Care of people dying with malignant and cardiorespiratory disease in general practice

Robert McKinley, Tim Stokes, Catherine Exley, David Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Provision of palliative care for people dying with malignant disease is a well-characterised aspect of general practice workload. The nature of end-of-life care of people with non-malignant disease is less well described. Aim: To compare the general practice care provided in the last year of life to people who died with malignant and with cardiorespiratory disease. Design: Case record review. Setting: Two Leicestershire general practices: one inner-city, one semi-rural; total practice population 26,000 people. Method: General practice review of the records of all people registered with the practices who died with malignant or cardiorespiratory disease between 1 August 2000 and 31 July 2002 to determine: cause and place of death, recorded comorbidity, palliative medication prescribed, number of consultations and continuity of care, receipt and duration of palliative care. Results: When compared with people who died with cardiorespiratory disease, those who died with malignant disease were more likely to have had a terminal phase of their illness identified and to have been prescribed more palliative drugs. Both groups consulted a similar number of times, experienced similar continuity of care, had similar comorbidity, and were equally likely to die at home. Conclusion: People who died with cardiorespiratory disease were less likely to be in receipt of formally identified terminal care and were likely to have had fewer drugs prescribed for palliation than people with malignant disease, yet they make similar demands of practices. They are likely to have unmet needs with respect to palliation of symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-913
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number509
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


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