Hospice Patients Lived an Average 29 Days Longer Reports NHPCO
(Alexandria, Va) - A new study published in the March 2007 issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management reports that hospice care may prolong the lives of some terminally ill patients.
Among the patient populations studied, the mean survival was 29 days longer for hospice patients than for non-hospice patients. In other words, patients who chose hospice care lived an average of one month longer than similar patients who did not choose hospice care.
Sponsored by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the study was conducted by NHPCO researchers in collaboration with the highly regarded consulting and actuarial firm, Milliman, Inc.
Researchers selected 4,493 terminally ill patients with either congestive heart failure (CHF) or cancer of the breast, colon, lung, pancreas, or prostate. They then analyzed the difference in survival periods between those who received hospice care and those who did not. Data came from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and represented a statistically valid five percent sampling from 1998-2002.
Longer lengths of survival were found in four of the six disease categories studied. The largest difference in survival between the hospice and non-hospice cohorts was observed in CHF patients where the mean survival period jumped from 321 days to 402 days. The mean survival period also was significantly longer for the hospice patients with lung cancer (39 days) and pancreatic cancer (21 days), while marginally significant for colon cancer (33 days).