Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 October 2014
Our aim was to describe the process of palliative sedation from the point of view of physicians and nurses working in palliative care in Brazil.
Ours was a descriptive study conducted between May and December of 2011, with purposeful snowball sampling of 32 physicians and 29 nurses working in facilities in Brazil that have adopted the practice of palliative care.
The symptoms prioritized for an indication of palliative sedation were dyspnea, delirium, and pain. Some 65.6% of respondents believed that the survival time of a patient in the final phase was not a determining factor for the indication of this measure, and that the patient, family, and healthcare team should participate in the decision-making process. For 42.6% of these professionals, the opinion of the family was the main barrier to an indication of this therapy.
The opinion of the physicians and nurses who participated in this study converged with the principal national and international guidelines on palliative sedation. However, even though it is a therapy that has been adopted in palliative care, it remains a controversial practice.