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Palliat Med. 2006 Jun;20(4):447-53.

Factors predictive of preferred place of death in the general population of South Australia.

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The Cancer Council South Australia, Adelaide.


In a population survey, 2652 respondents aged 15+ years reported their preferred place of death, if dying of 'a terminal illness such as cancer or emphysema', to be home (70%), a hospital (19%), hospice (10%), or nursing home (<1%). The majority of respondents in all socio-demographic categories reported a preference for dying at home, with the greatest majorities occurring in younger age groups. After weighting to the age-sex distribution of all South Australian cancer deaths, 58% in our survey declared a preference to die at home, which is much higher than the 14% of cancer deaths that actually occurred at home in South Australia in 2000-2002. Multivariable analyses indicate that predictors of preferred home death include younger age, male, born in the UK/Ireland or Italy/Greece, better physical health, poorer mental health, and fewer concerns about dying at home. Predictors of preference for death in a hospice rather than hospital include older age, female, single, metropolitan residence, having higher educational and income levels, paid employment, awareness of advanced directives, and interpreting 'dying with dignity' as death without pain or suffering. Investigating the differences between preferred and actual places of death may assist service providers to meet end-of-life wishes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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