Study: Informed residents likely to take hospice route

Nursing home residents are more likely to enter hospice care when they receive straightforward information about facilities specializing in end-of-life care, according to a new study.

Researchers interviewed nursing home residents or the people who made decisions for them, to help identify those who would benefit from entering hospices. Dr. David Casarett, director of the palliative care clinic at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and his colleagues conducted the study.

Of a total of 205 residents who were selected, 107 were given an informational visit describing hospice care. The rest -- 98 - received usual care, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. One out of every five (20%) who got the visit entered a hospice within the next 30 days. That compares to only one person (1%) among those who received usual care.