• Print

Downloads


PDF (138KB)


Tables (583KB XLS)

This section presents information on episodes of admitted patient palliative care occurring in hospitals, using data on palliative care-related hospitalisations from the National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD). The NHMD is a collation of data about admitted patient care in Australian hospitals, based on the Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set. For further information see the data sources section.

Information is presented on hospitalisations for which palliation was provided. Time series data for the period from 2009–10 to 2013–14 are presented to show the changes in hospitalisations for palliative care over this period. Wherever possible, corresponding data on all hospitalisations have been provided for comparative purposes.

Key points

  • In 2013–14, there were about 62,200 palliative care-related hospitalisations reported from public and private hospitals in Australia.
  • People aged 75 and over accounted for just over half (51%) of all palliative care-related hospitalisations.
  • There was an 11% increase in palliative care-related hospitalisations between 2009–10 and 2013–14.
  • In just over 2 in 5 (44%) of all hospitalisations in which the patient died, the patient had received palliative care.
  • Over half (53%) of palliative care hospitalisations involved cancer as the principal diagnosis.

The information in this section was last updated in May 2016.

A palliative care-related hospitalisation is defined as an episode of admitted patient care for which the principal clinical intent was palliation during all or part of that episode. Two NHMD data items—Care type and Additional diagnosis are used to capture information on palliative care: if either (or both) has a code of 'palliative care', that hospitalisation is included as being in scope (see Identifying palliative care hospitalisations for further information).

Admitted patient palliative care in 2013–14

In 2013–14, there were about 62,200 palliative care-related hospitalisations reported from public and private hospitals in Australia, accounting for fewer than 1 in 150 (0.6%) of all hospitalisations (9.7 million). A higher proportion of palliative care-related hospitalisations were for males (54%) than females (46%), and the rate was also higher for males than females (29 and 25 per 10,000 population, respectively).

People aged 75 and over accounted for half (51%) of all palliative care-related hospitalisations; the average age of these patients was 73, with little difference between the sexes. The average age was 54 for all hospitalisations. Only about 1 in 9 (11%) of the total number of palliative care-related hospitalisations was for patients aged under 55.

Although there were more palliative care-related hospitalisations for males overall, among people aged 25–54 there were more hospitalisations for females than males. For people aged 85 and over, there were 12% more hospitalisations for females than males.