The study aims to investigate decision-making at the end of life, taking into consideration the primary care physician–patient relationship, communication with family members and co-operation with nursing staff, family members and hospitals. In addition, it will examine how important legal regulations, different supply structures across the cantons, patient advance directives and normative notions of "good dying" are for decisions at the end of life. In addition to analysis of the framework conditions of primary care at the end of life at the cantonal and national levels, the research team will interview health policy actors, patient organisations and representative primary care physicians and nursing staff. Further, primary care physicians, nursing staff and family members of dying persons from the German-, French-, and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland will be surveyed in group discussions on the conditions and processes of decision-making at the end of life. The analysis of the interviews will uncover central factors and indicators for successful decision-making on palliative care in general practice settings.
The project is part of the National Research Programme on End of Life NRP67, founded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.