Factors associated with deaths in 'Elderly Housing with Care Services' in Japan: a cross-sectional study

BMC Palliat Care. 2017 Nov 23;16(1):58. doi: 10.1186/s12904-017-0241-9.


Background: Although the Japanese government has expanded its 'Elderly Housing with Care Services' (EHCS) to ensure sufficient places of death for the elderly, resident deaths have occurred in less than 30% of the facilities. Our purpose was to identify the factors associated with residents' deaths in the EHCS, especially within the areas that are expected to have a large increase in the number of deaths.

Methods: Our cross-sectional study involved all EHCS (N = 412) in Japan's Tokyo, Kanagawa prefecture and used self-administered questionnaire data that the EHCS directors completed. In addition, we accessed the national statistics related to the municipal characteristics of the cities where the EHCS were located. These sources provided information about health care provision for the residents as well as facility/resident/regional characteristics that could potentially be associated with residents' deaths in the EHCS. Based on this information, a sequential multiple logistic regression analysis was performed. First, we included in-facility health care provision (presence of nursing staff) and facility/residents/regional characteristics in Model 1. Next, visiting nurse agency's care provision was included in Model 2. Finally, we included community hospitals or clinical care provision in Model 3.

Results: One hundred and fifty-four facilities answered the questionnaire (response rate: 37.4%). A total of 114 facilities were analysed. In-facility residents' deaths occurred in more than half (54.4%) of the facilities. After adjusting for all variables (Model 3), end-of-life (EOL) care provision from community hospitals or clinics, the number of years since establishment and the number of residents were significantly associated with residents' deaths. In Model 2, visiting nurse's EOL care provision was significantly associated with residents' death.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that in order to accommodate residents' deaths, the government or the facility's directors should promote the cooperation between EHCS facilities and community hospitals or clinics for in-residents' EOL care. Furthermore, as the results suggest that community nurses contribute to the occurrences of death by collaborating with the physician, promoting cooperation with visiting nurse agencies may be also needed.

Keywords: Aging; Elderly facility; Japan; Long-Term Care insurance; Place of death.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death / trends*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Housing for the Elderly / standards*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires