Perceptions of terminally ill patients and family members regarding home and hospice as places of care at the end of life

K.G. Luijkx*, J. M. G. A. Schols

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To enable demand-based palliative care, it is important to know the perceptions of terminally ill patients and their family members regarding home and hospice as places of care at the end of life. Eight women and five men suffering from cancer and with a life expectancy of 3 months or less were interviewed. In each case one of the family members was also interviewed. Four patients spent their last phase of life at home, nine in a hospice. This paper provides further insight in the patient perspective in palliative care. The results reveal that a cohabiting partner seems an important prerequisite for terminally ill patients to stay at home. For spouses it is an obvious choice to facilitate the patients' stay at home, even when it becomes too demanding, something not discussed between spouse and patient. When sufficient care at home seems impossible and the negotiation between patients and family members results in the opinion that living at home is no longer an option, it is decided that the patient moves to a hospice. The choice for the specific setting of the patients' new residence seems to be random; one possibility is pointed out to them and seems appropriate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-584
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • patient perspective
  • home
  • hospice
  • end of life
  • palliative care
  • interviews

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