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University of Gothenburg
man i livets slutskede vårdas på sjukhus
Photo: Sahlgrenska universitetssjukhuset

Quality of health care the last week of life - a registry study

In Sweden, more than 90,000 people die each year and it is estimated that four out of five need palliative care. Patients at the end of life are cared for and die in various forms of care settings including hospitals, institutions and at home receiving both specialized and non-specialized palliative care. Regardless of the place and type of care, symptom relief is a central goal for palliative care. There is a need to examine what characterizes patients and the care they receive during their last time in life in various forms of care.

To understand and evaluate symptom relief as an indicator of quality in care at the end of life, more knowledge about complex patterns of symptoms and how they can be relieved for different groups of patients is needed. The project is carried out with data from the Swedish Palliative Register and was initiated at the Palliative Research Center, Ersta Sköndal University College.

The main study of the project aimed to distinguish classes of patients who have different symptom relief patterns during the last week of life and to identify predictors for such classes in a population. In addition, several additional studies are being conducted in specific patient groups, one of which is about people with neurological disorders led by researchers at the department. The project is expected to be completed in 2017.