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Open AccessReview

Healthcare Received in the Last Months of Life in Portugal: A Systematic Review

1
Community Care Unit of Lousada, Rua de Santo Tirso 70, Meinedo, Lousada, 4620-848 Porto, Portugal
2
Abel Salazar Biomedical Institute, R. Jorge de Viterbo Ferreira 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
3
Medical-Surgical Nursing Department, Nursing School of Coimbra, 3046-841 Coimbra, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Valuable contribution to this paper before he departed.
Healthcare 2019, 7(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare7040122
Received: 5 October 2019 / Revised: 20 October 2019 / Accepted: 22 October 2019 / Published: 24 October 2019
Background: While evidence demonstrates that end-of-life care practices vary across countries, there is still a lack of evidence regarding the healthcare that is received by adult individuals in the last months of life in Portugal. Methods: This is a systematic review that aims to examine the evidence published until 2019 regarding the healthcare received by adult individuals in the last months of life in Portugal. Results: Nine studies were included in this review. All of these were quantitative and retrospective studies, used patient records as the source of information, and were conducted in hospital settings. The time frame analysis before death ranged from 48 h to 3 months. The majority of the studies focused on the physical aspects of care, such as physical needs assessment and symptom management, prescribed medication, and invasive interventions. No evidence was found regarding spiritual, psychological, social or cultural needs. Conclusion: Although using patient records as a source of information may introduce a bias, this study indicates that there is a greater emphasis on the physical aspects of care and less on the psychological, spiritual or social aspects of care received by adult individuals in their last months of life in Portugal. View Full-Text
Keywords: end-of-life; palliative care; healthcare end-of-life; palliative care; healthcare
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Pereira, A.; Ferreira, A.; Martins, J. Healthcare Received in the Last Months of Life in Portugal: A Systematic Review. Healthcare 2019, 7, 122.

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