Un jeune garçon qui a des difficultés scolaires (DYS) apprend que son grand-père, atteint de la maladie d'Alzheimer, va être placé en maison de retraite. Il décrit le passé d'explorateur de son grand-père puis décide avec son camarade de classe, un garçon émigré d'Irak, de sauver son grand-père en partant à la recherche de la grand-mère disparue.
Objectives: We aimed to investigate the occurrence rates of clinical events and their associations with comfort in dying nursing home residents with and without dementia.
Methods: Epidemiological after-death survey was performed in nationwide representative samples of 322 nursing homes in Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and England. Nursing staff reported clinical events and assessed comfort. The nursing staff or physician assessed the presence of dementia; severity was determined using two highly discriminatory staff-reported instruments.
Results: The sample comprised 401 residents with advanced dementia, 377 with other stages of dementia, and 419 without dementia (N = 1197). Across the three groups, pneumonia occurred in 24 to 27% of residents. Febrile episodes (unrelated to pneumonia) occurred in 39% of residents with advanced dementia, 34% in residents with other stages of dementia and 28% in residents without dementia (P = .03). Intake problems occurred in 74% of residents with advanced dementia, 55% in residents with other stages of dementia, and 48% in residents without dementia (P < .001). Overall, these three clinical events were inversely associated with comfort. Less comfort was observed in all resident groups who had pneumonia (advanced dementia, P = .04; other stages of dementia, P = .04; without dementia, P < .001). Among residents with intake problems, less comfort was observed only in those with other stages of dementia (P < .001) and without dementia (P = .003), while the presence and severity of dementia moderated this association (P = .03). Developing “other clinical events” was not associated with comfort.
Conclusions: Discomfort was observed in dying residents who developed major clinical events, especially pneumonia, which was not specific to advanced dementia. It is crucial to identify and address the clinical events potentially associated with discomfort in dying residents with and without dementia.
Religion and culture play important roles in influencing end-of-life communication among the elderly. However, little is known about end-of-life communication among elderly nursing home residents. A qualitative study involving a sample of 13 elderly residents of a non- government nursing home in the north of Peninsular Malaysia was conducted to investigate residents' attitudes and ideas about their end-of-life preferences. Thematic analysis was performed to identify major themes emerging from the interviews. This study found that elderly residents actively avoided end-of-life communication, but that their cultural and religious beliefs remained of paramount importance. It is hoped that these findings will provide a platform upon which to improve current nursing home care in Malaysia.
Background: Increased awareness of the clinical course of nursing home residents with advanced dementia and advance care planning (ACP) has become the cornerstone of good palliative care.
Objective: The aim of our study is to describe changes in ACP in the form of physician treatment orders (PTOs), symptom prevalence and possible burdensome interventions among nursing home (NH) residents who died between 2004–2009 and 2010–2013
Methods: Retrospective study
Results: The number of PTOs regarding forgoing antibiotics or parenteral antibiotics, forgoing artificial nutrition or hydration or forgoing hospitalisation doubled between 2004–2009 and 2010–2013 (38.1% vs. 64.9%, p < 0.001; 40.0% vs. 81.7%, p < 0.001; 28.1% vs. 69.5%, p < 0.001, respectively). PTOs were also done significantly earlier in 2010–2013 than in 2004–2009. The prevalence of distressing symptoms and possible burdensome interventions remained unchanged, although the prevalence of consistency with the PTOs was high.
Conclusion: Despite the increased number of PTOs, this had little effect on symptom prevalence and possible burdensome interventions experienced by NH residents in the last days of life.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Transitioning to a nursing home (NH) is a major life event for 1.4 million NH residents in the United States. Most post-acute NH admissions plan for rehabilitation and discharge home, but with nearly 70% of NH residents being palliative care (PC) eligible, many evolve into long-term placements secondary to poor health and associated decline in function and/or cognition. This article describes the perceptions of NH PC-eligible residents and families transitioning to life in a NH.
METHODS: Residents at 3 NHs in Northern California (N = 228) were screened for PC eligibility. A convenience sample of PC-eligible residents and their family members (n = 28) participated in qualitative interviews that explored the experience of living as a NH resident with serious illness. Data were analyzed using grounded theory methodology.
