Variability in Palliative Care Use after Intracerebral Hemorrhage at US Hospitals: A Multilevel Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Palliative care (PC) is an essential component of comprehensive care of patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). In the present study, we sought to characterize the variability of PC use after ICH among US hospitals. Methods: ICH admissions from hospitals with at least 12 annual ICH cases were identified in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample between 2008 and 2011. We used multilevel logistic regression modeling to estimate between-hospital variance in PC use. We calculated the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), proportional variance change, and median OR after accounting for individual-level and hospital-level covariates. Results: Among 26,791 ICH admissions, 12.5% received PC (95% CI 11.5-13.5). Among the 629 included hospitals, the median rate of PC use was 9.1 (interquartile range 1.5-19.3) per 100 ICH admissions, and 150 (23.9%) hospitals had no recorded PC use. The ICC of the random intercept (null) model was 0.274, suggesting that 27.4% of the overall variability in PC use was due to between-hospital variability. Adding hospital-level covariates to the model accounted for 25.8% of the between-hospital variance observed in the null model, with 74.2% of between-hospital variance remaining unexplained. The median OR of the fully adjusted model was 2.62 (95% CI 2.41-2.89), indicating that a patient moving from 1 hospital to another with a higher intrinsic propensity of PC use had a 2.63-fold median increase in the odds of receiving PC, independent of patient and hospital factors. Conclusions: Substantial variation in PC use after ICH exists among US hospitals. A substantial proportion of this between-hospital variability remains unexplained even after accounting for patient and hospital characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • End-of-life care
  • Multilevel model
  • Palliative care
  • Terminal care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Variability in Palliative Care Use after Intracerebral Hemorrhage at US Hospitals: A Multilevel Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this