Preferences for place of death if faced with advanced cancer: A population survey in England, Flanders, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain

B. Gomes, I.J. Higginson, N. Calanzani, J. Cohen, L. Deliens, B.A. Daveson, D. Bechinger-English, C. Bausewein, P.L. Ferreira, F. Toscani, A. Meñaca, M. Gysels, L. Ceulemans, S.T. Simon, H.R.W. Pasman, G. Albers, S. Hall, F.E.M. Murtagh, D.F. Haugen, J. DowningJ. Koffman, F. Pettenati, S. Finetti, B. Antunes, Richard Harding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

361 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background

Cancer end-of-life care (EoLC) policies assume people want to die at home. We aimed to examine variations in preferences for place of death cross-nationally.
Methods

A telephone survey of a random sample of individuals aged ≥16 in England, Flanders, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. We determined where people would prefer to die if they had a serious illness such as advanced cancer, facilitating circumstances, personal values and experiences of illness, death and dying.
Results

Of 9344 participants, between 51% (95% CI: 48% to 54%) in Portugal and 84% (95% CI: 82% to 86%) in the Netherlands would prefer to die at home. Cross-national analysis found there to be an influence of circumstances and values but not of experiences of illness, death and dying. Four factors were associated with a preference for home death in more than one country: younger age up to 70+ (Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain), increased importance of dying in the preferred place (England, Germany, Portugal, Spain), prioritizing keeping a positive attitude (Germany, Spain) and wanting to involve family in decisions if incapable (Flanders, Portugal).
Conclusions

At least two-thirds of people prefer a home death in all but one country studied. The strong association with personal values suggests keeping home care at the heart of cancer EoLC.

Previous article in issue
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2006-2015
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Volume23
Issue number8
Early online date16 Feb 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Preferences for place of death if faced with advanced cancer: A population survey in England, Flanders, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this