Despite improvement in the care of patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD), mortality is rising. In the United States, patients are increasingly choosing to die at hospice and home, but data in patients with ESLD are lacking. Therefore, this study aimed to describe trends in location of death in patients with ESLD. We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional analysis using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-ranging OnLine Data for Epidemiologic Research from 2003-2018. Death location was categorized as hospice, home, inpatient, nursing home, or other. Comparisons were made between gender, age, ethnicity, race, region, and with other causes of death. Comparisons were also made between rates of change (calculated as annual percent change), proportion of deaths in 2018, and with multivariable logistic regression. 535,261 deaths were attributed to ESLD - most were male, non-Hispanic, and White. The proportion of deaths at hospice and home increased over the study period from 0.2% to 10.6% and 20.3% to 25.7%, respectively. Whites had the highest proportion of deaths in hospice and home. In multivariable analysis, elderly patients were more likely to die in hospice or home (OR 1.20 CI 1.07-1.35), while black patients were less likely (OR 0.58 CI 0.46-0.73). Compared to other causes of death, ESLD had the second highest proportion of deaths in hospice but lagged behind non-hepatocellular carcinoma malignancy.
CONCLUSION: Deaths in patients with ESLD are increasingly common at hospice and home overall, and while the rates have been increasing among black patients, they are still less likely to die at hospice or home. Efforts to improve this disparity, promote end-of-life care planning, and enhance access to death at hospice and home are needed.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Nursing homes (NHs) care for 70% of Americans dying with dementia. Many consider deaths in NHs rather than hospitals as preferable for most of these residents. NH characteristics such as staff teamwork, communication, and other components of patient safety culture (PSC), together with state minimum NH nurse staffing requirements, may influence location of death. We examined associations between these variables and place of death (NH/hospital) among residents with dementia.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 11,957 long-stay NH residents with dementia, age 65+, who died in NHs or hospitals shortly following discharge from one of 800 US NHs in 2017. Multivariable logistic regression systematically estimated effects of PSC on odds of in-hospital death among residents with dementia, controlling for resident, NH, county, and state characteristics. Logistic regressions also determined moderating effects of state minimum NH nurse staffing requirements on relationships between key PSC domains and location of death.
RESULTS: Residents with dementia in NHs with higher PSC scores in communication openness had lower odds of in-hospital death. This effect was stronger in NHs located in states with higher minimum NH nurse staffing requirements.
DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Promoting communication openness in NHs across nursing disciplines may help avoid unnecessary hospitalization at the end of life, and merits particular attention as NHs address nursing staff mix while adhering to state staffing requirements. Future research to better understand unintended consequences of staffing requirements is needed to improve end-of-life care in NHs.
AIM/PURPOSE: This integrative review addresses whether the presence and timing of advanced care planning (ACP) with or without a palliative care (PC) consultation affect place of death and use of high-intensity medical care at end-of-life (EOL) in adolescent and young adult and adult cancer patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) therapy.
METHODS AND RESULTS: A literature search was completed in the Scopus and PubMed databases. The search was not restricted by date but was restricted to English language. A total of 1,616 articles were found, and after exclusion of duplicates and irrelevance, 79 articles were available to review. After reviewing inclusion and exclusion criteria, 9 articles related to ACP with HSCT were found, and 4 were eliminated after further review, resulting in 5 viable articles for review related to EOL outcomes. EOL outcomes reviewed were place of death and high-intensity medical care. Factors noted to influence these measures included the presence or absence of ACP, the timing of ACP, and PC consultation. Overall survival also emerged as an EOL outcome affected by ACP.
CONCLUSION: Although there have been many barriers identified to ACP discussions in the HSCT population, the findings from the integrative literature review support the use of early ACP with patients who have hematologic malignancies undergoing HSCT to address patient EOL goals and reduce healthcare utilization at the EOL. The data also suggest that identification of patients who would most benefit from early engagement in ACP may positively impact outcomes.
