"Meeting the needs of cancer patients who wish to remain at home until they die: a systematic review of preferences, problems and cost-effective solutions"

Project Summary and Objectives:

More patients wish to die at home than currently do so. Reasons for patients being admitted to hospital includes clinical, demographic and service factors. Enabling more patients to die at home, if they wish, could benefit the NHS by providing more effective and efficient care. This project aims to clarify why patients who wish to die at home may be prevented from doing so and to investigate cost-effective ways of overcoming this.

We will systematically review research evidence in relation to place of care and death for cancer patients to identify: main wishes; associated factors; the needs of General Practitioners and their teams to access information; the needs of carers; the most cost effective interventions; the most effective forms of IT and communication and the potential barriers to use. Sources for literature will include main databases and grey literature. Data extraction will be tested for reliability and then data will be assimilated into tables and narrative covering the main topics. The final report will include a review of the evidence and recommendations for clinicians, general practitioners and those working in primary care, purchasers, general practitioner fundholders and local authorities. A short guide for wide circulation will also be prepared.


Further information may be obtained from:

Professor Irene Higginson
Department of Palliative Care & Policy
King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry
123 Coldharbour Lane
London    SE5 9NU


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Last updated 22 November 2004
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