For cancer patients, survival is similar or longer for those who die at home versus those who die in the hospital, according to a study published in Cancer.

Jun Hamano, M.D., from the University of Tsukuba in Japan, and colleagues conducted a multicenter prospective cohort study to examine potential differences in survival time for cancer patients dying at home or in a hospital. A total of 2,426 patients were recruited and 2,069 were analyzed (1,582 receiving hospital-based palliative care and 487 receiving home-based palliative care).

The researchers found that 1,607 patients actually died in a hospital and 462 died at home. Patients who died at home had significantly longer survival than those who died in a hospital in the days’ prognosis group (estimated median survival time, 13 versus nine days; P = 0.006) and the weeks’ prognosis group (36 versus 29 days; P = 0.007).


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There was no significant difference between the groups in the months’ prognosis group. In both unadjusted and adjusted models, place of death had a significant influence on the survival time (hazard ratios, 0.86 and 0.87, respectively).

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“In conclusion, cancer patients who died at home had similar or longer survival in comparison with those who died in a hospital,” the authors write.

Reference

  1. Hamano J, Yamaguchi T, Maeda I, et al. Multicenter cohort study on the survival time of cancer patients dying at home or in a hospital: Does place matter? [published online ahead of print March 29, 2016.] Cancer. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.29844.