Place of death among older people in Finland and Norway

Leena Forma, Mari Aaltonen, Jani Raitanen, Kjartan S. Anthun, Jorid Kalseth

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Abstract

Aims: This study aimed to find out how place of death varied between countries with different health and social service systems. This was done by investigating typical groups (concerning age, sex and end-of-life trajectory) of older people dying in different places in Finland and Norway. Methods: The data were derived from national registers. All those who died in Finland or Norway at the age of ⩾70 years in 2011 were included. Place of death was analysed by age, sex, end-of-life trajectory and degree of urbanisation of the municipality of residence. Two-proportion z-tests were performed to test the differences between the countries. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed separately for both countries to find the factors associated with place of death. Results: The data consisted of 68,433 individuals. Deaths occurred most commonly in health centres in Finland and in nursing homes in Norway. Deaths in hospital were more common in Norway than they were in Finland. In both countries, deaths in hospital were more common among younger people and men. Deaths in nursing homes were commonest among frail older people, while most of those who had a terminal illness died in health centres in Finland and in nursing homes in Norway. Conclusions: Both Finland and Norway have a relatively low share of hospital deaths among older people. Both countries have developed alternatives to end-of-life care in hospital, allowing for spending the last days or weeks of life closer to home. In Finland, health centres play a key role in end-of-life care, while in Norway nursing homes serve this role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-824
Number of pages8
JournalSCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Volume48
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Finland
  • Kuolinpaikka
  • Norja
  • Norway
  • Place of death
  • Suomi
  • end-of-life trajectory
  • hospital
  • ikääntyneet
  • long-term care
  • older people
  • pitkäaikaishoito
  • register study
  • rekisteritutkimus
  • sairaala

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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