Japanese Care Location and Medical Procedures for People with Dementia in the Last Month of Life

Miharu Nakanishi, Taeko Nakashima, Yumi Shindo, Junko Niimura, Atsushi Nishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Dementia-related societies worldwide have called for palliative end-of-life care for those suffering dementia; meanwhile, the Japanese dementia plan was revised on January 2015 to introduce into its objectives the support for end-of-life care via increased social and health care collaboration. Objective: The study focus was the use of medical procedures in the last month of life among dementia patients in different care locations in Japan. Methods: This study was conducted using a retrospective study design. Data from the Survey of Institutions and Establishments for Long-Term Care, which is a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of the public long-term care insurance services, were used. The 6,148 patients who received end-of-life care in their own home, nursing homes, or hospitals in September 2007, 2010, and 2013 were included for analysis. The primary disease of each patient was based on the ICD-10 code; a diagnosis of dementia included F00 (Alzheimer's), F01 (vascular), F02 (other), and F03 (unspecified). Results: Of 6,148 patients, 886 (14.4%) had dementia as a primary disease; most received care in the last month of life in nursing homes (48.0%) or hospitals (44.8%) rather than in their own home (7.2%). Patients were less likely to undergo pain management when their primary disease was dementia (adjusted odds ratio, 0.44; 95% confidence interval, 0.21-0.91). Conclusion: Education and policy efforts are required to provide palliative end-of-life care to people with dementia at home. The national dementia plan should also explore possible approaches regarding pain management for dying people who have dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-755
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 30
Externally publishedYes


  • Dementia
  • hospice care
  • nursing homes
  • pain management
  • palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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