Preference for aggressive end-of-life care among advanced cancer patients in Wuhan, China: A cross-sectional study

Jing Liao, Bei Wu, Jing Mao, Ping Ni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Life-sustaining treatments (LSTs) and end-of-life (EOL) care’s goal for prolonging one’s life are defined as aggressive EOL care among critically ill patients. They have limited effects and add unnecessary financial burden to advanced cancer patients. A questionnaire survey was conducted to collect information on demographics, disease conditions, preference for LSTs, and goal of EOL care among advanced cancer patients of comprehensive grade-A tertiary hospitals in Wuhan, mainland China. Most patients preferred to accept LSTs when they were in a critical condition, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (89.9%), mechanical ventilation support (85.7%), nasogastric tube feeding (84.1%), blood transfusion (89.8%), general surgery (87.5%), and hemodialysis (85.8%). Most (88%) preferred prolonging life as the goal of EOL care. Logistic regression showed common influencing factors were participants who completed junior high/high school or below and were financially adequate had higher reference for aggressive EOL care. Patients whose physician had accurately disclosed prognosis; however, showed a decrease trend for aggressive EOL care. Most advanced cancer patients preferred to accept aggressive EOL care. Discussions about prognosis disclosure among physicians and patients should be improved. Education about LSTs’ limitations and comfort-oriented care’s benefits should be promoted among the advanced cancer patients in mainland China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6592
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020


  • Advanced cancer patients
  • Aggressive end-of-life care
  • End-of-life care goal
  • Life-sustaining treatments
  • Preference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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