Hospitalization pattern in a hospital-based palliative care program: an example from Saudi Arabia.Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2009 Feb-Mar; 26(1):52-6.AJ
The few palliative care programs available to date in Saudi Arabia are largely hospital-based. Subacute palliative care models have not been developed yet. This retrospective review was conducted to assess the patterns and outcomes of hospital-based palliative care unit admissions in the absence of subacute palliative care models. We reviewed 759 eligible palliative care unit admissions related to 629 cancer patients during a 4-year period. Of all admissions, 66% were hospitalized through the emergency room. The average hospital stay was 24 days. The majority (86%) of patients died in-hospital. These results suggest that end-of-life quality indicators are unlikely to improve depending on hospital-based palliative care models only. To improve palliative care services in Saudi Arabia, other subacute models may need to be considered.