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Evidence briefing pathways for the dying phase in end of life care

This report presents a rapid review of published peer reviewed research about end of life care pathways focused on the dying phase. In particular it examines evidence in relation to use of such pathways in hospitals. Our intention is to provide clear information for stakeholders charged with considering whether any change in current policy and practice is required.

The review questions were developed through consultation with the National End of Life Care Programme and its clinical networks.

What is known about the following:

  1. The impacts of integrated care pathways?
  2. The impacts of pathways for the management of the dying phase in end of life care?
  3. The practice and effects of:
  • Predicting imminent dying in people nearing the end of life?
  • Communication amongst family members, patients, and staff in the last few days and hours of life?
  • Clinically‐assisted nutrition and clinically‐assisted hydration in the last few days and hours of life?
  • Sedation in the last few days and hours of life?