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Dementia May Reduce Likelihood of a “Good Death” for Patients with Cancer

As the population ages, the number of cancer patients with dementia has increased. A recent study published in Geriatrics & Gerontology International found that cancer patients with dementia were less likely to achieve a “good death” than those without.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 12:01 am EST
"In order to provide high quality of end-of-life care, we should facilitate end-of-life care discussions and improve symptom management especially for cancer patients with dementia"

As the population ages, the number of cancer patients with dementia has increased. A recent study published in Geriatrics & Gerontology International found that cancer patients with dementia were less likely to achieve a “good death” than those without.

In the study, quality of death was measured from nurses’ reports and factored in life completion, place of death, and symptom management.

Of the 508 patients with cancer in the study, 156 (30.7%) had dementia. Dementia was associated with a reduced quality of death among patients.

The study’s authors note that it may be difficult to confirm patients’ end-of-life preferences because of cognitive decline. Their findings point to the importance of enhancing end-of-life care discussions with patients and their families.

“In order to provide high quality of end-of-life care, we should facilitate end-of-life care discussions and improve symptom management especially for cancer patients with dementia,” said lead author Kayo Hirooka, RN, PhD, of Keio University, in Japan.

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ggi.13860

About Journal 

Geriatrics & Gerontology International is the official Journal of the Japan Geriatrics Society, reflecting the growing importance of the subject area in developed economies and their particular significance to a country like Japan with a large aging population. Geriatrics & Gerontology International is now an international publication with contributions from around the world and published monthly.

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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