Purpose: To determine which hospice patients with cancer prefer to die at home and to define factors associated with an increased likelihood of dying at home. Methods: An electronic health record-based retrospective cohort study was conducted in three hospice programs in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Main measures included preferred versus actual site of death. Results: Of 7,391 patients, preferences regarding place of death were determined at admission for 5,837 (79%). After adjusting for other characteristics, patients who preferred to die at home were more likely to die at home (adjusted proportions, 56.5% v 37.0%; odds ratio [OR], 2.21; 95% CI, 1.77 to 2.76). Among those patients (n = 3,152) who preferred to die at home, in a multivariable logistic regression model, patients were more likely to die at home if they had at least one visit per day in the first 4 days of hospice care (adjusted proportions, 61% v 54%; OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.41), if they were married (63% v 54%; OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.44), and if they had an advance directive (65% v 50%; OR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.54 to 2.65). Patients with moderate or severe pain were less likely to die at home (OR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.64), as were patients with better functional status (higher Palliative Performance Scale score: < 40, 64.8%; 40 to 70, 50.2%; OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.67 to 0.93; > 70, 40.5%; OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.82). Conclusion: Increased hospice visit frequency may increase the likelihood of patients being able to die in the setting of their choice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research