Mapping the patterns of care, the receipt of palliative care and the site of death for patients with malignant glioma

J Neurooncol. 2014 Jan;116(1):119-26. doi: 10.1007/s11060-013-1263-7.


High-grade malignant glioma patients face a poor prognosis, preceded by rapid functional and neurobehavioural changes, making multidisciplinary care incorporating supportive and palliative care important. This study aimed to quantify the association between symptoms,receipt of supportive and palliative care and site of death. We undertook a retrospective cohort study between 2003 and 2009 of incident malignant glioma cases who survived for at least 120 days between their first hospitalisation and their death (n = 678) in Victoria, Australia, using linked hospital, emergency department and death data. The median age of patients was 62 years, 40% were female, and the median survival was 11 months. Twenty-six percent of patients died outside of hospital, 49% in a palliative care bed/hospice setting and 25% in an acute hospital bed. Patients having 1 or more symptoms were more than five times as likely to receive palliative care. Patients who receive palliative care are 1.7 times more likely to die outside of hospital. In conclusion malignant glioma patients with a high burden of symptoms are more likely to receive palliative care and, in turn, patients who receive palliative care are more likely to die at home.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Brain Neoplasms / psychology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Death*
  • Female
  • Glioma / mortality*
  • Glioma / psychology
  • Glioma / therapy*
  • Hospice Care
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Factors
  • Terminal Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors