Dementia Reduces Quality of Death in Patients With Cancer

A study published in Geriatrics & Gerontology International found that patients with cancer who also have dementia were less likely to have a “good quality” death compared with those without dementia.

Home palliative care staff completed questionnaires on the cognitive status, cancer-related symptoms, and quality of death using the good death inventory for 508 patients with cancer. Nearly one-third of patients (30.7%; n=156) included in the study had dementia.

Factors associated with greater quality of death

Hierarchical regression analyses showed that patients without dementia had a greater quality of death (P<0.001). Stratified analyses showed that dying at home was also associated with greater quality of death in both patients with and without dementia. The presence of a primary family caregiver was associated with greater quality of death only in patients with dementia (P<0.001).

“Our results suggest the importance of enhancing end‐of‐life care discussions with patients and their families, along with developing specific support strategies to enhance the decision‐making of cancer patients with dementia and their family members,” the researchers concluded.