Palliative care and advance care planning (ACP) from the first diagnosis of glioblastoma are important. This questionnaire survey was conducted to understand the current status of palliative care for brain tumors in Japan. Representative characteristics of Japan in comparison with Western countries (P <0.01) are described below: (1) Gender ratio of male in physicians who treat brain tumors in Europe and the United States/Canada are about 70%, but 94% in Japan. (2) The specialty is predominantly neurosurgeon (93%) in Japan. The ratio of neurologists is predominantly 40% in Europe. In the United States/Canada, neurologist (27%) and neurosurgeon (29%) are main parts. (3) Years of medical experience over 15 in physicians is 73% in Japan. Proportions of those with over 15 years are 45% in Europe and 30% in the United States/Canada. (4) In practicing setting, the rate of academic medical centers is about 80% in Europe and the United States/Canada, and ~60% in Japan. Representative differences compared with past domestic data (2007) (p<0.01): (1) In glioblastoma, the rate of explaining about median survival time increases from 39% (2007) to 80% (2018). Explanation about medical conditions to the patient himself with his family increases from 20% (2007) to 39% (2018). (2) Place of death: The rate at hospital is decreasing from 96% (2007) to 79% (2018) and at home is increasing from 3% (2007) to 10% (2018) (3) The rate of ventilator in adult has decreased from 74% (2007) to 54% (2018), but nasal tube feeding has remained unchanged from 62% (2007) to 60% (2018). These results will be shared with physicians to make better care systems for patients with brain tumors.
Objectives: To analyze the association of an incentivization program to promote death outside of hospitals with changes in place of death.
Design: A longitudinal observational study using national databases.
Setting and Participants: Participants comprised Japanese decedents (=65 years) who had used long-term care insurance services and died between April 2007 and March 2014.
Methods: Using a database of Japanese long-term care insurance service claims, subjects were divided into community-dwelling and residential aged care (RAC) facility groups. Based on national death records, change in place of death after the Japanese government initiated incentivization program was observed using logistic regression.
Results: Hospital deaths decreased by 8.7% over time, mainly due to an increase in RAC facility deaths. The incentivization program was more associated with decreased in-hospital deaths for older adults in RAC facilities than community-dwelling older adults.
Conclusions and Implications: In Japan, the proportion of in-hospital deaths of frail older adults decreased since the health services system introduced the incentivization program for end-of-life care outside of hospitals. The shift of place of death from hospitals to different locations was more prominent among residents of RAC facilities, where informal care from laymen was required less, than among community residents.
Objective: Evidence is mixed regarding the impact of advance care planning (ACP) on place of death. This cohort study investigated the effect of ACP programmes on place of death and utilisation of life-sustaining treatments for patients during end-of-life (EOL) care.
Methods: This prospective cohort study identified deceased patients between 2015 and 2016 at Taipei City Hospital. ACP was determined by patients’ medical records and defined as a process to discuss patients’ preferences with respect to EOL treatments and place of death. Place of death included hospital or home death. Stepwise logistic regression determined the association of ACP with place of death and utilisation of life-sustaining treatments during EOL care.
Results: Of the 3196 deceased patients, the overall mean age was 78.6 years, and 46.5% of the subjects had an ACP communication with healthcare providers before death. During the study follow-up period, 166 individuals died at home, including 98 (6.59%) patients with ACP and 68 (3.98%) patients without ACP. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors and comorbidities, patients with ACP were more likely to die at home during EOL care (adjusted OR (AOR)=1.71, 95% CI 1.24 to 2.35). Moreover, patients with ACP were less likely to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (AOR 0.36, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.51) as well as intubation and mechanical ventilation support (AOR 0.54, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.67) during the last 3 months of life.
Conclusion: Patients with ACP were more likely to die at home and less likely to receive life-sustaining treatments during EOL care.
BACKGROUND: Place of death is important to patients and caregivers, and often a surrogate measure of health care disparities. While recent trends in place of death suggest an increased frequency of dying at home, data is largely unknown for older adults with cancer.
METHODS: Deidentified death certificate data were obtained via the National Center for Health Statistics. All lung, colon, prostate, breast, and pancreas cancer deaths for older adults (defined as >65 years of age) from 2003 to 2017 were included. Multinomial logistic regression was used to test for differences in place of death associated with sociodemographic variables.
RESULTS: From 2003 through 2017, a total of 3,182,707 older adults died from lung, colon, breast, prostate and pancreas cancer. During this time, hospital and nursing home deaths decreased, and the rate of home and hospice facility deaths increased (all p < 0.001). In multivariable regression, all assessed variables were found to be associated with place of death. Overall, older age was associated with increased risk of nursing facility death versus home death. Black patients were more likely to experience hospital death (OR 1.7) and Hispanic ethnicity had lower odds of death in a nursing facility (OR 0.55). Since 2003, deaths in hospice facilities rapidly increased by 15%.
