Barak, Frida, Sofia Livshits, Haana Kaufer, Ruth Netanel, Nava Siegelmann-Danieli, Yasmin Alkalay, and Shulamith Kreitler. “Where to Die? That Is the Question: A Study of Cancer Patients in Israel.” Palliative and Supportive Care 13.2 (2015): 165-70.
Objective: Most patients prefer to die at home, but barely 30% do so. This study examines the variables contributing to dying at home.
Methods: The participants were 326 cancer patients, of both genders, with a mean age of 63.25 years, who died from 2000 to 2008 and were treated by the palliative care unit of the Barzilai Hospital. Some 65.7% died at home and 33.4% in a hospital. The data were extracted from patient files. The examined variables were demographic (e.g., age, gender, marital status, ethnic background, number of years in Israel until death), medical (e.g., age at diagnosis, diagnosis, nature of last treatment, patient received nursing care, patient given the care of a social worker, patient had care of a psychologist, family received care of a social worker, patient had a special caregiver), and sociological (e.g., having insurance, having worked in Israel, living alone or with family, living with one’s children, living in self-owned or rented house, family members working).
Results: The findings indicate that the chances of dying at home are higher if the patient is non-Ashkenazi, the family got social worker care, the patient lived in a self-owned house, the patient lived with his family, the family members worked, and the patient’s stay in Israel since immigration was longer. Logistic regression showed that all the predictors together yielded a significant model accounting for 10.9–12.3% of the variance.
Significance of results: The findings suggest that dying at home requires maintaining continued care for the patient and family in a community context.