Reform influences location of death: Interrupted time-series analysis on older adults and persons with dementia
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLOS ONE. 2020, 15 (11), e0241132. 10.1371/journal.pone.0241132
Background: Norway instituted a Coordination Reform in 2012 aimed at maximizing time at home by providing in-home care through community services. Dying in a hospital can be highly stressful for patients and families. Persons with dementia are particularly vulnerable to negative outcomes in hospital. This study aims to describe changes in the proportion of older adults with and without dementia dying in nursing homes, home, hospital and other locations over an 11-year period covering the reform. Methods and findings: This is a repeated cross-sectional, population-level study using mortality data from the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry hosted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Participants were Norwegian older adults 65 years or older with and without dementia who died from 2006 to 2017. The policy intervention was the 2012 Coordination Reform that increased care infrastructure into communities. The primary outcome was location of death listed as a nursing home, home, hospital or other location. The trend in the proportion of location of death, before and after the reform was estimated using an interrupted time-series analysis. All analyses were adjusted for sex and seasonality. Of the 417,862 older adult decedents, 61,940 (14.8%) had dementia identified on their death certificate. Nursing home deaths increased over time while hospital deaths decreased for the total population (adjusted Relative Risk Ratio (aRRR) 0.87, 95% CI 0.82–0.92) and persons with dementia (aRRR: 0.93, 95%CI 0.91–0.96) after reform implementation. Conclusion: This study provides evidence that the 2012 Coordination Reform was associated with decreased older adults dying in hospital and increased nursing home death; however, the number of people dying at home did not change.