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J Community Health. 1979 Winter;5(2):126-30.

Where do cancer patients die? A review of cancer deaths in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, 1957--1974.


The great concern over the status and care of the dying cancer patient requires the understanding of current trends in care. An 18-year review of 55,288 death certificates of patients with cancer in Cuyahoga County, Ohio (1957--1974) revealed that 35,381 patients (65%) died in acute and chronic care hospitals, 8,251 patients (15%) died in nursing homes, and 11,242 patients (20%) died at home. Trends over the 18-year period demonstrated a shift from patients dying at home to patients dying in nursing homes. The hospital care of dying cancer patients remained unchanged during the study period. An analysis of 33 consecutive patients dying of cancer over a six-month period in an acute care hospital in Cuyahoga County showed an average length of stay of 20.1 +/- 15.7 days, during which only palliative care was provided. The cost benefit of home care/hospice programs is related to the final hospital stay of the dying cancer patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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