The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is aimed at improving care and communication in the dying phase. The authors studied whether use of the LCP affects relatives' retrospective evaluation of communication and their level of bereavement. An intervention study was conducted. During the baseline period, usual care was provided to dying patients. During the intervention period, the LCP was used for 79% of the patients. In total, bereaved relatives filled in a questionnaire for 57% of the patients, on average 4 months after death. In the intervention period, relatives had lower bereavement levels when compared with relatives in the baseline period (P =.01). Communication was evaluated similarly for both periods. We conclude that LCP use during the dying phase seems to moderately contribute to lower levels of bereavement in relatives.

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The American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Veerbeek, L., van der Heide, A., de Vogel-Voogt, E., van der Rijt, C., Swart, S., van der Maas, P., & van Zuylen, L. (2008). Using the LCP: Bereaved relatives' assessments of communication and bereavement. The American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, 25(3), 207–214. doi:10.1177/1049909108315515