Japanese National Dementia Plan Is Associated with a Small Shift in Location of Death: An Interrupted Time Series Analysis

Joost D. Wammes, Miharu Nakanishi, Jenny T. Van Der Steen, Janet L. Macneil Vroomen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Japan has one of the highest percentages of persons with dementia and hospital deaths in the world. Hospitals are often not equipped to handle the care complexity required for persons with dementia at the end of life. The National Dementia Orange plan aimed to decrease hospital deaths by expanding time in the community. Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate whether the National Dementia Orange Plan is associated with a decrease in hospitals deaths for persons with dementia. Methods: We used quarterly, cross-sectional, national death certificate data consisting of the total Japanese dementia population 65 years and older, spanning a period from 2009 to 2016. The primary outcome was quarterly adjusted relative risk rates (aRRR) of dying in hospital, nursing home, home, or elsewhere. An interrupted time series analysis was performed to study the slope change over time. Analyses were adjusted for sex and seasonality. Results: 149,638 died with dementia. With the implementation of the Orange Plan, death in nursing home (aRRR 1.08, [1.07-1.08], p<0.001) and elsewhere (aRRR 1.05, [1.05-1.06], p<0.001) increased over time compared to hospital death. No changes were found in death at home. Conclusion: This study provides evidence that the National Dementia Orange plan was associated with a small increase in death in nursing home and elsewhere. Hospital death remained the primary location of death. End-of-life strategies should be expanded in national dementia policies to increase aging in the community until death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-797
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Dementia
  • Japan
  • end-of-life
  • health policy
  • interrupted time series
  • place of death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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