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Medicine/Health

Choosing to die at home does not hasten death for patients with terminal cancer

Our research group, which includes members from institutions such as the University of Tsukuba and Kobe University, conducted a large-scale survey with the collaboration of 58 medical facilities in Japan to determine whether there is any difference in survival time between cancer patients who choose to spend their last days at home or in the hospital. We found that among patients predicted to have days or weeks to live using the objective prognostic indicator PiPS-A, those who died at home survived significantly longer than those who died in a hospital. Among patients predicted to have months to live, the place of death was not associated with a significant difference in survival time. Patients who died at home also received fewer medical interventions such as intravenous infusions and antibiotics.

It has long been known that the "quality of death" of cancer patients is influenced by the place where they spend their last days. However, it was previously not clear that the place of death affects survival time. The results of our study show that patients with advanced cancer who die at home may survive for just as long, if not longer, than patients with advanced cancer who die in a hospital.

According to Dr. Jun Hamano of the University of Tsukuba, "These findings can be used to explain to clinicians, patients, or family members who are concerned that discharging the patient back home will shorten survival time that 'it is unlikely that the place where the patient spends his or her last days will influence survival time.'"


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Original Paper

Jun Hamano et al., Cancer, A multicenter cohort study on the survival time of cancer patients dying at home or in hospital: Does place matter? DOI: 10.1002/cncr.29844



Celebrating the 151st{50th Anniversary of the University of Tsukuba
Celebrating the 151st{50th Anniversary of the University of Tsukuba