Continuous Sedation until Death in Nursing Homes in Flanders, Belgium: A Nationwide Study

Sam Rys, Reginald Deschepper, Freddy Mortier, Luc Deliens, Johan Bilsen, European Association For Palliative Care (Redacteur)

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Journal)


Continuous Sedation until Death (CSD), the act of reducing or removing the consciousness of an incurably ill patient until death, has increasingly become a common practice in nursing homes in Flanders, Belgium. Several guidelines on this practice have been published worldwide to ensure the proper use of CSD. However, little is known about the adherence to these guidelines, especially in nursing homes. Moreover, most of the studies published rely solely on self-reports of physicians' practices. Therefore, we wanted to investigate CSD from both the perspective of the attending physicians and nurses.

All high-care nursing homes in Flanders were included in this study (N = 666). Both the coordinating and advisory physicians, as well as the palliative care nurse of each nursing home, received a questionnaire containing questions on the patient they had most recently treated with CSD (if applicable). The questions addressed patients' characteristics, the indication for administering CSD, the decision-making process, and (clinical) aspects of the course of CSD. The anonymity of the respondents was guaranteed through a careful mailing procedure, involving a lawyer as an intermediary party between respondents and researchers.

The general response rate was 70.2% (467 nursing homes participated). We received 431 questionnaires from palliative care nurses (64.7% response), and 380 questionnaires from coordinating and advisory physicians (57.1% response). Cases were reported by 247 nurses (57.3%) and 156 physicians (41.1%). Further results will be presented as the analysis proceeds.

This is the first study to investigate the practice of CSD in nursing homes from both physicians' as well as nurses' perspectives on a nationwide level. The extensive and representative data provide a solid basis to evaluate the actual practice of CSD in nursing homes in Flanders.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)138-139
Aantal pagina's2
TijdschriftEuropean Journal of Palliative Care
StatusPublished - 2013
EvenementUnknown -
Duur: 1 jan 2013 → …

Bibliografische nota

European Association for Palliative Care


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