Purpose: This study aimed to (1) describe characteristics of aggressive care at the end of life (EOL) and (2) identify factors associated with specialized palliative care use (SPC) and aggressive care at the EOL among Japanese patients with advanced cancer. Methods: This single-center, follow-up cohort study involved patients with advanced cancer who received chemotherapy at Tohoku University Hospital. Patients were surveyed at enrollment, and we followed clinical events for 5 years from enrollment in the study. We performed multivariate logistic regression analysis to identify independent factors related to SPC use and chemotherapy in the last month before death. Results: We analyzed a total of 135 patients enrolled between January 2015 and January 2016. No patients were admitted to the intensive care unit, and few received resuscitation or ventilation. We identified no factors significantly associated with SPC use. Meanwhile, younger age (20–59 years, odds ratio [OR] 4.10; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.30–12.91; p = 0.02) and no receipt of SPC (OR 4.32; 95% CI 1.07–17.37; p = 0.04) were associated with chemotherapy in the last month before death. Conclusion: Younger age and a lack of SPC were associated with chemotherapy at the EOL in patients with advanced cancer in Japan. These findings suggest that Japanese patients with advanced cancer may benefit from access to SPC.
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