To test a need for the services offered by Life Matters Media, we conducted a market research survey among 200 people. This general population survey was almost equal parts male and female, and majority middle aged and older. The following represent their attitudes on the end of life. Their answers were submitted online.
The above survey demonstrates that those we surveyed believe other Americans are not having these essential conversations. Most believe that the general consensus in America is that such dialogue is anxiety-provoking.
While the previous survey reflects attitudes those polled had about others, their personal views on end of life discussions is far different.
The vast majority of those we polled think that the end of life is important to discuss. Close to 40% find it difficult, and less than a quarter of those we surveyed believe they have talked about the end of life a sufficient amount.
One of the challenges in discussing end of life planning is that for many, it lacks urgency because the reality seems far-off. That is why in the following question, we asked those being surveyed to think hypothetically.
The results above are clear- if the vast majority of those surveyed were to be diagnosed with a terminal illness, they would want to begin a discussion about the end of life with loved ones. But the data remains that they find such dialogue difficult to initiate.
We also conducted a survey of medical providers: physicians, nurses and patient support providers, spanning the specialties of internal medicine, cancer care, geriatrics, hospice care, psychology and social services. The following questions were asked and answered online, and reflect their opinions about these end of life issues.
The majority of medical providers cite time as a barrier to having end of life discussions with patients. About an equal percentage cite patient and family discomfort.
We also posed a question to assess media coverage of end of life issues to both the general population (top) and to medical providers (bottom).
Their responses were virtually the same. Both do not feel end of life issues are being discussed enough in the media.