Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Dr Teno and colleagues1 reported that "[a]bout one quarter of all patients
with pain or dyspnea did not receive adequate treatment" and that "[s]uch
national information on the quality of end-of-life care in the United States
has been sorely lacking." The data were obtained from individuals identified
on death certificates or someone those individuals recommended. The authors
commented that such proxies "may have inaccurately perceived patients' unmet
needs for symptom management. . . . " They continued, "however, a recent synthesis
of literatures suggests that families are able to accurately report on many
quality-of-care domains" and cited an article by McPherson and Addington-Hall.2
Weiss CO, Finucane TE. Memories of Loved Ones About Care at the End of Life. JAMA. 2004;291(12):1445–1446. doi:10.1001/jama.291.12.1445-c
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