End-of-life in a Swedish population: Demographics, social conditions and characteristics of places of death

Eva Jakobsson, Tommy Johnsson, Lars Olof Persson, Fannie Gaston-Johansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to identify and describe the demographics and social conditions as well as characteristics of the places of death in a randomly selected sample that died in a county in Sweden during 2001. The present study reports part of the findings from a larger study undertaken during 2003 using a survey design of retrospective reviews of death certificates, medical records, and nursing records. Among several noteworthy findings are: first, an examination of these individuals' living arrangements reveal not only a large and vulnerable group that lives alone at the end-of-life but also a group living separated from their partners near end-of-life; second, individuals differ with respect to residence prior to death, that is private homes versus residential care facilities, imparting highly different contexts of care at the end-of-life; and third, a high prevalence of institutionalized deaths demonstrates that places of death other than hospitals and residential care facilities are uncommon, if not rare. It is concluded that increased attention to the social circumstances of the time period surrounding individuals' at the end-of-life is essential. There is need to develop more integrated models of care for dying people. Contemporary services available are not designed to meet a wide range of peoples' needs at the end-of-life. Home-based care, residential care and hospital care must be adapted to the changing patterns of dying. The services available should be organized to the benefit of the users rather than around the providers. This is the first study of its kind of a Swedish sample and while the data are limited to one county in Sweden its findings may contribute to a deeper understanding of demographic and social patterns at the end-of-life in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Demographics
  • End-of-life
  • Palliative care
  • Places of death
  • Social conditions
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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