Go to content

Nurse practitioner and physician end-of-life home visits and end-of-life outcomes


Objectives — Physicians and nurse practitioners (NPs) play critical roles in supporting palliative and end-of-life care in the community. We examined healthcare outcomes among patients who received home visits from physicians and NPs in the 90 days before death.

Methods — We conducted a retrospective cohort study using linked data of adult home care users in Ontario, Canada, who died between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2019. Healthcare outcomes included medications for pain and symptom management, emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalisations and a community-based death. We compared the characteristics of and outcomes in decedents who received a home visit from an NP, physician and both to those who did not receive a home visit.

Results — Half (56.9%) of adult decedents in Ontario did not receive a home visit from a provider in the last 90 days of life; 34.5% received at least one visit from a physician, 3.8% from an NP and 4.9% from both. Compared with those without any visits, having at least one home visit reduced the odds of hospitalisation and ED visits, and increased the odds of receiving medications for pain and symptom management and achieving a community-based death. Observed effects were larger in patients who received at least one visit from both.

Conclusions — Beyond home care, receiving home visits from primary care providers near the end of life may be associated with better outcomes that are aligned with patients’ preferences—emphasising the importance of NPs and physicians’ role in supporting people near the end of life.



Scott M, Ramzy A, Isenberg SR, Webber C, Eddeen AB, Murmann M, Mahdavi R, Howard M, Kendall CE, Klinger C, Marshall D, Sinnarajah A, Ponka D, Buchman S, Bennett C, Tanuseputro P,  Dahrouge S, May K, Heer C, Cooper D, Manuel D, Thavorn K, Hsu AT. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2023; Nov 18 [Epub ahead of print].

View Source

Associated Sites