Inpatient hospice admissions. Who is admitted and why: a mixed-method prospective study
Finucane, Anne M.
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Haraldsdottir, E., Lloyd, A., Bijak, M., Milton, L. and Finucane, A.M. (2023) ‘Inpatient hospice admissions. Who is admitted and why: a mixed-method prospective study’, Palliative Care and Social Practice, 17, p. 26323524231182724. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/26323524231182724.
Background:: Over the next two decades, the numbers of people who will need palliative care in the United Kingdom and Ireland is projected to increase. Hospices play a vital role supporting people who require specialist palliative care input through community-based and inpatient palliative care services. Evidence is needed to understand the role of these different services to inform future service development. Objectives:: To describe the reasons for admission, and outcomes at the end of the stay, for patients admitted to two hospice inpatient units (IPUs). Design:: This was a mixed-methods study using a convergent, parallel mixed-methods design. Methods:: We reviewed the case notes of all patients admitted to two hospice inpatient units from July to November 2019; conducted semi-structured interviews with patients and families; as well as brief structured interviews with inpatient unit staff. Results:: Two hundred fifty-nine patients were admitted to a hospice IPU, accounting for 276 admissions in total. Overall, 53% were female; median age was 71 years (range: 26–95 years). Most patients (95%) were White British or Scottish, and 95% had a cancer diagnosis. Most patients were admitted from the community, under one-third were admitted from hospital. Most (85%) had previous palliative care involvement. Nearly, half had district nurse support (48%). Worry and anxiety was frequently reported as a reason for admission, alongside physical concerns. Median length of stay was 12 days, and 68% died during their stay. Hospice was recorded as the preferred place of care for 56% of those who died there. Conclusions:: Sustained efforts to promote the hospice as place of care for people with conditions other than cancer are needed alongside greater clarity regarding of the role of the hospice IPU, and who would benefit most from IPU support.