Social class variation in place of cancer death

Palliat Med. 1997 Sep;11(5):369-73. doi: 10.1177/026921639701100506.


The aim of this research was to describe the distribution of place of death for cancer. An analysis of place of death for all 831 cancer deaths in 1995 among Doncaster Health Authority's residents was carried out. The data were extracted using the Public Health Mortality File. It was found that there is statistically significant evidence that place of death is associated with social class. Social class I and II with 15% of all cancer deaths contributed 24% of hospice deaths, 14% of hospital deaths and 12% of home deaths. Social class III with 24% of all cancer deaths contributed 58% of hospice deaths, only 9% of hospital deaths and 35% of home deaths. Social classes IV and V with 61% of cancer deaths contributed only 18% of hospice deaths, 77% of hospital deaths and 53% of home deaths. The reasons for these differences may be to do with access to services, perceptions of different services by patients and general practitioners and the availability of social support within different sections of the community.

MeSH terms

  • England / epidemiology
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hospices / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Residential Facilities / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Class*