Study: Patients in hospital feel abandoned by their physician

While doctors are experts at diagnosing and healing patients, it can be very frustrating for them when they've simply run out of options, treatment-wise. At that point, they may end up referring a patient to hospice care--and never see that patient again.

While going to a hospice doesn't seem to be a huge stumbling block for patients, many patients feel abandoned when doctors stop visiting with them after they enter hospice care, according to a new study.

To learn more about this dynamic, researchers interviewed 31 doctors and 55 of their patients, all of whom had end-stage cancer or advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and were expected to die within a year. The research team also spoke with 36 family caregivers and 25 nurses.

While the study wasn't designed to measure feelings of abandonment by doctors, participants raised the issue often during the interviews, the authors wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

To learn more about the study:
- read this USA Today piece

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Insurers, hospices expand care options

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