Extensive evidence shows that well over 50% of people prefer to be cared for and to die at home provided circumstances allow choice. Despite best efforts and policies, one-third or less of all deaths take place at home in many countries of the world. . . . The results [of this study] provide clear and reliable evidence that home palliative care increases the chance of dying at home and reduces symptom burden in particular for patients with cancer, without impacting on caregiver grief. This justifies providing home palliative care for patients who wish to die at home.
- When faced with the prospect of dying with an advanced illness, the majority of people prefer to die at home, yet in many countries, they are most likely to die in hospital.
- When someone with an advanced illness gets home palliative care, their chances of dying at home more than double.
- Home palliative care services help reduce the symptom burden people may experience as a result of advanced illness, without increasing grief for family caregivers after the patient dies.
- Patients who wish to die at home should be offered home palliative care. There is still scope to improve home palliative care services and increase the benefits for patients and families without raising costs.