Background: There have been numerous studies conducted on end-of-life care and its impact on the comfort of the patient in the final stages of life. Appreciation of the importance of patient-centered end-of-life care has grown with the steady aging of the American population. Not all studies that examine end-of-life care interventions include cost analyses comparing different approaches, but such inquiries are essential for population-level policymaking.
We reviewed published studies on end-of-life care to determine what factors researchers included in their cost analyses, in order to summarize current practice and options for consideration in future studies.
Methods: We conducted a PubMed and Google Scholar search for articles pertaining to end-of-life care that included information on costs or a cost analysis. We determine what factors were included in the cost analysis and the sources of the cost data used.
Results: We found 30 articles that met our inclusion criteria. We included articles that were published between 2000 and 2020 and in the English language. Our final articles for the literature review consisted of randomized control trials, retrospective studies, and systematic reviews. Most of the articles used data from Medicare claims for the cost analysis.
Conclusion: Interventions focused on palliative care compared to usual care, which is more intensive, resulted in higher patient satisfaction and lower costs.