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CWRU study finds quality-of-life discussions are important for ICU patients
Date:3/5/2012

members were about 24 minutes long, with the majority of time devoted to non-emotional issues and little on what the patient might want. They also found that deciding what was important in a patient's life (such as being able to return to playing golf or visiting with family or friends), often was not discussed--even when professionals who were trained to bring these topics to the table were present at the meeting.

According to Douglas and Daly, it is difficult for family decision makers as well as many health care providers to discuss quality of life issues because they often associate quality of life with end of life discussions.

The authors concluded that every family decision maker should have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on the quality of life that the patient would want if that person recovered from this critical event. The best way to make appropriate treatment decisions is to have information about what goals are important to the patient.

"Since many of these patients become critically ill very suddenly, it is important to know the wishes of the patient and what contributes the most to quality of life before the patient becomes ill. Just as we have living will discussions with our family members, we should also have quality of life discussions," Douglas said.


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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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