Characteristics of Geriatric Health Service Facilities Designated as Sites of Death
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There are many deaths occurring among the aged population in Japan. Geriatric Health Service Facilities (GHSFs) are highlighted as some of the chosen facilities designated as sites of death. The aim of our study was to clarify the characteristics and related factors, including physical signs first noticed by staff at the end-of-life period, in GHSFs designated as sites of death, using a nationwide survey in Japan. We administered a questionnaire to 3971 GHSFs in Japan. Eligible responses for the study were obtained from 854 GHSFs. We found that GHSFs designated as sites of death were more likely to have basic policies and documented preferences regarding end-of-life care. We also found that staff members in GHSFs designated as sites of death were less likely to first notice physical signs of pain. We found that GHSFs designated as sites of death tended to identify earlier symptoms, such as reduced oral intake and less vigor. Our results would enable elderly persons, their families, and staff in GHSFs to prepare for the elderly's death more efficiently though earlier identification of the end-of-life period. We hope that GHSFs have an important role to play in end-of-life care provision to elderly persons in Japan, through the strengthening of these intermediate facilities.
Health (7), 1275-1282, 2015-10
Scientific Research Publishing