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Published Online: 29 September 2004

A Survey of Complementary Therapy Services Provided by Hospices

Publication: Journal of Palliative Medicine
Volume 7, Issue Number 4


A questionnaire was mailed to 300 randomly selected hospices in the United States, to gather preliminary data on the nature of complementary therapy services provided by hospices. Information included types of complementary therapies offered, utilization, staffing, obstacles, as well as suggestions for improving hospice complementary therapy services. Of a total of 169 responding hospices, 60% offered complementary therapies to patients. The most popular therapies were massage therapy and music therapy. Only a portion of patients in these hospices received complementary therapy. Many hospices were limited in the amount of complementary therapy services they could provide because of program constraints, such as funding problems, lack of qualified complementary staff, inadequate knowledge of complementary therapies and how to offer these services, and resistance to complementary therapies by some staff and patients. A crucial challenge for hospices interested in providing complementary therapies to patients is to find ways to overcome these obstacles.

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cover image Journal of Palliative Medicine
Journal of Palliative Medicine
Volume 7Issue Number 4August 2004
Pages: 510 - 516
PubMed: 15353094


Published online: 29 September 2004
Published in print: August 2004


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Dr. Craig Demmer
Department of Health Services, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, New York.

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