Assessing Patients' Palliative Care Needs in the Final Stages of Illness During Hospitalization

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2016 Mar;33(2):184-93. doi: 10.1177/1049909114556528. Epub 2014 Oct 30.


This study aimed to explore the palliative care needs of inpatients in the final stages of illness and to analyze the factors that influence them. The survey comprised 349 inpatients in the terminal stage of disease. Needs were assessed with the Patient Needs Assessment in Palliative Care (PNAP) questionnaire; mental status was evaluated using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) questionnaire. The importance of needs varied with respect to patients' diagnosis, age, gender, religion, and their levels of anxiety and depression. Most frequently, predictors of needs importance were lower age, poorer functional status, higher anxiety, and lower depression scores. Unmet needs were more likely to be indicated by nonreligious patients with better functional status and higher anxiety and depression scores.

Keywords: end of life; needs; palliative care; quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Czech Republic
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment / organization & administration*
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration*
  • Palliative Care / psychology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Religion
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors