A report on location of death in paediatric palliative care between home, hospice and hospital

Palliat Med. 2008 Oct;22(7):831-4. doi: 10.1177/0269216308096527. Epub 2008 Aug 21.


This retrospective study analysed data for 703 children who died from 2000 to 2006 to examine where children with a broad range of progressive, life-limiting illnesses actually die when families are able to access hospital, paediatric hospice facility and care at home. There was an overall even distribution for location of death in which 35.1% of children died at home, 32.1% died in a paediatric hospice facility, 31.9% in hospital and 0.9% at another location. Previous research suggests a preference for home as the location of death, but these studies have primarily focused on adults, children with cancer or settings without paediatric hospice facilities available as an option. Our results suggest that the choice of families for end-of-life care is equally divided amongst all three options. Given the increasing numbers of children's hospices worldwide, these findings are important for clinicians, care managers and researchers who plan, provide and evaluate the care of children with life-limiting illness.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Death*
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Choice Behavior
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Terminal Care*
  • United Kingdom