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Disability and Aging, Cutler Institute, USM Aging Initiative, Policy


In 2002, Last Acts, a national campaign of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, issued a report assessing the states on access to end-of-life care and policies supporting its provision. Quite striking for the hospice providers and other stakeholders of Maine, the state ranked second to last in hospice use among persons over age 65 in their last year of life. Although anecdotal and unpublished data suggest that hospice use is on the rise in Maine, concerns about the low use rate remains a concern to those interested in end-of-life care in the State.

In order to better understand the factors influencing the use of hospice in Maine, the Maine Hospice Council asked the Muskie School of Public Service to conduct a literature review synthesizing current knowledge on outcomes, use, cost, and barriers to end-of-life care. This review provides a foundation for setting an overall research agenda for the Council. At the end of the report, we have outlined a set of questions for further research regarding end-of-life care in Maine.