Needs of elderly patients in palliative care
Journal article, 2008
The aim of this pilot-study was to test if a semi-structured assessment schedule could increase the understanding of the palliative patients’ individual needs, ranking of those, trends and correlations. Methods: A pilot survey was conducted with patients admitted for palliative care at a Swedish geriatric department. Thirty consecutively chosen respondents (15 males and 15 women, mean age 79 years) had a primary diagnosis of different types of cancer. The survey addressed demographic data, well-being, and naming and ranking of individual needs in repeated semi-structured interviews by a nurse during the time of stay at the unit. Results: Fear for physical pain and the actions to avoid physical pain were ranked as the primary need for 50% of the patients. First after the physical needs were taken care of, other needs appeared to dominate in the psychological, social and spiritual domains for many of the patients.