The Efficacy of Hospice-In-Place Care Versus Traditional Inpatient Care

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2024 Aug;41(8):863-872. doi: 10.1177/10499091231199722. Epub 2023 Aug 31.


Introduction: The hospice-in-place program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is available to patients and families who elect for hospice benefits and are too unstable to be transported for hospice care. The goal of this study was to assess the satisfaction of family members of patients who died while hospitalized at VUMC and received hospice-in-place compared to the families of patients who did not receive hospice care. Methods: Next-of-kin satisfaction was measured through the administration of qualitative interviews and quantitative questionnaires. Semi-structured interviews were audio-recorded, and transcripts were analyzed using an iterative inductive-deductive approach to develop a conceptual framework. Participants were also asked to respond to a 10-question satisfaction questionnaire. Results: Forty participants were enrolled: 20 next-of-kin of patients who received hospice-in-place and 20 next-of-kin of patients who passed without hospice. Factors influencing satisfaction were organized into a conceptual framework with three categories: individual-level factors, systems-level factors, and modifying factors. For the questionnaires, the hospice-in-place group had a mean satisfaction score of 4.54 (0.76) out of five, while the non-hospice group had a mean score of 4.14 (1.00). A comparison of the two groups' responses did not show a statistically significant difference (P = 0.06). Discussion: Quantitative findings of this study showed improved satisfaction but were unable to show a significant difference in satisfaction with hospice-in-place compared to traditional care. Questionnaire results suggest that both types of care yield high satisfaction scores and are successfully supporting patients and families. The conceptual framework also adds to the understanding of end-of-life experiences at VUMC.

Keywords: Hospice-in-place; end-of-life care; family satisfaction; inpatient; next-of-kin; qualitative research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Family* / psychology
  • Female
  • Hospice Care* / organization & administration
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires