BACKGROUND: Home is often deemed to be the preferred place of death for most patients. Knowing the factors related to the actualization of a preferred home death may yield evidence to enhance the organization and delivery of healthcare services.
OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study were to measure the congruence between a preferred and actualized home death among cancer patients in receipt of home-based palliative care in Canada and explore predictors of actualizing a preferred home death.
METHODS: A longitudinal prospective cohort design was conducted. A total of 290 caregivers were interviewed biweekly over the course of patients' palliative care trajectory between July 2010 and August 2012. Cross-tabulations and multivariate analyses were used in the analysis.
RESULTS: Home was the most preferred place of death, and 68% of patients who had voiced a preference for home death had their wish fulfilled. Care context variables, such as living with others and the intensity of home-based nursing visits and hours of care provided by personal support workers (PSW), contributed to actualizing a preferred home death. The intensity of emergency department visits was associated with a lower likelihood of achieving a preferred home death.
CONCLUSIONS: Higher intensity of home-based nursing visits and hours of PSW care contribute to the actualization of a preferred home death.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: This study has implications for policy decision-makers and healthcare managers. Improving and expanding the provision of home-based PSW and nursing services in palliative home care programs may help patients to actualize a preferred home death.
Background: Understanding the factors that affect the congruence between preferred and actual place of death may help providers offer clients customized end-of-life care settings. Little is known about this congruence for cancer patients in receipt of home-based palliative care.
Objectives: This study aims to determine the congruence between preferred and actual place of death among cancer patients in home-based palliative care programs.
Design: A longitudinal prospective cohort study was conducted. Congruence between preferred and actual place of death was measured. Both univariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the determinants of achieving a preferred place of death. From July 2010 to August 2012, a total of 290 caregivers were interviewed biweekly over the course of their palliative care trajectory from entry to the program and death.
Results: The overall congruence between preferred and actual place of death was 71.72%. Home was the most preferred place of death. The intensity of home-based nursing visits and hours of care from personal support workers (PSWs) increased the likelihood of achieving death in a preferred setting.
Conclusions: The provision of care by home-based nurse visits and PSWs contributed to achieving a greater congruence between preferred and actual place of death. This finding highlights the importance of formal care providers in signaling and executing the preferences of clients in receipt of home-based palliative care.
The main objective of this study was to examine whether and how the Palliative Performance Scale (PPS), a measure of a patient's function, was predictive of survival time for those in receipt of home-based palliative care. This was a prospective study, which included 194 cancer patients from November 17, 2013, to August 18, 2015. Data were collected from biweekly telephone interviews with caregivers. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were estimated to assess how survival time was correlated with initial PPS scores after admission to the home-based palliative care program. A multivariate extended Cox regression model was used to examine the association between PPS and survival. The results showed that patients with higher PPS scores, that is, better function, had a lower hazard ratio (0.977; 95% confidence interval: 0.965-0.989) and hence longer survival times. The PPS can be used in predicting survival time for home-based palliative care patients.
The use of health services may vary across people with different socioeconomic statuses, and may be determined by many factors. The purposes of this study were (i) to examine the socioeconomic differences in the propensity and intensity of use for three main home-based health services, that is, home-based palliative care physician visits, nurse visits and personal support worker (PSW) hours; and (ii) to explore the determinants of the use of home-based palliative care services. A prospective cohort study was employed. A total of 181 caregivers were interviewed biweekly over the course of the palliative care trajectory, yielding a total of 994 interviews. The propensity and intensity of health service use were examined using logistic regression and negative binomial regression, respectively. The results demonstrated that both the propensity and intensity of home-based nurse and PSW visits fell with socioeconomic status. The use of home-based palliative care services was not concentrated in high socioeconomic status groups. The common predictors of health service use in the three service categories were patient age, the Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) score and place of death. These findings may assist health service planners in the appropriate allocation of resources and service packages to meet the complex needs of palliative care populations.