Place of Death for Israeli Cancer Patients Over a 20-Year Period: Reducing Hospital Deaths, but Barriers Remain

Yuval Shalev Many, Pesach Shvartzman, Ido Wolf*, Barbara G. Silverman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Cancer remains a leading cause of mortality worldwide. While the main focus of palliative care (PC) is quality of life, the elements that comprise the quality of death are often overlooked. Dying at home, with home-hospice-care (HHC) support, rather than in-hospital, may increase patient satisfaction and decrease the use of invasive measures. We examined clinical and demographic characteristics associated with out-of-hospital death among patients with cancer, which serves as a proxy measure for HHC deaths. Methods: Using death certification data from the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, we analyzed 209,158 cancer deaths between 1998 and 2018 in Israel including demographic information, cause of death, and place of death (POD). A multiple logistic regression model was constructed to identify factors associated with out-of-hospital cancer deaths. Results: Between 1998 and 2018, 69.1% of cancer deaths occurred in-hospital, and 30.8% out-of-hospital. Out-of-hospital deaths increased by 1% annually during the study period. Older patients and those dying of solid malignancies were more likely to die out-of-hospital (OR = 2.65, OR = 1.93, respectively). Likelihood of dying out-of-hospital varied with area of residency; patients living in the Southern district were more likely than those in the Jerusalem district to die out-of-hospital (OR = 2.37). Conclusion: The proportion of cancer deaths occurring out-of-hospital increased during the study period. We identified clinical and demographic factors associated with POD. Differences between geographical areas probably stem from disparity in the distribution of PC services and highlight the need for increasing access to primary EOL care. However, differences in age and tumor type probably reflect cultural changes and suggest focusing on educating patients, families, and physicians on the benefits of PC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1092-E1098
JournalOncologist
Volume28
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • dying at home
  • end of life care
  • health care disparities
  • home hospice care
  • patients with cancer

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