Background: Since its beginning in 1993, Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU) has become a leader in palliative care in Africa. Despite this, there remains a sparsity of research elucidating the priorities of patients in their care at the end of life. This study aimed to identify those priorities in three groups: Patients with life-limiting illness, their caregivers, and their healthcare providers at HAU, and thus to identify differences in what these groups find important in the last month of life. Methods: A Likert scale survey of 31 statements regarding end-of-life care was administered to 46 patients, 51 caregivers, and 25 healthcare providers at HAU in Kampala, Uganda and satellite locations. Analysis: Variations in the responses of the groups were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test of variance. Results: Twelve of 31 items were significantly different, and frequency data were examined. Differences were found in categories of symptom management, future planning, and in preferred place of death. Of anxiety, pain, and shortness of breath (SOB), only control of SOB was widely agreed on as important by patients, although providers unanimously wanted to control symptoms. Many subjects in all groups found that funeral arrangements should be deferred. Most patients and caregivers felt as if dying in the hospital was preferable, whereas providers felt that home care was preferable. Conclusion: This study tells us that patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers often have different ideas concerning what is important in end-of-life care, differences that are unique to this population.
- end of life
- palliative care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine