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Factors associated with place of death for children in South Yorkshire: a retrospective cohort study

Abstract

Objectives Place of death (POD) is considered a key quality indicator for adult end of-life care, but paediatric evidence is limited. Data from Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) databases provides an opportunity to describe trends in POD as regional paediatric palliative medicine (PPM) options have increased. Aims were to identify and describe trends in POD for children in South Yorkshire.

Methods Retrospective cohort study. Anonymised data extracted from five CDOP databases 2008–2015. Data included age, gender, ethnicity, postcode (outward code only), POD, classification and category of death. Descriptive statistical analysis using χ2 test was used to assess intergroup differences.

Results 748 deaths were notified from 2008 to 2015. Neonatal deaths were excluded, 46% (n=345). Of non-neonatal deaths (n=403), 58% (n=232) were ‘expected’. Of expected deaths (n=232), 19% (n=45) died in home, 19% (n=45) died in hospice and 61% (n=141) died in hospital. This was significantly different from comparable national data which showed considerably more hospital deaths. There was no significant change in POD over time.

Conclusion Hospital remains the POD for most children, whether deaths are ‘expected’ or not, suggesting specialised PPM should be expanded into the hospital setting. More research is needed regarding preference for POD. This study may help inform future service planning for PPM and hospice development.

  • home care
  • hospice care
  • hospital care
  • paediatrics
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