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A Comparative Study on the Perceptions of Elderly Patients and Their Caregivers toward Life-Sustaining Treatment

Sook Ja Yang 1 Hyeyoung Hwang 2

1이화여자대학교
2이화여자대학교 간호대학

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to compare the perceptions of elderly patients and their caregivers toward life-sustaining treatment (LST). This study was a descriptive investigation using a structured questionnaire administered to ninety elderly patients and their main caregivers. The data were collected from three general hospitals in Seoul and analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 23. The significant differences between the perceptions of the elderly patients and those of their caregivers are as follows: the experience of having heard of LST (χ2=3.90, p=.048), the time required to determine the need for an LST (χ2=13.49, p=.010), the main reason for the need for LST (χ2=12.18, p=.014), opinions on hospice palliative care (χ2=9.45, p=.002), the appropriate person to act as a patient’s surrogate (χ2=6.77, p=.034), and the requirements for acting as a surrogate (χ2=21.61, p<.001). Study findings indicate that both groups have a high level of interest in self-determination and Korean society is following the standard of substituted judgement, which presumes the opinion of the patient from a surrogate’s point of view. Therefore, developing guidelines for LST decision-making that takes into account the cultural features of South Korea could contribute to LST decision-making that respects the patients’ self-determination.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.