Awareness of Imminent Death: Results From a Mixed Methods Study of Israeli Family Caregivers’ Perceptions of Their Awareness and That of the Patients for Whom They Cared

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield*, Rinat Cohen, Shai Brill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We studied levels of awareness of impending death in older patients and their family caregivers. Using a mixed methods approach, we interviewed 70 family caregivers in Israel. Of the caregivers, 64% reported having been aware of the impending death, 33% were unaware, and 3% uncertain. Caregivers reported their perception that 36% of patients were aware, 27% unaware, and for 37% they were uncertain about the patient’s awareness. Mechanisms that increased caregivers’ awareness were specific diagnosis, significant deterioration in health, preparation by a health professional, or patient preparations for death. This study clarifies processes which aid awareness, and the relationship between awareness and actual preparation for dying.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOmega: Journal of Death and Dying
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Funding

FundersFunder number
Minerva Foundation3158329500

    Keywords

    • awareness of impending death
    • disease trajectories
    • end of life
    • family caregivers
    • preparation for dying
    • terminal illness

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