The purpose of this study is to describe the historical development of treatment and care at the end of life. In the late 1800s, major societal changes occurred.
Both public and non-profit organizations had to help. In 1890, a diaconal institution in Oslo starts a nursing home for older men, and few years later a hospital was established. Method: This survey includes archival and research data from Diakonhjemmet hospital (1897-2017) according to legal and ethical rules. We used both qualitative and qualitative data, including the medical record. The assessments from 1977 and 1987 contain comparable basic data as in the two last decades. For the archive data, (1897-1967 we used a simplified questionnaire from our hospital studies. We have used a descriptive content analysis of documentation for the last three days of life at the hospital. Results: The documentation in the medical record was limited in the first decades. The hospital had spare equipment’s at startup. Lack of professional skills, examination tools, surgery and drugs gave few opportunities to prolong life. The medical treatments improved after the World War II. It was not until the 1950s that nursing reports became part of the medical record. Electronic patient records was introduced from about 1980’, helped to provide a quick overview of the patient's situation. In the same decade, the hospice philosophy and the development of palliative medicine emphasize "total care". It still took time before care for the dying was integrated into current curricula.
Treatment at the end of life - Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo 1897 - 2017
The hospital currently has an active palliative care team. The standard of living and medical development increased gradually. The age at death 80+, increased from 0 to 63%. The immediate cause of death changed from tuberculosis, cancer and in 2017 diseases in the respiratory system. Conclusion: This report includes treatment and care at the end of life at Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo over the course of 120 years. At the beginning, the doctors had few diagnostic aids. The standard of living and medical development gradually increased. Age 80+ at death, changed from 0-63%. Today, physical pain-relief is the key issue at the end of life, spiritual care is more difficult to document.
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Published by Charlotte Krog. Date: 14. October 2020.