Describing Death in America by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life

By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Institute of Medicine, National Cancer Policy Board, Helen Gelband, Thomas J. Smith, Kathleen M. Foley, June R. Lunney

Nationwide expenses for therapy within the months and days previous dying are huge, immense. yet we don't comprehend even if that cash is deciding to buy quality care or optimizing the standard of lifetime of these death, or even if the location is recovering or worse through the years. the data that exists “describing loss of life” at a countrywide point – although a few of it's very informative – is fragmentary. This record recommends how one can fill the knowledge gaps via greater use of current nationally-representative info, and during a few new measures, specifically, a brand new, ongoing nationwide Mortality Followback Survey. the purpose is to permit us to benchmark the place we're at the present time as a society, and what targets we will set to lessen discomfort and ache and maximize the standard of lifetime of we all who will die within the future years.

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No future surveys are currently being planned. National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS) The NLMS is a large study of the effects of occupation, industry, income, education, and other socioeconomic factors on mortality. Records from several Current Population Surveys of the Bureau of the Census (1979-1981) have been matched to the National Death Index to link individual social and economic data with mortality outcomes. , 2000; Kaufman and Kaufman, 2001). This effort also highlights the value of linking the National Death Index with large ongoing national data collection efforts.

It provides important and detailed data to measure the prevalence and comorbidity of diseases and disorders and is unique in that it combines a home interview together with clinical data collected in a mobile examination center. The detailed data include information about medical conditions, pain, cardiovascular fit- 40 DESCRIBING DEATH IN AMERICA ness, physical activity and functioning, social support, diet behavior and nutrition, and housing characteristics. Unfortunately the relatively small sample size is a serious limitation for the purpose of studying decedents.

And third, minority populations should be over-sampled to improve understanding of ethnic and racial differences in the experience of death and dying in the United States. REFERENCES Institute of Medicine. Approaching Death: Improving Care at the End of Life. Field MJ, Cassel CK, editors. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997. Institute of Medicine. Improving Palliative Care for Cancer. Foley KM, Gelband H, editors. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001. Lunney JR, Lynn J, Hogan C.

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