Introduction Cancer is a public health problem in Brazil and the National Policy for Oncology determines that health services should provide all levels of oncologic care. The aim of this study was to assess the need for palliative care in hospitalised cancer patients in Mato Grosso do Sul, one of the Brazilian states that has no public hospital offering this type of care.
Methods A descriptive study of all hospitalisations due to “complications of clinical oncology (ICPO)” in hospitals of the Unified Health System (SUS) in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, was conducted from January 2008 to August 2010. Data were obtained from the Hospital Information System of the Unified Health System (SIH-SUS).
Results There were 5165 hospitalisations for ICPO with cancer as the underlying cause in 94.7%. Average length of stay was 6.2 days and 1189 patients (23.0%) died. Individuals aged 65 years or older accounted for 44.3% of these deaths and for every 3.5 hospital admissions in this age group, one ended in death. Many patients died without the appropriate care.
Conclusion The ageing of the population and the increased incidence of cancer brought new challenges to the Brazilian Unified Health System, including the need for palliative care. This need is not always met for instance as in Mato Grosso do Sul. In this sense, deaths of patients hospitalised for ICPO can be thought of as indicators of advanced disease and they could be useful to national and state policies for oncologic palliative care.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.