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Responders and non-responders in a study on medical end-of-life decisions in Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland


Fischer, Susanne; Miccinesi, Guido; Hornung, Rainer; Bosshard, Georg; Deliens, Luc; van der Heide, A; Nilstun, Tore; Norup, Michael; Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Bregje D (2006). Responders and non-responders in a study on medical end-of-life decisions in Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. Sozial- und Präventivmedizin, 51(1):24-33.

Abstract

Objectives: To determine the direction and magnitude of participation bias in end-of-life research. Methods: Within the framework of a European survey on medical end-of-life decisions, a non-response study was conducted among physicians in Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. People were asked about their attitudes and experiences in the area of medial end-of-life decision. The response rates ranged from 12.8% (Netherlands) to 39.4% (Switzerland). The responders (n = 5 403) and the non-responders (n = 866) were compared regarding socio-demographic characteristics, experiences with terminal patients and agreement with attitudes towards "end-of-life decisions”. The reasons for non-participation to the study were analyzed. Results: Non-response did not cause socio-demographic distortion, but non-responders had statistically significantly fewer terminal patients than responders. Agreement rates were statistically significantly higher among responders than among non-responders for euthanasia, non-treatment decision and life-preserving statements. Neutral answers were statistically significantly more frequent among non-responders than among responders for life-preserving and euthanasia statements. The most commonly mentioned reason for non-participation was "lack of time”. Conclusion: Non-participation does cause an overestimation of proponents of life-shortening, as well as of life-preserving end-of-life decisions. Non-responders more often have ambiguous attitudes towards end-of-life decisions than responders

Abstract

Objectives: To determine the direction and magnitude of participation bias in end-of-life research. Methods: Within the framework of a European survey on medical end-of-life decisions, a non-response study was conducted among physicians in Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. People were asked about their attitudes and experiences in the area of medial end-of-life decision. The response rates ranged from 12.8% (Netherlands) to 39.4% (Switzerland). The responders (n = 5 403) and the non-responders (n = 866) were compared regarding socio-demographic characteristics, experiences with terminal patients and agreement with attitudes towards "end-of-life decisions”. The reasons for non-participation to the study were analyzed. Results: Non-response did not cause socio-demographic distortion, but non-responders had statistically significantly fewer terminal patients than responders. Agreement rates were statistically significantly higher among responders than among non-responders for euthanasia, non-treatment decision and life-preserving statements. Neutral answers were statistically significantly more frequent among non-responders than among responders for life-preserving and euthanasia statements. The most commonly mentioned reason for non-participation was "lack of time”. Conclusion: Non-participation does cause an overestimation of proponents of life-shortening, as well as of life-preserving end-of-life decisions. Non-responders more often have ambiguous attitudes towards end-of-life decisions than responders

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 January 2006
Deposited On:17 Dec 2018 16:25
Last Modified:22 Dec 2018 13:07
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0303-8408
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-005-0004-x
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencespringer101007s000380050004x (Library Catalogue)

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