Monday, September 11, 2017

Cancer Patients’ Last Year of Life (Research, Video 2:33)

Can general predictions be made about cancer patients and their healthcare experiences during their last year of life? The last year presents many challenges and is a critical period in terms of providing quality care for optimal patient satisfaction. In a study of 5,102 Medicare beneficiaries with cancer diagnosed within one year before death , various measures of healthcare experiences were reported.

1)    Patients with higher general or mental health status were significantly more likely to indicate excellent experience with nearly all measures examined.
2)    Sex, race/ethnicity, and education also were found to be significant predictors for certain ratings.
3)    Greater time before death predicted an increased likelihood of higher ratings for health plan and specialist physician.
4)     Clinical characteristics were found to have few significant associations with experience of care.
5)    Individuals in fee-for-service Medicare plans (vs. Medicare Advantage) had a greater likelihood of excellent experience with health plans, getting care quickly, and getting needed care.

Patients within a year before death from cancer experience critical issues related to health plans, physicians, and medical care associated with socio-demographic, insurance, and clinical characteristics. These conclusions are important in providing guidance for the development of programs to improve the experience of care among individuals with cancer.

Research shows dying patients tend to live longer at home than in a hospital after families have received training and support. In this video, Jennifer Glass' husband, Harlan, took her picture every day for a year, starting on the day she was diagnosed with lung cancer until she died the following year. 

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog


  1. Jennifer, you are beautiful, brave and amazing. Thank you Harlan for sharing her pictures and helping tell the story of her final journey.

    1. Thanks, again on behalf of many this video has inspired. Happy endings.