RESULTS: Our study provides insights into the experiences of transitioning to a NH from the perspectives of PC-eligible residents and their families. These data describe how PC-eligible residents and their families experienced disempowerment as they perceived being left out of decisions to go to a NH, loss of autonomy once at the NH, dealt with the realization that they would not be going home, and described perceived barriers to going home.
DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: The inclusive and person-centered model of care that PC provides naturally empowers residents and family members. Adequate provision of PC services, together with changes in policy related to NH culture and benefit management, could improve the experience of transitioning to a nursing home.
The aim of this study was to compare the symptomatology, palliative care outcomes, therapeutic procedures, diagnostic tests, and pharmacological treatments for people with dementia (PWD) and without dementia (PW/OD) admitted to Spanish nursing homes.
DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study which is part of a long-term prospective follow-up of elderly people performed in nursing homes to measure end-of-life care processes.
PARTICIPANTS: 107 nursing home patients with advanced or terminal chronic diseases were selected according to the criteria of the Palliative Care Spanish Society.
SETTING: Two trained nurses from each nursing home were responsible for participant selection and data collection. They must have treated the residents and had a minimum seniority of 6 months in the nursing home.
MEASUREMENTS: Sociodemographic data; Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale; Palliative Care Outcome Scale; and prevalence of diagnostic tests, pharmacological treatments, and therapeutic procedures were evaluated.
RESULTS: Pain, fatigue, and nausea were found to be significantly higher in the nondementia group and insomnia, poor appetite, and drowsiness were significantly higher in the dementia group. Patient anxiety, support, feeling that life was worth living, self-worth, and practical matters management were higher in the nondementia group. Regarding drugs, use of corticoids was higher in the nondementia group, while use of anxiolytics was higher in the dementia group. Diagnostic procedures such as urine analysis and X-ray were higher in the dementia group.
CONCLUSIONS: Differences in symptom perception, diagnostic tests, and pharmacological procedures were found between patients with and without dementia. Specific diagnostic tools need to be developed for patients with dementia.
AIMS: New Zealanders dying in public hospitals or hospices are increasingly being discharged and admitted-to-die in aged residential care (ARC) facilities as hospitals and hospices struggle to meet demand. This study sought to investigate how care is delivered to patients admitted-to-die in an ARC facility.
METHODS: A mixed-methods case study including a clinical notes review of seven patients who died in one ARC facility within three months of admission and a focus group with ARC facility staff and visiting professionals from other organisations.
RESULTS: The clinical notes review showed a high burden of palliative care symptoms that constituted specialist palliative care, provided by ARC staff plus professionals from other organisations. Focus group data showed those involved were willing, but expressed significant concern about lack of structure and funding.
CONCLUSIONS: As our increasing and aging population reaches end-of-life, New Zealand hospitals/hospices will not be able to provide ongoing specialist palliative care and admission-to-die in ARC facilities may be a viable alternative. However, ARC facilities are not set up or staffed to provide specialist palliative care of those admitted-to-die. A specific model of care that is funded appropriately is required.
OBJECTIVES: We investigated trends in end-of-life hospitalizations among nursing home residents (NHR) over 10 years and looked at differences between age groups and sexes as well as the length of terminal hospital stays.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study based on health insurance claims data of the AOK Bremen/Bremerhaven. All NHR aged 65 years or more who died between 2006 and 2015 were included.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We assessed the proportions of decedents who were in hospital on the day of death and during the last 3, 7, 14 and 30 days of life, stratified by two-year periods. Multiple logistic regressions were conducted to study changes over time, adjusting for covariates.
RESULTS: A total of 10,781 decedents were included (mean age 86.1 years, 72.1 % females). Overall, 29.2 % died in hospital, with a slight decrease from 30.3 % in 2006-2007 to 28.3 % in 2014-2015 (OR 0.86; 95 % CI 0.75-0.98). Of the 3150 terminal hospitalizations, 35.5 % lasted up to 3 days and the mean length of stay decreased from 9.0 (2006-2007) to 7.5 days (2014-2015). When looking at the last 7, 14 and 30 days of life, no changes over time were found. Male sex and younger age were associated with a higher chance of end-of-life hospitalization in almost all analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: End-of-life hospitalizations of NHR are common in Germany. There has been a small decrease during recent years in the proportion of in-hospital deaths, but not of hospitalizations during the last 7, 14 and 30 days of life. This might be explained by shorter durations of hospital stays.
