Where do People Die in the Region of Hanover?

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2020.0457-0462

german translation / full article

Franziska A. Herbst, Stephanie Stiel, Birgitt Wiese, Anja Rothmund, Mustafa Yilmaz, Nils Schneider

Keywords: death-certificates health care research palliative care places of death

BackgroundMost people want to die in their familiar home environment. To achieve this objective, new structures have been stablished and further developed in Germany in recent years, with specialised (SAPV) and general palliative home care (AAPV). The aim of this work was to analyse, for the first time, where people die in the city and region of Hanover and to draw a comparison before and after the introduction of AAPV and SAPV.MethodsA random sample of death certificates of people who died in the city and region of Hanover in the years 2007 and 2017 was drawn in the period from December 2017 to April 2018. Places of death were evaluated using descriptive statistics and frequency analyses.ResultsThe random sample included data from n = 3,750 (32.8 % of a total of N = 11,429) death certificates from 2007 and n = 4,329 (33.2 % of a total of N = 13,040) death certificates from 2017. In both 2007 and 2017 by far the largest number of people (52.2 % and 48.4 %) died in hospitals. While in 2007 the second most frequent place of death was at home (26.1 %), the home environment slid to third place among the most frequent places of death in 2017 with 19.8 %. In contrast, the proportion of people who died in nursing homes increased from 15.3 % to 27.1 %.ConclusionsThe wish often expressed by patients and relatives to die at home does not correspond to reality. With the introduction of SAPV and AAPV, the present study could not note any shift in the place of death towards the home environment. Inpatient care facilities have gained considerably in importance as places of death.Keywordshealth care research; palliative care; places of death; death- certificates

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