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Moving to and dying in a nursing home depends not only on health – An analysis of socio-demographic determinants of place of death in Switzerland


Hedinger, Damian; Braun, Julia; Zellweger, Ueli; Kaplan, Vladimir; Bopp, Matthias (2014). Moving to and dying in a nursing home depends not only on health – An analysis of socio-demographic determinants of place of death in Switzerland. PLoS ONE, 9(11):e113236.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In developed countries generally about 7 out of 10 deaths occur in institutions such as acute care hospitals or nursing homes. However, less is known about the influence of non-medical determinants of place of death. This study examines the influence of socio-demographic and regional factors on place of death in Switzerland.
DATA AND METHODS: We linked individual data from hospitals and nursing homes with census and mortality records of the Swiss general population. We differentiated between those who died in a hospital after a length of stay ≤2 days or ≥3 days, those who died in nursing homes, and those who died at home. In gender-specific multinomial logistic regression models we analysed N = 85,129 individuals, born before 1942 (i.e., ≥65 years old) and deceased in 2007 or 2008.
RESULTS: Almost 70% of all men and 80% of all women died in a hospital or nursing home. Regional density of nursing home beds, being single, divorced or widowed, or living in a single-person household were predictive of death in an institution, especially among women. Conversely, homeownership, high educational level and having children were associated with dying at home.
CONCLUSION: Place of death substantially depends on socio-demographic determinants such as household characteristics and living conditions as well as on regional factors. Individuals with a lower socio-economic position, living alone or having no children are more prone to die in a nursing home. Health policy should empower these vulnerable groups to choose their place of death in accordance to needs and wishes.

BACKGROUND: In developed countries generally about 7 out of 10 deaths occur in institutions such as acute care hospitals or nursing homes. However, less is known about the influence of non-medical determinants of place of death. This study examines the influence of socio-demographic and regional factors on place of death in Switzerland.
DATA AND METHODS: We linked individual data from hospitals and nursing homes with census and mortality records of the Swiss general population. We differentiated between those who died in a hospital after a length of stay ≤2 days or ≥3 days, those who died in nursing homes, and those who died at home. In gender-specific multinomial logistic regression models we analysed N = 85,129 individuals, born before 1942 (i.e., ≥65 years old) and deceased in 2007 or 2008.
RESULTS: Almost 70% of all men and 80% of all women died in a hospital or nursing home. Regional density of nursing home beds, being single, divorced or widowed, or living in a single-person household were predictive of death in an institution, especially among women. Conversely, homeownership, high educational level and having children were associated with dying at home.
CONCLUSION: Place of death substantially depends on socio-demographic determinants such as household characteristics and living conditions as well as on regional factors. Individuals with a lower socio-economic position, living alone or having no children are more prone to die in a nursing home. Health policy should empower these vulnerable groups to choose their place of death in accordance to needs and wishes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:29 Dec 2014 12:00
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:42
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0113236
PubMed ID:25409344
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-103369

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