BACKGROUND: Infections are common occurrences at end of life that are associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality among frail elderly individuals. The problem of infections in nursing homes has led to a subsequent overuse and misuse of antibiotics in this already-frail population. Improving palliative care in nursing homes has been proposed as a key strategy to reduce the use of antibiotics.
AIM: The aim of this study was to describe the current status of how nursing homes integrates palliative care and infection management at end of life across the nation.
DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional survey of nationally representative US nursing homes.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Between November 2017 and October 2018, a survey was conducted with a nationally representative random sample of nursing homes and 892 surveys were completed (49% response rate). The weighted study sample represented 15,381 nursing homes across the nation.
RESULTS: Most nursing homes engaged in care plan documentation on what is important to residents (90.43%) and discussed spiritual needs of terminally ill residents (89.50%). In the event of aspiration pneumonia in terminally ill residents, 59.43% of nursing homes responded that resident would be transferred to the hospital. In suspected urinary tract infection among terminally ill residents, 66.62% of nursing homes responded that the resident will be treated with antibiotics.
CONCLUSION: The study found wide variations in nursing home palliative care practices, particularly for timing of end-of-life care discussions, and suboptimal care reported for antibiotic usage. Further education for nursing home staff on appropriate antibiotic usage and best practices to integrate infection management in palliative care at the end of life is needed.
The aim of the study is to evaluate the intensity of symptoms, and any treatment and therapeutic procedures received by advanced chronic patients in nursing homes. A multi-centre prospective study was conducted in six nursing homes for five months. A nurse trainer selected palliative care patients from whom the sample was randomly selected for inclusion. The Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scale, therapeutic procedures, and treatment were evaluated. Parametric and non-parametric tests were used to evaluate month-to-month differences and differences between those who died and those who did not. A total of 107 residents were evaluated. At the end of the follow-up, 39 had (34.6%) died. All symptoms (p < 0.050) increased in intensity in the last week of life. Symptoms were more intense in those who had died at follow-up (p < 0.05). The use of aerosol sprays (p = 0.008), oxygen therapy (p < 0.001), opioids (p < 0.001), antibiotics (p = 0.004), and bronchodilators (p = 0.003) increased in the last week of life. Peripheral venous catheters (p = 0.022), corticoids (p = 0.007), antiemetics (p < 0.001), and antidepressants (p < 0.05) were used more in the patients who died. In conclusion, the use of therapeutic procedures (such as urinary catheters, peripheral venous catheter placement, and enteral feeding) and drugs (such as antibiotics, anxiolytics, and new antidepressant prescriptions) should be carefully considered in this clinical setting.
OBJECTIVES; To evaluate the prevalence and factors associated with statin pharmacotherapy in long-stay nursing home residents with life-limiting illness.
SETTING: US Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home facilities.
PARTICIPANTS: Long-stay nursing home resident Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries aged 65 years or older with life-limiting illness (n = 424 212).
MEASUREMENTS: Prevalent statin use was estimated as any low-moderate intensity (daily dose low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol [LDL-C] reduction <30%-50%) and high-intensity (daily dose LDL-C reduction >50%) use via Medicare Part D claims for a prescription supply on September 30, 2016, with a 90-day look-back period. Life-limiting illness was operationally defined to capture those near the end of life using evidence-based criteria to identify progressive terminal conditions or limited prognoses (<6 mo). Poisson models provided estimates of adjusted prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals for resident factors.
RESULTS: A total of 34% of residents with life-limiting illness were prescribed statins (65--75 y = 44.0%, high intensity = 11.1%; >75 y = 31.1%, high intensity = 5.4%). Prevalence of statins varied by life-limiting illness definition. Of those with a prognosis of less than 6 months, 23% of the 65 to 75 and 12% of the older than 75 age groups were on statins. Factors positively associated with statin use included minority race or ethnicity, use of more than five concurrent medications, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or risk factors.
CONCLUSION: Despite having a life-limiting illness, more than one-third of clinically compromised long-stay nursing home residents remain on statins. Although recent national guidelines have expanded indications for statins, the benefit of continued therapy in an advanced age population near the end of life is questionable. Efforts to deprescribe statins in the nursing home setting may be warranted.
