Higher overall admittance of immigrants to specialised palliative care in Denmark: a nationwide register-based study of 99,624 patients with cancer

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BACKGROUND: The population of immigrants in Europe is ageing. Accordingly, the number of immigrants with life-threatening diseases and need for specialised palliative care will increase. In Europe, immigrants' admittance to specialised palliative care is not well explored.

AIM: To investigate whether country of origin was associated with admittance to (I) palliative care team/unit, (II) hospice, and/or (III) specialised palliative care, overall (i.e. palliative care team/unit and/or hospice).

DESIGN: Data sources for the population cohort study were the Danish Palliative Care Database and several nationwide registers. We investigated the associations between country of origin and admittance to specialised palliative care, overall, and to type of palliative care using logistic regression analyses.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: In 2010-2016, 104,775 cancer patients died in Denmark: 96% were born in Denmark, 2% in other Western countries, and 2% in non-Western countries.

RESULTS: Overall admittance to specialised palliative care was higher for immigrants from other Western (OR = 1.13; 95%CI: 1.03-1.24) and non-Western countries (OR = 1.22; 95%CI: 1.08-1.37) than for the majority population. Similar results were found for admittance to palliative care teams. No difference in admittance to hospice was found for immigrants from other Western countries (OR = 1.04; 95%CI: 0.93-1.16) compared to the majority population, while lower admittance was found for non-Western immigrants (OR = 0.70; 95%CI: 0.60-0.81).

CONCLUSION: Admittance to specialised palliative care was higher for immigrants than for the majority population as higher admittance to palliative care teams for non-Western immigrants more than compensated for the lower hospice admittance. This may reflect a combination of larger needs and that hospital-based and home-based services are perceived as preferable by immigrants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number2
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

    Research areas

  • Humans, Palliative Care/methods, Cohort Studies, Neoplasms/therapy, Hospices, Emigrants and Immigrants, Denmark/epidemiology

ID: 333960290