Quick Search:

uzh logo
Browse by:

Zurich Open Repository and Archive

Maintenance: Tuesday, 5.7.2016, 07:00-08:00

Maintenance work on ZORA and JDB on Tuesday, 5th July, 07h00-08h00. During this time there will be a brief unavailability for about 1 hour. Please be patient.

Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-18425

Bilsen, J; Norup, M; Deliens, L; Miccinesi, G; van der Wal, G; Löfmark, R; Faisst, K; van der Heide, A (2006). Drugs used to alleviate symptoms with life shortening as a possible side effect: end-of-life care in six European countries. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 31(2):111-121.

[img] PDF - Registered users only
View at publisher


We investigated the drugs used in the alleviation of pain and symptoms (APS) with a possible life-shortening side effect in six European countries' end-of-life care. We sent mail questionnaires to physicians who signed a representative sample of death certificates in each country. APS with a possible life-shortening effect occurred from 19% of all deaths in Italy to 26% in Denmark. Physicians usually administered opioids (from 76% of APS cases in Italy to 96% in The Netherlands), but the type of opioids and administration practice differed markedly between countries. The doses of opioids given in the last 24 hours also varied significantly and were usually lower than 300 mg oral morphine equivalent (from 83% of cases in Belgium to 93% in Sweden). The highly variable results bring into question whether existing guidelines for pain relief were applied appropriately and to what extent unfounded concerns about the possible life-shortening effect of opioids resulted in less than optimal symptom management in end-of-life care.


29 citations in Web of Science®
37 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™



2 downloads since deposited on 23 Apr 2009
0 downloads since 12 months

Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:23 Apr 2009 12:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:13
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2005.07.005
PubMed ID:16488344

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page