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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

End of Life Care

Research Findings

Research Activities, August 2008:
Hospice care saves money for Medicare and Medicaid patients in nursing homes

Research Activities, June 2008:
Living wills should be updated, since preferences for life-prolonging treatments change when health status changes

Research Activities, May 2008:
Physicians could improve end-of-life communication and decision-making for elderly patients with advanced heart failure

Research Activities, April 2008:
Physicians and terminal patients need to communicate better with each other about end-of-life care options

Research Activities, March 2008:
Collaboration between hospital and community palliative care services can improve care for dying children

Research Activities, January 2008:
Elderly cancer patients who live in minority communities use hospice care less than their counterparts in white communities

Research Activities, November 2007:
Cancer and other chronic conditions affect patients' lives differently during various phases of care
End-of-life care expenditures and use among Medicare colorectal cancer patients differ more by age than gender
Palliative care study challenges assumptions about physician emotional involvement and communication with patients

Research Activities, September 2007:
Children with complex chronic conditions are more likely to die in their homes than in the hospital

Research Activities, August 2007:
Hospice care dramatically reduces end-of-life hospitalizations of nursing home residents
Hope, experience, and education help nurses feel more comfortable and competent in providing palliative care to children

Research Activities, June 2007:
Parents prefer as much information as possible about the prognosis of their child's cancer

Research Activities, May 2007:
Use of a multidisciplinary team to care for homeless patients can address their end-of-life needs and improve their care

Research Activities, April 2007:
Rural nursing home residents with dementia are less likely than their urban counterparts to undergo intensive end-of-life care

Research Activities, February 2007:
Advance care plans of nursing home residents vary by age, race/ethnicity, and income
Seminars can improve nurses' skills in discussing end-of-life issues with heart failure patients and their families

Research Activities, December 2006:
The decision to hospitalize nursing home residents is driven primarily by residents' preference and quality of life

Research Activities, October 2006:
Talc should be the agent of choice when treating fluid buildup around the lungs from advanced cancer

Research Activities, May 2006
Greater Medicare HMO penetration is associated with a shift in elderly stroke deaths from hospital to non-hospital settings

Research Activities, April 2006
Doctor-patient communication is critical to how parents view the quality of end-of-life care for children with cancer

Research Activities, March 2006
Do-not-resuscitate orders for terminally ill children may not be honored by public schools

Research Activities, February 2006:
Asking terminally ill patients why they want to hasten their death may provide opportunities to improve their situation

Research Activities, September 2005:
Ethics consultations can reduce nonbeneficial treatments and costs among dying patients

Research Activities, July 2005:
Nursing homes vary widely in their hospitalization of residents, particularly those with Alzheimer's disease

Research Activities, June 2005:
Advance care planning standards could be improved by giving patients more flexibility in conveying their wishes to others

Research Activities, January 2005:
Substantial barriers prevent cancer patients from obtaining optimal care at the end of life

Research Activities, August 2004:
Researchers examine factors affecting the quality of end-of-life care

Research Activities, June 2004:
Shorter hospital length of stay not associated with worse outcomes for patients without DNR orders
Fewer Medicare patients die in the hospital than in the past, but those who do receive more intensive and expensive treatment
Researchers examine Medicare costs and use of hospice care
Patient age has more influence on Medicare costs for end-of-life care than race, income, or sex

Research Activities, April 2004:
Studies focus on care for respiratory tract infections in the elderly


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care