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What evidence is there about the specific environmental needs of older people who are near the end of life and are cared for in hospices or similar institutions? a literature review.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Palliative Medicine
Issue number3
Volume24
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)268-285
StatePublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Relatively little is known about the type of physical environment which is needed and preferred by patients aged 65 and over, with a prognosis of 1 year or less, who are receiving care in hospitals, care homes and hospices, and their families and staff. A narrative literature review was conducted to identify and analyse evidence on this issue, with twenty-nine papers meeting the inclusion criteria. The patients were found to have a wide range of views on their environment, but there was some variation between the views of patients and those of their families and staff. Four main themes emerged: the physical environment should be ‘homely’; it should support patients’ need for social interaction and privacy; it should support the caring activities of staff, family members and patients; and it should allow opportunities for spiritual expression. It is evident that the physical environment contributes significantly to the quality of life of older people with a life-limiting illness, and there is a need for more research in this area. Regular assessment of patients’ environmental needs should form part of care planning.