The impact of community-based palliative care on acute hospital use in the last year of life is modified by time to death, age and underlying cause of death. A population-based retrospective cohort study
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Objective: Community-based palliative care is known to be associated with reduced acute care health service use. Our objective was to investigate how reduced acute care hospital use in the last year of life varied temporally and by patient factors. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of the last year of life of 12,763 Western Australians who died from cancer or one of seven non-cancer conditions. Outcome measures were rates of hospital admissions and mean length of hospital stays. Multivariate analyses involved time-to-event and population averaged log-link gamma models. Results: There were 28,939 acute care overnight hospital admissions recorded in the last year of life, an average of 2.3 (SD 2.2) per decedent and a mean length of stay of 9.2 (SD 10.3) days. Overall, the rate of hospital admissions was reduced 34% (95%CI 1–66) and the mean length of stay reduced 6% (95%CI 2–10) during periods of time decedents received community-based palliative care compared to periods of time not receiving this care. Decedents aged < 70 years receiving community-based palliative care showed a reduced rate of hospital admission around five months before death, whereas for older decedents the reduction in hospital admissions was apparent a year before death. All decedents who were receiving community-based palliative care tended towards shorter hospital stays in the last month of life. Decedents with neoplasms had a mean length of stay three weeks prior to death while not receiving community-based palliative care of 9.6 (95%CI 9.3–9.9) days compared to 8.2 (95% CI 7.9–8.7) days when receiving community-based palliative care. Conclusion: Rates of hospital admission during periods of receiving community-based palliative care were reduced with benefits evident five months before death and even earlier for older decedents. The mean length of hospital stay was also reduced while receiving community-based palliative care, mostly in the last month of life. © 2017 Spilsbury et al.
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The Impact of Community-Based Palliative Care on Utilization and Cost of Acute Care Hospital Services in the Last Year of LifeYouens, David; Moorin, R. (2017)© Copyright 2017, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2017. Background: Community-based palliative care may potentially benefit patients by offering their preferred care at the end of life and benefit systems by reducing hospital use. ...
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