Grief reactions in family caregivers of advanced cancer patients in Taiwan: relationship to place of death

Cancer Nurs. 2007 Jul-Aug;30(4):278-84. doi: 10.1097/01.NCC.0000281728.72243.c4.


Home death has a special cultural meaning for Taiwanese patients who are dying and their family members. However, very limited evidence has been presented on the impact of home death on caregiver bereavement outcomes. The purpose of this study was to explore the preference for place of death by Taiwanese patients dying of cancer and the actual place of death and to investigate the relationship between place of death of a patient and grief reactions of the family caregivers. This study consisted of 46 dying patients and 46 matched family caregivers (N = 92). The grief reaction was measured using the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, t tests, logistic regression, and multiple regression. Most of the patients (74%) preferred to die at home; however, only 33% of family caregivers preferred the patient to die at home, and only 17% of patients actually died at home. Of these patients, 43% of their preferences were congruent with the actual place of death, whereas 79% of the family caregivers' preferences were congruent with the patients' actual place of death. Finally, the place of death was not a significant predictor of caregivers' grief reactions immediately after the loss of a loved one or at 1 month after the death occurred. This study provides important implications for future studies and clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Grief*
  • Home Care Services
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms*
  • Palliative Care*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Social Support