Conditions, possibility and priority for admission into inpatient hospice/palliative care units in Japan: A nationwide survey

Yoshiyuki Kizawa, Takashi Yamaguchi, Yukako Yagi, Mitsunori Miyashita, Yasuo Shima, Asao Ogawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Known barriers to admission into inpatient hospice/palliative care units (PCUs) include poor accessibility and stringent conditions for admission. However, the exact criteria are unclear. The aim of this study was to clarify the actual conditions, possibilities and priorities for admission to PCU in Japan. Methods: We conducted a nationwide, anonymous, self-administered questionnaire survey to the responsible physicians of all 251 PCUs in 2014. Results: Responses were received from 190 institutions (response rate 76%). The most frequent condition for admission was 'either the patient or the family knows the diagnosis' [86%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 80-90]. For the conditions for admission to PCU, 10-40% fewer facilities answered that the patient's consent or understanding was required compared with those that answered the patient or family's consent was sufficient. Seventy-one percent (95% CI: 64-77) of PCUs answered that either the patient or a family member needed to agree to a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) policy. The factors most likely to result in refusal of admission to a PCU varied greatly. Ninety-four percent (95% CI: 90-97) of PCUs answered that patients who had undergone a long waiting time after applying for admission would be given higher priority, and approximately 50% of PCUs answered they gave priority to their outpatients and inpatients. Conclusions: The findings of this study should be used to modify the system so that appropriate palliative care can be provided to patients who wish to be admitted to PCU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1437-1443
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese journal of clinical oncology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept 1


  • admission criteria
  • code status
  • hospice
  • palliative care
  • palliative care unit
  • questionnaire survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Conditions, possibility and priority for admission into inpatient hospice/palliative care units in Japan: A nationwide survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this