A study looking at quality of care for people in the last stages of life (QUALYCARE study)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

All cancer types





This study is looking at the quality of care that people with cancer have at home, and in hospitals, hospices and nursing homes during the last few months of their lives.

Many people say that they would prefer to be cared for and to die at home. But we don’t really know if people have better care at home. And we don’t know if friends and relatives cope any better when somebody dies at home.

Researchers want to learn more about the experience of dying of cancer at home, as well as in other places such as hospitals, hospices and nursing homes. In this study, they are asking for the views of relatives and friends who were involved in the care of somebody who has recently died of cancer.

The aim of this study is to find out what family and friends think about the care their relative had in the last few months of their life. Researchers hope this will help to improve care and services for patients and families in the future.

Who can enter

You can enter this study if you have been involved in the care of somebody who has died of cancer in the last few months, and you have received a letter inviting you to take part.

Trial design

This study is taking place in 4 areas of London – Bromley, Islington, Westminster, and Sutton and Merton. If you live in one of these areas and have been involved with the care of somebody who has recently died of cancer, you may receive a letter and a questionnaire, sent by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on behalf of the researchers.

Your name will have been taken from the records of death registrations, but the letter will be sent to you in complete confidence. Your personal details will not have been given to anyone else.

If you agree to take part, you can fill in the questionnaire at home. It takes about an hour and will ask questions on

  • The care and services your relative received in the last months of their life
  • Whether or not you think their needs were met
  • How their death may have affected you

When you have finished the questionnaire, you send it to the researchers in the prepaid envelope provided. All the information you give is confidential Open a glossary item and personal details that could identify you (such as your name and address) are kept separate from the other information.

If you do not wish to take part in the study, you can fill in a form saying that you don’t want to join and send it to the ONS. Or, you can phone the research team. Letting them know this will ensure that you don’t get any reminder letters.

Hospital visits

You will not have to make any hospital visits.

Side effects

There are no side effects from taking part in this study. But remembering and answering questions about the last months of your relative’s life may bring back painful memories. The study team will provide you with information about bereavement and sources of support that you may find useful.

There is more information about this study on the King’s College website.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Irene Higginson

Supported by

Cicely Saunders International
Department of Health
King's College London
National Health Service (NHS)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 5271

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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