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Factors Associated with Transition from Community Settings to Hospital as Place of Death for Adults Aged 75 and Older: A Population-Based Mortality Follow-Back Survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2210-2217
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number11
Early online date9 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


King's Authors


OBJECTIVES: To identify factors associated with end-of-life (EoL) transition from usual place of care to the hospital as place of death for people aged 75 and older.

DESIGN: Population-based mortality follow-back survey.

SETTING: Deaths over 6 months in 2012 in two unitary authorities in England covering 800 square miles with more than 1 million residents.

PARTICIPANTS: A random sample of people aged 75 and older who died in a care home or hospital and all those who died at home or in a hospice unit (N = 882). Cases were identified from death registrations. The person who registered the death (a relative for 98.9%) completed the survey.

MEASUREMENTS: The main outcome was EoL transition to the hospital as place of death versus no EoL transition to the hospital. Multivariable modified Poisson regression was used to examine factors (illness, demographic, environmental) related to EoL transition to the hospital.

RESULTS: Four hundred forty-three (50.2%) individuals responded, describing the care of the people who died. Most died from nonmalignant conditions (76.3%) at a mean age of 87.4 ± 6.4. One hundred forty-six (32.3%) transitioned to the hospital and died there. Transition was more likely for individuals with respiratory disease than for those with cancer (prevalence ratio (PR) = 2.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.42-3.01) and for people with severe breathlessness (PR = 1.96, 95% CI = 1.12-3.43). Transition was less likely if EoL preferences had been discussed with a healthcare professional (PR = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.42-0.88) and when there was a key healthcare professional (PR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.58-0.95).

CONCLUSION: To reduce EoL transition to the hospital for older people, there needs to be improved management of breathlessness in the community and better access to a key healthcare professional skilled in coordinating care, communication, facilitating complex discussions, and in planning for future care.

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