AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse Chronic disease indicators Deaths
Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM)
Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators (NCMI) Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
There has been a substantial increase in recent years in the number of admissions for palliative care in Australian hospitals, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Trends in palliative care in Australian hospitals, shows that over the 10-year period from 1999-2000 to 2008-09, the number of palliative care admissions rose by 56%.
‘There were more than 50,000 palliative care admissions in Australian hospitals in 2008-09,’ said AIHW spokesperson Mr Brent Diverty.
Palliative care is care in which the clinical intent or treatment goal is primarily quality of life for a patient with an active, progressive disease with little or no prospect of cure.
This care may have been delivered in a hospice affiliated with a hospital, a dedicated palliative care ward or in other admitted patient beds in a hospital.
The average length of stay in hospital for palliative care admissions was 12.5 days per admission—almost four times longer than the average 3.2 days spent in hospital for all admissions.
Patients aged 75 years and over accounted for almost half of all palliative care admissions in 2008-09. Interestingly, 12% of those admitted were under 55 years old. Admission rates were higher among males, Indigenous Australians and those living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas.
‘The majority of admissions for palliative care were due to cancer, with cancer the principal diagnosis in 60% of cases. When considering both principal and additional diagnoses, this percentage rose to 77%,’ Mr Diverty said.
Of all deaths in Australia in 2008-09, just over half (52%) occurred in an admitted patient setting within a hospital.
Among those who died in hospital between 1999–2000 and 2008–09, there was an increase (from 21% to 34%) in the proportion who were palliative care patients.
The AIHW has also released a related technical report today, Identifying palliative care separations in admitted patient data.
‘The second report recommends a more inclusive approach to identifying those hospital admissions for which palliative care was a substantial component of the care provided,’ Mr Diverty said.
‘This approach was used in the data analyses undertaken in the main report.’
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 19 October 2011
Further information: Mr Brent Diverty, AIHW, tel. 02 6249 5096, mob. 0438 471 352
For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, tel. 02 6244 1032
Full report: Trends in palliative care in Australian hospitals