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AIDS deaths shift from hospital to home. AIDS Mortality Project Group.

  • J J Kelly
  • S Y Chu
  • J W Buehler
Publication Date
Oct 01, 1993


OBJECTIVE. This study monitors trends in place of death among persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) as a measure of health care usage patterns and terminal health care among persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). METHODS. Sixteen health departments collected death certificates for 55,186 persons with AIDS whose deaths occurred through 1991. Place of death was categorized as hospital, residence, hospice or nursing home, and other. RESULTS. The percentage of AIDS deaths at hospital facilities decreased from 92% in 1983 to 57% in 1991. In 1988, 23% of deaths occurred at home or in hospices and nursing homes. This trend was more evident among men, Whites, and men who had sex with men; less so among persons with other modes of exposure; and not at all among injecting drug users and children with perinatally acquired AIDS. Place of death varied by geographic location, with the greatest percentage of hospital deaths in the Northeast (91%) and the greatest percentage of at-home deaths in the West (27%). CONCLUSIONS. The percentage of AIDS deaths at home or in hospices and nursing homes has increased since 1983. These trends may reflect changes in hospital use for end-stage HIV infection. Decreasing hospitalization and increasing outpatient services and home care will decrease costs and may allow HIV-infected persons improved social support.

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