Admissions to inpatient care facilities in the last year of life of community-dwelling older people in Europe

Anouk Overbeek, Lieve Van den Block, Ida J Korfage, Yolanda W H Penders, Agnes van der Heide, Judith A C Rietjens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In the last year of life, many older people rather avoid admissions to inpatient care facilities. We describe and compare such admissions in the last year of life of 5092 community-dwelling older people in 15 European countries (+Israel).

Methods: Proxy-respondents of the older people, who participated in the longitudinal SHARE study, reported on admissions to inpatient care facilities (hospital, nursing home or hospice) during the last year of their life. Multivariable regression analyses assessed associations between hospitalizations and personal/contextual characteristics.

Results: The proportion of people who had been admitted at least once to an inpatient care facility in the last year of life ranged from 54% (France) to 76% (Austria, Israel, Slovenia). Admissions mostly concerned hospitalizations. Multivariable analyses showed that especially Austrians, Israelis and Poles had higher chances of being hospitalized. Further, hospitalizations were more likely for those being ill for 6 months or more (OR:1.67, CI:1.39-2.01), and less likely for persons aged 80+ (OR:0.54, CI:0.39-0.74; compared with 48-65 years), females (OR:0.74, CI:0.63-0.89) and those dying of cardiovascular diseases (OR:0.66, CI:0.51-0.86; compared with those dying of cancer).

Conclusions: Although healthcare policies increasingly stress the importance that people reside at home as long as possible, admissions to inpatient care facilities in the last year of life are relatively common across all countries. Furthermore, we found a striking variation concerning the proportion of admissions across countries which cannot only be explained by patient needs. It suggests that such admissions are at least partly driven by system-level or cultural factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-821
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.


  • Journal Article
  • Nursing Homes/statistics & numerical data
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Inpatients/statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Terminal Care/statistics & numerical data
  • Hospices/statistics & numerical data
  • Independent Living/statistics & numerical data


Dive into the research topics of 'Admissions to inpatient care facilities in the last year of life of community-dwelling older people in Europe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this