Does place of death vary by deprivation for patients known to specialist palliative care services

Macfarlane, M. & Carduff, E. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. Published online:1 December 2016

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Objectives: Referral to, and usage of, specialist palliative care (SPC) services are not equitable and social deprivation may be a contributory factor in this. Deprivation may also affect the place of death of patients with cancer. No study, however, has investigated whether inequalities persist following referral to SPC services. This study investigates whether place of death varies by deprivation for patients known to SPC services.

Conclusions: This study suggests that even after referral to specialist palliative care services variation in place of death by deprivation persists. Greater deprivation is associated with increased likelihood of dying in hospital and decreased likelihood of dying in a hospice, although no difference was noted for home deaths.

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