Life worth living: cross-sectional study on the prevalence and determinants of the wish to die in elderly patients hospitalized in an internal medicine ward.

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_42C2C3EEB7D1
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Life worth living: cross-sectional study on the prevalence and determinants of the wish to die in elderly patients hospitalized in an internal medicine ward.
Journal
BMC geriatrics
Author(s)
Bornet M.A., Rubli Truchard E., Waeber G., Vollenweider P., Bernard M., Schmied L., Marques-Vidal P.
ISSN
1471-2318 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
1471-2318
Publication state
Published
Issued date
14/09/2020
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
20
Number
1
Pages
348
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: epublish
Abstract
Elderly people frequently express the wish to die: this ranges from a simple wish for a natural death to a more explicit request for death. The frequency of the wish to die and its associated factors have not been assessed in acute hospitalization settings. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and determinants of the wish to die in elderly (≥65 years) patients hospitalized in an internal medicine ward.
This cross-sectional study was conducted between 1 May, 2018, and 30 April, 2019, in an acute care internal medicine ward in a Swiss university hospital. Participants were a consecutive sample of 232 patients (44.8% women, 79.3 ± 8.1 years) with no cognitive impairment. Wish to die was assessed using the Schedule of Attitudes toward Hastened Death-senior and the Categories of Attitudes toward Death Occurrence scales.
Prevalence of the wish to die was 8.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.3-13.0). Bivariate analysis showed that patients expressing the wish to die were older (P = .014), had a lower quality of life (P < .001), and showed more depressive symptoms (P = .044). Multivariable analysis showed that increased age was positively (odds ratio [OR] for a 5-year increase: 1.43, 95% CI 0.99-2.04, P = .048) and quality of life negatively (OR: 0.54, 95% CI 0.39-0.75, P < 0.001) associated with the likelihood of wishing to die. Participants did not experience stress during the interview.
Prevalence of the wish to die among elderly patients admitted to an acute hospital setting is low, but highly relevant for clinical practice. Older age increases and better quality of life decreases the likelihood of wishing to die. Discussion of death appears to be well tolerated by patients.
Keywords
Wish to die, Quality of life, Acute care, Internal medicine, Switzerland, Acute care, Internal medicine, Quality of life, Switzerland, Wish to die
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Funding(s)
Fondation Leenaards
Create date
15/09/2020 7:01
Last modification date
14/10/2020 6:23
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