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End of life after stroke: a nationwide study of 42,502 deaths occurring within a year after stroke
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine.
2018 (English)In: European Stroke Journal, ISSN 2396-9873, E-ISSN 2396-9881, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 74-81Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: In the scientific literature, there is very limited empirical information on end-of-life issues after stroke in the scientific literature. The present nationwide study describes the circumstances surrounding deaths that occur within a year after a stroke. Patients and methods: Datasets from three nationwide Swedish registers (on stroke, palliative care and cause of death) were linked. Basic information was available for 42,502 unselected cases of death that occurred within a year after a stroke and more detailed information was available for 16,408 deaths. Odds ratios for characteristics of end-of-life care were calculated by logistic regression. Results: In the late phase after stroke (three months to one year), 46% of patients died in a nursing home, whereas 37% of patients died in a hospital after readmission and 10% of patients died at home. Eleven per cent of deaths were reported as being unexpected. A next of kin was present at 49% of deaths. The frequency of unattended deaths (neither next of kin nor staff were present at the time of death) ranged from 5% at home with specialised home care to 25% in hospitals. Discussion: This is, by far, the largest study published on end-of-life issues after stroke. Major differences between countries in healthcare, community services, family structure and culture may limit direct transfer of the present results to other settings. Conclusion: There is considerable discordance between presumed good death' late after stroke (dying at home surrounded by family members) and the actual circumstances at the end of life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018. Vol. 3, no 1, p. 74-81
Keywords [en]
Stroke, end of life, terminal care, death, next of kin, nursing homes
National Category
Neurology Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-147349DOI: 10.1177/2396987317736202ISI: 000429801100009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-147349DiVA, id: diva2:1205145
Available from: 2018-05-11 Created: 2018-05-11 Last updated: 2019-05-16Bibliographically approved

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Asplund, KjellStegmayr, Birgitta

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