End-of-life care: Where do cancer patients want to die? A systematic review

Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2017 Dec;13(6):356-364. doi: 10.1111/ajco.12678. Epub 2017 Mar 13.


The importance to die at preferred death place is substantial among terminally ill cancer patients. Previously, several studies have investigated this issue, but no systematic review has been made for many years. This systematic review was made in order to investigate preferred death place among cancer patients. A systematic search was made in PubMed library and a total of 399 articles were found, of which 23 were eligible and included in the review. Preference of home death averaged by 59.9% (39.7-100%) across all studies. Information about actual death place was only reported in 12 studies with an average of 40.4% (14-65.2%); thus, the incongruence between preferred and actual death place seems to be substantial. This highlights the importance of health care providers to discuss the issue with the patients and their families. However, study designs must improve and publications of socioeconomic data should be unified to ease interpretation in future studies.

Keywords: palliative end-of-life care; preferred death place.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Death*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Terminal Care / methods*