Dixon J, King D, Knapp M
BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care 2016,
Available online 16 Jun 2016
Objectives: To explore whether advance care planning is associated with place of death in England, as well as with sufficiency of support to care for a dying person at home, overall quality of care and pain management.
Methods: We undertook secondary analysis of data from the National Survey of Bereaved People, 2013, based on a stratified random sample of 49 607 people selected from 150 111 eligible registered deaths (n=22 661, 46% response rate). The indicator of advance care planning used was having expressed a preference for place of death and this being recorded by healthcare staff. Analysis was conducted using logistic regression models.
Results: Decedents with a recorded preference for place of death had significantly greater odds of dying at home rather than in hospital (OR 6.25; 99% CI 5.56 to 7.14) and in a care home rather than in hospital (OR 2.70; 99% CI 2.33 to 3.13). They also had significantly greater odds of receiving sufficient support to be cared for and to die at home, of receiving ‘outstanding’ or ‘excellent’ care, and of having pain relieved ‘completely, all the time’ while being cared for at home.
Conclusions: Advance care planning was found to be strongly associated with lower rates of hospital death and a range of quality outcomes. These findings provide support for the emphasis on advance care planning in end of life care policy in England, while also suggesting the need for further research to better understand the mechanisms underlying these relationships.