CONCLUSION: Hospital and nursing facility cancer deaths among older adults with cancer decreased since 2003, while deaths at home and hospice facilities increased. Differences in place of death were noted for non-white patients and older adults of advanced age.
De quoi et où meurent les Françaises et Français ? Quelle est l’offre sanitaire globale mais aussi plus spécifiquement de soins palliatifs aujourd’hui en France ? Quel est le profil des patients pris en charge dans les unités de soins palliatifs ? Quelle est la part des personnes âgées de 75 ans et plus dans les statistiques de mortalité ? Quelles sont leurs particularités ? Observe-t-on des différences géographiques concernant toutes ces données ?
Cette deuxième édition de l'Atlas national a vocation à répondre à ces multiples questions pour aider le lecteur à appréhender les enjeux et les réalités de l’accompagnement de la fin de vie et de la place des soins palliatifs en France aujourd’hui. Il rassemble des données démographiques, sanitaires qui sont analysées le plus finement possible pour mettre en lumière les spécificités départementales en termes d’offre sanitaire mais aussi de besoins des patients dans leurs trajectoires de fin de vie.
BACKGROUND: Most terminally ill cancer patients prefer to die at home, but a majority die in institutional settings. Research questions about this discrepancy have not been fully answered. This study applies artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to explore the complex network of factors and the cause-effect relationships affecting the place of death, with the ultimate aim of developing policies favouring home-based end-of-life care.
METHODS: A data mining algorithm and a causal probabilistic model for data analysis were developed with information derived from expert knowledge that was merged with data from 116 deceased cancer patients in southern Switzerland. This data set was obtained via a retrospective clinical chart review.
RESULTS: Dependencies of disease and treatment-related decisions demonstrate an influence on the place of death of 13%. Anticancer treatment in advanced disease prevents or delays communication about the end of life between oncologists, patients and families. Unknown preferences for the place of death represent a great barrier to a home death. A further barrier is the limited availability of family caregivers for terminal home care. The family's preference for the last place of care has a high impact on the place of death of 51%, while the influence of the patient's preference is low, at 14%. Approximately one-third of family systems can be empowered by health care professionals to provide home care through open end-of-life communication and good symptom management. Such intervention has an influence on the place of death of 17%. If families express a convincing preference for home care, the involvement of a specialist palliative home care service can increase the probability of home deaths by 24%.
CONCLUSION: Concerning death at home, open communication about death and dying is essential. Furthermore, for the patient preference for home care to be respected, the family's decision for the last place of care seems to be key. The early initiation of family-centred palliative care and the provision of specialist palliative home care for patients who wish to die at home are suggested.
Introduction : La plupart des Français souhaitent mourir à domicile mais peu d’entre eux y décèdent réellement. L’expression par le patient de son souhait sur le lieu de son décès en favorise le respect, mais les médecins connaissent peu ces souhaits. L’objectif de l’étude est de recueillir la façon dont les personnes en situation palliative à domicile envisagent d’aborder le lieu de décès avec leur médecin généraliste.
Méthode : Une étude qualitative a été réalisée par entretiens individuels semi-dirigés au domicile des personnes atteintes d’une pathologie incurable avec un pronostic vital entre 4 semaines et 2 ans.
Résultats : 15 entretiens ont été menés. La plupart des personnes interrogées souhaitent mourir à la maison, proche des leurs, mais le besoin d’être accompagné et de préserver leur entourage semble être plus important pour elles. Elles attendent que le médecin traitant aborde la fin de vie et le lieu de décès avec disponibilité, écoute et bienveillance, et qu’il y montre de l’intérêt. L’émergence de trois profils (paternaliste, autonomiste et intermédiaire) illustre la façon dont elles envisagent ces discussions avec leur médecin traitant.
Discussion : Les personnes en situation palliative à domicile attendent que le médecin traitant aborde la fin de vie avec une attitude adaptée au profil de chacun. Une consultation dédiée permettrait au médecin généraliste de créer des conditions favorables afin de donner au malade une opportunité d’aborder ce sujet sensible et de respecter ses souhaits.
