Quality of Care for Residents Dying in Ontario Long-Term Care Facilities: Findings from a Survey of Directors of Care
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The purpose of this study was to collect information on the practice of end-of-life (EOL) care in long-term care (LTC) facilities in the Province of Ontario, Canada. A cross-sectional survey of directors of care in all licensed LTC facilities in the province was conducted between September 2003 and April 2004. Directors of care from 426 (76% response rate) facilities completed the postal survey questionnaire. The survey results identified communication problems between service providers and families, inadequate staffing levels to provide quality care to dying residents, and the need for training to improve staff skills in providing EOL care. Directors of care endorsed the use of a number of strategies that would improve the care of dying residents. Logistic regression analysis identified the eight most important items predictive of facility staff having the ability to provide quality EOL care. The findings contribute to the current discussion on policies for meeting the care needs of residents in LTC facilities until life's end.
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