Missoula, Montana Project Studies a Community's Perspective on Death and Dying to Improve End-of-Life Care

    • March 25, 2005

The Missoula Demonstration Project, established in March 1996 and now known as Life's End Institute: Missoula Demonstration Project, was an effort aimed at comprehensively researching the experience of dying, and the determinants of quality at life's end, within one community—Missoula, Mont.

The primary activities, which took place between 1998 and 2001, included engaging a wide range of community members, both public and professional, in exploring how we die, how we care for one another as we die, and how we mourn.

Staff also facilitated interventions that the community, once informed by research, deem necessary to improve the experience for all.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) program, Targeted End-of-Life Projects Initiative.

Key Results

  • Project staff used the funds to:

    • Conduct studies to gain diverse perspectives on death and dying in Missoula County, Mont.
    • Survey and create community profiles of two comparison communities (Bannock County, Idaho, and Albany County, Wyo.).
    • Engage the community in developing interventions.
    • Create a suite of tools for other communities interested in replicating all or portions of the project.
    • Provide technical assistance to other communities addressing end-of-life issues.