Predictors of Transition to Hospice Care Among Hospitalized Older Adults With a Diagnosis of Dementia in Texas: A Population-Based Study

Lavi Oud


Background: Decedent older adults with dementia are increasingly less likely to die in a hospital, though escalation of care to a hospital setting, often including critical care, remains common. Although hospice is increasingly reported as the site of death in these patients, the factors associated with transition to hospice care during end-of-life (EOL) hospitalizations of older adults with dementia and the extent of preceding escalation of care to an intensive care unit (ICU) setting among those discharged to hospice have not been examined.

Methods: We identified hospitalizations aged >= 65 years with a diagnosis of dementia in Texas between 2001 and 2010. Potential factors associated with discharge to hospice were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression modeling, and occurrence of hospice discharge preceded by ICU admission was examined.

Results: There were 889,008 elderly hospitalizations with a diagnosis of dementia during study period, with 40,669 (4.6%) discharged to hospice. Discharges to hospice increased from 908 (1.5%) to 7,398 (6.3%) between 2001 and 2010 and involved prior admission to ICU in 45.2% by 2010. Non-dementia comorbidities were generally associated with increased odds of hospice discharge, as were development of organ failure, the number of failing organs, or use of mechanical ventilation. However, discharge to hospice was less likely among non-white minorities (lowest among blacks: adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 0.67; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.65 - 0.70) and those with non-commercial primary insurance or the uninsured (lowest among those with Medicaid: aOR (95% CI): 0.41 (0.37 - 0.46)).

Conclusions: This study identified potentially modifiable factors associated with disparities in transition to hospice care during EOL hospitalizations of older adults with dementia, which persisted across comorbidity and severity of illness measures. The prevalent discharge to hospice involving prior critical care suggests that key discussions about goals-of-care likely took place following further escalation of care to ICU. Together these findings can inform system- and clinician-level interventions to facilitate timely and consistent use of hospice to meet patients goals of care.

J Clin Med Res. 2017;9(1):23-29


Dementia; Hospice; Hospitalization; Intensive care unit

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