Objectives: To describe health service use, symptom and survival characteristics in metastatic prostate cancer (mPCa) in order to outline usual care practices and identify future opportunities to improve the quality of care in this patient group. Patients and Methods: This population cohort study, conducted in Victoria, Australia, used 10 years (2000–2010) of linked hospital discharge, emergency visit, and death registration data, to track patients from their first inpatient admission with mPCa until death. Descriptive statistics on inpatient health service use, symptoms, procedures, survival, and place of death are presented. Results: In all, 4436 patients survived a median (interquartile range [IQR]) of 4 (1, 12) months from their first multiday admission with mPCa. They had a median (IQR) of 3 (1, 9) admissions, 1 (0, 2) emergency department presentation, and 35 (18, 63) days admitted to hospital. Lower urinary tract symptoms were common (50%), and 21% underwent lower urinary tract procedures, whilst 48% had blood product transfusions. In the last month of life, 3685 (83%) had at least one indicator of aggressive end-of-life care, including 48% with more than one acute hospital admission, and 55% staying ≥14 days. Hospital-based palliative care was accessed by 2657 (60%), occurring a median (IQR) of 30 (11, 74) days before death. In all, 23% died in the community, whilst 77% died in hospital, of whom 55% died in an acute hospital bed. Conclusion: Half of all decedents first admitted for a multiday stay with mPCa survived <4 months thereafter. They had a marked symptom burden, underwent multiple procedures and had multiple admissions. In all, 40% of patients did not receive any hospital-based palliative care. Several opportunities exist to improve the timely transition to palliative care services with mPCa. These data form a benchmark against which future improvements to palliative care integration may be measured.
- end-of-life care