Study objective. To describe the place of death of the elderly and to analyze the factors associated with death occurring in an acute care hospital. Design. Cross-sectional interview of a randomized sample of individuals aged 65 or over who died during the year 1998. Three to four months after the death of the elderly subject, the main caregiver was interviewed about the socio-demographic characteristics, chronic conditions, functional and cognitive status, and use of health services in the months previous to the death, as well as the place where death occurred and their preferences on this site. Setting. Six areas of Catalonia, Spain, differing in the level of health and end of life social services. Participants. 584 caregivers (78.6% response rate). Main results. Mean age of the deceased elderly was 81.4 (± 8) and half of them were females. 52% (95% CI: 47.5-55.7) had died in acute care hospitals. 35% of the caregivers of those dying at an acute hospital reported that they would have preferred another place for death. After adjustment, variables associated with dying in acute care hospitals were: living in an area with lower availability of social and health services for the end of life (OR: 2.8; 95% CI: 1.4-5.5) and suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR: 1.7; 95% CI: 1.1-2.5). Conclusions. Acute hospitals are the predominant place of death in Catalonia, Spain. The place of death seems to be more closely influenced by the availability of end-of-life care services. There is a clear preference for dying at an alternative place to acute hospitals.
|Journal||Revista Clinica Espanola|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2006|
- End of life care
- Health services utilization
- Older people
- Place of death