Addressing Palliative Sedation during Expert Consultation: A Descriptive Analysis of the Practice of Dutch Palliative Care Consultation Teams
SourcePLoS One, 10, 8, (2015), article e0136309
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
MAIN OBJECTIVE: Since palliative sedation is considered a complex intervention, consultation teams are increasingly established to support general practice. This study aims to offer insight into the frequency and characteristics of expert consultations regarding palliative sedation. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of a longitudinal database. This database contained all patient-related consultations by Dutch Palliative Care Consultation teams, that were requested between 2004 and 2011. We described the frequency and characteristics of these consultations, in particular of the subgroup of consultations in which palliative sedation was addressed (i.e. PSa consultations). We used multivariate regression analysis to explore consultation characteristics associated with a higher likelihood of PSa consultations. MAIN RESULTS AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE: Of the 44,443 initial consultations, most were requested by general practitioners (73%) and most concerned patients with cancer (86%). Palliative sedation was addressed in 18.1% of all consultations. Palliative sedation was relatively more often discussed during consultations for patients with a neurologic disease (OR 1.79; 95% CI: 1.51-2.12) or COPD (OR 1.39; 95% CI: 1.15-1.69) than for patients with cancer. We observed a higher likelihood of PSa consultations if the following topics were also addressed during consultation: dyspnoea (OR 1.30; 95% CI: 1.22-1.40), agitation/delirium (OR 1.57; 95% CI: 1.47-1.68), exhaustion (OR 2.89; 95% CI: 2.61-3.20), euthanasia-related questions (OR 2.65; 95% CI: 2.37-2.96) or existential issues (OR 1.55; 95% CI: 1.31-1.83). CONCLUSION: In conclusion, PSa consultations accounted for almost one-fifth of all expert consultations and were associated with several case-related characteristics. These characteristics may help clinicians in identifying patients at risk for a more complex disease trajectory at the end of life.
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