Conclusion : Les malades souhaitent une implication du médecin généraliste dans les discussions anticipées.
OBJECTIVE: Determine the role of palliative care on terminal code status and setting of death for those with heart failure.
BACKGROUND: Although palliative care consultation (PCC) has increased for many conditions, PCC has not increased in those with cardiovascular disease. While it has been shown that the majority of those with heart failure die in medical facilities, the impact of PCC on terminal code status and setting of death requires further analysis.
METHODS: Patients admitted with heart failure between 2014-2015 at an academic VA Healthcare System were reviewed. Primary outcome was terminal code status. Secondary outcomes included setting of death, hospice utilization, and mortality scores. Student t-testing and Chi-square testing were performed where appropriate.
RESULTS: 334 patients were admitted with heart failure and had a median follow up time of 4.3 years. 196 patients died, with 122 (62%) receiving PCC and 74 (38%) without PCC. Patients were more likely to have terminal code statuses of comfort measures with PCC (OR = 4.6, p = 0.002), and less likely to be full code (OR = 0.09, p < 0.001). 146 patients had documented settings of death and were more likely to receive hospice services with PCC (OR 6.76, p < 0.001). A patient's chance of dying at home was not increased with PCC (OR 0.49, p = 0.07), but they were more likely to die with inpatient hospice (OR = 17.03; p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Heart failure patients who received PCC are more likely to die with more defined care preferences and with hospice services. This does not translate to dying at home.
BACKGROUND: Palliative care (PC) has been shown to improve outcomes for individuals at the end of life. Despite this, many Canadians do not receive PC prior to death. The present study examines the receipt of inpatient PC and its association with location of death, as well as with admission to intensive care units (ICUs) and use of alternate level of care (ALC) beds in hospital in the last 30 days of life.
DATA AND METHODS: The study sample is a retrospective cohort of adult Canadians (aged 19 and older) who died between April 1, 2010, and December 31, 2014. Deaths were ascertained from the Canadian Vital Statistics Database and linked to hospitalizations records in the Discharge Abstract Database to identify the receipt of inpatient PC.
RESULTS: More than half (57.7%) of Canadian adults died in hospital, with only 12.6% receiving any inpatient PC in the year prior to death, and 1.7% receiving a preterminal PC designation (i.e., PC initiated prior to the last 30 days of life). In the adjusted analyses, receipt of any inpatient PC was associated with a higher likelihood of death in hospital but lower odds of ICU admission. Pre-terminal PC was associated with lower odds of death in hospital, ICU admission and ALC bed use.
DISCUSSION: This study offers new insights into the association between inpatient PC and outcomes at the end of life among Canadians. Future studies could expand on these observations to further understanding of the role of inpatient PC in the end-of-life experience for different populations in Canada.
Early planning and knowing which factors to consider when planning the location of death (LOD) of a palliative child, may help minimize the burden of hasty decision-making in the future, and may provide families with a sense of control. The current paper reviewed which factors were associated with pediatric LOD and further considered some emerging factors that should are important to better facilitate integrative planning. Three overarching areas of consideration related to pediatric LOD planning were identified including health service factors, familial factors and patient factors. Multiple sub-factor considerations are presented. Further, the paper presents a conceptual model of the factors found to be related to pediatric LOD planning. The limitations that exist with rigorously and empirically studying pediatric LOD preferences are apparent from the dearth of knowledge seen in the field. However, future studies should continue to examine such factors more closely to better understand the nuanced implications.
Objective: This study compares the characteristics and place of death of patients with cancer receiving specialist palliative care in acute hospitals with those who do not.
Methods: All patients with incident invasive cancer in Ireland (1994–2016 inclusive), excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, who attended a cancer centre and died in 2016 were identified from cancer registry data. Patients were categorised based on a diagnosis code ‘Encounter for palliative care’ from linked hospital episode data. Place of death was categorised from death certificate data. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, 2 tests and logistic regression.
Results: Of n=4103 decedents identified, 62% had a hospital-based palliative care encounter in the year preceding death. Age (p<0.001), marital status (p=0.017), deprivation index (p<0.001) and health board region (p=0.008) were independent predictors of having a palliative care encounter. Place of death differed by palliative care encounter group: 45% of those with an encounter died in hospital versus 50% without an encounter, 33% vs 16% died in a hospice and 18% vs 28% died at home (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Almost two-thirds of patients with cancer who attended a cancer centre and died in 2016 had a palliative care encounter. They were younger, less likely to be married and more likely to be from deprived areas. Having accounted for sociodemographic factors, there was evidence of regional variation in receiving care. Demographic and clinical factors and the provision of health services in a region need to be considered together when assessing end-of-life care.
