International comparative study of the place of death and study of avoidable and unnecessary hospitalization at the end of life.

Project Details


Demographic and cultural changes will increasingly confront health care systems with the care needs of dying people. According to the WHO, the delivery of appropriate palliative care has grown into a major public health issue. Regardless the aspiration of many to die at home, in Belgium, a majority of patients die in hospital and many are, often unnecessarily, transferred to hospital near the end of life. More systematic knowledge regarding place of death and end-of-life hospitalization is needed to develop adequate end-of-life policies. The study has three principal aims:

1) To study cross-national differences in place of death and factors influencing place of death;

2) To study and define unnecessary and avoidable hospitalizations at the end of life;

3) To identify and order elements for the development of a guideline for GPs and nursing homes to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations at the end of life

Two data collections will be organized:

1) An international Place of Death study based on nationwide death certificate data from different European and non-European countries.

2) A mixed-methods study, involving questionnaires and qualitative interviews among physicians and relatives of deceased patients, in order to identify avoidable and unnecessary hospitalizations at the end of life.
Effective start/end date1/10/1030/09/16


  • Medical Sociology

Flemish discipline codes

  • Applied sociology