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experience, nurse, palliative care, palliative sedation



  1. Nilsson, Asa MSN, RN
  2. Tengvall, Camilla MSN, RN


Palliative sedation is used as a form of treatment within palliative care in Sweden. Previous research shows that palliative sedation raises many ethical concerns for both physicians and nurses. The purpose of this study was to illuminate nurses' experiences of palliative sedation in specialist palliative care. Fourteen semistructured interviews were conducted and analyzed using Burnard's qualitative content analysis. The results led to 4 main categories: palliative sedation in practice, confidence and responsibility, communication and teamwork, and ethical concerns. Palliative sedation is, within the specialist palliative care, an ambiguous term used in different ways, depending on the culture of the workplace. The lack of a shared vision within the area of palliative sedation creates insecurity for nurses. To be able to feel secure, it is important within specialist palliative care to agree on whether, how, and in what situations palliative sedation should be administered. More education on the subject is needed.