Place of death for people with noncancer and cancer illness in South Australia: a population-based survey.
A large representative population survey of 9,500 households reports the association between place of death, diagnosis (cancer vs. noncancer), and use of palliative care services of terminally ill South Australians. Thirty-one percent (1,920) indicated that someone close to them had died of a terminal illness in the preceding five years; 18% had died of noncancer illness and 82% of cancer. Sixty-two percent of deceased individuals accessed palliative care services. More patients with cancer than noncancer had had palliative care (65% vs. 48%; p < 0.0001). Compared with cancer patients, those with noncancer illness had died in hospices less frequently (9% vs. 15%; p = 0.0015) and in nursing homes more frequently (15% vs. 5%; p < 0.0001). Similar proportions had died in hospital (60%) and at home (16%-20%). Palliative care service involvement did not reduce institutional deaths, but shifted them from hospital to hospice.
Currow, DC; Burns, CM; Abernethy, AP
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