Study Suggests Patients With Fewer Resources Less Likely to Die at Home



JAMA Internal Medicine Study Highlights

Study Suggests Patients With Fewer Resources Less Likely to Die at Home


Joshua S. Barclay, M.D., of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and colleagues suggest that terminally ill patients with lower incomes are less likely to die at home, even with hospice care, in a study that analyzed data from census tracts and a hospice care provider (Online First).


Of the 61,063 hospice patients who were admitted to routine care in a private residence, 13,804 (22.61 percent) transferred from home to another location, such as an inpatient hospice unit or a nursing home, with hospice care before they died. The patients who transferred had a lower mean median household income ($42,585 vs. $46,777) and were less likely to have received any continuous care (49.38 percent vs. 30.61 percent), according to the results.


The results also indicate that for patients who did not receive continuous care, the odds of transfer from home before death increased with decreasing median annual household incomes (odds ratio range, 1.26-1.76).


“Patients with limited resources may be less likely to die at home, especially if they are not able to access needed support beyond what is available with routine hospice care,” the study concludes.

(JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 18, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.2773. Available pre-embargo to the media at


Editor’s Note: This study was supported by an award in Aging Research and Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, N.C.) Please see article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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