This exploratory study examined general practitioners' (GPs) perspectives on delivering end-of-life care in the New Zealand residential aged care context. A general inductive approach to the data collected from semi-structured interviews with 17 GPs from 15 different New Zealand general practices was taken. Findings examine: (1) GPs' life experience; (2) the GP relationship with the facilities and provision of end-of-life care; (3) the GP interaction with families of dying residents; and (4) GP relationship with hospice. The nature of the GP relationship with the facility influenced GP involvement in end-of-life care in aged care facilities, with GPs not always able to direct a facility's end-of-life care decisions for specific residents. GP participation in end-of-life care was constrained by GP time availability and the costs to the facilities for that time. GPs reported seldom using hospice services for residents, but did use the reputation (cachet) associated with hospice practices to provide an authoritative buffer for their end-of-life clinical decisions when talking with families and residents. GP training in end-of-life care, especially for those with dementia, was reported as ad hoc and done through informal mentoring between GPs.
OBJECTIVES: Many older adults with limited life expectancy and/or advanced dementia (LLE/AD) are potentially overtreated for diabetes and may benefit from deintensification. Our aim was to examine the incidence and predictors of diabetes medication deintensification in older Veterans with LLE/AD who were potentially overtreated at admission to Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes (community living centers [CLCs]).
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study using linked VA and Medicare clinical/administrative data and Minimum Data Set assessments.
SETTING: VA CLCs.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 6960 Veterans with diabetes and LLE/AD admitted to VA CLCs in fiscal years 2009 to 2015 with hemoglobin (Hb)A1c measured within 90 days of admission.
MEASUREMENTS: We evaluated treatment deintensification (discontinuation or dose reduction for a consecutive 7-day period) among residents who were potentially overtreated (HbA1c =7.5% and receiving hypoglycemic medications). Competing risk models assessed 90-day cumulative incidence of deintensification.
RESULTS: More than 40% (n = 3056) of Veteran CLC residents with diabetes were potentially overtreated. The cumulative incidence of deintensification at 90 days was 45.5%. Higher baseline HbA1c values were associated with a lower likelihood of deintensification (e.g., HbA1c 7.0-7.5% vs <6.0%; adjusted risk ratio [aRR] = .57; 95% confidence interval [CI] = .50-.66). Compared with non-sulfonylurea oral agents (e.g., metformin), other treatment regimens were more likely to be deintensified (aRR = 1.31-1.88), except for basal insulin (aRR = .59; 95% CI = .52-.66). The only resident factor associated with increased likelihood of deintensification was documented end-of-life status (aRR = 1.12; 95% CI = 1.01-1.25). Admission from home/assisted living (aRR = .85; 95% CI = .75-.96), obesity (aRR = .88; 95% CI = .78-.99), and peripheral vascular disease (aRR = .90; 95% CI = .81-.99) were associated with decreased likelihood of deintensification.
CONCLUSION: Deintensification of treatment regimens occurred in less than one-half of potentially overtreated Veterans and was more strongly associated with low HbA1c values and use of medications with high risk for hypoglycemia, rather than other resident characteristics.
BACKGROUND: Care home residents are increasingly frail with complex health and social care needs. Their transfer to hospital at the end-of-life can be associated with unwanted interventions and distress. However, hospitals do enable provision of care that some residents wish to receive. We aimed to explore the factors that influence hospital admission of care home residents who then died in hospital.
METHODS: This study combined in-depth case note review of care home residents dying in two Scottish teaching hospitals during a 6-month period and semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 26 care home staff and two relatives.
RESULTS: During the 6-month period, 109 care home residents died in hospital. Most admissions occurred out-of-hours (69%) and most were due to a sudden event or acute change in clinical condition (72%). Length of stay in hospital before death was short, with 42% of deaths occurring within 3 days. Anticipatory Care Planning (ACP) regarding hospital admission was documented in 44%.Care home staff wanted to care for residents who were dying; however, uncertain trajectories of decline, acute events, challenges of ACP, relationship with family and lack of external support impeded this.
CONCLUSIONS: Managing acute changes on the background of uncertain trajectories is challenging in care homes. Enhanced support is required to improve and embed ACP in care homes and to provide rapid, 24 hours-a-day support to manage difficult symptoms and acute changes.
