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Elderly patients reject ‘trauma of hospital treatments’

Older patients who are terminally ill would prefer to receive good-quality palliative care, preferably at home, than intrusive medical treatments that aim to prolong their lives, a Sydney study has found.

Scientists at the University of New South Wales interviewed 24 elderly patients to find out if they believed that their end-of-life care needs were being met. The results are published online in the journal Health Expectations.

Lead author Ebony Lewis, from the university’s school of public health and community medicine, said the study identified seven themes that patients felt were a priority. These included a preference for being at home, being able to talk openly about death, and having a sense of control rather than “living a life on hold”.

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