Talking about dying

180,000 older people die in UK hospitals each year.  Most of these patients do not have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) because a doctor has made a Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation decision (DNACPR decision).  DNACPR decisions are made when doctors believe that CPR will not prevent death and may cause the patient harm.

It is important for doctors to talk to patients, and where appropriate their relatives, about resuscitation when DNACPR decisions are being made.  But talking about dying can be difficult.

In this project we will determine what proportion of older medical inpatients have a discussion about resuscitation with their hospital doctors.  We will also study doctors’ experiences and views of discussions about resuscitation with older inpatients.

This research is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Oxford CLAHRC.