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Med J Aust. 1991 Oct 7;155(7):446-51, 456.

Where people die in Victoria.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Tasmania, Hobart.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe where deaths occur in Victoria and to determine to what extent the probability of dying in certain institutions is associated with cause of death and sociodemographic variables.

DESIGN:

Descriptive study of death certificates and multivariate analysis of 7697 deaths that occurred in a three-month period in 1988.

SETTING:

The State of Victoria.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Cause of death, age, sex, marital status, and socioeconomic status.

RESULTS:

Most deaths occurred in public hospitals (48%) followed by private homes (21%), nursing homes (14%) and private hospitals (9%). Only 2% of all deaths (90% from cancer) occurred in hospices. Women were more likely to die in a nursing home than were men (21% v. 8%) and less likely to die at home (17% v. 24%). The proportion of deaths increased with age in nursing homes and declined in private homes. Significant predictors of death in a public hospital were age and socioeconomic status; the probability diminished with increasing age and was lower for those in the upper third for socioeconomic status. Predictors for dying in a private home were age and marital status; the probability diminished with age and in the absence of a spouse.

CONCLUSIONS:

Death as a hospice inpatient is comparatively rare in Victoria and the impact of hospice outpatient or domiciliary care on dying at home has yet to be established. Should death at home become a preferred option, the presence and ability of a spouse or other caregiver will be a significant factor.

PMID:
1921814
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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