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Assessing Community Hospice Needs and Preferences

Ervin, Naomi E. PhD, RN, APRN, BC, FAAN; Spencer, Gale A. PhD, RN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: May-June 2005 - Volume 7 - Issue 3 - p 164–173

The purpose of this article is to present the results of an assessment to identify future service needs and preferences for a hospice program in an Upstate New York hospice catchment area. Information and data were collected through a literature review, focus groups, and surveys. Perspectives of professional providers, patients, and patients' families were included in the data collection. One need identified by patients and families was short-term respite in the home. A major need identified by all participants was more education of community members and healthcare professionals about the hospice concept and services. Discussion focuses on how the assessment design and results may provide a template for other communities in planning, implementing, and/or evaluating hospice services.

Naomi E. Ervin, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, FAAN, is Assistant Dean and Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.

Gale A. Spencer, PhD, RN, is from the Decker School of Nursing, Binghamton University, NY.

Address correspondence to Naomi E. Ervin, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, FAAN, College of Nursing, Wayne State University, 5557 Cass Ave, Room 242, Cohn Building, Detroit, MI 48202 (e-mail:

© 2005 The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association