Introduction: Over the last decade it has been highlighted that palliative care is important for all life- threatening diseases.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the perception of end-of-life patients and their carers about existing health care structures and healthcare professionals.
Methods: This study adopted a mixed research methodology using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The population of this study was end-of-life patients and their caregivers. For data collection and interviews, a questionnaire was used which was created within the research part of the project “Development of a model of quality model in health education, self-care and rehabilitation of patients with neoplasms”.
Results: The study sample consisted of 46 patients. Relatively limited activity, but ambulatory, were the 32.6% of patients. About half of the patients (56.5%) had access to home care services. Patients argued that healthcare professionals can guide them to better control their pain (93.5%) and symptoms (89.1%). Most carers were women (69.6%). Emotional disturbances were recorded in 23.9% and 53.3% rated good health. To improve care, most caregivers reported psychological support, more frequent contact with the family environment, and knowledge of the existence of specific structures/services.
Conclusions: It is important to develop healthcare policies, which will include the development of palliative care, especially for family caregivers of end-of-life cancer patients.
Key words: Carers, end of life, need, palliative care, patients