The surviving spouses of 34 patients who died of cancer at St Christopher's Hospice have been interviewed about 13 months after the patient's death. The information given is compared with that obtained from 34 spouses of patients dying from cancer in other hospitals and matched with the St Christopher's group. Patients at St Christopher's were less often thought to have suffered severe pain and other distress than at other hospitals, but pain relief was not bought at the cost of drug-induced confusion and patients at St Christopher's remained more mobile than at other hospitals. Hospice patients were more aware of chapel services and prayers than at other hospitals. None was said to have been upset by these and 66% were glad of them. Despite the frequency of deaths in the Hospice, patients at St Christopher's were no more likely to be thought to have been 'upset' by such events than patients elsewhere or to have found their interactions with other patients anything but helpful.
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