Factors enabling home death of the elderly in an institution specializing in home medical care: Analysis of apprehension of the bereaved family

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Abstract

Aim

To determine the factors enabling home death despite caregiver apprehension about home medical care.

Methods

This study was an anonymous mailed survey of bereaved family members (the caregiver) of patients who died in a home medical care setting provided by an institution specializing in home medical care in Japan (home death rate, ∼80%). We analyzed the relationships between caregiver apprehension about home medical care, overall satisfaction with home medical care and the place of death.

Results

Higher caregiver apprehension about home medical care and lower overall satisfaction with home medical care were significantly associated with dying in a hospital. In addition, the home death group with apprehension about home medical care significantly rated higher overall satisfaction with home medical care than the hospital death group. Meanwhile, there was no difference in the overall satisfaction with home medical care between those with or without apprehension about home medical care in the home death group. Factors influencing overall satisfaction with home medical care in the home death group with apprehension about home medical care were: (i) being free from pain or symptoms (partial regression coefficient: 0.83); and (ii) fulfilled medical care service system (partial regression coefficient: 0.40).

Conclusion

These results suggest that caregiver satisfaction with home medical care is an essential factor to enable home death of the patient despite the caregiver apprehension about home medical care.

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