Table 1

Study aims, methods and analysis

Authors (year), countryAimsMethodsData analysisQuality rating/12
Brayne et al 35
(2008), UK
To establish whether those dying (naturally) of old age have similar EOL experiences to those dying of a terminal illness.Questionnaire and follow-up interview with CH staff. However, data came mainly from interviews.Thematic analysis.7
Chan and Kayser-Jones27
(2005), USA
To investigate clinical, social, environmental and cultural factors influencing the care of terminally ill NH residents.Event analysis, participant observation and in-depth interviews with NH residents, families and staff.Event analysis of the process of dying in NHs.7
Dwyer et al 31
(2011), Sweden
To reveal NH employees’ views on dying and death among older people for whom they careSeven focus groups with nursing staff (RNs and NAs) held 2–4 months after residents’ deaths.Qualitative content analysis.10
(2001), USA
To describe EOL in an NH from the perspectives of chronically ill and declining residents, their family caregivers and staff.Participant observation, in-depth semistructured interviews, face-to-face formal/informal interviews, focus groups, health record reviews.Data collection and analysis were simultaneous and continuous. Content analysis.10
Goodridge et al 33 
(2005), Canada
To examine the perspectives of family carers, nurses and healthcare aides regarding the last 72 hours of residents’ lives.Semi-structured interviews.Thematic analysis.11
(2002), USA
To investigate the process of providing EOL care to residents dying in an NH.Participant observation, in-depth analysis and event analysis.NR5
Kayser-Jones et al 26
(2003), USA
To investigate the physical environment and organisational factors influencing the process of providing care to terminally ill NH residents.Participant observation, field notes.
In-depth interviews. Event analysis of death and dying.
Thematic analysis.10
Vohra et al 34
(2006), Canada
To explore EOL in long-term care facilities.Mixed methods (questionnaire responses to open-ended question are reported here).Thematic analysis.11
(2010), Sweden
To explore and analyse how residents talk about and regard their own ageing and dying bodies in an institutional-based care context.Seven months of participant observation and informal conversations with residents, staff and visiting family members/relatives.Thematic analysis based on ethnographic fieldwork and grounded theory.10
  • CH, care home; EOL, end of life; NA, nursing aide; NH, nursing home; NR, not recorded; RN, registered nurse.