Determinants of the administration of continuous palliative sedation: a systematic review
SourceJournal of Palliative Medicine, 16, 12, (2013), pp. 1624-32
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Journal of Palliative Medicine
SubjectNCEBP 11: Alzheimer Centre; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health ONCOL 2: Age-related aspects of cancer; DCN MP - Plasticity and memory NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
Abstract Background: Little is known about the determining factors related to the administration of continuous palliative sedation. Knowledge of these determinants may assist physicians in identifying patients who are at high risk of developing refractory symptoms, enable physicians to inform patients, and optimize close monitoring. Objective: The aim of this systematic review was to identify determinants of the administration of continuous palliative sedation. Design: A systematic review of PubMed, EMBASE, and CINAHL was performed to identify English, Dutch, and German language papers published from January 1990 through April 2011. Inclusion was based on the following criteria: patient-based research on continuous palliative sedation, studies investigating determinants of palliative sedation and/or comparison between sedated and nonsedated cohorts, and studies using multivariate analyses and of fair to good or good methodological quality. Results: In total, eight papers were reviewed. The following nine factors were found to be associated with the administration of continuous palliative sedation: younger age, male sex, having cancer, feelings of hopelessness, dying in a hospital, living in a Dutch speaking community setting, very nonreligious or extremely nonreligious physicians, physicians working in "other hospital" specialties, and physicians in favor of assisted death. Conclusions: Given the variation in study designs and the limitations of the included studies, the outcomes should be interpreted carefully. Further research is needed, particularly regarding factors that can be influenced and that may alter the course of a patient's symptoms and the patient's eventual need for palliative sedation.
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