Constant evaluation is important for maintaining and improving the quality of end-of-life care. We therefore conduct the fourth Japan Hospice and Palliative Evaluation Study (J-HOPE4) as a continuous evaluation study. In this present paper, we describe the design of J-HOPE4. The main purposes of J-HOPE4 are as follows:1) to evaluate the processes, structures, and outcomes of palliative care acute hospitals, palliative care units, and home hospice services; 2) to examine bereaved family members’ self-reported psychosocial conditions, such as grief and depression as bereavement outcomes;3) to provide data to ensure and improve the quality of care provided by participating institutions via feedback based on the results from each institution; and 4) provide clinical and academic information concerning the implications of various issues in palliative care by conducting additional studies.
We will conduct a cross-sectional, anonymous, self-reported questionnaire survey. In total, 190 institutions will participate in this study, meaning that 12,000 bereaved family members will be sent a questionnaire.
This is one of the largest cross-sectional surveys involving hospice and palliative care, both in Japan and worldwide. Because this study will have a large sample size, the findings are expected to be generalizable to other settings.