Characterization in end-of-life care of older people attended by geriatricians

Elly Morros-González, Ana María Ayala Copete, Daniela Sofía Beltrán Barriga, Carlos Cano-Gutierrez, Diego Andrés Chavarro-Carvajal, Sandra Milena Caicedo Correa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Symptom control at the end of life is essential, and palliative sedation is a viable intervention option for the care of terminally ill patients. This study aims to characterize the elderly population receiving end-of-life care plans and their management with palliative sedation in a geriatric unit at a high complexity hospital.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted, and a descriptive analysis was performed. Medical records of 163 patients admitted to a high complexity hospital in Bogota, Colombia between January 2016 and December 2019 were reviewed.

RESULTS: From 163, 141 patients received an end-of-life care plan, and 22 were managed with palliative sedation. The mean age was 84 years, the most frequent cause of death was respiratory infections and 44% of patients had a history of cancer. Prior to admission, functional decline and the presence of moderate to severe dementia were frequently found. About one in ten persons required palliative sedation, which lasted an average of 2.22±5 days. The most common refractory symptom was dyspnea (45.45%), followed by pain (36.36%).

CONCLUSIONS: Palliative sedation is prevalent in the elderly population and characterizing this population can provide increased knowledge to improve end-of-life care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101408
JournalRevista Espanola de Geriatria y Gerontologia
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023


  • Humans
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Palliative Care
  • Geriatricians
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Terminal Care
  • Pain


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