NCARE (Nottingham Centre for the Advancement of Research into Supportive, Palliative and End-of-life Care)

Exploring death and dying in the UK: patient, family and public perspectives (EDDUK)

Project duration:

22 months (June 2019 - March 2021)


Marie Curie

Project staff: 

Prof. Kristian Pollock (PI), Dr Eleanor Wilson (SRF), Dr Nicola Turner (RF) 

Stage of development: 

Study recruitment and data collection have been completed. The team are in the process of analysing the data and preparing papers for inclusion in academic journals.

What is the study about?

The study will explore public, patient and family perspectives and experiences of death and dying in different care settings and conditions within the UK, and establish concerns and priorities for end of life care.

The UK population is becoming older. Most people die in great old age, often after a period when they are affected by one or more chronic conditions, such as diabetes, cancer or heart failure. Current care for patients approaching the end of life has not caught up with this changing population profile. We know very little about what members of the public think about death and dying, their experience of giving and receiving care within their family, or how they themselves would wish to be cared for in future.

For example, we want to find out:

  • if people think that death and dying are 'taboo' subjects and whether it helps to talk about these issues and plan for future care
  • what concerns people most about the prospect of dying
  • where people would like to be cared for, if this is different from where they would prefer to die
what people think about balancing quality of life and length of life. 
What will the study achieve?

The knowledge gained from this study will help policy makers and healthcare professionals to develop end of life care services which are better tailored to the needs of patients from all sectors of society.

What did the study involve?

We collected data on experiences of death and dying in the UK from 3 sources:

1) Interviews with 34 people who had been bereaved

2) Interviews with 12 patients who are aware they have a terminal illness

3) Discussion groups with members of the public. Seven discussion groups met for 4 sessions with 38 participants in total. In addition, 5 individual interviews were carried out with people who wanted to take part in a group but were unable to attend.


Pollock, K., Caswell, G., Turner, N., & Wilson, E. (2023), The ideal and the real: Patient and bereaved family caregiver perspectives on the significance of place of death. Death Studies, 1-14.

Caswell, G., Wilson, E, Turner, N and Pollock, K. (2022), 'It's Not Like in the Films': Bereaved People's Experiences of the Deathbed VigilOMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying.

Wilson, E, Caswell, G, Turner N & Pollock, K (2022), Talking about death and dying: Findings from deliberative discussion groups with members of the publicMortality.


Download the Study Newsletter

Further information

If you would like to find our more about the study or arrange to take part, please contact Professor Kristian Pollock

Tel: 0115 8230810
Address: School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, NG7 2HA.

Additional contacts:

Eleanor Wilson



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NCARE (Nottingham Centre for the Advancement of Research into Supportive, Palliative and End-of-life Care)

University of Nottingham
School of Health Sciences
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA