(HealthDay News) — Cancer patients with dementia are less likely to achieve a “good death” than those without, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in Geriatrics & Gerontology International.

Kayo Hirooka, R.N., Ph.D., from Keio University in Kanagawa, Japan, and colleagues surveyed home palliative care staff members regarding cognitive status, cancer-related symptoms, and quality of death for 508 cancer patients using the good death inventory.

The researchers found that 30.7 percent of cancer patients had dementia. Greater quality of death was associated with not having dementia. For patients with and without dementia, dying at home was related to a greater quality of death. Only in patients with dementia was the presence of a primary family caregiver associated with a greater quality of death.

“Our results suggest the importance of enhancing end-of-life care discussions with patients and their families, along with developing specific support strategies to enhance the decision-making of cancer patients with dementia and their family members,” the authors write.

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