MDPI, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8(17), p. 2742, 2020
Long term care facilities (LTCFs) are increasingly a place of care at end of life in Europe. Longer residence in an LTCF prior to death has been associated with higher indicators of end of life care; however, the relationship has not been fully explored. The purpose of this analysis is to explore associations between length of stay and end of life care. The analysis used data collected in the Palliative Care for Older People in care and nursing homes in Europe (PACE) study, a cross-sectional mortality follow-back survey of LTCF residents who died within a retrospective 3-month period, conducted in Belgium, England, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. Primary outcomes were quality of care in the last month of life, comfort in the last week of life, contact with health services in the last month of life, presence of advance directives and consensus in care. Longer lengths of stay were associated with higher scores of quality of care in the last month of life and comfort in the last week of life. Longer stay residents were more likely to have advance directives in place and have a lasting power of attorney for personal welfare. Further research is needed to explore the underlying reasons for this trend, and how good quality end of life care can be provided to all LTCF residents.