Table 3

Indication for sedation, patients' request and observational reports on communication and oral fluid/nutrition intake comparing the periods 1995–1999 and 2000–2002 (*p < 0.05).

Whole Period 1995 – 2002

Period 1995–1999

Period 2000 – 2002

Significance p-values


Patients with sedation in the last 48 hrs

n (% of all deaths)

80 (14.6)

31 (10.6)

49 (18.9)*

**P = 0.007

Main indication for sedation, n (%)

Dyspnoea

28 (35.0)

11 (35.5)

17 (34.7)

n.s.

Gastrointestinal

6 (7.5)

3 (9.7)

3 (6.1)

n.s.

Bleeding

1 (1.3)

1 (3.2)

0 (0.0)

n.s.

Pain

2 (2.5)

1 (3.2)

1 (2.0)

n.s.

Delirium, agitation

11 (13.8)

6 (19.4)

5 (10.2)

n.s.

Anxiety, psychological distress

32 (40.0)

9 (29.0)

23 (46.9)

P = 0.111

Requests for sedation, n (%)

23 (28.8)

6 (19.4)

17 (34.4)

P = 0.141

Duration of sedation (hrs)

Mean (SD)

62.8 (58.0)

69.0 (57.5)

58.9 (58.7)

P = 0.445

Range

2–264

15 – 240

2 – 264

Mainly somatic indication

63.3 (56.3)

84.7 (64.0)

47.3 (45.1)

P = 0.117

Mainly psychological indication

62.6 (60.3)

52.2 (46.0)

68.3 (67.1)

P = 0.145

Patients with request for sedation

57.3 (47.3)

73.0 (53.0)

51.8 (45.2)

P = 0.198

Type of sedation and clinical state:

Continuous, n (%)

48 (60.0)

15 (48.4)

33 (67.3)

P = 0.092

Intermittent, n (%)

32 (40.0)

16 (51.6)

16 (32.7)

P = 0.092

With communication, n (%)

42 (51.3)

16 (51.5)

26 (53.1)

n.s.

With oral fluid intake, n (%)

53 (66.3)

15 (48.4)

38 (77.6)*

P = 0.007

With oral nutrition, n (%)

10 (12.5)

5 (16.1)

5 (10.2)

n.s.


Muller-Busch et al. BMC Palliative Care 2003 2:2   doi:10.1186/1472-684X-2-2

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