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A survey of opinion regarding wishes toward the end-of-life among thai elderly
  1. V Srinonprasert1,2,
  2. A Kajornkijaroen1,
  3. S Kornbongkotmart1,2 and
  4. R Praditsuwan1,2
  1. 1Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand
  2. 2Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Abstract

Advance-care-planning has not been a popular concept among eastern countries despite of the growing awareness in western world. In order to provide optimal end-of-life care, the patients' wish is an essential component but unfortunately is often impossible to seek for when the time is approached. We surveyed older people attending Geriatric clinic at Siriraj Hospital to enquire their wishes concerning end-of-life in hoping of carry out proper care in this regard.

All of the participants were Buddhism with mean age of 75.8 (7.8).

Approximately half of subjects had less than 4 years of education, 75% were female and 31% rated themselves as being in good health. Majority of elderly wanted to know the truth of their physical condition, to be involved in decision making or name a decision maker. Freedom from suffering symptoms and unfinished business, presence of love one and being mentally aware near the time of death were attributes rated as highly important in most participants. 75% did not want to receive treatments to prolong life when chance of surviving is slim.

Interestingly, 55% of elderly did not want to die at home and 32% did not wish to have any religious ritual conducted near the time of death.

Having less than 4 years of education was the only factor that found to be significantly associated with unwilling to die at home with OR of 2.89 (95%CI 1.10 to 10.71) after adjusted in multivariate analysis.

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