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Determinants In The Place Of Death For People With Different Cancer Types: A National Population-based Study

J. Öhlén, J. Cohen, Cecilia Håkanson
Published 2017 · Medicine

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Abstract Background: Place of death has for the past decade increasingly come to be regarded as a robust indicator of how palliative care is organized and provided, and is also recognized as an important factor for well being at the end of life. Variations in place of cancer deaths have previously been reported in the context of country-specific healthcare organization, but without differentiating between cancer types and national regional variations. Our aim was to examine, at a population level, where people with cancer diseases die in Sweden, and to investigate associations of place of death and cancer type with individual, socioeconomic and geographical characteristics of the deceased. Material and methods: This population level study is based on death certificate data (sex; age; underlying cause of death and place of death) and population register data (educational attainment, marital status, living arrangements, area of residence, degree of urbanization, and healthcare region) of all 2012 cancer deaths in Sweden, with a registered place of death (hospital, nursing home, home, other places). Data were explored descriptively. To investigate associations between place of death and cancer types, and individual, socioeconomic and environmental characteristics, a series of multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: The most frequent type of cancer death occurring at home was upper gastrointestinal cancer (25.6%) and the least frequent was hematological cancer (15.2%). Regional variations in cancer deaths occurring at home ranged from 17.1% to 28.4%. Factors associated with place of death by cancer type were age, educational attainment, marital status, healthcare regions and degree of urbanization. Conclusion: Large healthcare regional variations in place of death among different cancer types were found. The socioeconomic inequality previously demonstrated for screening, diagnostic and treatment processes, rehabilitation and survival thus also seems to be reflected in the place of death.
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