Narrator: This is Science Today. Although there's been recent growth in hospice care, most Americans still die in hospitals. A new Yale study suggests part of the reason may be that doctors and nurses fail to tell patients and their families about their options. Dr. Steve Pantilat, of the University of California, San Francisco, has also conducted studies on hospice care and agrees there needs to be better dialogue.
Pantilat: When we ask people, what's important to you at the end of life? What families and patients tell us is that they don't want to be in pain and they don't want to suffer. They want to talk about illness and death with their doctors and nurses. And they want support.
Narrator: Both the Yale and UCSF studies stress doctors and nurses should be better trained in hospice care.
Pantilat:A lot of doctors have this sense that nobody wants to talk about this stuff, it's kind of depressing, it's kind of sad, nobody wants to talk about death and dying and illness, but when patients were interviewed - they said no, no actually quite the opposite. We want to talk about these things with our doctors. But even though the majority of patients wanted to talk about it - very few ever had. They're waiting for their doctor to bring it up.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.