Acute care hospitalization near the end of life for cancer patients who die in hospital in Canada

K. DeCaria, D. Dudgeon, E. Green, R. Shaw Moxam, R. Rahal, J. Niu, H. Bryant


Acute care hospitals have a role in managing the health care needs of people affected by cancer when they are at the end of life. However, there is a need to provide end-of-life care in other settings, including at home or in hospice, when such settings are more appropriate. Using data from 9 provinces, we examined indicators that describe the current landscape of acute care hospital use at the end of life for patients who died of cancer in hospital in Canada.

Interprovincial variation was observed in acute care hospital deaths, length of stay in hospital, readmission to hospital, and intensive care unit use at the end of life. High rates of acute care hospital use near the end of life might suggest that community and home-based end-of-life care might not be suiting patient needs.


End of life; palliative care; acute care; home care

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)