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Nursing issues
Qualitative research shows that preferences for place of end-of-life care and death are shaped by the uncertainty of living with a life-limiting illness for patients and family caregivers and are neither synonymous nor stable
  1. Jackie Robinson1,
  2. Merryn Gott1,2
  1. 1 School of Nursing, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2 Auckland District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Professor Merryn Gott, University of Auckland, Auckland 0626, New Zealand; m.gott{at}

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Commentary on: Gerber K, Hayes B, Bryant C, et al. ‘It all depends!’: a qualitative study of preferences for place of care and place of death in terminally ill patients and their family caregivers. Palliat Med 2019; 33:802-811. doi:10.1177/0269216319845794

Implications for practice and research

  • Healthcare professionals need to be aware of the unstable nature of preferences for place of end-of-life care and death, include caregivers in place of care discussions and pay attention to the context within which decisions are made.

  • Research that captures preferences for place of care and death at one point in time must be treated with caution given the instability of these preferences when living with, or caring for someone with, a life-limiting illness.


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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.