Does hospice improve quality of care for persons dying from dementia?

Joan M. Teno, Pedro L. Gozalo, Ian C. Lee, Sylvia Kuo, Carol Spence, Stephen R. Connor, David J. Casarett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine the effectiveness of hospice services for persons dying from dementia from the perspective of bereaved family members. Design: Mortality follow-back survey. Setting: Death certificates were drawn from five states (AL, FL, TX, MA, and MN). Participants: Bereaved family members listed as the next of kin on death certificates when dementia was listed as the cause of death. Measurements: Ratings of the quality of end-of-life care, perceptions of unmet needs, and opportunities to improve end-of-life care. Two questions were also asked about the peacefulness of dying and quality of dying. Results: Of 538 respondents, 260 (48.3%) received hospice services. Family members of decedents who received hospice services reported fewer unmet needs and concerns with quality of care (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=0.49, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.33-0.74) and a higher rating of the quality of care (AOR=2.0, 95% CI=1.53-2.72). They also noted better quality of dying than those without hospice services. Conclusion: Bereaved family members of people with dementia who received hospice reported higher perceptions of the quality of care and quality of dying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1531-1536
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • dying
  • hospice
  • quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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