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    Views on death with regard to end-of-life care preferences among cancer patients at a Japanese university hospital.

    Palliat Support Care 2015 Aug 11;13(4):969-79. Epub 2014 Jul 11.
    Department of Radiology,The University of Tokyo Hospital,Tokyo,Japan.
    Objective: This study investigates the views on death among cancer patients in Japan and examines how these views are related to age, sex, and physical condition. We also investigate how these views are related to where patients would like to spend their final days and whether or not they would like to be told how long they have left to live.

    Method: We targeted 450 cancer patients receiving outpatient treatment in the radiology department at the University of Tokyo Hospital. We used the Death Attitudes Inventory (DAI) developed by Hirai to measure attitudes about death.

    Results: Of the 450 patients approached, we received responses from 310 (69% collection rate). The results of the t test and one-way ANOVA showed that, in terms of "death anxiety/fear," the under-65 group (17.73 ± 6.69) scored significantly higher than the 65-and-over group (15.43 ± 7.69, t = 2.685, df = 280, p < 0.01); the group with KPS scores 70 or above (16.88 ± 7.21) scored higher than the group with KPS scores below 70 (12.73 ± 7.09, t = 2.168, df = 280, p = 0.03); and no significant difference was found for sex, metastasis, or treatment stage.

    Significance Of Results: Our results demonstrate that, although views on death among cancer patients may differ according to sex, age, and physical condition, taking these factors into account when understanding such views can be useful in predicting where patients may wish to spend their final days.
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