The Palliative and End of Life Care Strategy for Northern Ireland highlights a feature of good end of life care is enabling patients to die in their place of preference. Unfortunately not all cancer patients achieve this. In Northern Ireland 42% of cancer patients die in hospitals, whilst 38% die at home.
A previous Northern Ireland study of hospital cancer deaths found issues of low recording of preferred place of death, late diagnosis and ill patients unfit for transfer home. This Cancer Focus Northern Ireland (formerly the Ulster Cancer Foundation) funded study proposes to examine the other side of the coin: What factors facilitate people to die at home?
The QUALYCARE study has been carried out successfully in London by the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London . The Northern Ireland specific study (QUALYCARE-NI) commenced in September 2013 and investigated factors associated with place of death within this specific environment e.g home / hospital to enable comparisons between patients’ experience in Northern Ireland and those in London and provide advice for services providing end of life care.
By comparing two regions with very different demographic and cultural backgrounds, we will be able to better understand what helps cancer patients achieve a home death. A research priority highlighted in the Palliative and End of Life Care Strategy for Northern Ireland.
Study aims & objectives
- To establish key factors that enable cancer patients to die at home.
- To compare experiences of home, hospital & nursing home deaths.
- To compare home vs. institutional deaths by use, type and costs of informal care.
- To compare home vs. institutional deaths in terms of disease factors (from Northern Ireland Cancer Registry).
- To compare findings from Northern Ireland with London