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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 263-265

End of life discussion in an academic family health team in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

1 Department of Family Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L5E9, Canada
2 Department of Family Medicine; Centre of Studies in Primary Care, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L5E9, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Lawrence Leung
Department of Family Medicine, Centre of Studies in Primary Care, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L5E9
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.120749

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Background: End-of-life (EOL) discussions remain difficult in non-terminal patients as death is often perceived as a taboo and uncertainty. However, the call for proper EOL discussions has recently received public attention and media coverage. Evidence also reveals that non-terminal patients are more satisfied with health-care encounters when EOL has been discussed. Objectives and Methods: The objective of this study was to explore the prevalence of EOL discussions in non-terminal adult patients, the perceived barriers to such discussions and suggested methods for improvement. A study mixed-methods study was performed by a group of PGY1 family medicine residents in an academic health team in Kingston, Ontario. Results: EOL discussion was performed in a very small proportion of non-terminal patient encounters. Compared with attending physicians, residents were less likely to discuss EOL issues and reported more perceived barriers. Conclusion: Our findings reflect the need for an early and open approach in conducting EOL discussion for non-terminal healthy patients.

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