PURPOSE: This study aimed to evaluate what types and forms of support nursing staff need in providing palliative care for persons with dementia. Another aim was to compare the needs of nursing staff with different educational levels and working in home care or in nursing homes.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional, descriptive survey design was used.
METHODS: A questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of Dutch nursing staff working in the home care or nursing home setting. Data were collected from July through October 2018. Quantitative survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Data from two open-ended survey questions were investigated using content analysis.
FINDINGS: The sample comprised 416 respondents. Nursing staff with different educational levels and working in different settings indicated largely similar needs. The highest-ranking needs for support were in dealing with family disagreement in end-of-life decision making (58%), dealing with challenging behaviors (41%), and recognizing and managing pain (38%). The highest-ranking form of support was peer-to-peer learning (51%). If respondents would have more time to do their work, devoting personal attention would be a priority.
CONCLUSIONS: Nursing staff with different educational levels and working in home care or in nursing homes endorsed similar needs in providing palliative care for persons with dementia and their loved ones.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: It is critical to understand the specific needs of nursing staff in order to develop tailored strategies. Interventions aimed at increasing the competence of nursing staff in providing palliative care for persons with dementia may target similar areas to support a heterogeneous group of nurses and nurse assistants, working in home care or in a nursing home.
Background: The PACE Steps to Success programme is a complex educational and development intervention to improve palliative care in nursing homes. Little research has investigated processes in the cross-cultural adaptation and implementation of interventions in palliative care across countries, taking account of differences in health and social care systems, legal and regulatory policies, and cultural norms. This paper describes a framework for the cross-cultural development and support necessary to implement such an intervention, taking the PACE Steps to Success programme as an exemplar.
Methods: The PACE Steps to Success programme was implemented as part of the PACE cluster randomised control trial in seven European countries. A three stage approach was used, a) preparation of resources; b) training in the intervention using a train-the-trainers model; and c) cascading support throughout the implementation. All stages were underpinned by cross-cultural adaptation, including recognising legal and cultural norms, sensitivities and languages. This paper draws upon collated evidence from minutes of international meetings, evaluations of training delivered, interviews with those delivering the intervention in nursing homes and providing and/or receiving support.
Results: Seventy eight nursing homes participated in the trial, with half randomized to receive the intervention, 3638 nurses/care assistants were identified at baseline. In each country, 1–3 trainers were selected (total n = 16) to deliver the intervention. A framework was used to guide the cross-cultural adaptation and implementation. Adaptation of three English training resources for different groups of staff consisted of simplification of content, identification of validated implementation tools, a review in 2 nursing homes in each country, and translation into local languages. The same training was provided to all country trainers who cascaded it into intervention nursing homes in local languages, and facilitated it via in-house PACE coordinators. Support was cascaded from country trainers to staff implementing the intervention.
Conclusions: There is little guidance on how to adapt complex interventions developed in one country and language to international contexts. This framework for cross-cultural adaptation and implementation of a complex educational and development intervention may be useful to others seeking to transfer quality improvement initiatives in other contexts.
Background: Hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) experience high presentation rates from older adults residing in Aged Care Facilities (ACFs), yet very few intervention studies have addressed the care needs of this population group. We designed and implemented a nurse-led model of care for older adults from ACFs, and determined its impact on patient outcomes.
Methods: This 12-month pre–post intervention study was conducted during 2013–2014, with follow-up during 2015–2016. Participants included all older adults presenting from ACFs to the ED of Mater Hospital Brisbane (MHB), Australia. Frailty status was determined using the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS).
Results: All participants were frail (n = 1130), with 19% severely frail, 55% very-severely frail, and 26% terminally ill. The intervention resulted in several improvements in patient outcomes, including significant reductions in ward admissions and 28-day representation rates.
Conclusion: Significant improvements can be achieved by integration of an acute frail older person service into an ED.
BACKGROUND: Research has highlighted the need for improving the implementation of advance care planning (ACP) in nursing homes. We developed a theory-based multicomponent ACP intervention (the ACP+ programme) aimed at supporting nursing home staff with the implementation of ACP into routine nursing home care. We describe here the protocol of a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) that aims to evaluate the effects of ACP+ on nursing home staff and volunteer level outcomes and its underlying processes of change.
