palliative care forschung schweiz

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Titel / Thema

Projekt FIVE: Focus group interviews on the experiences, attitudes and stance of palliative care experts regarding "Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking" at the end of life in Switzerland


08.2017 – 08.2019


BACKGROUND: Self-determination and autonomy is of crucial importance in health care. Frequently, health care professionals are taken into trust and asked for advice at the end of life. Increasingly they are confronted with persons asking for help in “voluntary stopping of eating and drinking” (VSED). To provide systematic and professional support for the patient and their relatives, we need in-depth knowledge of professionals. The responsible and independent ethics committee of the Greater Region of Eastern Switzerland (EKOS 17/083) approved this study.
AIMS: To explore the experiences, attitudes and stance of palliative care experts regarding to VSED; the appropriate treatment of the patient and their relatives and a suitable way to inform about VSED.
FINDINGS: To answer the research question, we asked palliative care experts in five focus group interviews about their experiences, attitudes and stance towards VSED, using half-structured interview guidelines. Data will be digital recorded and transcript verbatim. Then, analyses will follow using first elemental methods (e.g. in vivo/descriptive coding) exploring the phenomenon. Second, through reorganizing and reanalysing the coded data (e.g. pattern/axial coding) categories are inductively built to develop a theory of VSED, described by Saldaña.
DISCUSSION: Results of this study will provide important experiences of palliative care experts about opportunities and barriers on VSED. Attitudes and the stance of experts will help to see if VSED can be a part of the health care system in Switzerland. This data will help us understand the results of survey about decisions at the end of life.




University of Applied Sciences St.Gallen, Institute of Applied Nursing Science


Prof. Dr. André Fringer, MScN


University Witten/Herdecke, Dialog Ethic, Cantonal Hospital St.Gallen


Ebnet-Foundation & palliacura – A foundation of EXIT

Keywords (in english)

Voluntary stopping of eating and drinking, VSED, focus group interviews, explorative descriptive qualitative research


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