The effect of the Liverpool Care Pathway for the dying: a multi-centre study

Palliat Med. 2008 Mar;22(2):145-51. doi: 10.1177/0269216307087164.


We studied the effect of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) on the documentation of care, symptom burden and communication in three health care settings. Between November 2003 and February 2005 (baseline period), the care was provided as usual. Between February 2005 and February 2006 (intervention period), the LCP was used for all patients for whom the dying phase had started. After death of the patient, a nurse and a relative filled in a questionnaire. In the baseline period, 219 nurses and 130 relatives filled in a questionnaire for 220 deceased patients. In the intervention period, 253 nurses and 139 relatives filled in a questionnaire for 255 deceased patients. The LCP was used for 197 of them. In the intervention period, the documentation of care was significantly more comprehensive compared with the baseline period, whereas the average total symptom burden was significantly lower in the intervention period. LCP use contributes to the quality of documentation and symptom control.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Communication
  • Critical Pathways / standards*
  • Documentation
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Program Evaluation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminal Care / methods
  • Terminal Care / standards*
  • Terminally Ill / psychology*