Medical Practice

General Practice Observed: The Distress of Dying

Br Med J 1972; 3 doi: (Published 08 July 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;3:105
  1. W. Dewi Rees


    A simple method of recording the distress of dying patients is described. Significant differences occurred between deaths at home and in hospital for three factors. Patients dying at home were (a) more likely to be fully alert shortly before death (P < 0·05); (b) less likely to be suffering from vomiting, incontinence, or bedsores (P < 0·001); and (c) less likely to have unrelieved physical distress (P < 0·05). No significant differences occurred in the distress of patients dying in general-practitioner compared with other hospitals, though the numbers compared were small and a larger study might prove useful.

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