In Japan, many adults prefer to die at home; however, few have their preferences actually come true. While discussions regarding place of death preferences (DPDPs) are important for older adults, they are poorly documented. Therefore, we investigated the factors associated with older Japanese men and women having DPDPs. We used cross-sectional survey data collected for the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES). We applied multivariable logistic regression analysis to calculate the odds ratio (ORs) of having DPDPs separately between men (n = 2,770) and women (n = 3,038) aged = 75 years. We considered 17 potential factors associated with having DPDPs, which were classified as either demographic, healthcare, family, or community factors. Among participants, 50.1% had DPDPs: 1,288 men (44.3%) and 1,619 women (55.7%). Older adults, DPDPs were associated with 5 additional factors; e.g. having a primary care physician (ORs = 1.47 [men] and 1.45 [women]), as were those who gave family and friends advice (ORs = 1.26 [men] and 1.62 [women]), and having people who listened to their concerns (ORs = 1.70 [men] and 1.81 [women]). Among men, DPDPs were associated with 3 additional factors; e.g. humorous conversations with their spouse (OR = 1.60). Among women, only one factor—reading newspapers (OR = 1.43) was associated with having DPDPs. Social networks with primary care physicians, family members, and friends may be important factors in promoting DPDPs. These gender-based differences in older adults relating to DPDPs should be considered when developing interventions to promote advance care planning that includes DPDPs.
BACKGROUND: Disparities in the utilization, expenditures, and quality of care by insurance types have been well documented. Such comparisons have yet to be investigated in end-of-life (EOL) settings in China, where public insurance covers over 95% of the Chinese population. This study examined the associations between health insurance and EOL care in the last six months of life: outpatient visits, emergency department (ED) visits, inpatient services, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, expenditures, and place of death among the cancer patients.
METHODS: A total of 398 patients diagnosed with cancer who survived more than 6 months after diagnosis and died from July 2015 to June 2017 in urban Yichang, China, were included. Descriptive analysis and multivariate regression models were used to investigate the bivariate and independent associations, respectively, between health insurance with EOL healthcare utilization, expenditures and place of death.
RESULTS: Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI) beneficiaries visited EDs more frequently than Urban Resident-based Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI) and New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme (NRCMS) beneficiaries (marginal effects [95% Confidence Interval]: 2.15 [1.81-2.48] and 1.92 [1.59-2.26], respectively). NRCMS and UEBMI beneficiaries had more hospitalizations than URBMI beneficiaries (1.01 [0.38-1.64] and 0.71 [0.20-1.22], respectively). Compared to URBMI beneficiaries, NRCMS beneficiaries and UEBMI beneficiaries had ¥15,722 and ¥43,241 higher expenditures. Similarly, UEBMI beneficiaries were most likely to die in hospitals, followed by NRCMS (UEBMI vs. NRCMS: 0.23 [0.11-0.36]) and URBMI (UEBMI vs. URBMI: 0.67 [0.57-0.78]) beneficiaries.
CONCLUSIONS: The disproportionately lower utilization of EOL care among NRCMS and URBMI beneficiaries, compared to UEBMI beneficiaries, raised concerns regarding quality of EOL care and financial burdens of NRCMS and URBMI beneficiaries. Purposive hospice care intervention might be warranted to address EOL care for these beneficiaries in China.
The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program was developed to enhance quality of care delivered at End-of-Life (EoL). Although positive impacts of the POLST program have been identified, the association between a program maturity status and nursing home resident's likelihood of dying in their current care settings remain unanswered. This study aims to evaluate the impact of the POLST program maturity status on nursing home residents' place of death. Using multiple national-level datasets, we examined total 595,152 residents and their place of death. The result showed that the long-stay residents living in states where the program was mature status had 12% increased odds of dying in nursing homes compared that of non-conforming status. Individuals residing in states with developing program status showed 11% increase in odds of dying in nursing homes. The findings demonstrate that a well-structured and well-disseminated POLST program, combined with a continued effort to meet high standards of quality EoL care, can bring out positive health outcomes for elderly patients residing in care settings.
