The "good" rural death: a report of an ethnographic study in Alberta, Canada

J Palliat Care. Spring 2009;25(1):21-9.


Much concern has centred on the "good" death since the modern hospice/palliative care movement began, and considerable progress has been made in urban services to promote the good death. Little is known about the perspectives of people who live in rural and remote areas of Canada on the good death and how this good death might be enabled in those areas. This report is of an ethnographic study in rural Alberta involving English-speaking Albertans. An identical study in Quebec will be reported elsewhere. The 2006-07 Alberta study involved 13 interviews with individuals to understand their personal viewpoints or perspectives and how they were shaped by their experiences, followed by focus group discussions in two representative rural communities for additional insights from rural policy-makers and care providers. Four themes in the Alberta data highlight critical elements of the good rural death. These findings are expected to contribute to rural/remote palliative and end-of-life care developments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alberta
  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Palliative Care*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Rural Health Services*
  • Social Support
  • Terminal Care*