Focus Group Study: 30% Believe Hospice Intentionally Hastens Death

October 27, 2022

According to data in a recently developed evidence-based serious illness messaging toolkit from the MessageLab Serious Illness Messaging Project, 30% of respondents believe that hospice purposefully hastens death and dying. The toolkit identifies new approaches for hospice and palliative care providers to break down barriers of public misperception and apprehension of their services.

One key consideration in hospices’ public messaging is that, in today’s media and technology climate, consumers access information quickly and in small doses, meaning that hospices have to achieve more with less in their efforts to reach consumers, according to Dr. Tony Back, primary investigator at the MessageLab Serious Illness Messaging Project.

“We have to stop trying to confront people about dying and expecting them to accept that in some kind of social media or video post. It’s just not going to happen,” Back told Hospice News. “We’re not gaining a new consumer audience or increasing public awareness in hospice and palliative. We’re not improving levels of misconception that exist about our field. There are messaging principles we can employ to improve how hospices introduce their work to the public.”

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