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A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care
     

A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care

by Joachim Cohen, Luc Deliens
 

Worldwide, more than 50 million people die each year and it is estimated on the basis of the conditions leading to death that up to 60% of them could benefit from some form of palliative care. It is a public health challenge to ensure that these people can access good palliative or end-of-life care. Pursuing good population health essentially also implies striving

Overview

Worldwide, more than 50 million people die each year and it is estimated on the basis of the conditions leading to death that up to 60% of them could benefit from some form of palliative care. It is a public health challenge to ensure that these people can access good palliative or end-of-life care. Pursuing good population health essentially also implies striving for a 'good enough death' and a good quality of care at the end of life. Safeguarding a good quality of the end of life for patient populations for whom it is appropriate requires a public health approach.

In most developed countries ageing populations that increasingly die from chronic diseases after a prolonged -often degenerative- dying trajectory make up the public health challenges for palliative care. The very large baby boom generation will soon reach old age and can be expected to pose strong demands regarding the circumstances and care at their end of life. Only by applying a public health approach to palliative care (instead of individual patient perspectives), can societies successfully help to organize and plan end-of-life care in accordance with these aspirations.

A Public Health Perspective on End of Life Care presents a synthesis and overview of relevant research and empirical data on the end of life that can bear a basis for a more systematic 'public health of the end of life'. The book focuses on population health, rather than clinical interventions or other aspects of individual health, and discusses studies using different methodologies (not only epidemiological research). The focus is on the quality of the end-of-life of populations, in particular from social sciences, environmental sciences, and humanities perspectives.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Marlene S. Foreman, BSN, MN (Hospice of Acadiana, Inc.)
Description: This book illustrates how quality end-of-life care, palliative care, is a public health issue.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a global view — past, present, and future. These worthy objectives set the tone of the book.
Audience: This would be a valuable educational asset for anyone studying or practicing in any healthcare area, funders of healthcare projects especially at the end of life, and lawmakers attempting to understand palliative care around the world. It is especially important for those creating the future of public health and of palliative care. The editors believe that the project, although expansive, is necessary to champion the advance of palliative care and end-of-life care for all people. The authors and editors are well qualified to meet these challenges.
Features: The book begins with a historical perspective of end-of-life care and public health issues. Discussion of end-of-life care around the world is followed by discussions of access to care, care settings, cultural and ethnic variations, various disease trajectories, and the underserved individuals who may die without the assistance of palliative care. Palliative care grew out of the hospice movement, incorporating the interdisciplinary model of care. A few black-and-white illustrations explain a point or note variances around the world.
Assessment: As a clinical nurse specialist, a hospice nurse for over 20 years, and a nurse educator before that, I was quite fascinated by this book. Actually, I could not put it down for long. It is technical in parts, but the global information is interesting. I do not know of any book that intermingles end of life, palliative care, public health, and disease trajectories so well. It even includes historical views, current situations, and a plea for future efforts to improve access to care and financial reimbursement for palliative care, from the beginning of a serious and life-limiting disease to the end.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199599400
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/21/2012
Pages:
244
Sales rank:
1,019,151
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.70(d)

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