Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharon K. Patten, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Curt Paulsen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Carol O'Brien, LICSW


The diagnosis of a teri'ninal illness greatly impacts the patient as well as the entire family system. The relevant literature mentions the concept that hospice can be beneficial to families by assisting them in meeting needs and providing support and guidance. Little research, however, as been done to support these beliefs. The purpose of this research study was to explore what benefits hospice provides to family members of terminally i]l patients. A questionnaire was mailed to 128 primary care persons of patients who were enrolled in the hospice program and died between February 1, 1996 and July 31, 1996. A 64o/o response rate was obtained. The findings suggest that fami)y members felt the services of hospice care benefited them, and even a slight majority felt the hospice team helped to make their bereavement process easier. These findings support the use of hospice care for terminally ill patients and their families, and more research is needed to strengthen this support.


SC 11.MSW.1997.Cartwrig.KS

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