The concept of quality of life of dying persons in the context of health care

J Pain Symptom Manage. 1999 Feb;17(2):93-108. doi: 10.1016/s0885-3924(98)00131-6.


Considerable research has addressed quality of life and quality of care; however, it has not addressed adequately the experiences of patients and their families at the end of life. Health care may have a greater effect on quality of life during the dying process than it normally does. Building on research and expert review, a conceptual framework is presented that specifies and integrates quality of life and quality of health care indicators. Five main concepts include patient/family context, structure of care, process of care, satisfaction with care, and quality and length of life. Patient and family perspectives are considered. The framework emphasizes quality of life, thus detailed definitions of each quality of life domain are provided. The goal is to facilitate development of a comprehensive set of measures to describe the quality of life of dying persons and evaluate the care they receive, to be used to improve end-of-life care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Death
  • Hospice Care
  • Humans
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / standards
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Terminal Care / standards*