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Table 2 Patient, disease and healthcare factors associated with hospital use in the last three months of life (n = 319)

From: Hospitalisations at the end of life: using a sentinel surveillance network to study hospital use and associated patient, disease and healthcare factors

    Not hospitalised
(n = 127)
Hospitalised at least one day
(n = 192)
p-value*
PATIENT AND DISEASE FACTORS Total N † % %  
Age at death 1–64 y 42 42.9 57.1 .008
  65–74 y 74 29.7 70.3  
  75–84 y 109 34.9 65.1  
  +85 y 91 53.8 46.2  
Sex male 164 31.7 68.3 .003
  female 155 48.4 51.6  
Socio-economic status low 77 41.6 58.4 .90
  medium 205 39.0 61.0  
  high 31 41.9 58.1  
Degree of urbanization § core of large city 108 42.6 57.4 .33
  high 71 31.0 69.0  
  average 76 40.8 59.2  
  low or rural 62 45.2 54.8  
Place of death wish expressed to GP home or living with family 96 54.2 45.8 <.001
  home for the elderly 37 73.0 27.0  
  elsewhere (hospital, palliative care unit) 17 23.5 76.5  
  not expressed 157 23.6 76.4  
Cause of death (ICD-10) malignancies 124 35.5 64.5 .40
  cardiovascular diseases 83 44.6 55.4  
  diseases of the nervous system 13 53.8 46.2  
  other 97 38.1 61.9  
HEALTHCARE FACTORS
Hospital beds in healthcare area
(rate/1000 inhab) ‡
<5.658 185 43.2 56.8 .16
  >=5.658 133 35.3 64.7  
CONTINUITY AND GP SUPPORT
Palliative care delivered by GP in last three months yes 146 61.6 38.4 <.001
  no 171 20.5 79.5  
Total number of GP contacts in last three months (consultations, home visits) low [0–6] 113 26.5 73.5 .001
  medium ]6 – 11] 105 44.8 55.2  
  high ]11 – 88] 101 49.5 50.5  
SOCIAL SUPPORT     
Living situation § at home, with partner and other adults: 51 54.9 45.1 .003
  at home, with partner but no other adults: 115 30.4 69.6  
  at home, single or with children aged <18 y: 51 31.4 68.6  
  living elsewhere without family: 95 49.5 50.5  
Informal care (partner, child, acquaintance,...) in last three months none or very little 111 36.0 64.0 .46
  yes, sometimes 133 43.6 56.4  
  yes, often 49 42.9 57.1  
INVOLVEMENT OF SPECIALIST PALLIATIVE CARE
Specialist palliative home care team yes 37 54.1 45.9 .11
  no 260 38.8 61.2  
Specialist palliative elderly home care team yes 21 76.2 23.8 .001
  no 276 38.0 62.0  
FOCUS OF TREATMENT
Treatment goal in last three months curative/life-prolonging: 79 12.7 87.3 <.001
  palliative: 76 64.5 35.5  
  from curative/life-prolonging to palliative: 130 42.3 57.7  
  from palliative to curative/life-prolonging: ¶ 2 - 100.0  
  1. * p-value for all variables (Pearson χ2-test); significant values are bold
  2. † missing values (not responded or unknown) not included in bivariate analyses: for age n = 3; for socio-economic status n = 6; for degree of urbanization n = 2; for patient's wish for place of death n = 12; for cause of death n = 2; for hospital beds rate n = 1; for palliative care delivered by GP n = 2; for living situation n = 7; for informal care n = 26; for specialist palliative caren = 22; for treatment goal n = 32
  3. ‡ measured on level of care districts or provinces, dichotomised at their median values; §on the basis of patient residence
  4. 87.4% of this group are elderly home residents
  5. ¶ not included in analyses
  6. Abbreviations: GP = General Practitioners