Which patients die in their preferred place? A secondary analysis of questionnaire data from bereaved relatives

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Abstract

Background:

Previous studies on factors influencing the place of death have focused on cancer patients dying at home. However, home is not always the preferred place.

Aim:

To provide insight into the extent to which patients with various diseases die in their preferred place and into factors associated with dying in the preferred place.

Design:

A secondary analysis of the data set of the evaluation study of the National Quality Improvement Programme for Palliative Care was undertaken to explore factors related to ‘dying in the preferred place’.

Setting/participants:

A total of 797 bereaved relatives filled in the Consumer Quality Index Palliative Care, a validated and reliable questionnaire.

Results:

Two-thirds of the patients died in the preferred place. A preference for dying at home and having had a stroke decreased the likelihood of dying in the preferred place, while having a partner, dementia, contact with the general practitioner in the last week before death, and continuity of care between professionals increased the likelihood of dying in the preferred place. Furthermore, people who wanted to die at home and also had dementia were more likely to die elsewhere than people without dementia who wanted to die at home.

Conclusion:

Positive associations were found between continuity of care between healthcare professionals and contact with the general practitioner and the chance of people dying in their preferred place. Moreover, special attention for people who have had a stroke and for people with dementia who want to die at home seems indicated as their diagnosis is negatively associated with dying in their preferred place.

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