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Open AccessArticle

The Location of Death and Dying Across Canada: A Study Illustrating the Socio-Political Context of Death and Dying

1
Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1C9, Canada
2
School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3, Canada
3
Faculty of Nursing, University of Navarra, 31009 Pamplona, Spain
4
Centre for the Business and Economics of Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Societies 2018, 8(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc8040112
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 4 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Socio-Political Context of Death and Dying)
Background: Concern has existed for many years about the extensive use of hospitals by dying persons. In recent years, however, a potential shift out of hospital has been noticed in a number of developed countries, including Canada. In Canada, where high hospital occupancy rates and corresponding long waits and waitlists for hospital care are major socio-political issues, it is important to know if this shift has continued or if hospitalized death and dying remains predominant across Canada. Methods: Recent individual-anonymous population-level inpatient Canadian hospital data were analyzed to answer two questions: (1) what proportion of deaths in provinces and territories across Canada are occurring in hospital now? and (2) who is dying in hospital now? Results: In 2014–2015, 43.9% of all deaths in Canada (excluding Quebec) occurred in hospital. However, considerable cross-Canada differences in end-of-life hospital utilization were found. Some cross-Canada differences in hospital decedents were also noted, although most were older, male, and they died during a relatively short hospital stay after being admitted from their homes and through the emergency department after arriving by ambulance. Conclusion: Over half of all deaths in Canada are occurring outside of hospital now. Cross-Canada hospital utilization and inpatient decedent differences highlight opportunities for enhanced end-of-life care service planning and policy advancements. View Full-Text
Keywords: hospital; death; aging; population data; hospital utilization; location of death; Canada hospital; death; aging; population data; hospital utilization; location of death; Canada
MDPI and ACS Style

Wilson, D.M.; Shen, Y.; Errasti-Ibarrondo, B.; Birch, S. The Location of Death and Dying Across Canada: A Study Illustrating the Socio-Political Context of Death and Dying. Societies 2018, 8, 112.

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