evidence about the experiences of patients and families towards the end of life, and the circumstances of death and dying. Public health takes a population perspective, concerned with the health and health care for individuals needing palliative and end-of-life care. Five aspects are considered — who is affected, the patient and family (lay caregiver) reports of the circumstances of death and dying, when are we concerned, inequities in care, and (briefly) models to improve care.

Keywords:   end-of-life care, palliative care, patients, families, public health

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