Impact of dementia on quality of death among cancer patients: An observational study of home palliative care users

Kayo Hirooka, Miharu Nakanishi, Hiroki Fukahori, Atsushi Nishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aim: The number of cancer patients with dementia has increased markedly in accordance with aging societies. Cancer patients might receive palliative and end-of-life care to maintain their quality of life; however, the impact of dementia on the quality of death is unexamined in this population. Consequently, we explored the impact of dementia on the quality of death among cancer patients. Methods: Home palliative care staff members completed questionnaires regarding cancer patients’ (n = 508) cognitive status, cancer-related symptoms and quality of death using the good death inventory. Hierarchical regression analyses were carried out for the entire sample and for stratified groups based on the presence of dementia. Results: Of the 508 patients, 156 (30.7%) had dementia. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that greater quality of death was associated with not having dementia (P < 0.001). Stratified analyses showed that dying at home was related to greater quality of death both in patients with and without dementia. The presence of a primary family caregiver was associated with greater quality of death only in patients with dementia (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Cancer patients with dementia were less likely to achieve a good death than those without. Our results suggest the importance of enhancing end-of-life care discussions with patients and their families, along with developing specific support strategies to enhance the decision-making of cancer patients with dementia and their family members. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; 20: 354–359.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-359
Number of pages6
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 1

Keywords

  • cancer
  • dementia
  • end-of-life care
  • palliative care
  • quality of death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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