Palliative sedation: nurses' perceptions.

Alexandra C. Beel, Pamela G. Hawranik, Susan McClement, Paul Daeninck

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with advanced illnesses suffer from a myriad of distressing symptoms. Palliative care aims to alleviate the distress caused by such symptoms. In extreme circumstances palliative sedation may be implemented to manage symptom distress that is not responsive to standard treatment modalities. Nurses are involved in the care of patients receiving palliative sedation as well as their families. To date, however, little research has been conducted examining the nurses' experiences with, and perceptions about the use of palliative sedation in end-of-life care. In order to redress this gap in the literature a descriptive-exploratory study guided by the theory of symbolic interactionism was conducted. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 10 nurses working on an adult in-patient palliative care unit within a long-term care facility in Canada. The major theme emerging from content analysis of interview transcripts was that of 'Working your way through the quagmire'. The metaphor of the quagmire captured the difficult and complex issues nurses grappled with in instances where palliative sedation was used, and integrates the major categories into the key analytic model emerging from this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-518
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of palliative nursing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov. 2006


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