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Table 3 Factors potentially related to reported comfort during the final illness

From: Dying comfortably in very old age with or without dementia in different care settings – a representative “older old” population study

  n “comfortable” / total each group (%) Unadjusted OR (95% C.I.)
Socio-Demographics
Age 145/180  
 < 90 years old 62/78 (79) 1
 ≥ 90 years old 83/102 (81) 1.1 (0.5–2.4)
Sex 145/180  
 Male 46/57 (81) 1
 Female 99/123 (80) 1.0 (0.4–2.2)
Marital statusa 143/178  
 Married 31/38 (82) 1
 Widowed 98/123 (80) 0.9 (0.3–2.2)
 Single 14/17 (82) 1.1 (0.2–4.7)
School leaving agea 144/179  
 ≤ 14 years old 90/115 (78) 1
 ≥ 15 years old 54/64 (84) 1.5 (0.7–3.4)
Social classab 143/178  
 Non-manual 61/79 (77) 1
 Manual 82/99 (83) 1.4 (0.7–3.0)
Place of residence at last interviewc 145/180  
 Home 104/134 (78) 1
 Long-term care 41/46 (89) 2.4 (0.9–6.5)
Location of End of Life Care
Place of care during final illnessc 145/180  
 Hospital 55/75 (73) 1
 Home 24/33 (73) 1.0 (0.4–2.4)
 Long-term care 66/72 (92) 4.0 (1.5–10.7)
Place of deathc 145/180  
 Hospital 59/85 (69) 1
 Home 17/19 (89) 3.7 (0.8–17.4)
 Long-term care 69/76 (91) 4.3 (1.8–10.7)
Places of care and death - transitions at the end of lifead 137/169  
 Care in final illness: hospital  Place of death: hospital 53/71 (75) 1
 Final illness: home  Place of death: hospital 6/13 (46) 0.3 (0.1–1.0)
 Final illness: home  Place of death: home 14/16 (88) 2.4 (0.5–11.5)
 Final illness: long-term care  Place of death: long-term care 64/69 (93) 4.3 (1.5–12.5)
Place of death same as usual address 145/180  
 No 76/105 (72) 1
 Yes 69/75 (92) 4.4 (1.7–11.2)
Health & Disability
Dementia status 145/180  
 No dementia-cognitively intact 25/33 (76) 1
 Cognitively impaired +/− minimal/mild dem 61/81 (75) 1.0 (0.4–2.5)
 Moderate/severe dementia 59/66 (89) 2.7 (0.9–8.2)
Duration of final illnessa 145/180  
 Less than a week 39/44 (89) 1
 7 days up to a month 62/80 (78) 0.4 (0.2–1.3)
 1 month or more 44/56 (79) 0.5 (0.2–1.5)
No. of hospital admissions/year since last interviewa 138/173  
 None 79/98 (81) 1
 One or more 59/75 (79) 0.9 (0.4–1.9)
Functional disabilities in ADLs 145/180  
 No basic or instrumental ADL disability 8/10 (80) 1
 Instrumental ADL disability only 14/ 20 (70) 0.6 (0.1–3.6)
 Basic + instrumental ADL disability 123/150 (82) 1.1 (0.2–5.7)
Receiving service support (excluding long-term care)a 100/130  
 More than once a week 33/51 (65) 1
 Once a week 32/38 (84) 2.9 (1.0–8.3)
 None 35/41 (85) 3.2 (1.1–9.0)
Informants & Interviews
Informant’s sex 145/180  
 Male 50/57 (88) 1
 Female 95/123 (77) 0.5 (0.2–1.2)
Informant’s relationship to participanta 143/178  
 Husband or wife 15/18 (83) 1
 Son or daughter 78/97 (80) 0.8 (0.2–3.1)
 Other relative 8/12 (67) 0.4 (0.1–2.2)
 Friend 6/8 (75) 0.6 (0.1–4.5)
 Warden or matron 13/15 (87) 1.3 (0.2–9.0)
 Other 23/28 (82) 0.9 (0.2–4.4)
How often informant saw participant 145/180  
 Lived with participant 24/29 (83) 1
 Daily 35/45 (78) 0.7 (0.2–2.4)
 More than once a week 45/55 (82) 0.9 (0.3–3.1)
 Once a week 18/22 (82) 0.9 (0.2–4.0)
 Less than once a week 23/29 (79) 0.8 (0.2–3.0)
Interval from last survey interview to death 145/180  
 < median 73/90 (81) 1
 ≥ median 72/90 (80) 0.9 (0.4–1.9)
Interval from death to informant interview 145/180  
 < median 70/90 (78) 1
 ≥ median 75/90 (83) 1.4 (0.7–3.0)
  1. Footnotes
  2. OR = Odds Ratio (shown to 1 decimal point)
  3. bold OR = significant (p < 0.05); italic bold OR = borderline significant (p = 0.5)
  4. 95% C.I. = 95% Confidence Interval (shown to 1 decimal point)
  5. ADL(s) = Activity (or Activities) of Daily Living
  6. aVariables in which categories total < 180 had missing data
  7. bSocial class categorised following contemporary UK Office of National Statistics grading of occupation reported at baseline interview: Non-manual = I, II or IIIa, Manual = IIIb, IV or V
  8. cHome: community-dwelling in a house, flat, ‘granny flat’ (part of a relative’s home) or sheltered accommodation
  9. Long-term care: in an older people’s residential home, nursing home or long-stay ward
  10. dTo explore the effects of transitions in place of care at the very end of life, the variable Places of care at the end of life was derived from data on where each individual was cared for during their final illness and where they died. Frequencies in other categories were too small (between 1 and 4 people) to calculate any estimates for other combinations of place of care
  11. End-of-life care in long-term care, avoiding transition between care settings at the end of life and not needing support from formal services were associated with dying comfortably, as reported by informants