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Palliative home care: health-related quality of life

Abstract

Objective To determine the relationship between physical symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of people enrolled in a palliative home care programme in Bogota, Colombia.

Methods A quantitative, observational, analytical, cross-sectional study. 123 people, chronically ill and enrolled in a palliative home care programme, participated. Convenience sampling was used, and data were collected during home visits.

Results The HRQOL was perceived as fair by 42.3% of the participants, and the overall score was below the expected mean value (140.5). The psychological dimension score was also below the mean, while above-average results were obtained in the physical, social and spiritual dimensions. Pain (78.2%), insomnia (82.3%) and tiredness (77.4%) were the most altered symptoms. Statistically significant differences were found between HRQOL and educational level, occupation, low socioeconomic strata and religious commitment. Statistically significant associations were found between depression and the psychological dimension (r=0.208; p=0.020) and between depression and overall HRQOL (r=0.181; p=0.045). No relationship was observed between HRQOL and physical symptoms.

Conclusion Palliative home care programmes should thoroughly address psychological aspects, such as depression and anxiety, to ensure the best quality of life possible for the patients they assist.

  • home care
  • chronic conditions
  • quality of life
  • symptoms and symptom management
  • terminal care

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