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Healthcare 2018, 6(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6030107

A Population-Based Conceptual Framework for Evaluating the Role of Healthcare Services in Place of Death

1
Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation, King’s College London, Bessemer Road, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9PJ, UK
2
Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London, London SE1 9NH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract

Background: There is a significant geographical disparity in place of death. Socio-demographic and disease-related variables only explain less than a quarter of the variation. Healthcare service factors may account for some (or much) of the remaining variation but their effects have never been systematically evaluated, partly due to the lack of a conceptual framework. This study aims to propose a population-based framework to guide the evaluation of the role of the healthcare service factors in place of death. Methods: Review and synthesis of health service models that include the impact of a service component on either place of death/end of life care outcomes or service access/utilization. Results: The framework conceptualizes the impact of healthcare services on the place of death as starting from the end of life care policies that in turn influence service commissioning and shape healthcare service characteristics, including service type, service capacity—facilities, service location, and workforce, through which service utilization and ultimately place of death are affected. Patient socio-demographics, disease-related variables, family and community support and social care also influence place of death, but they are not the focus of this framework and therefore are grouped as needs and other environmental factors. Information on service utilization, together with the place of death, creates loop feedback to inform policy and service commission. Conclusions: The framework provides guidance for analysis aiming to understand the role of healthcare services in place of death. It aids the interpretation of results in the light of existing knowledge and potentially identifies service factors that can be addressed to improve end of life care. View Full-Text
Keywords: place of death; healthcare services; conceptual framework; end of life care outcome; end of life care policies and commissioning; determinants place of death; healthcare services; conceptual framework; end of life care outcome; end of life care policies and commissioning; determinants
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Gao, W.; Huque, S.; Morgan, M.; Higginson, I.J. A Population-Based Conceptual Framework for Evaluating the Role of Healthcare Services in Place of Death. Healthcare 2018, 6, 107.

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