Background: The use of continuous sedation until death (CSD) has been highly debated for many years. It is unknown how the use of CSD evolves over time. Reports suggest that there is an international increase in the use of CSD for terminally ill patients.
Objective: To gain insight in developments in the use of CSD in various countries and subpopulations.
Design: We performed a search of the literature published between January 2000 and April 2020, in Pubmed, Embase, CINAHL, Psycinfo and the Cochrane Library by using the PRISMA guidelines. The search contained the following terms: continuous sedation, terminal sedation, palliative sedation, deep sedation, end-of-life sedation, sedation practice, and sedation until death.
Results: We found 23 articles on 16 nationwide studies and 38 articles on 37 subpopulation studies. In nationwide studies on deceased persons frequencies of CSD varied from 3% in Denmark in 2001 to 18% in the Netherlands in 2015. Nationwide studies indicate an increase in the use of CSD. Frequencies of CSD in the different subpopulations varied too widely to observe time trends. Over the years more studies reported on the use of CSD for non-physical symptoms including fear, anxiety, and psycho-existential distress. In some studies, there was an increase in requests for sedation of patients and their families.
Conclusions: The frequency of CSD seems to increase over time possibly partly due to an extension of indications for sedation, from mainly physical symptoms to also non-physical symptoms.
OBJECTIVES: There is increased global focus on advance care planning (ACP) with attention from policymakers, more education programmes, laws and public awareness campaigns.
METHODS: We provide a summary of the evidence about what ACP is, and how it should be conducted. We also address its barriers and facilitators and discuss current and future models of ACP, including a wider look at how to best integrate those who have diminished decisional capacity.
RESULTS: Different models are analysed, including new work in Wales (future care planning which includes best interest decision-making for those without decisional capacity), Asia and in people with dementia.
CONCLUSIONS: ACP practices are evolving. While ACP is a joint responsibility of patients, relatives and healthcare professionals, more clarity on how to apply best ACP practices to include people with diminished capacity will further improve patient-centred care.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: While decision making about and performance of continuous sedation involve many challenges, they appear to be particularly pervasive in nursing homes. This study aims to identify barriers to the decision making and performance of continuous sedation until death in Flemish nursing homes as experienced by the health care professionals involved.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Ten focus groups were held with 71 health care professionals including 16 palliative care physicians, 42 general practitioners, and 13 nursing home staff. Discussions were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a constant comparative approach.
RESULTS: Perceived barriers concerned factors prior to and during sedation and were classified according to three types: (a) personal barriers related to knowledge and skills including the lack of clarity on what continuous sedation should be used for (linguistic ambiguity) and when and how it should be used (practical ambiguity); (b) relational barriers concerning communication and collaboration both between health care professionals and with family; (c) organizational barriers related to the organization of care in nursing homes where, for example, there is no on-site physician, or where the recommended medication is not always available.
DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: The findings suggest there are considerable challenges for sound decision making about and performance of continuous sedation until death in nursing homes. There is a need for multicomponent initiatives that provide guidance in the context of the complexity of a resident's medical situation, the family, and the specific organization of care, which would have the potential to facilitate and improve the decision-making process and performance of continuous sedation in nursing homes.
OBJECTIVES: Palliative sedation is a highly debated medical practice, particularly regarding its proper use in end-of-life care. Worldwide, guidelines are used to standardise care and regulate this practice. In this review, we identify and compare national/regional clinical practice guidelines on palliative sedation against the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) palliative sedation Framework and assess the developmental quality of these guidelines using the Appraisal Guideline Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) instrument.
METHODS: Using the PRISMA criteria, we searched multiple databases (PubMed, CancerLit, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, NHS Evidence and Google Scholar) for relevant guidelines, and selected those written in English, Dutch and Italian; published between January 2000 and March 2016.
RESULTS: Of 264 hits, 13 guidelines-Belgium, Canada (3), Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Europe, and USA (2) were selected. 8 contained at least 9/10 recommendations published in the EAPC Framework; 9 recommended 'pre-emptive discussion of the potential role of sedation in end-of-life care'; 9 recommended 'nutrition/hydration while performing sedation' and 8 acknowledged the need to 'care for the medical team'. There were striking differences in terminologies used and in life expectancy preceding the practice. Selected guidelines were conceptually similar, comparing closely to the EAPC Framework recommendations, albeit with notable variations.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on AGREE II, 3 guidelines achieved top scores and could therefore be recommended for use in this context. Also, domains 'scope and purpose' and 'editorial independence' ranked highest and lowest, respectively-underscoring the importance of good reportage at the developmental stage.
BACKGROUND: Involving patients in decision-making is considered to be particularly appropriate towards the end of life. Professional guidelines emphasize that the decision to initiate continuous sedation should be made in accordance with the wishes of the dying person and be preceded by their consent.
AIM: To describe the decision-making process preceding continuous sedation until death with particular attention to the involvement of the person who is dying.
DESIGN: Qualitative case studies using interviews.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Interviews with 26 physicians, 30 nurses and 24 relatives caring for 24 patients with cancer who received continuous sedation until death in Belgium, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
RESULTS: We distinguished four stages of decision-making: initiation, information exchange, deliberation and the decision to start continuous sedation until death. There was wide variation in the role the patient had in the decision-making process. At one end of the spectrum (mostly in the United Kingdom), the physician discussed the possible use of sedation with the patient, but took the decision themselves. At the other end (mostly in Belgium and the Netherlands), the patient initiated the conversation and the physician's role was largely limited to evaluating if and when the medical criteria were met.
CONCLUSION: Decision-making about continuous sedation until death goes through four stages and the involvement of the patient in the decision-making varies. Acknowledging the potential sensitivity of raising the issue of end-of-life sedation, we recommend building into clinical practice regular opportunities to discuss the goals and preferences of the person who is dying for their future medical treatment and care.
Les auteurs ont étudié les frais de soins non remboursés déclarés au cours de la dernière année de vie d'adultes âgés en Europe, à partir de l'étude SHARE. Les variations de ce critère indiquent que les pays européens font face à différents défis dans une prise en charge financière des soins au cours de la dernière année de vie, abordable pour tous.
Depuis 2009, l’Association Européenne des Soins Palliatifs (EAPC) a reconnu et soutenu le travail de scientifiques et de cliniciens qui font une contribution exceptionnelle à la recherche en soins palliatifs, à travers son "Early researcher award". Ralf J Jox et Judith Rietjens évoquent leur carrière depuis qu'ils ont remporté le prix en 2011.