Preferences for end of life: views of hospice patients, family carers, and community nurse specialists

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2011 May;17(5):251-5. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2011.17.5.251.


An exploratory qualitative study was undertaken with the aim of identifying issues around discussing and recording preferences on place of death from the perspective of hospice patients, carers, and hospice community nurses. A purposive sample was selected from three hospices in the south east of England of six community nurse specialists (CNSs), five patients, five carers, and five bereaved carers. The patients and carers said it was important to them to discuss their preferences, but they acknowledged that discussing dying was difficult. The CNSs stated that there were several barriers that inhibited end-of-life discussions and that discussing preferences was not always a primary goal of care planning. It was felt among the service users, particularly the bereaved carers, that having more knowledge about what to expect of the dying process, knowing their relative's wishes, and understanding the role of hospice and palliative care could improve the experience of events leading up to death.

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Community Health Nursing*
  • England
  • Family
  • Hospices*
  • Humans
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Terminal Care*
  • Workforce