Context: Hospice facilities are increasingly preferred as a location of death, but little is known about the characteristics of patients who die in these facilities in the U.S.
Objectives: We sought to examine the trends and factors associated with death in a hospice facility.
Methods: Retrospective cross-sectional study using mortality data for years 2003–2017 for deaths attributed to natural causes in the U.S.
Results: The proportion of natural deaths occurring in hospice facilities increased from 0.2% in 2003 to 8.3% in 2017, resulting in nearly 1.7 million deaths during this time frame. Females had increased odds of hospice facility deaths (odds ratio [OR] = 1.04; 95% CI = 1.04, 1.05). Nonwhite race was associated with lower odds of hospice facility death (black [OR = 0.915; 95% CI = 0.890, 0.940]; Native American [OR = 0.559; 95% CI = 0.515, 0.607]; and Asian [OR = 0.655; 95% CI = 0.601, 0.713]). Being married was associated with hospice facility death (OR = 1.06; 95% CI = 1.04, 1.07). Older age was associated with increased odds of hospice facility death (85 and older [OR = 1.40; 95% CI = 1.39, 1.41]). Having at least some college education was associated with increased odds of hospice facility death (OR = 1.13; 95% CI = 1.11, 1.15). Decedents from cardiovascular disease had the lowest odds of hospice facility death (OR = 0.278; 95% CI = 0.274, 0.282).
Conclusion: Hospice facility deaths increased among all patient groups; however, striking differences exist by age, sex, race, marital status, education level, cause of death, and geography. Factors underlying these disparities should be examined.
Background: COVID-19 has directly and indirectly caused high mortality worldwide.
Aim: To explore patterns of mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic and implications for palliative care, service planning and research.
Design: Descriptive analysis and population-based modelling of routine data.
Participants and setting: All deaths registered in England and Wales between 7 March and 15 May 2020. We described the following mortality categories by age, gender and place of death: (1) baseline deaths (deaths that would typically occur in a given period); (2) COVID-19 deaths and (3) additional deaths not directly attributed to COVID-19. We estimated the proportion of people who died from COVID-19 who might have been in their last year of life in the absence of the pandemic using simple modelling with explicit assumptions.
Results: During the first 10 weeks of the pandemic, there were 101,614 baseline deaths, 41,105 COVID-19 deaths and 14,520 additional deaths. Deaths in care homes increased by 220%, while home and hospital deaths increased by 77% and 90%, respectively. Hospice deaths fell by 20%. Additional deaths were among older people (86% aged >= 75 years), and most occurred in care homes (56%) and at home (43%). We estimate that 22% (13%–31%) of COVID-19 deaths occurred among people who might have been in their last year of life in the absence of the pandemic.
Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in palliative care needs. Health and social care systems must ensure availability of palliative care to support people with severe COVID-19, particularly in care homes.
Background: Homeless people experience multiple health problems and early mortality. In the Netherlands, they can get shelter-based end-of-life care, but shelters are predominantly focused on temporary accommodation and recovery.
Aim: To examine the characteristics of homeless people who reside at the end-of-life in shelter-based nursing care settings and the challenges in the end-of-life care provided to them.
Design: A retrospective record study using both quantitative and qualitative analysis methods.
Setting/participants: Two Dutch shelter-based nursing care settings. We included 61 homeless patients who died between 2009 and 2016.
Results: Most patients had somatic (98%), psychiatric (84%) and addiction problems (90%). For 75% of the patients, the end of life was recognised and documented; this occurred 0–1253 days before death. For 26%, a palliative care team was consulted in the year before death. In the three months before death, 45% had at least three transitions, mainly to hospitals. Sixty-five percent of the patients died in the shelter, 27% in a hospital and 3% in a hospice. A quarter of all patients were known to have died alone. Documented care difficulties concerned continuity of care, social and environmental safety, patient–professional communication and medical-pharmacological alleviation of suffering.
Conclusions: End-of-life care for homeless persons residing in shelter-based nursing care settings is characterised and challenged by comorbidities, uncertain prognoses, complicated social circumstances and many transitions to other settings. Multilevel end-of-life care improvements, including increased interdisciplinary collaboration, are needed to reduce transitions and suffering of this vulnerable population at the end of life.