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Issues and needs in end-of-life decision making: An international modified Delphi study
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2012 (English)In: Palliative Medicine: A Multiprofessional Journal, ISSN 0269-2163, E-ISSN 1477-030X, Vol. 26, no 7, 947-953 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: end-of-life decision making is an important aspect of end-of-life care that can have a significant impact on the process of dying and patients' comfort in the last days of life. Aim: the aim of our study was to identify issues and considerations in end-of-life decision making, and needs for more evidence among palliative care experts, across countries and professions. Participants: 90 palliative care experts from nine countries participated in a modified Delphi study. Participants were asked to identify important issues and considerations in end-of-life decision making and to rate the need for more evidence. Results: experts mentioned 219 issues in end-of-life decision making related to the medical domain, 122 issues related to the patient wishes and 92 related to relatives' wishes, regardless of profession or country (p > 0.05). In accordance, more than 90% of the experts rated the comfort and wishes of the patient and the potential futility of treatment as important considerations in end-of-life decision making, although some variation was present. When asked about issues that are in need of more evidence, 87% mentioned appropriate indications for using sedatives and effects of artificial hydration at the end of life. A total of 83% mentioned adequate communication approaches. Conclusions: palliative care experts from different professions in different countries encounter similar issues in end-of-life decision making. Adequate communication about these issues is universally experienced as a challenge, which might benefit from increased knowledge. This shared experience enables and emphasizes the need for more international research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 26, no 7, 947-953 p.
Keyword [en]
decision making, expert opinion, research priorities, palliative care, terminal care
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61167DOI: 10.1177/0269216311423794ISI: 000309141000011OAI: diva2:566781
Available from: 2012-11-09 Created: 2012-11-07 Last updated: 2012-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Lundquist, Gunilla
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