Publicaciones científicas

Wish to die and hasten death in palliative care: a cross-sectional study factor analysis

14-oct-2021 | Revista: BMJ Support Palliative Care

Alazne Belar  1   2 , Marina Martinez  3   4 , Carlos Centeno  1   2 , Jesús López-Fidalgo  5 , Yolanda Santesteban  6 , Marcos Lama  7 , Maria Arantzamendi  1   2

Objectives: The wish to die (WTD) is a complex experience sometimes accompanied by intention to hasten death. The aim of this study is to identify the predictive factors for WTD and hastening death intention (HDI) in Spanish patients with advanced illness.

Methods: This is a subanalysis of a larger cross-sectional study conducted on patients experiencing advanced illness (N=201). Sociodemographic data and data related to symptom burden (Edmonton Symptom Assessment System-Revised), depressive and anxious symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), demoralisation (Spanish version of the Demoralisation Scale), perceived loss of dignity (Patient Dignity Inventory) and WTD (Assessing Frequency and Extent of Desire to Die) were collected. The analysis used univariate and multivariate logistic regression.

Results: The prevalence of WTD in the sample was 18%, with 8 out of 36 patients reporting HDI. The independent factors predictive of WTD were (1) knowledge of approximate prognosis (OR=4.78; 95% CI 1.20 to 10.8; p=0.001); (2) symptom burden (OR=1.05; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.09; p=0.038); and (3) the Demoralisation Scale subsection 'lack of meaning and purpose in life' (OR=1.61; 95% CI 1.30 to 1.99; p=0.000). An independent predictive factor for HDI was the Demoralisation Scale subsection 'patients' distress and coping abilities' (OR=1.47; 95% CI 1.04 to 2.08; p=0.028), while having religious beliefs was a protective factor (OR=0.13; 95% CI0.17 to 0.97; p=0.047).

Conclusions: Demoralisation was found to be the only common triggering factor for WTD and HDI, although experiences share certain features. Identification of the predictive factors for WTD and HDI may contribute to their prevention and management.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2021 Oct 14;bmjspcare-2021-003080. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2021-003080