Massage therapy is an important component of palliative care, as it effects relaxation and stress relief for hospice patients and caregivers.

A new survey of more than 9,000 people in seven countries shows that the majority of people would want to improve the quality of life in the time they had left, rather than extend it.

The survey reveals attitudes across Europe for dealing with serious illnesses such as cancer, and issues raised when caring for a close friend of relative in the last few months of life. The research was carried out as part of an EU-funded project led by researchers from King’s College London.

The survey showed that:

• 71 percent of people said they would want to improve quality of life for the time they had left

• 4 percent would like to extend life; and

• 25 percent said both quality and extending life was equally important.

Across all countries in the survey, being in pain was the symptom or problem that was of most concern, followed by being a burden to others.

Professor Irene Higginson, professor of palliative care and policy at King’s College London, said in a college press release, “There needs to be a fundamental shift in the approach to delivering end-of-life care across Europe.

“Although individuals’ priorities and needs will differ, it is absolutely clear that people value highly the quality of the time they have left,” she added.

Related articles:

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Massage Creates “Inner Peace” for Hospice Patients

Massage Therapy Benefits Hospice Patients, Caregivers