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Inequality in place-of-death among children: a Danish nationwide study

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  • Sanne Lausen Wolff
  • Christian Fynbo Christiansen
  • Søren Paaske Johnsen
  • Henrik Schroeder
  • Anne-Sophie Darlington
  • Bodil Abild Jespersen
  • Marianne Olsen
  • Mette Asbjoern Neergaard
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To identify predictors for home death among children using socio-demographic factors and cause of death. It is a nationwide registry study. A cohort of children (1-17 years) who died between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2016. It was set in Denmark, Europe. Predictors for home death were assessed: age, gender, diagnosis, region of residence, urbanicity, household income and immigrant status. Of 938 deceased children included, causes of death were solid tumours (17.3%), haematological cancers (8.5%) and non-cancerous conditions (74.2%). A total of 25% died at home. Compared to the lowest quartile, the groups with higher household income did not have a higher probability of dying at home (adjusted odds ratio (adj-OR) 0.8 (95% CI 0.5-1.2/1.3)). Dying of haematological cancers (adj-OR 0.3 (95% CI 0.2-0.7)) and non-cancerous conditions (adj-OR 0.5 (95% CI 0.3-0.7)) was associated with lower odds for home death compared to dying of solid tumours. However, being an immigrant was negatively associated with home death (adj-OR 0.6 (95% CI 0.4-0.9)). Moreover, a tendency was also found that being older, male, living outside the capital and in more urban areas were notable in relation to home death, however, not statistically significant.Conclusions: The fact that household income was not associated with dying at home may be explained by the Danish tax-financed healthcare system. However, having haematological cancers, non-cancerous conditions or being an immigrant were associated with lower odds for home death. Cultural differences along with heterogeneous trajectories may partly explain these differences, which should be considered prospectively. What is Known: • Prior studies have shown disparities in place-of-death of terminally ill children with diagnosis, ethnicity and socio-economic position as key factors. • Danish healthcare is tax-financed and in principle access to healthcare is equal; however, disparities have been found in the intensity of treatment of terminally ill children. What is New: • In a tax-financed, equal-access healthcare system, children died just as frequently at home in families with low as high household income. • Disparities in home death were related to diagnosis and immigrant status.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Volume181
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)609-617
Number of pages9
ISSN0340-6199
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

    Research areas

  • Child, Denmark/epidemiology, Health Services Accessibility, Humans, Male, Neoplasms/epidemiology, Terminal Care, Terminally Ill

ID: 79440431