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AimsCancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Approximately 30% of global cancer-related deaths occur in mainland China. However, there is a paucity of information regarding the end-of-life care-seeking behavior of patients with advanced cancer in China. Our study was to investigate end-of-life care-seeking behavior and to quantify the association between sociodemographic characteristics and the location and pattern of end-of-life care.MethodsWe conducted a mortality follow-back survey using caregivers' interviews to estimate the number of individuals pre 1000 who died between 2013 and 2021 in the last 3 months of life. We collected data on hospitalization, outpatient visits, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, palliative care and hospice utilization, and place of death, stratified by age, gender, marital status, household income, residential zone, insurance type, and the primary end-of-life decision-maker of the decedents.ResultsWe analyzed data from 857 deceased cancer patients, representing an average of 1000 individuals. Among these patients, 861 experienced at least moderate or more severe pain, 774 were hospitalized at least once, 468 received intensive treatment, 389 had at least one outpatient visit, 270 died in the hospital, 236 received cardiopulmonary resuscitation and 99 received specialist hospice care.ConclusionsOur study provides insights into the end-of-life care-seeking behavior of advanced cancer patients in China and our findings serve as a useful benchmark for estimating the use of end-of-life medical care. It highlights the need for the establishment of an accessible and patient-centered palliative care and hospice system.

Original publication




Journal article


The American journal of hospice & palliative care

Publication Date



Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, China.