[hhhcvwt] web: Three Questions | Psychology Today

  • From: Dave Bushong <tmz@xxxxxxx>
  • To: Web Team <webteam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 01 Jul 2010 08:27:46 -0400

Some food for thought, and an interesting perspective. --Dave


Lynda asks, "Why do you think people often get better when they start
hospice care?"

I find this question interesting because its underlying assumption flies
in the face of my own experience: rarely have I seen patients improve
after entering hospice care. I presume from Lynda's question, however,
that she has, and more than once. Because I think it will help highlight
important aspects of the hospice experience, I'll try to speculate why
Lynda (and perhaps others) may have had the experience she describes.

First, studies have shown physicians are notoriously poor at predicting
patients' lifespans, even patients with terminal illnesses. To qualify
for hospice, patients must have a life expectancy less than six months.
I've seen many, many terminal patients surpass this. But doctors often
want terminal patients in hospice even if they think their life
expectancy is greater than six months because such patients often need
the support hospice care brings. The perception th..."

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