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UK palliative care professionals identified service infrastructure, patient and carer attitudes and characteristics, and practice culture as influencing place of death of patients with cancer

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Q Which factors do UK palliative care service providers identify as influencing the place of death (ie, home, hospice, or hospital) of patients with cancer?


Qualitative study.


Northwestern UK.


A purposive sample of 14 palliative care professionals (11 healthcare professionals, 1 social care professional, 1 hospice manager, and 1 former Health Authority manager with a palliative service remit) and 1 voluntary hospice worker (9 women). 13 participants had direct and frequent contact with patients and carers.


30 minute semistructured interviews addressed the nature of work and the service provided; factors influencing place of death and preferences of patients and carers; and the ideal configuration of services. Data were analysed using constant comparison. Validity checks included identifying deviant cases and review of draft findings by 3 participants.


Participants identified 5 major factors that influenced the place of death of patients with cancer. (1) Service infrastructure. Place of death options and outcomes were dictated by factors associated with …

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  • For correspondence: Dr C Thomas, Institute for Health Research, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK. C.Thomas{at}

  • Source of funding: NHS Directorate of Health and Social Care North.