Age-Based Differences in Care Setting Transitions over the Last Year of Life

Context. Little is known about the number and types of moves made in the last year of life to obtain healthcare and end-of-life support, with older adults more vulnerable to care setting transition issues. Research Objective. Compare care setting transitions across older (65+ years) and younger individuals. Design. Secondary analyses of provincial hospital and ambulatory database data. Every individual who lived in the province for one year prior to death from April 1, 2005 through March 31, 2007 was retained (N=19,397). Results. Transitions averaged 3.5, with 3.9 and 3.4 for younger and older persons, respectively. Older persons also had fewer ER and ambulatory visits, fewer procedures performed in the last year of life, but longer inpatient stays (42.7 days versus 36.2 for younger persons). Conclusion. Younger and older persons differ somewhat in the number and type of end-of-life care setting transitions, a matter for continuing research and healthcare policy.
Donna M. Wilson, Jessica A. Hewitt, Roger Thomas, Deepthi Mohankumar, and Katharina Kovacs Burns, “Age-Based Differences in Care Setting Transitions over the Last Year of Life,” Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, vol. 2011, Article ID 101276, 7 pages, 2011. doi:10.1155/2011/101276