Table 2

Characteristics of the study population: Mean (SD) age was 82.6 (9.0) years.

  • Female sex, n/N (%)265/369 (72)
  • Married and partner alive, n/N (%)139/369 (38)
Clinical and functional
  • Median (IQR) no. of Charlson comorbidities3.0 (2.0)
  • Sudden and unexpected death, n/N (%)32/369 (9)
  • Median (IQR) no. of medications4.0 (4.0)
  • Median (IQR) no. of debilities2.0 (2.0)
Use of health services
  • Visited the hospital ED in the 3 months before death, n/N (%)103/368 (28)
  • Median (IQR) no. of hospital ED visits in the 3 months before death0.0 (1.0)
  • Hospital admission in the 3 months before death, n/N (%)96/369 (26)
  • Death in facility (vs hospital), n/N (%)341/369 (92)
  • Median (IQR) no. of visits by family physician in the 3 months before death4.0 (5.0)
  • Continuity of family physician from admission to death, n/N (%)287/369 (78)
  • Median (IQR) length of stay (in weeks) from admission to extended care until death§56.1 (125.3)
  • Median (IQR) no. of weeks “at risk” of “do not hospitalize” designation from admission to extended care||2.0 (53.0)
  • Proportion of residents with “do not hospitalize” designation at time of death, n/N (%)321/367 (87)
  • SD—standard deviation, ED—emergency department, IQR—interquartile range.

  • * Characteristics measured at time of death unless stated otherwise.

  • Sum of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, dementia, chronic pulmonary disease, connective tissue disease, ulcer disease or gastrointestinal bleed, liver disease, diabetes, hemiplegia or hemiparesis, renal disease, cancer, metastatic cancer, and AIDS.

  • Sum of presence of pressure ulcers, indwelling bladder catheter, wheelchair dependency, dependence on others for feeding, and requiring a mechanical lift for transfers.

  • § Residents of free-standing facilities might have entered the facilities as intermediate care residents, and entrance to extended care might have occurred at a later date.

  • || The “at risk” period was the number of weeks each resident had a “hospitalize” designation from the time of admission into extended care until death or a change to “do not hospitalize.”