Preferred place of death: determining factors and the role of advance care planning

Claire Hornigold

  • Abstract

    One of the many factors associated with a good death is when patients have been able to be cared for, and have died, in their preferred place. Supporting patients to die in their preferred place of care is considered a quality indicator of palliative and end-of-life care. Most people wish to die within their usual place of residence. However, the majority of people die in an acute hospital environment. There are various factors that influence where people die, including the person's diagnosis, functional status, social situation, level of support of family caregivers, and the availability of good end-of-life care services. The implementation of advance care planning discussions has also been associated with an increased likelihood of terminally ill patients dying in their preferred place. The process of advance care planning enables patients to communicate to health and social care staff their views and desires in relation to end-of-life care so that care can be planned accordingly. This article will discuss some of the factors that determine whether people will die in the home setting, and then provide an overview of advance care planning and how it can influence place of death and improve the quality of life of dying patients.

  • Contributors

    Claire Hornigold


    Correct at article publish date

    Third Year Student Adult Nurse, University of Salford

    Author notes

    Correspondence to

    Original publishing information

    • Publisher: St Christopher's Hospice
    • Publish date: 01/03/2015
    • ePub Date: 11/03/2015
    • Volume: 5
    • Issue: 1

    Permissions: Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

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