Bereaved Family Members’ assessments of the quality of End-Of-Life Care: What is Important? Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Families of patients are well poised to comment on the end-of-life (EOL) care received by those patients and can provide feedback to care providers and decision makers. To better understand family-member evaluations of the quality of in-patient EOL care, this study draws on qualitative interview data (n=24) to identify core aspects of EOL care that are important for family members. Based on this analysis, a conceptual framework of family members’ assessments of their experiences with EOL health care services is developed. Findings suggest the need to distinguish between perceived substantive or tangible features of received care, interpretations of the causes and symbolic meanings of that care, and personal and affective outcomes. Practitioners are encouraged to reflect on how behaviours and communications may be interpreted by families. Attention also needs to be given to the changes in practice and organizational decision making that can facilitate more positive experiences for families and patients.


  • Stajduhar, Kelli I
  • Funk, Laura
  • Cohen, S Robin
  • Williams, Allison
  • Bidgood, Darcee
  • Allan, Diane
  • Norgrove, Leah
  • Heyland, Daren

publication date

  • December 2011