METHODS: We will conduct a cluster RCT in Flanders, Belgium. Fourteen eligible nursing homes will be pair-matched and one from each pair will be randomised to either continue care and education as usual or to receive the ACP+ programme (a multicomponent programme which is delivered stepwise over an eight-month period with the help of an external trainer). Primary outcomes are: nursing home care staff's knowledge of, and self-efficacy regarding ACP. Secondary outcomes are: 1) nursing home care staff's attitudes towards ACP and ACP practices; 2) support staff's and volunteer's ACP practices and 3) support staff's and volunteers' self-efficacy. Measurements will be performed at baseline and eight months post-measurement, using structured self-reported questionnaires. A process evaluation will accompany the outcome evaluation in the intervention group, with measurements throughout and post-intervention to assess implementation, mechanisms of impact and context and will be carried out using a mixed-methods design.
DISCUSSION: There is little high-quality evidence regarding the effectiveness and underlying processes of change of ACP in nursing homes. This combined outcome and process evaluation of the ACP+ programme aims to contribute to building the necessary evidence to improve ACP and its uptake for nursing home residents and their family.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (no. NCT03521206). Registration date: May 10, 2018. Inclusion of nursing homes started March, 2018. Hence, the trial was retrospectively registered but before end of data collection and analyses.
BACKGROUND: Nursing homes are becoming more important for end-of-life care. Within the industrialised world, Germany is among the countries with the most end-of-life hospitalizations in nursing home residents. To improve end-of-life care, investigation in the status quo is required. The objective was to gain a better understanding of the perspectives of nursing home staff on the current situation of end-of-life care in Germany.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted as a postal survey among a random sample of 1069 German nursing homes in 2019. The survey was primarily addressed to nursing staff management. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Staff was asked to rate different items regarding common practices and potential deficits of end-of-life care on a 5-point-Likert-scale. Estimations of the proportions of in-hospital deaths, residents with advance directives (AD), cases in which documented ADs were ignored, and most important measures for improvement of end-of-life care were requested.
RESULTS: 486 (45.5%) questionnaires were returned, mostly by nursing staff managers (64.7%) and nursing home directors (29.9%). 64.4% of the respondents rated end-of-life care rather good, the remainder rated it as rather bad. The prevalence of in-hospital death was estimated by the respondents at 31.5% (SD: 19.9). Approximately a third suggested that residents receive hospital treatments too frequently. Respondents estimated that 45.9% (SD: 21.6) of the residents held ADs and that 28.4% (SD: 26.8) of available ADs are not being considered. Increased staffing, better qualification, closer involvement of general practitioners and better availability of palliative care concepts were the most important measures for improvement.
CONCLUSIONS: Together with higher staffing, better availability and integration of palliative care concepts may well improve end-of-life care. Prerequisite for stronger ties between nursing home and palliative care is high-quality education of those involved in end-of-life care.
Background: In spite of a rapidly ageing population, there is a lack of population-based data on mortality among nursing home residents in Southern Europe.
Aims: To assess mortality rates, their determinants, and causes of death in newly admitted nursing home residents in the Veneto region (northeastern Italy).
Methods: 19,392 subjects aged = 65 years admitted to regional nursing homes during 2015–2017 were recruited in a cohort mortality study based on linked health records. Risk factors for mortality were investigated by Cox regression. The distribution of causes of death was retrieved from death certificates.
Results: Mortality peaked in the first 4 months after admission; thereafter the monthly mortality rate fluctuated around 3% in males and 2% in females. Overall mortality was 23% at 6 months and 34% at 1 year. In addition to age, gender, and dependency, main risk factors for mortality were recent hospitalization (first 4 months after entry into the facility), and the burden of comorbidities (subsequent follow-up period). The most represented causes of mortality were similar in the first and in the subsequent period after admission: cardio-cerebrovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, respiratory diseases, and infections.
Discussion: The first months after admission represent a period at high risk of mortality, especially for patients with a recent hospitalization. Causes reported in death certificates suggest mainly an acute deterioration of pre-existing chronic conditions.
Conclusion: Health care plans should be personalized for newly admitted vulnerable patients. Palliative care needs should be recognized and addressed for high-risk non-cancer patients.