Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate whether family members believed that the decision for home hospice had been the acceptable choice and to identify factors related to families accepting that the decision was good. Methods: In June 2007, a cross-sectional anonymous questionnaire was distributed to bereaved family members of terminal cancer patients in Japan who died at home in the previous 6 months. The questionnaire included questions about whether the family member believed that the decision for home hospice had been the acceptable choice and the decision-making process. Results: A total of 286 responses from 14 home hospices were analyzed. A total of 92% of the participants indicated that the decision for home hospice had been the acceptable choice. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that the following subjects were more likely to believe that the decision for home hospice had been the acceptable choice: those who (i) considered the patient's desire ahead of the family situation (P < 0.001); (ii) decided based on knowledge of all options (P < 0.001); (iii) decided based on agreement with patient, family and medical staff (P = 0.007); (iv) decided based on the patient and family only (P = 0.026); and (v) had patients who were enrolled in home hospice for <60 days (P = 0.032). Conclusions: It is important to encourage discussion about end-of-life care and to assist the patient and family in the decision-making process by providing information on all available options through open communication.
- End of life
- Home hospice