Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2019 Dec;22(4):145-155. 10.14475/kjhpc.2019.22.4.145.

Quantity over Quality? Perception of Designating Long-Term Care Hospitals as Providers of Hospice and Palliative Care

  • 1Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. lawyun@snu.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Biomedical Informatics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Biomedical Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Amendment to the Act on Decisions on Life-sustaining Treatment was recently enacted to designate long-term care hospitals as providers of hospice and palliative care. Despite its benefit of providing improved accessibility to end-of-life care, the amendment has raised concerns about its effect on quality of service. This study aimed to use information obtained from an expert group interview and previous studies to compare how cancer patients, family caregivers, physicians, and the general Korean population perceive the potential benefits and risks of this amendment.
We conducted a multicenter cross-sectional study from July to October 2016. The included participants answered a structured questionnaire regarding the extent to which they agree or disagree with the questionnaire items indicating the potential benefits and risks of the amendment. Chi-square tests and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed.
Compared with the general population, physicians agreed more that long-term care hospitals are currently not adequately equipped to provide quality hospice and palliative care. Family caregivers found improved access to long-term care hospitals more favorable but were more likely to agree that these hospitals might prioritize profits, thereby threatening the philosophy of hospice care, and that families might cease to fulfill filial responsibilities. Compared with the general population, cancer patients were more concerned about the potentially decreased service quality in this setting.
Although potential service beneficiaries and providers expected improved accessibility of hospice and palliative care services, they were also concerned whether the system can provide adequate quality of end-of-life care.


Hospice care; Palliative care; Terminal care; Health personnel; Caregivers

MeSH Terms

Cross-Sectional Studies
Health Personnel
Hospice Care
Interviews as Topic
Logistic Models
Long-Term Care*
Palliative Care*
Risk Assessment
Terminal Care
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