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Reinke LF, Uman J, Udris EM, Moss BR, Au DH. Preferences for death and dying among veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The American journal of hospice & palliative care. 2013 Dec 1; 30(8):768-72.
RATIONALE: Studies identify common factors important for a "good death." However, it is important for clinicians to individualize end-of-life care by eliciting patients' preferences. We sought to determine preferences for death and dying among veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by performing a cross-sectional study. Participants (n = 376) completed a preferences about death and dying questionnaire. RESULTS: Common themes ranked as most important by veterans include health care costs (86.6%) and avoiding strain on loved ones (78.8%). Unique items include being unafraid of dying (67.1%) and having discussed your treatment preferences with your clinician (59.3%). CONCLUSION: Preferences for death and dying are consistent among individuals with life-limiting illness, thus should be incorporated as core components in all end-of-life care planning. We identified unique preferences important to patients with COPD. This study suggests that clinicians need to engage in end-of-life discussions to learn about individual preferences to improve the patients' dying experience.