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Background: Hospital care plays a major role at the end-of-life. But little is known about the overall size and characteristics of the palliative inpatient population. The aim of our study was to analyse these aspects. Methods: We conducted a one-day observational study in 14 randomly selected Belgian hospitals. Patients who met the definition of palliative patients were identified as palliative. Then, information about their sociodemographic characteristics, diagnoses, prognosis, and care plan were recorded and analysed. Results: There were 2639 in-patients on the day of the study; 9.4% of them were identified as “palliative”. The mean age of the group was 72 years. The primary diagnosis was cancer in 51% of patients and the estimated life expectancy was shorter than 3 months in 33% of patients and longer than 1 year in 28% of patients. The professional caregivers expected for most of the patients (73%), that the treatment would improve patient comfort rather than prolong life. Antibiotics, transfusions, treatments specific to the pathology, and artificial nutrition were administered in 90%, 78%, 57% and 50% of the patients, respectively, but were generally given with a view to controlling the symptoms. Conclusions: This analysis presents a first national estimate of the palliative inpatient population. Our results confirm that hospitals play a major role at the end-of-life, with one out of ten inpatients identified as a “palliative” patient. These data also demonstrate the complexity of the palliative population and the substantial diversity of care that they can require.

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Chicago
Desmedt, Marianne S, Yolande L de la Kethulle, Myriam Deveugele, Emmanuel A Keirse, Dominique J Paulus, Johan J Menten, Steven R Simoens, Paul J vanden Berghe, and Claire M Beguin. 2011. “Palliatieve Inpatients in General Hospitals: a One Day Observational Study in Belgium.” Bmc Palliative Care (online) 10.
APA
Desmedt, M. S., de la Kethulle, Y. L., Deveugele, M., Keirse, E. A., Paulus, D. J., Menten, J. J., Simoens, S. R., et al. (2011). Palliatieve inpatients in general hospitals: a one day observational study in Belgium. BMC PALLIATIVE CARE (ONLINE), 10.
Vancouver
1.
Desmedt MS, de la Kethulle YL, Deveugele M, Keirse EA, Paulus DJ, Menten JJ, et al. Palliatieve inpatients in general hospitals: a one day observational study in Belgium. BMC PALLIATIVE CARE (ONLINE). 2011;10.
MLA
Desmedt, Marianne S, Yolande L de la Kethulle, Myriam Deveugele, et al. “Palliatieve Inpatients in General Hospitals: a One Day Observational Study in Belgium.” BMC PALLIATIVE CARE (ONLINE) 10 (2011): n. pag. Print.
@article{1842901,
  abstract     = {Background: Hospital care plays a major role at the end-of-life. But little is known about the overall size and characteristics of the palliative inpatient population. The aim of our study was to analyse these aspects.
Methods: We conducted a one-day observational study in 14 randomly selected Belgian hospitals. Patients who met the definition of palliative patients were identified as palliative. Then, information about their sociodemographic characteristics, diagnoses, prognosis, and care plan were recorded and analysed.
Results: There were 2639 in-patients on the day of the study; 9.4\% of them were identified as {\textquotedblleft}palliative{\textquotedblright}. The mean age of the group was 72 years. The primary diagnosis was cancer in 51\% of patients and the estimated life expectancy was shorter than 3 months in 33\% of patients and longer than 1 year in 28\% of patients. The professional caregivers expected for most of the patients (73\%), that the treatment would improve patient comfort rather than prolong life. Antibiotics, transfusions, treatments specific to the pathology, and artificial nutrition were administered in 90\%, 78\%, 57\% and 50\% of the patients, respectively, but were generally given with a view to controlling the symptoms.
Conclusions: This analysis presents a first national estimate of the palliative inpatient population. Our results confirm that hospitals play a major role at the end-of-life, with one out of ten inpatients identified as a {\textquotedblleft}palliative{\textquotedblright} patient. These data also demonstrate the complexity of the palliative population and the substantial diversity of care that they can require.},
  articleno    = {2},
  author       = {Desmedt, Marianne S and de la Kethulle, Yolande L and Deveugele, Myriam and Keirse, Emmanuel A and  Paulus, Dominique J and  Menten, Johan J and Simoens, Steven R and vanden Berghe, Paul J and Beguin, Claire M},
  issn         = {1472-684X},
  journal      = {BMC PALLIATIVE CARE (ONLINE)},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {8},
  title        = {Palliatieve inpatients in general hospitals: a one day observational study in Belgium},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-684X-10-2},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2011},
}

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