Context: Stroke is the second leading cause of death and the primary cause of disability worldwide. It is uncertain what care patients with stroke receive in their end of life and what trends in care are in recent years. Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the changes in the use of intensive and supportive procedures for Taiwanese patients with stroke in their last month of life during 2000–2010. Methods: Analysis of claims data of 55,930 patients with stroke obtained from the National Health Insurance Research Database was performed to investigate the changes in the use of intensive and supportive procedures for Taiwanese patients with stroke in their last month of life during 2000–2010. Results: Over the whole study period, 25.4% of patients with stroke were admitted to intensive care units in their last month of life. The percentages of patients receiving mechanical ventilation (77.4%–67.9%), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (53.8%–35.8%), and inotropic agents (73.5%–64.3%) decreased over time. The percentages of patients receiving artificial hydration and nutrition (65.9%–73.3%) and sedative or analgesic agents (34.7%–38.6%) increased over time. Patients under 85 years old were more likely to be admitted to intensive care units. Men were more likely to receive mechanical ventilation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation than women. Conclusion: Over time, the use of supportive procedures increased, and the use of intensive procedures decreased in patients with stroke in the last month of life. This study highlights a need for research, guidelines, and training in how to provide palliative care for end-stage patients with stroke.
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