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Two hundred and ninety-nine patients admitted to the Bradbury Hospice, Hong Kong, during the period from 1 June 1992 to 31 May 1993 were studied. While a majority of the patients held realistic expectations of the hospice service, a small percentage expected cure, prolongation of life or even euthanasia. Physical symptoms were the main concern in a vast majority of patients, the commonest being pain. Only 1.7% regarded psycho-social problems as their main distress. Morphine was widely used for pain control, although 68% of patients required co-analgesics or palliative radiotherapy as well. Morphine was also the mainstay of treatment for dyspnoea. It might be worthwhile for hospices to be equipped with oxygen, as approximately 71% of our patients with dyspnoea as their main distress benefited from oxygen therapy. Many patients expressed fear of death; more worried about suffering. While 17.7% were assessed to be in the stage of acceptance on admission, 14.7% expressed self-pity when their search for meaning failed. Although many patients were atheists, a majority of patients with religious beliefs found that they could get support from their faith. A significant number of patients believed in Shumei. Increased knowledge of this religion would be helpful in taking care of these patients.


Journal article


Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore

Publication Date





282 - 286


Humans, Neoplasms, Pain, Length of Stay, Patient Admission, Hospice Care, Attitude to Health, Religion and Psychology, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Child, Hong Kong